Thoughts on Charlie Francis and soccer

I’m an accomplished wing-back at an accomplished club.

Someone with Usain Bolts speed & power only have to give me a yard, looking in the wrong direction & me going the other way & Bolt ain’t gonna catch me from the 0-20m I made the run from, with him poorly positioned. There are so many instances in soccer where experience gains you 2 yards on any player with greater athleticism before any ball is kicked.

I would also like to add a few of the players last season in the premiership went away to Dallas in the off-season to the Michael Johnson Performance Center. Did they come back better players?. No.

That’s the typical and false assumption. Assuming that big clubs spend a lot of money so they must be the best… naive.

I’d suggest it’s folly to make assumptions without knowing anyones experience.

If you are telling me that AFL is behind soccer in terms of preparation and sends it’s coaches to learn from european soccer, you’re badly misinformed.

No idea what that is saying pal

If you went to join Stoke City in the premiership as the S&C with superior knowledge of physical preparation, you suddenly won’t see Stoke challenging Chelsea, Manchester Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham etc, for honours.

‘Due to your knowledge’.

There is no assumption.

Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan spend massive. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Inter Milan are among there best teams on the planet.

I assume you believe the “Michael Johnson Performance Center” provides optimal training?

Superior physical players won’t win anything in soccer.
Its a skill game.
In Italy I’m used to see every kind of bullshit in prep from top teams…you see players unable to squat past 1/4, and their " strength " work is 20kg barbell 1/4 squat supersetted with calf raises…they are getting better, but still, speed and strength are rarely abundant or decisive ina soccer field.
Plus, too many primadonnas even on the 6 th italian divison.
The " famous" Milan training ( MIlan Lab and so on) had players doing hurdles up and under a couple of years ago( demostrated and executed poorly usuallY), just some decades later than other sports…yes soccer is played year round, but so has gotten rugby, but players get bigger stronger faster each and every year.Why?Beacuse they are decisive traits of the sport.

Youngy…AFL has speed coaches too…soccer no.
They could spend millions in analysing players, but still, usually are shit regardng physical training.They have wonderful facilities, labs and inject magnesium intrav, but weight room consists of just some technogym machine ( MIlan) ( also, so rare to see a soccer player running decently without the ball, much easier to find in rugbym football o aussie rule, as far as I 've seen from mid 80s…)

For speed, increasing speed, I would have thought so yes. Michael Johnson was there conducting the training at the summer camps. The players I refer too where already fast players, they just wanted to become even faster. But regardless…

I’m still far from convinced there is such thing as optimal training for soccer & I’ve been playing for the best part of a decade.

Charlie said it best…

Physical fitness/conditioning will come mainly from game time, making runs, shutting down players, stop start, stop start running in the actual game…

This tempo stuff at 75% max Speed, 20-25 seconds efforts over 150 yards, should we increase it to 80%?.

I work much harder during games than training. I train hard, but I dig in even harder during a game, crowd/adrenaline/urging from the manager etc & tempo stuff at 75% max Speed goes clean out of the window. If I want too be making darting runs in the 85th minute, I better be making darting runs in the 85th minute in all my previous games. Basic match fitness.

There is a lot of underestimating of players on these boards. There are some very good athletes in Europe, players with good speed, good stamina if there position calls for it & more often than not, players have enough in the bank physically to do the job that is asked of them.

I give up

You believe what you want.

And I’ll just rely on my experience.

23, If your a UK citizen then you should know this fact.

If you went to join Stoke City in the premiership as the S&C with superior knowledge of physical preparation, you suddenly won’t see Stoke challenging Chelsea, Manchester Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham etc, for honours.

I’m not sure what club your at or whether your in fact a US citizen.

Your going to tell me your at Chelsea FC now aren’t you.


God, I hope your not at the Red Bulls.

If the best technical/tactical coaches in the world joined Stoke City, would you suddenly see Stoke challenging Chelsea, Manchester Utd, Arsenal, Tottenham, etc, for honours?

I don’t remember seeing anyone say that the optimal physical preparation would turn mediocre players into the best in the league.

You can’t turn donkeys into thoroughbreds mighty. But having the best technical/tactical coaches could influence a club greatly.

But I did read European soccer can improve in it’s physical preparation of soccer players, insinuating I felt, a “massive” improvement.

Just lots of opinions & speculation.

I just feel coaches can overcomplicate & easily underestimate & critisize other programs. Again its speculation to which program is the best.

avoid the speculation if you follow how the individual player plays via his preperation. Team sports rely on ‘others’ to also perform. Also on how well an opposing team is, They as a unit might be much better this season than last. So you cant compare Team against Team in an S&C manner.
If each individual is fitter, stronger and faster than last yr, yet they are still loosing matches, then its a Skill shortage or a team Bonding issue.
Just because you’re winning now, wont mean a team who has equal skill also, but lacks general fitness and a touch of speed say, wont beat you next year.
Eg, if skill is the same level, then fitness/speed/strength will become the deciding factor.
We know Usain isnt 10x better than everybody, its only 1%. 0.10 of a sec in a 100m race is only 1%.
If soccer or any other team sport is 80% skill and 20% fitness/speed/strength, then you had better make that 20% count… Esp when only a mear 1% means Everything

I’d like to make a few points.
Soccer is in general years behind other sports, but there are some good S&C coaches and medical systems (I’d like to stress the medical doctor of Bayern Munich).
Speed is what differentiates lower and higher level soccer players, from an athletic point of view. There is research there.
Skill is multidimensional, also speed is a skill, don’t think only of ball skills. Even at the highest level there are players with mediocre ball skills.
In certain roles, attitutide is not everything, but it is a big component. While attititude won’t bring you sub 10 in the 100 m, in soccer it goes a long way.
When you think that S&C has a big role in injuries, first think about where players spend the nights or if they actuall train.
Inter, who recently won the Champions’ League and not a regional competition, has a S&C system that many here would consider, just say, inappropriate. And what about Milan, who some years ago, with their (apparent) lack of S&C crashed, literally crashed Manchester United and then won the Champions’ League? It looks to me that they were not in bad condition.
A recent research (Gabbett et al., Applied Physiology of Rugby League, Sports Medicine) of strength and conditioning of rugby league players in Australia (amateur and professional) pointed out that strength of players, measured with bench press and squat, is not of the highest level (for professionals, mean 1RM squat 160 kg, bench press 130 kg, vertical jump 52 to 56 cm).
Running form in soccer is, in general, from bad to awful, and here there is great potential. There are some great athletes, though.

Like I said, why bother contributing?
You obviously know better than someone who’s coached in the Premiership.

You have no idea who I’ve worked with, the level of team I’ve trained and worked for, currently work for, which players I’ve trained one-on-one, who I’ve consulted for and which teams I’ve intimate knowledge of.

But I assure you of one thing … I don’t speculate and I know what I’m talking about, because I’ve been there.

You on the other hand I’m afraid clearly don’t.

I agree with most of that and you’re very correct about Inter. You should hear about Liverpool this year also!

I’d just point out that while ‘The Good Doctor’ is himself excellent, I’d be slow to conclude that complete medical programs are also in soccer clubs as many treat the injury not the prevention - look at Milan AC for the opposite approach. (Though there are others here who can go into that approach in much better and more detail from personal experience.)

Yes and the higher the level the smaller the % that matters

This is especially important for teams who want to win on a continuous basis, not just a once off

Granted, but there is no magic bullet.

Being highly complex with physical preparation could actually turn into a negative for some players, increasing risk of injury (Plyo’s/lifting), CNS stress etc resulting in poor performances, technically/tactically.

They have just won the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.

Oh my… :confused:

This is arguably the top club team on the planet. And there doing it wrong???.. Inappropriately???.. You guys are funny to me.

Guys, your only qualified to say the such when your at the clubs achieving success via your methods & ideas.