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Alexander-Arnold: It is not right to put a human body through so much intensity.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold has spoken out about the schedule that modern day Footballers are having to endure in the advent of increased fixture congestion.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has put immense strain on athletes as sporting leagues across the world have looked at ways to continue their seasons as normal as possible.

 

At the outset it seemed to be a impossible task but thanks to the professionalism of the key figures, it seemed to go off without too many significant hitches.

 

But as we move ever so slowly into the next phase of learning to live with the virus before a vaccine becomes widely available, we also start to learn more about the physical toll that these players have had to endure.

 

As football lovers, we see our heroes on the pitch a couple of times a week and either celebrate their fine performance, or criticise if they are a bit off their game.

 

And while they certainly get paid a lot more than the common man or woman in the street, they are still human after all.

 

The right-back who is currently sidelined with a calf injury, gave a fascinating and very mature insight to the Mirror into life as a Football during this uncertain time. 

 

“We get paid to play football, so we can’t complain about having to play games but It’s not right to put a human body through so much intensity.

 

“You look at marathon runners, people who do triathlons and cyclists on the Tour de France. They train for so long to compete in such quick succession.

 

“You have to train for those sort of distances – and our bodies aren’t trained to do that. We have 90 minute hits, we have to recover from that.

 

“But when you’re asked to do that so quickly, it’s not fair and the human body cannot cope with that.”

 

The off-season break that players are customarily used to was considerably reduced due to Premier League wanting to start the new season in early September.

 

While there may be some of in the wider community who may thing that players had a three month lay-off from March to June, Trent said it was anything but a holiday.

 

“You’ve got to think that of the three month lockdown, we had to try and stay as fit as possible.We were doing four or five sessions a week, not knowing when we were going to come back.

 

“We had to stay relatively match fit in case it came back on quickly and going straight back into games. It hurt a lot of players without much of a build-up.”

 

alexander-arnold3_600.jpg

 

The 22 year-old says that the physical toll from that resumption and the condensed fixture list due to league officials wanting  to finish the current season on schedule is now being starting to be seen.

 

“I think it’s proven by now that the main source of knee, ankle and joint injuries is from fatigue.

 

“It’s because you are tired and when you land, you are not really putting your leg in the right position, you don’t have the energy to absorb the jump or the landing.

 

“I think I had maybe three or four training sessions before I played 80 minutes and, from there, I was straight into the season.”

 

The England international says he is someone who aims to keep himself in fine condition away from match day action.

 

“A lot of people think you just turn up and play. But it’s 24/7. I’m always questioning everything.

 

“What I eat, how many hours of sleep I need, I have to question whether it’s going to be beneficial or hinder me. If it’s going to hinder me, then I have to say no.

 

“The fitness levels we need as a team need to be up there with the highest in the league, if not the highest in Europe as well.”

 

 

 


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i wonder if we are hitting a point to keep players fit and the fact we are unlikely to increase squad size, if we will start seeing styles of play change and teams moving away a little from the high intensity football that has almost become the standard in the modern game. Something has to give and while it is easy to say this season is tougher than normal, we know clubs want to expand europe, fifa want to make a big deal of the CWC, uefa have added this nations league so there are fewer and fewer international friendlies (and perhaps this 3 international matches in 10 days will become the norm), both the WC and Euros are to be expanded, which will likely bring more games and best case it means just less players get summers off. something within all this has to give. right now what is giving is the players bodies. but this is not going to get any easier as this season progresses as players will play more and more minutes as there'll be less chance to rotate because there's so many injuries. then we have the euros. 

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I think we've already started to move away a bit from high intensity. A couple of years ago we ran faster and further than every other team but I bet we're no longer anywhere near the top of the "running league". And I remember Jurgen saying something a  few weeks ago about how we've made adjustments to Trent's game to protect him (not that it seems to have worked). 

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13 minutes ago, aws said:

I think we've already started to move away a bit from high intensity. A couple of years ago we ran faster and further than every other team but I bet we're no longer anywhere near the top of the "running league". And I remember Jurgen saying something a  few weeks ago about how we've made adjustments to Trent's game to protect him (not that it seems to have worked). 

well even when we were supposedly top of the running league, we were only about 8th in that table! but i don't think it is just about us, it's everyone. I think some of the intensity of klopp's system is about being smart with the pressing etc, we seem very good at identifying when to do it and when to let the other team have the ball - which is why we often looked like the most intense team, but didn't do the most running. but i don't think there's a doubt we push the players to the edge of physical endurance and it stands to reason something has to change. Perhaps you are right, we are already evolving, but aside from a few games this season, i don't really see that. 

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On 30/11/2020 at 13:36, johnsusername said:

The clubs are happy to keep trousering the cash. How are the owners, chairmen and chief executives squaring this circle? 

they don't give a fuck. the only time they will give a fuck is if the balance sheet calculates it costs them too much money in the damage it does to players. but the players play a part too - do you really think if they were asked to take a 25% pay cut to play 25% less games they would take it? I don't think so. Because if that was their point of view, they would be pushing the PFA to drive down the number of games. 

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50 minutes ago, Jimmy Hills Chin said:

Maybe if a few players fucked off the internationals they’d make it a bit easier on themselves.

We need to find a way to funnel money into fa's in order to reduce the number of irrelevant international fixtures that exist for no other reason than to fund the fa, there's no sporting reason for most of it. 

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21 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

We need to find a way to funnel money into fa's in order to reduce the number of irrelevant international fixtures that exist for no other reason than to fund the fa, there's no sporting reason for most of it. 

A good idea in theory but you’d have to nail them down with the number of games. Probably wouldn’t be an option with them although it would give the Ingurland knobheads something else to gammon about.

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14 minutes ago, Jimmy Hills Chin said:

A good idea in theory but you’d have to nail them down with the number of games. Probably wouldn’t be an option with them although it would give the Ingurland knobheads something else to gammon about.

Deffo. I'd start with scrapping all in-season internationals. I'd just allocated them 6 weeks or whatever at the end of each season. Over which time the players can't play more than twice in any 8 day period. If they want to more matches, fine, but each player doesn't get flogged to achieve it, they need a bigger pool of players. How they structure the tournament's for those windows to achieve both the financial needs and the sport is up to them, it's unrecognisable from what I grew up with anyway, so I see no issue in restructuring. But I see no need for these over engineered qualifying rounds we have today. Save the matches and the players legs. 

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26 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

Deffo. I'd start with scrapping all in-season internationals. I'd just allocated them 6 weeks or whatever at the end of each season. Over which time the players can't play more than twice in any 8 day period. If they want to more matches, fine, but each player doesn't get flogged to achieve it, they need a bigger pool of players. How they structure the tournament's for those windows to achieve both the financial needs and the sport is up to them, it's unrecognisable from what I grew up with anyway, so I see no issue in restructuring. But I see no need for these over engineered qualifying rounds we have today. Save the matches and the players legs. 

The problem that we have is we’re dealing with dickheads. You only have to go on the likes of this forum and get a snapshot of ways to improve the game but the soft cunts in charge can’t see past their wallets.

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