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07.12.2007 12:24

Tactical improvements

Sandra Sarmiento / Jordi Clos

Frank Rijkaard placed the emphasis on working without a ball during the penultimate training session of the week as he looked to practice closing the space between the lines in the Barça team.

The players took to the training pitch in front of La Masia on Friday morning in chilly and windy conditions to continue preparations for the visit of Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday. Only four players were not present as Deco was suffering from swollen glands in his neck and Touré Yaya has sinusitis while Thierry and Oleguer continued their specific recovery programmes as they continue to overcome their respective injuries.

Closing the lines

071207entrenu8.jpgAfter opening with the familiar warm-up routines, the squad underwent a tactical exercise to try and reduce the space between the lines. All the players took up their usual positions on the pitch, in pairs, and moved as if they were marking an opponent. Then they formed a large circle in the middle of the pitch to work on speed.

Applying pressure

071207entrenu5.jpgAnother aspect that the coaching staff were keen to work on was defensive pressure. The players divided into two groups and played a game in which the defence had more players than the forward. Rijkaard was able to give very detailled instructions about what he wants precisely as he continuously stopped the play to give further instructions.

The squad then split into two teams with Víctor Valdés, Gianluca Zambrotta, Carles Puyol, Lilian Thuram, Éric Abidal, Rafa Márquez, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o on one side, while Albert Jorquera, Roca (physical coach), Edmílson, Gaby Milito, Sylvinho, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Eusebio (coach), Giovani Dos Santos, Santi Ezquerro and Bojan Krkic. The match last half-an-hour with Ronaldinho and Eto'o shining.
Tactical improvements

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