Back again at Carrington with Blue Moon’s NMT and all was great as the 21 came out to train and then the rain came!! Not a problem although it does make viewing that little bit harder as it puts a sheen on the curtain we have to peer through :)
Everyone out there today apart from Micah so good to see Sergio and Zaba involved. It was all set up for the day before a game session involving small nets (one touch) and then big nets (only headers can score). First up though after a little jog around was 2 keep ball circles which, for our benefit I am sure, were right by the fencing we were behind. Nice to get a close up view and feel for the team spirit and togetherness which seems great. There maybe a group of new players out there but they have blended in seemlessly. Plenty of fun even if it didnt have some of the volume I have often seen when Nigel or Micah were involved.
Then into the 2 games, which to be fair are probably mostly about fun and pass/move stuff than scoring goals. The only goal I saw in the small nets was quite long distance, sidefooted in by Edin and then in the full nets it was Edin again from an AK cross. Before the final “match” they went through some short sharp fitness routines with the emphasis seemingly on “don’t be last”.
Joe Hart came over for the match with Wright to be in the other net. The first thing to notice was when Maicon cushioned a header back to Joe and then sprinting to receive the throw in the attacking penalty area! Shortly after Joe found AK with another clearance, he met it with a volleyed cross which Edin then met on the volley but it went just over. Almost perfection.
Also almost perfection was some skill from Silva which finished with him shooting just wide with his right foot. Sergio chased what looked like a lost cause to get a great cross in. It told me he is close to fit again if not there already. Some good defensive play from Garcia to keep Nasri out, Joe shouting to Nasti (not Nasri) so it looks like his nickname is confirmed. A superb cross was almost converted by Mario (doesnt look anything wrong with Mario) before it was Nasri who opened the scoring with a strong right foot shot.
This might not have happened in a match as a head on tackle wasn’t won and the ball broke to Samir.
Almost immediately Kolarov scored with a typical shot and quickly followed by another from Edin. Both these two looking especially confident. Then it all ended with a move started by Silva, via Kolarov for Mario to score. That was that but Mancini called them all together for a final briefing before they went in. Not always a regular thing but after a break for the internationals my guess is it was a reminder, if needed, of how important the Stoke game is.
A few stayed out for some shooting practice (JM, MB, SS and AR), Mancini picked off a few players for a chat, Kolo stayed for some extra defending work and Sergio did some extra running work with Carminati