Thoughts on Charlie Francis and soccer

It is always common to hear arguments about how athletes must be following the right training program because they are the scoring leaders, winning championships or receiving accolades. We also hear that they don’t follow a proper training program or have poor training habits, and people still say, “Well that works for him.”

As professionals in our field, we should always be advocating for doing the best we can for athletes regardless of their results. Athletes - no matter what their level of achievement - can always be doing something better. If the results cannot be seen immediately, it may take the form of longevity or injury avoidance over the long term.

Exactly my point! :cool:

it’ also my point.
At the same time I’ve got the impression that a lot of S&C coaches has little respect for what others are doing. If I’m not wrong, the S&C at Manchester was the Italian Valter di Salvo. According to wikipedia:
“Di Salvo bases much of his training sessions around the gym and technical exercises, rather than outdoors work, according to a interview with Paul Scholes. This approach was criticised by former Manchester United midfielder David Beckham, blaming Di Salvo’s methods for his lack of fitness and stamina at Euro 2004”.
Pakewi is still the scientific advisor for Fiorentina, if I’m not wrong. Are they all incompetent? Now, I’m the first to say that there are more than some, but I also watch a lot of teams fit just right for what they have to do, i.e. winning soccer matches.
Let’s take Inter. Have you watched the last matches in Champions’ League? Did you have the impression that they had a wrong preparation? I did not.
ESTI, Rooney injured his ankle. I saw the match, too.

Rooney’s injury history
broken metatarsal, rt foot

broken metatarsal, rt foot

broken metatarsal, left foot

rt “ankle injury”

Michael Owen’s injury history

2005 broken metatarsal

march 2006: tightens screw for foot
May 2006: concussion
June 2006: injures knee, out entire season

July 2007: thigh injury
September 2007: groin injury
November 2007: thigh strain

2009: cracked ankle bone

March 2010: torn hamstring

Under his newcastle contract, he was making a reported 110,000 pounds a week

Joe cole.
September 08 concussion
Sept 2008: torn muscle
Nov 2008: torn muscle
Jan 2009: cruciate rupture

Joe’s salary in 2008-9
1st = Monthly Salary 2nd = Annual Salary 3rd = Weekly Salary
46) Joe Cole Chelsea FC
383,000 4,600,000 85,000

Here are three top guys with a long history of injuries and high salaries. Who ever is working with these guys, or lack their of, is quite obvious, needs some work.

if his chronic foot and ankle problems were the root cause of last years back injury and this years glute. It’s always something in the kinetic chain going due to foot and ankle issues. Although some injuries are acute in their onset, it often is the result of improper training, lack of flexibility training and tissue work. The first thing I tell parents of clients is that my job is injury prevention first and performance second. Knock on wood, but I have only had one bad injury in close to 20 years. Non contact ACL. ESTI rehabbed him.

ACL tears in the US are still rampant. I am beginning to feel this new turf is trouble when used with long spikes. The spikes are just as sticky as the old turf shoes. I think nubs on the new turf is a must. I also have heard this is trend in NFL as well.

Reminds me of the time I was trying to turn my truck on an icy road. I turned the wheel but kept going straight. When the tires bit actual concrete, the truck jerked and the tie rods snapped. Same thing with ACLs and turf.

Maybe playing too much.
Now guys, Michael Owen has been injured since the start of his career. It could be due to 1000 reasons. I don’t think we have all the material for judging. Anyway, I wrote a post several months ago in which I said that is fairly easy to know who will be injured next season. Guess what? It’s the same who got injured last year! If you have a closer look, you’ll see patterns repeating for the same player in different teams. Let’s keep in mind that they have access to potentially the best physio/docs/S&C in the world. The german doctor who stopped Bolt started (and still continues) as the medical doctor of the Bayern Munich (highly respected by Charlie, also). Is it competent in track and field, but not in soccer? And the injuries of Robben and Ribery (not girls-related, of course)?

As found by scientists, people living longer are people in good health and little previous medical history. Does it fit into the discussion?

You would be shocked if you knew how many incompetent and mediocre individuals work with professional sports teams. It is the rule, rather than the exception. Part of the problem is that the people who are in a position to hire for these positions have no clue who is good and who is not good. A lot of the time, they go on the referral of someone else or they go with someone familiar to them. There are rarely exhaustive interview processes in front of an expert panel or committee for these positions.

Not what you know more who you know.

N2, I’m pretty familiar with the selection procedure, and as I said in a previous post there are much more than a few pretty much incompetent professionals around. But I personally do not jump to conclusions without all the elements. Here is a case.
The S&C coach of Juventus last year was the one of Roma this year.
He is 64 yo, so I presume his ideas are pretty much set. Last year (and this year also), Juventus was plagued by injury. This year Roma was not. Last year he was the responsible of injuries. A few weeks ago he was judged by his fellows the best S&C of the year. What happened?
I present a real case, and not whispers. Anyone with an explanation?

This isn’t based on soccer, but a situation locally in another team sport.

The head organisation wanted a S&C to oversee the elite elements of the sport in the state, and you needed degrees and the like. A friend of mine who applied for the position, doesn’t have the degree, but coaches arguable to the fittest team in the league basically speaks everyday to the person who got the job as S&C coach about training as the S&C has the theory background but little experience in technique and training/coaching.

Be very careful drawing conclusions from (so-called) injury lists, rumours and physical appearances without knowing the actual background or situation.

Also, the S&C staff are not the only decision making people in soccer, so injuries etc are not a sole reflection on the fitness department.

If people knew the truth about some of the medical and S&C programs in Premiership soccer or the knowledge and approach of some of the staff and treatment of top players they’d not believe it.

I do believe it. I am close to a chiropractor who worked with NFL team for 10 years. He tells me stories all the time. In fact, after all that time, he told one physio he didnt know what he was doing, and was fired on the spot.

There isn’t a cause and effect between S&C and injury history or S&C and teams performance. It’s an entire organization approach as you could have different scenarios of the owner, coach, physio, S&C all playing a role that could negatively impact a player/team.

Maybe many of these injuries have re-occurred because of their high salaries, that the owners demanded they play and over rode the phyio and team Dr’s advice??? We don’t know the entire story, but what is known in most cases is that a player(s) misses a game(s).

Yeah!. Many of the metatarsal injuries that occurred were from being stamped on by a member of the opposing team, poor boot design? & the upper part of the boot not being very protective.

That is the brilliance of Charlie’s sequencing for sports performance. He was the first to understand this relationship. Work on your aerobic power on off days. This will help recovery and your ability to recover your heart rate.

Instead of mixing the two and training unnecessary systems and ruining the intended training effect.

Extensive work can be sport specific.

could you or someone else explain this? How does one work at aerobic power?


I would say aerobic capacity is more important than aerobic power

things from a simplicity standpoint. Speed builds endurance, endurance builds no speed. With that said, none of my athletes do anything other than tempos and speed. Football, I worry more about recovery. Hockey, they play 80+ games and skate 2 + times per week practice. As is often the case, they play their way into shape. The less I do, the better. I know ESTI has done some out of the box soccer training and his girls were blowing through collegiate conditioning without doing and distance work that so many coaches base their programs on. The problem we face in the private sector is that you can have the best plan and peak your athlete perfectly, then he reports to camp. Two weeks later, he is smashed by someone who hasn’t considered if the guy is already in shape and just needs to hold his fitness.

Exactly. Some people here are putting 2+2 together and getting 5. The situations are multifaceted and unless you know all the details, and the all the history, the rest is just speculation.

I was wondering that last night after seeing those injuries. Im curious if they still favor the soft animal skin boots over the traiditonal syntheitic leather cover.