Reports are coming in today that both Juande Ramos and Avram Grant are extending their training regimes.
Spanish football pundit Guillem Balague, who seems to get the inside scoop on all things Spanish in the Premier League, has come out with a pretty shocking illustration about the shambolic state of Tottenham’s training sessions. In this week’s Times Game podcast Balague says:
“I was at the Spurs training ground this week. I was amazed that some of the tactical work that Juande was trying to put across to the squad just caught many players by surprise. As if they hadn’t done anything for two years, as though they were sixteen again – ‘Oh, what’s he want us to do? He wants us to run because this is an offensive tactic? Oh right.’ It was a bit surprising. I think that is something that will affect the way that Juande will improve the side.”
If Balague’s comments are to be taken seriously, and he does seem to have close links with many of the Spaniards in the Premier League from Arteta to the Alonso brothers, then this highlights a major issue for Tottenham. Luckily Juande Ramos is well aware of the size of the Spurs bellies, indeed in the hotel meeting that never happened earlier this season Ramos pointed out to the Spurs board their teams lack of fitness and their predilection for conceding horrific late goals.
The Daily Mail is today reporting that Juande Ramos has continued his fitness quest by telling Tom Huddlestone to stop scoffing Big Mac meals, and to get on the treadmill…or face an extended stay on the bench. So how long before we get to see an upsurge in Spurs’ fortunes with lean players leaping around the pitch with boundless energy?
Meanwhile, at Stamford Bridge – Avram Grant is showing the Chelsea players his ugly ruthless side. The Times’ Matt Hughes writes:
“Avram Grant has shown the first sign of getting tough with his squad by cancelling yesterdayâ€™s scheduled day off and hauling them in for extra training. The Chelsea first-team coach refused to criticise his playersâ€™ performance in Tuesdayâ€™s goalless Champions League draw against Schalke 04 in Gelsenkirchen, but punished them by increasing their workload. They will train every day until Sundayâ€™s Barclays Premier League match against Everton. The quietly spoken Grant has made a point of not discussing individuals in public, but he is more candid in private and told several players yesterday that their efforts in Germany were unacceptable and that higher standards are expected.”
So with Henk Ten Cate acting like a deranged drill sergeant and now Avram Grant getting tough, this unholy alliance in turning into a “bad cop-bad cop” routine. But which of these two clubs will get their lazy git players to pull their socks up, Chelsea or Tottenham?