Monday, 28 July 2014

Tired Legs Lead to Ready Legs

One of the biggest differences I have noticed at the beginning of this pre season to any other is one word, fitness. Every interview the word fitness, every photo epitomizing the word fitness, I don't think I have seen a ball kicked. running, running, running more running. Anyone looking into one of the training sessions would be forgiven for not recognizing this is a football team that's training and mistaking us for a cross country team. But don't think that I am finding fault, I am happy to see this, in seasons gone by I don't remember seeing anything regarding training at this stage I was convinced that our players had extended holidays as The Blades pre-season never seemed to start until every other club was into week three of theirs.

But its a positive and another reminder that we now have a team in charge starting with Nigel Clough that understands what it takes to be ready for a successful campaign. Jose Baxter looks like he hasn't eaten since the end of last season, Chris Porter looks like his legs are on steroids, the squad looks like they could run through brick walls and not lose any momentum. Admittedly with our first friendly resulting in a loss to Burton a handful of Blades 'fans' went into panic meltdown, but still I don't remember any mention of a ball being kicked yet in training (not to mention two different squads in each half with minimal senior player involvement.) still the focus was, fitness. The coaching staff understand that United need to hit the ground running, we do not have a large squad, we cant have bit part players only good for half a match, we need everyone ready to run themselves into the ground and still have the capacity to get up and be ready for more. Even now after our 4-2 win over Dundee all the focus is on fitness and preparation for a long grueling campaign. When the attention turns to tactics, skills, set pieces and the rest the players will be shocked, every action will feel more fluid and players performances will hit a new peaks. I am thrilled that for once the club is finally showing these professional signs of improvement.

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