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Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Fatigue - it's not the issue fans think it is

Ben Davies spoke recently about the tough training at Tottenham and how his Welsh teammates didn't believe him when he told them what he has to do to get and stay Pochettino fit.

He also explained a little of the process and how the players are tested more regularly than at other clubs so there is no slacking. Football today embraces sports science, there are heart rate monitors, stress levels assessed to determine when fatigue may strike (fans who suggest Kane is fatigued simply don't know what they are talking about I'm afraid).

A player has baseline tests that they can be measured against and all season they are continually monitored and tested to see how that measure, thus Pochettino always knows the physical capacity of each individual player and their workload is managed accordingly. 

The best form of injury treatment is injury prevention. Pochettino employs a device that reduces the risk of muscle injury, there have been relatively few since he arrived, even from the perennial Mousa Dembele who was always pulling up at the slightest twinge. 

Some of the tests conducted are to test speed, agility, change of direction, aerobic endurance, anaerobic endurance (Aerobic means "with oxygen," and anaerobic means "without oxygen."), strength, power and skill.

“We have body fat tests regularly, every two weeks. We used to have it [at Swansea], but not as often and probably not as strictly enforced. It’s obviously something we have to keep an eye on and, if we’re not at the required levels, you have to work on your diet. I think every manager has got to have that strictness about them, but you know, he’s got every player’s respect here and everyone’s bought into exactly what he wants. 
“I think, when you first start putting all the work in, it’s tough. You have to be determined enough to be able to put up with it every day to get yourself fit and maybe at times it gets hard but I think now maybe we see the rewards out on the field. 
“We’re covering more distance than teams, we’re able to press teams and not give them a moment on the ball. That’s not just for 20-30 minutes, that’s throughout the whole game. The amount of goals and way we play towards the end of games really does show with the fitness, and as players you’re able to keep going for longer. 
“We’re expected to get up and attack a lot more and that’s another reason for our fitness levels. You have to be a lot more cutting edge really, when you’re in the final third. You saw Trips [Kieran Trippier] get a goal for us at the weekend. Looking back on TV, he’s ran 80 yards from defending the ball to get up and get a goal, and that’s part of our job in this team. [The competition] keeps you on your toes every day in training. There’s no slacking, otherwise you’re not going to be in the team.”



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