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BroadstairsR

Burnout or profiteering.

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I know this was touched upon last week, but this post is prompted by a detailed article in the Mail today which basically questions the true sense of some of these pre-season trips.

 

With Premiership clubs travelling a grand total of about 200, 000 air miles this pre-season the question raised is: "Money or madness." 

 

Although far from the biggest travellers, our own squad will clock up a staggering 12, 584 miles before kicking a Premiership ball in anger.

 

With this itinerary booked for them:

 

Norwich to Sacramento = 5, 264 miles.

Santa Clara = 88 miles.

Portland = 565 miles.

Norwich = 4, 889 miles.

Braga = 889 miles.

Norwich = 889 miles.

 

To me this seems both exhausting and costly. I hope it proves justified although perhaps I don''t get the point or realise that there are enough commercial benefits to be accrued as I would prefer that they spent more of their time jogging along Cromer sands and ''bonding'' at a golf resort in southern England instead and therefore  concentrating on the main purpose of pre-season which is getting fit.

 

Clearly I am totally out of touch but then I remember the days when Ron Saunders had the players running up Mousehold Heath, and piggy-backing at that, in order to get them up to peak condition. Instead it seems that there might well be a major risk of burnout or jet-lag. I suppose the resident Sports Scientist might disagree.

 

This is not singling out NCFC as we are just following the trend by chasing the wealth of the World, but couldn''t  somebody at Carrow Road just consider that we might just be stealing a march on the others by having the players spend more time at Colney. Everybody, except the Rolling Stones, knows that travelling is exhausting even when using  business class sleeping arrangements. Everybody knows that sometimes these ''away from home'' experiences can tempt some players into breaking the rules. 

 

By the way, our first day opponents Everton are clocking up 17, 042 miles so hopefully their squad will be even more shagged out than ours.

 

The full run down:- 

 

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2353388/Barclays-Premier-League-clubs-clock-200-000-air-miles-pre-season-tours-Asia-Australia-South-Africa-United-States.html

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A nice thought provoking post to wake the brain up this morning!

I''m with you on this one BroadstairsR. However important it is to raise the profile of our club, I think the miles travelled is absolute madness. Jet-lag shouldn''t be an issue by the start of the season as they have enough time "back-home" to get back adjusted, but I can''t imagine its much fun playing games in the US whilst jet lagged and not on top fitness levels.

I liked the Germany trips Lambert took us on. Going away to top training facilities, whilst remaining close to home and still raising our profile abroad (all be it a lot closer to home, but surely that makes more sense anyway), to me that ticks all the boxes.

I guess its impossible to actually gauge how commercially viable these trips are, but with the extra millions coming in from TV deals and Premiership matches being shown all around the world on a weekly basis anyway, does it really achieve anything other than letting our fans away from home catch a few live games...

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It''s all about getting a squad of players on the same plage as each other. Helping each other out when times are hard. Is will be 30+degrees out there and it''s going to be hard. That''s when the team will gel!! Living with each others bad habits for a week etc etc

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Well I don''t know about you but I''ve never had jet-lag flying to America, I thought it only happened when you came back home.To be honest these guys are top athletes and a few hours missed sleep shouldn''t really make a difference.  They''re going to be flying in luxury, staying in luxury hotels and being looked after all the way.  Can not see the problem at all, especially the trip to Portugal which would be the equivalent in time travelled as going to Newcastle for an away match.

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[quote user="gravycanaries"]It''s all about getting a squad of players on the same plage as each other. Helping each other out when times are hard. Is will be 30+degrees out there and it''s going to be hard. That''s when the team will gel!! Living with each others bad habits for a week etc etc[/quote]

 

OK, but they''re a squad of professional footballers needing to sharpen up in time for a Premiership season, not a squad of soldiers needing to prepare themselves for a spell in Afganistan. 

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[quote user="BroadstairsR"]

[quote user="gravycanaries"]It''s all about getting a squad of players on the same plage as each other. Helping each other out when times are hard. Is will be 30+degrees out there and it''s going to be hard. That''s when the team will gel!! Living with each others bad habits for a week etc etc[/quote]

OK, but they''re a squad of professional footballers needing to sharpen up in time for a Premiership season, not a squad of soldiers needing to prepare themselves for a spell in Afganistan. 

[/quote]

An interesting thread and a relief to get away from the endless threads about pressers.

 

First let''s remember these players have now had 6 weeks off.  They should be rested and ready to get back into things.  The team building idea of getting them together and away from home is equally valid for any bunch of guys you want to work together closely and rely on each other. 

Big difference in the US is that off the pitch, I suspect everything will be very comfortable, top quality facilities, no language barrier, familiar food, culture that doesn''t take much adjustment.  So a good choice IMO.  And climate-wise we only have a few days in Southern California, according to the internet the weather in Portland coming up is going to be mid-70s to mid-80s which isn''t much different from a warm spell in the summer here.

 

Plenty of people go on a 10-hour flight for their holidays.  I really don''t see it as an issue for a bunch of fit young men.

 

People also forget the other side of the equation - once the season starts in the UK it''s a treadmill with hardly any breaks, unlike the rest of us who can look forward to Christmas/New Year.  It''s good for the team to be in a very different environment for this spell, stops the boredom factor undermining things.

 

So I''m for it.  I''d not be so sure about a tour to the Far East which doesn''t have some of the same advantages, but even there I suspect the tours are set up so well that the hassle factor you get travelling there as a tourist doesn''t apply.

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Away from prying eyes.

Away from (the player''s) other distractions.

Team bonding.

Reasonable standard of opposition.

Good for the player''s moral.

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What a shame that the Club doesn''t have a team of fitness coaches, sport scientists and other experts who could have advised them on this venture. At least then, we amateurs could nurse our worries with the comfort that the Club acted on good advice and knew what it was doing.

 

Maybe the Club will learn from this thread and involve the experts next time to avoid such horrendous mistakes.

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Don''t worry Broadstairs, this scenario is right up the Sports Scientists street.

They will have worked out sleep times , eating habits, recovery strategies, that would minimalise any problems.

You should allay your fears

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Foreign tours are not popular amoung players, managers or coaches. America isn''t the worst option, Asian or African tours are far worse.

Worst case sernario is you end up like Portsmouth where due to storms and cancelled flights the players ended up sleeping on the floor of an airport, best case you get through the tour without major injuries and players get at least a few days of good training done.

Whilst team bonding is important, exhaustion, jet lag and living out of a bag are just as likely to cause arguments amongst players.

Managers will say nice things about tours to the media, but curse them behind closed doors.

I say this all from a position of knowledge having travelled with the Arsenal squad as a media member on two pre-season tours. They aren''t fun and they aren''t condusive to getting fit for a new season.

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[quote user="CambridgeCanary"]

What a shame that the Club doesn''t have a team of fitness coaches, sport scientists and other experts who could have advised them on this venture. At least then, we amateurs could nurse our worries with the comfort that the Club acted on good advice and knew what it was doing.

 

Maybe the Club will learn from this thread and involve the experts next time to avoid such horrendous mistakes.

[/quote]

 

Oh dear! What faith you seem to have in these gurus.

 

I remain to remain uncertain of the benefits or otherwise. The whole purpose of such an undertaking has never really been explained to us and we accept that it is the American Tour this year, with blurred expectations of some commercial advantage for the Club without fully realising why it should be the slightest bit necessary or advantageous over ventures closer to home. 

 

On balance, I would rather we desisted and that the squad embark upon a more relaxing preparation, but, as I said, I/we know little of the motivation behind it all.

 

A poster above has picked out the following as some of the advantages, but these can be just as easily be argued against as for:-

Away from prying eyes. I thought that this was a commercial venture in order for the Club to be noticed in America. Seeking a higher profile for the Club invites prying eyes.

Away from (the player''s) other distractions. America is full of distractions, including bumper burgers, and besides such trips have not been devoid of player misbehaviour in the past (although not particularly by NCFC players I suppose.)

Team bonding. Ipswich are going to a golf resort in Ireland for a week to team bond.

I am not refuting the above points just emphasising the fact that I would like to know exactly why the Club, and every other Premiership club it seems, think that trips like this are a good idea.

 

I also wonder how much it all costs. Will we gain financially? If so, how?

 

 

 

 

 

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[quote user="BroadstairsR"][quote user="CambridgeCanary"]

What a shame that the Club doesn''t have a team of fitness coaches, sport scientists and other experts who could have advised them on this venture. At least then, we amateurs could nurse our worries with the comfort that the Club acted on good advice and knew what it was doing.

 

Maybe the Club will learn from this thread and involve the experts next time to avoid such horrendous mistakes.

[/quote]

 

Oh dear! What faith you seem to have in these gurus.

 

I remain to remain uncertain of the benefits or otherwise. The whole purpose of such an undertaking has never really been explained to us and we accept that it is the American Tour this year, with blurred expectations of some commercial advantage for the Club without fully realising why it should be the slightest bit necessary or advantageous over ventures closer to home. 

 

On balance, I would rather we desisted and that the squad embark upon a more relaxing preparation, but, as I said, I/we know little of the motivation behind it all.

 

A poster above has picked out the following as some of the advantages, but these can be just as easily be argued against as for:-

Away from prying eyes. I thought that this was a commercial venture in order for the Club to be noticed in America. Seeking a higher profile for the Club invites prying eyes.Away from (the player''s) other distractions. America is full of distractions, including bumper burgers, and besides such trips have not been devoid of player misbehaviour in the past (although not particularly by NCFC players I suppose.)Team bonding. Ipswich are going to a golf resort in Ireland for a week to team bond.

I am not refuting the above points just emphasising the fact that I would like to know exactly why the Club, and every other Premiership club it seems, think that trips like this are a good idea.

 

I also wonder how much it all costs. Will we gain financially? If so, how?

 

 

 

 

 

[/quote]

 

I think this was entirely predictable once this happened:19 Dec 2012: English Premier League club Norwich City has signed a three-year consulting agreement with American sports and entertainment firm Front Row Marketing Services in a bid to boost its global brand.From reading previous posts from Bethnal, who understands Asia in particular, I gather that unless you are Man Utd or one of the other top three or four clubs you really don''t make a dent in these overseas markets. And the US is not likely to be any different. This looks very much like an exercise that has little to do with getting ready for the season ahead and more to do with some unlikely marketing dream. Something that won''t work financially and may well be counter-productive in football terms.

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"Oh dear! What faith you seem to have in these gurus."

 

 

No, not faith.

 

What I do have and I appreciate that it is probably only me on this message board, is respect for expertise.

 

I am sceptical and questioning but when it comes down to it, I don''t tell the gas fitter how to repair my boiler, the mechanic how to fix my car nor the doctor how to cure me. They have expertise that I do not and once I am satisfied that they know what they are doing then I respect that and let them do their job.

 

But I appreciate that I am a relic. In these days of Twitter everyone thinks they know more than people who have studied the subject for yesrs and may have worked in the industry a lifetime.

 

I''m sure that you know more than the world''s fitness experts put together so I bow respectfully to you views.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nothing like putting yourself on a pedestal Cambridge.

 

It''s been happening for years. I read, a long time ago, how New Zealand and Australian Rugby Union teams coped with flying to South Africa for the ''Super'' series of games, the following week, and viccy verccy. All these potential problems, were all worked out by the experts. Just because it hasn''t been explained to us, does not mean that it hasn''t been sorted , by the ones in the know 

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Fair enough, but has it been established that this tour is to be carried out on the best advice of these experts or that they are just brought into action to make the best of it all? A damage limitation role, if you like.

 

Some seem to think, with some justification, that the entire venture is motivated by commercial interest and that it is not in the best interests of the players and pre-season preparation.

 

As to the value of these individuals or the need to put faith in them, I wouldn''t know. Their role is hardly ever fully explained although their profile seems to be high nowadays.

 

If our Club, and all the others, deems them vital then I will readily accept them, but not without a question or two about the usefulness of the work they do.

 

The boiler man fixes my boiler, he is not required to polish it though.

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The best way to build a following in North America is to sign some North American players, unfortunately we have just released Simeon Jackson and sent Kei Kamara packing, so we don''t have any.

Can''t we sign Landon Donovan?

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