Just an observation I made today whilst watching Sky Sports news and noticed that West Brom have already played two friendlies and Newcastle one... it got me thinking that maybe we were starting a little later than everyone else, so I looked into it.
Whilst our pre-season games do start a little later than most, the main thing that stands out is the fact we only have three. A few teams have four but most teams have much more than that.
Has this been discussed before or are we awaiting more announcements? Or is it something new we are trying?
Either way, if were are using our friendlies this year to try out some youngsters, then I thought we would have had a few more than usual to give them game-time before the World Cup players come back for the final few games to really step it up.
Reader Comments (56)
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1 Posted 16/07/2014 at 15:39:57
I havenÂt checked previous seasons but six seems more like normal doesnÂt it? Is it too late to announce and play other fixtures, or will the club make an announcement sometime soon?
2 Posted 16/07/2014 at 15:44:57
3 Posted 16/07/2014 at 15:33:37
IÂm surprised a friendly hasnÂt been announced in Austria, but you never know, they might prefer to play a behind-closed-doors game to start with.
The club may well just announce a friendly in-between the Leicester game and OssieÂs testimonial yet, and a further friendly for the weekend of 9th-10th August seems likely.
But yes, only having three pre-season games at this stage is a bit unusual, as normally clubs have a list of 5-6 games lined up by now. It will be interesting to know why, if it was RobertoÂs decision to have fewer pre-season games or, just simply the club have left it late getting things sorted.
The game in Thailand strikes me as a bit of last-minute thing planned.
4 Posted 16/07/2014 at 16:16:13
5 Posted 16/07/2014 at 16:36:24
Lukaku (if he signs)
Besic (if he signs)
A number of the other players appeared in games prior to the World Cup for their respective countries and in this day and age footballers are given a pre-season programme and very rarely come back in on the first day of training overweight. I trust in the managerÂs plans, the only weird one for me is that we are playing Leicester City in a friendly?
6 Posted 16/07/2014 at 16:49:00
And the good news is my tickets had arrived in the post when I got home from work this evening!
We also have 3 friendlies lined up against Southport, Wrexham and Rhyl but I suspect they will not be all first XI line ups.
7 Posted 16/07/2014 at 17:14:34
8 Posted 16/07/2014 at 17:18:49
9 Posted 16/07/2014 at 17:13:29
Just hope itÂs ÂfriendlyÂ on their part!
10 Posted 16/07/2014 at 17:57:30
And they HAVE to show the RS goals against us in their adverts....
11 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:40:57
12 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:42:24
13 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:14:37
Friendlies before the start of the season are to get the players match fit and try tactics that have been developed on the training ground so would it have been more advantageous to bring in what players that the manager had targeted (if any and surly he must have been given a transfer budget;) as early as possible to play in pre-season games.
I do not know what the manager has for money to invest in the market but at this stage of the season as we are not supposed to be going for the higher priced players why do the club procrastinate over the purchase of any players.
The manager is supposed to have a 5-year plan so to me that means his plan for this season was started at the end of last season and although the World Cup brought a great number of players in the one area, he must have had players in his mind prior to this competition.
You do not plan a 5-year future without knowing what finances are available to bring in the players to achieve it and then for one reason or another have your plan compromised without a backup plan.
If players like Lukaku canÂt make up their mind about joining then give them an ultimatum and move on and do not leave Everton struggling at the end of the transfer window to find players.
14 Posted 16/07/2014 at 18:54:51
Moyesie used to like to pack the games in before the big kick off and weÂd still often come out of the traps backwards.
Martinez is trying something different, thats all.
Back in the seventies, National Hunt racings leading trainers often used what was regarded at the time, as cutting edge, sofisticated, training methods when preparing their horses for the Grand National. Ginger McCain used to take Red Rum along Southport beach to "enjoy himself"
Its not important how you get to the starting line, its only important that you are primed and ready to go when you get there.
15 Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:06:05
We have a thin squad, and even with a good transfer window, I donÂt see that changing all that much. The less wear and tear on the squad in the pre-season, the better chance we have over the long haul.
16 Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:28:07
17 Posted 16/07/2014 at 19:13:57
18 Posted 16/07/2014 at 20:20:38
Eric, the games you mention will be Under-21 games, what used to be the reserves.
Martinez has talked about treating the young players as part of the first team squad in pre-season so I donÂt think the wear and tear thing will be an issue at all. Including those five or six young players weÂll have 25-26 players to find playing time for and three games isnÂt going to be enough.
Darren, are you saying Roberto is taking the squad to Southport beach?
19 Posted 16/07/2014 at 20:44:23
20 Posted 16/07/2014 at 22:25:18
He goes on to say that the players are being pushed and doing a lot of work with the ball - looking at the pictures in the article it looks like a very serious pre-season for all the players which of course is what you would expect from professionals.
21 Posted 16/07/2014 at 22:32:30
Even Roberto thinks we can win the Grand National.
Most bookies pay out on fifth too, so you" ll get far better VFM
22 Posted 16/07/2014 at 22:32:06
Can we really say we reaped the benefits last August of our American tour against top-class opposition? It didnÂt look like it in those first few games.
ItÂs difficult to say what will suit each player, but I donÂt imagine those that were on World Cup duty will want to go on another overseas tour before the season starts.
No-one on here will be thinking about pre-season games if we win our opener against Leicester, thatÂs for sure.
23 Posted 16/07/2014 at 23:30:13
As you say, General fitness can be achieved on the training ground. Playing games is obviously important for match fitness and gaining that sharpness and confidence to take into the new season.
24 Posted 17/07/2014 at 00:21:36
NZ maybe not so much but I canÂt claim to be an expert on the global value of football.
25 Posted 17/07/2014 at 01:51:16
Kevin #22, no need to worry about our lads getting strange food, in Bangkok thereÂs loads of English Pubs with fish & chips and mushy peas and pints of Guiness so theyÂll feel right at home.
26 Posted 17/07/2014 at 03:35:13
However, we would be lucky to be invited again as they probably only have room for 3 English teams, and last time LFC and Man Utd had their own Asian tours planned. I think it may grow in stature and they are talking about holding it in the Far East next time. Whether that helps us start the season well is another matter.
Going to NZ is crazy. ItÂs a 10-hour flight from Hong Kong Â– itÂs a long long way. And it takes a week to recover from jet lag.
27 Posted 17/07/2014 at 07:14:15
I hate to break it to you David, but it is on again this summer. We just werenÂt invited. Our neighbours were though...
28 Posted 17/07/2014 at 07:43:54
Perhaps they were hoping to be invited to a tournament that never happened? Or more likely itÂs Roberto trying something different, I think Patrick Murphy told me on another thread that this is what happened pre season at Wigan.
29 Posted 17/07/2014 at 12:58:24
30 Posted 17/07/2014 at 20:02:16
These American pre season tournament and so on are probably organised 6 to 9 months in advance as a guess. Roberto did say in one of his end of season interviews that America is something they would definitely do again as the trip was a big success. The fact we didnÂt know we would take the automatic Europa place (and start Europe in September and not August) until Hull lost the FA Cup Final meant we couldnÂt officially start preparing until 17th May. By then most teams had already announced their pre season programmes.
But I do agree with main theme of this post. Three games seem very little considering the youngsters were supposed to be getting a run out this summer. I would suspect (and hope) that another one or two games are added certainly in the currently free weekend before the first game away to Leicester.
32 Posted 17/07/2014 at 23:54:50
No one ever has said ÂJÂunno wha, da reason Citeh won da League last year was dat pre-season game against Kidderminster... 1-1, amazing 90 mins....Â (Everyone else around nodding sagely).
Let them kick back for a bit, take their families away for a few weeks, come home, get into Finch Farm, get trained up, play a couple of pre-season games if you have to and get on with the job on August 16th.
33 Posted 18/07/2014 at 14:46:47
34 Posted 18/07/2014 at 19:27:49
Just when I started to think Martinez was adopting a different approach we start trying to cram in pre season friendlies against anybody whoÂll give us a game.
Perhaps when Robbie left for Brazil to err ... "observe the training methods of the top international coaches " he left instructions with the fixture arranging department and like the recruitment dept they have let him down.
I wonder if anybody has the heart to tell him ?
35 Posted 18/07/2014 at 19:48:42
36 Posted 18/07/2014 at 19:49:53
At the end of the day, the players just need enough matches to build fitness and sharpness and, preferably, a couple against decent opposition
In addition to the usual regional friendlies against the likes of Tranmere and Everton XI dates against Rhyl, we have four games lined up against top-division opposition. What more do you want?
I'm sure the players could do without flying out to Thailand but it's far enough out from the start of the season that it shouldn't affect them too much.
37 Posted 18/07/2014 at 19:57:52
If we trust Roberto let us show it.
I personally trust him 100%,he will do what is necessary to have the lads ready
38 Posted 18/07/2014 at 20:13:29
I was happy to go along with what appeared to be a different approach (see post #14) and I'd have been just as happy to have supported a packed program... but this latest announcement seems so last Minute.
Can you honestly say this would have been your ideal preparation? The matches seem a bit of mish-mash to me, I don't get the decision to fly out to Thailand for just one game and the fact that our opponents are the very team we kick off against makes that decision even more puzzling.
I liked the idea of Martinez trying a different approach but, if we were always going to play several warm ups, don't you agree that a little more thought could have gone into it?
Personally I don't think it will stop there; I think if we can find a few more games to play, we will.
I just wish we were a bit less "It'll be alright on the night."
39 Posted 18/07/2014 at 20:46:25
The friendly against Leicester was arranged before the Prem fixtures came out.
40 Posted 18/07/2014 at 22:12:08
Would these last-minute arrangements have been so last-minute if Roberto had been at his desk... and if he isn't calling the shots and arranging these games... why is it him you are putting all your faith/ trust / confidence in to get the preparation right?
Fail to prepare; prepare to fail.
41 Posted 19/07/2014 at 06:29:06
And Darren, the decision to play Leicester in Thailand is to do with the shirt sponsors - we will get paid well for going there and it will help the brand in Asia... its not bad planning.... its just business.
42 Posted 19/07/2014 at 06:59:50
Don't see that this has anything to do with RM's World Cup gig at all.
43 Posted 19/07/2014 at 07:28:18
One is about hastily arranged fixtures and the other was questioning the wisdom of flying to Thailand.
Both you and David #41 clearly know more about the Leicester fixture than I do and have given the reasoning behind it... I get the reasoning, but I can't believe there weren't better options to be explored.
44 Posted 19/07/2014 at 07:52:48
Also I don't believe they've been hastily arranged. You don't get on the 'phone to a team and say 'fancy a kick about' and arrange a stadium and the supporting staff, ticketing arrangements and local police permitting in just a couple of weeks.
45 Posted 19/07/2014 at 08:25:58
Your last para.
46 Posted 19/07/2014 at 10:19:25
That is basically what we have done. ticket arrangements still weren't finalised yesterday. I can't think of any circumstances where it would be beneficial to anybody to keep planned fixtures a secret.
47 Posted 19/07/2014 at 11:10:20
That's nonsense. The fixture has been arranged since early June.
48 Posted 19/07/2014 at 12:36:17
Or perhaps they had to wait and make sure their was enough staff to cope with the stampede through the tunnel.
49 Posted 19/07/2014 at 13:43:36
You are working too many long shifts.
The friendly v Leicester was arranged early June before the Prem fixtures came out.
50 Posted 19/07/2014 at 15:38:39
51 Posted 19/07/2014 at 15:16:28
We are talking about Erics "second para" #44 . You know the one were he disputes "hastily arranged"fixtures.
Eric explains his point about the Leicester game in his first paragraph and I took it on board, we moved on to talking about recently arranged games .. .Spaniards at Tranmere ?. . . . ticket arrangements? - the clue is in Eric's use of the word "also"
I have no problem if you want to post "precisely" after every single post in which somebody disagrees wiith me, but it would help your credibility enormously if you didnt keep arguing until it becomes blatantly obvious that you don't understand the point you were so quick to agree with.
53 Posted 19/07/2014 at 16:29:58
54 Posted 19/07/2014 at 19:25:16
55 Posted 20/07/2014 at 10:40:46
56 Posted 20/07/2014 at 16:10:28
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