Will We Ever Learn?
In modern day football it has been stated on numerous occasions that pre-season training and pre-season matches are essential to ensure the success of individual players and teams in the forthcoming season.
Many players have stated that they are only really fresh at the start of a season following a hard boot camp style fitness program, then building up to match fitness with friendlies. They hope and pray to not have early injuries but it’s expected that constant niggles, kicks and knocks will have an impact on fitness and performance. Levels of fitness are levelled out and maintained as much as possible for the rest of the season, so as not to burn out too soon.
Last summer seemed to be diabolical in respect of our preparation, with the proposed tour of South Africa ended up being cancelled with no real alternative put in place. Players involved in the Euros came back late to training and missed out on a full pre-season campaign.
In my opinion, that could be one of the major factors in Cabaye’s poor form in comparison to the previous season, not helped by depression. Our squad was painfully thin and not helped by Europa League matches, but it seems to me that we were outrun and outplayed by so many teams last season with many of our players looking tired early on.
This doesn’t seem to bother teams like Man Utd, Chelsea or Man City etc. as they obviously have bigger squads, full of players who are internationals playing in tournaments well beyond the end of the Premier League season. Yes, they have the shortened pre-season training but most look like world beaters and top athletes. That’s exactly what they are in most cases. These teams don’t rush players back after injury like we seem to do and very rarely seem to have recurring problems with players the way that we always seem to. Ben Arfa is a case in point. This again is down to the quality and depth of the squad.
The messages coming from the club at the end of a season that will (has) see very few sales of the annual dvd were that we would look to improve on every aspect of preparation and learn from our mistakes.
Alan Pardew stated that he wanted three signings in to the club by July 1st, so that these new acquisitions could be made a part of the team in every respect from day one of the campaign.
We are now more than half way into July and still have no first team signings brought in. Not only this but it seems that our self proclaimed messiah, JFK, is shipping out squad players whom he believes are not up to the job. I agree with many tipped to move on but surely they need to be replaced with better quality. It looks like this quality is going to be provided by youth players coming through because the silence coming from the club on signings is deafening.
Fans are sick of hearing about us being linked to this player or that top striker who would do a job for us. Frustration and worry are at huge levels and no one seems to know what is going on!
Yes, we have a few signings made in January that we hope to come good, but not only do we need at least the three signings purported to be essential by Pardew, but our main striker is now not going to take part in pre-season matches due to the Wonga row.
I’m not going to get into that as it’s a different article altogether, but surely, preventing Cisse from joining the side is a case of further shooting ourselves in the foot. If there were awards to be had for that our trophy cabinet would be full to brim!
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]