European football clubs spend a great deal to buy players and they also do a great deal to ensure that they perform.
A new league season will kick in less than a month and these clubs are changing players’ diets, pushing them to new extremes in training and of course, using technology.
In this piece, we take a look at some of the steps and technologies clubs are using.
At the Etihad, new boss, Pep Guardiola has enforced a strict dietary regime at the club. Defender, Gael Clichy, revealed recently that Guardiola “cut out some juice and, of course, pizza and all the heavy food is not allowed”.
According to him, overweight players are not allowed to train with the team. “You have to know that if your weight is 60 kilos and you are on 70 kilos, then you cannot play football”, he said.
New coach, Antonio Conte is known to push players to new extremes. He reportedly did it in former club Juventus and we hear he is doing it in Chelsea.
According to Conte’s style, players spend a great deal of time in the video room for analysis.
Respected Italian journalist Alessandro Alciato revealed that Conte asks one of his assistants to film every training session, and that he often sends brother Gianluca into the press box for a different perspective on competitive matches.
According to UK’s Evening Standard, “Conte uses video analysis for a simple reason: the camera does not lie. If a player denies having made a mistake, he can soon be put right by the evidence on the screen”
Alciato reveals that Conte believes strongly that “Diet can make the difference between victory and defeat”.
Conte, at Juventus, usually sets four tables. Table One contained protein; Table Two fats; Table Three carbohydrates; and Table Four tea, cappuccino and fruit juice.
Major clubs are using a cutting-edge technology from STATSports. According to SkySports, “the key component of the system is the Viper pod, a matchbox-sized GPS device which sits between the shoulder blades, where it monitors heart rate and measures various aspects of physiological performance”
“The pods collect vast quantities of data which is picked up by an antennae at the side of the pitch and processed by STATSports software. Coaching staff then use the live stats to monitor performance, allowing them to compile reports and make informed decisions on what players should and shouldn’t be doing on the pitch”
“Lionel Messi was seen wearing a Viper pod in the opening games of last season as Barcelona carefully eased him back into domestic action after an arduous summer at the Copa America”.
A company spokesman was quoted as saying:
“Its function is to collect all of a player’s performance data. That means basic things like distance covered and running speed, but also more in-depth metrics we have developed such as step balance and stress loads, really intricate details on performance, fitness and well-being.”
Some of the clubs using the STATSport system include:
- Crystal Palace
- Manchester City
- Manchester United
- West Ham