Injuries are a part of the modern game, but there’s often a narrative spun that it’s simply down to luck. Players are quicker and stronger than ever before, so their fitness and training regimes need to be carefully structured and managed.
Barcelona have had a lot of injury issues so far this season, Lionel Messi has missed most of the season with niggling injuries and Luis Suarez seems to have lost his form, amid suggestions he’s been carrying a few knocks.
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A startling admission from manager Ernesto Valverde might show why these injuries keep occurring:
???VALVERDE: “Yo no doy mucha importancia a la preparación física”. pic.twitter.com/ogDQPNmf3H
— El Chiringuito TV (@elchiringuitotv) September 27, 2019
What he says is: “He doesn’t give much importance to physical preparation”
That’s a big problem for some of the players. Don’t forget some of the key men who have suffered injuries tend to be over the age of 30, so they are at an age when it’s important to prepare properly and for the coaching team to manage their workloads appropriately.
You could argue it wouldn’t be such a big deal if Barca had amazing strength in depth with plenty of players ready to step up when they get a chance but that isn’t the case. Particularly when Messi is missing, the squad don’t look like a team who rallies when they miss their main man, they completely go into their shell and lack any sort of inspiration.
It’s too early to panic, they are only four points away from the top of the league but they don’t look convincing, especially with Sky Sports reporting that Messi’s most recent injury is worrying the club as they don’t know when to expect him back.
Valverde needs to have a serious look at his methods if he genuinely doesn’t focus on physical preparation, otherwise the season could be a failure.