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Hank shoots Skyler

'Match Fitness'

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This has bugged me for quite some time and especially so now

with our own ongoing case in Vadis who has actually now been sent out on loan

with a view to resolving his supposed lack of match fitness.

 

But what does it actually mean when a manager plays this

‘lack of match fitness’ card? The amount of times last season we heard about

players, in particular VOO, not being match fit, not up to speed yet, needs

some game time etc etc.

 

But what on Earth do they actually mean? The players train 4

hours a day (?), they have nutritional requirements set for them, they have top

notch facilities and coaching that nurture them to the highest possible level,

why the fuck can’t they be ‘match fit’? Don’t get me wrong I completely under

if said player is returning from injury and haven’t been in training so much,

but this is far from the case for Vadis who has had months back in full

training and has even played several games for the under 21 development squad!

 

Is the training not intense enough to prepare them for a

match? If so then why do they train to a level that’s below the par set of an

actual football match? You wouldn’t prepare for a marathon by walking round the

park a couple of times a week!

 

It almost feels to me like a once genuine expression, that

has slowly been harvested out by managers and coaches alike as a convenient

fallback excuse for players who are not getting game time and have question

marks over their heads. And it seems to have spread to the fans who are also

now throwing the phrase about like it actually makes complete sense.

 

Vadis is the perfect example of what I am getting at. Has he

honestly just not been fully fit this whole time? What does he even do in

training? Would he have been playing regular football had he just managed to be

‘match fit’? Do you think he will come back from Rotherham and start playing

regular football? I don’t think he will, and furthermore believe that it is the

club’s way to save face on what appears to have been a poor signing in

hindsight IMO.

 

Now perhaps I have completely missed a trick here and am

also a massive idiot. In any such case, a generous slice humble pie sits ready

and I now await a clear explanation of match fitness which puts all of the above

firmly to bed..

 

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It''s a bit of a catch 22. Match fitness can only be obtained through regularly playing in full blooded, high tempo, competitive matches. These come with increased risk of injury and necessary recovery periods. Because VOO had not been featuring in the team, there was no way for him to become match fit and, once he was behind the rest of the regular squad in this regard, he became impossible to select. By sending him out on loan he can play in competitive matches and get used to operating at a higher tempo etc. Hopefully he can find a bit of form while he''s at it. If he comes back looking sharp, confident and up to it then he might break into the team.

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Match fitness is different to fitness. Fitness is your ability to perform a task to a given level e.g. The fitness to run 1 km in 5 mins. Match fitness is more of a mental and technical thing. So for instance speed of thought/ reaction times gained from regularly performing at high intensity or decision making in situations. Something that no matter how good the coaching and intensity it just can''t be replicated other than a competitive game. Under 21s and friendlies just don''t do it as they are much slower in tempo.

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Which just emphasises the ridiculousness of the current set up in the EPL where you have a squad of 25, plus any under-age players who feature regularly in the first team, i.e. as many as 26 or 27 players in all, of whom at most 14 can feature in a given match. Unless the squad is strong enough for the manager to jettison such ideas as "first ones on the team sheet" or "the strongest eleven", almost half the squad is condemned to always being below optimum fitness levels, with match time limited to occasional appearances in cups or development squad games. How does a player "force the manager to pick him" in those circumstances, and if he is given a chance he will always be handicapped by lack of real match sharpness. The old Reserve Team Leagoe system was surely better than what we have now?

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It is a funny phrase and as you say a largely get out excuse for a player not playing. There is clearly a difference in terms of executing certain things and gaining that extra yard which you get with match fitness but any manager gets their best players on the pitch. If hoolahan, howson, Brady, bassong (anyone deemed as a ''first name on the team sheet'') was not 100% match fit they would play!! Can you imagine Ronaldo or messi not playing because not match fit!! They might be eased back into action but they play. I think the truth is voo is not better than what we have and will not get in our team!! If he was that Good he would be playing

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Yes, it''s a bit like a tennis player practising after injury and then coming back to competitive matches. Inevitably it takes some matches to get back to full sharpness.

And I agree, it''s daft not to have a reserve league. Why on earth did they change that ?

Vadis looked sharp against Rotherham in the cup and caused their fullback constant problems, my guess is that the thinking behind sending him there for a month was that he''d get regular football and will hopefully come back really sharp and up for it.

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Match fitness is that extra level of sharpness and the ability to play a full 90mins at your peak and players only get this by playing competitive games. Its the equivalent to a Tennis player entering a tournament without having played recently. They may be as fit as anyone else but just can''t quite anticipate the direction of a serve as quickly as they can at their peak. It takes practice to regain the ability to read the play at the required pace and to move where the ball is going before its on its way. You can''t expect somebody like Hooper to come off the bench, having not played for 2 months, and operate to his full potential. He lacks match fitness.

It is a chicken and egg situation so usually if a player is good enough the manager will play them for 60-70 mins for a couple of games to get their match fitness back. Its also tough for a manager to know what they are going to get from a player without having seen them in proper competitive action. Sending them out on loan gives the player a chance to gain that sharpness and also gives the manager a chance to see their true potential with a run of games.

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agree with the comments, I think Match Sharpness is a better term.they are professional Athletes so (Should!) be in shape. match sharpness is different to training where perhaps they work on specific routines for the up coming game. Sharpness is if they play, can they turn quickly? can they get to full sprint quickly?if someones been out with an injury for a while what''s his kick strength like, is the touch a bit looser than normal?I''m willing to bet there have been players blowing out of their Ar$e due to poorer fitness at 60 minutes of a game who are sharp as hell, on the other hand I bet there are players in the premiership who are probably fit enough to play 3 games in a row but are just lacking something currently.

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The problem for him is who does be replace in our side ATM? We are so stacked with centre mids, we were able to let our POTS leave, have our top summer signing injured and still we have more than enough options.

Hopefully he has his month and comes back fresh and ready to battle for a spot. Wes and co won''t be in top form forever.

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[quote user="It''s Character Forming"]Vadis looked useful on the right against Rotherham, so I can see him playing there if we need someone more physical than Redmond.Who most would probably agree, hasn''t looked at his best in the last couple of games.

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