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Patrick Nzuzi - Newcastle Utd

Relaxed & Restful Weekend

02/12/09 |

I felt really tired on Monday which is a bit of a mystery to me really because I’ve had a fairly relaxed and restful weekend after the trip to Leeds on Saturday.

Thankfully we had a relatively easy day on Monday as there is nothing worse than be put through a physically demanding session when you don’t feel quite right. We had 8 small sided matches that lasted around 5-6 minutes.

So it required short sharp bursts of energy – interestingly I was in the winning side once again however (the interesting point is that) I put this down to my side consisting mainly of defenders.

I’ve started to find that is not uncommon for a team composed mainly of defenders to beat a team of attackers without any problems. Maybe it is because we are more tactically aware of how, where and when to defend and how to defend as a unit, which leads me to the conclusion that defenders can attack but not all attackers can defend – well they always seem to come up short in these match-up’s.

Given the fatigue I had felt in the morning I don’t know why but I agreed to stay behind with a number of the other first year Apprentices to do a weights session before finishing off with a head tennis challenge with some of the coaching staff. Head tennis always gets fiercely competitive but is fantastic nonetheless as it helps improve touch and feel – unfortunately our coaches came out on top this time

On Tuesday we had a big group for training due to the school-boys coming in. This led to the defenders being separated from the attackers and two technical sessions being run for either group.

Thursday saw us enjoy a well earned lie in because training was scheduled for the afternoon only and we did not have to report until 12:30pm. We went out to train at 2pm and did some attacking work in the lead up to next Wednesday’s FA Youth Cup match.

We put the drill into a game situation to finish off and you could see the end product, there was some great attacking play, however the defending team was easily broken down. After a few words from Kenny, both defences got their heads together and it became a more realistic game.

On Friday we ran back through Thursday’s session ironing out any glitches and there was an improvement straight away. We then did some crossing and finishing before ending training with a small sided game.

Saturday morning saw an U18s XI play against the schoolboys as a run out for the Youth Cup.

You could tell the difference between the two teams straight away as we moved the ball quicker and it didn’t take more than 5 minutes before we took the lead. Some questionable refereeing meant that most decisions were awarded to the schoolboys but it was a comfortable work out to say the least. We finished the game with a penalty shoot-out which was a case of just preparing for every eventuality.