Will the players all follow their home training schemes?


The coronavirus pandemic means most players are working through carefully constructed fitness plans to keep themselves sharp during these unprecedented times.

All the Premier League clubs have now sent home the vast majority, if not all, of their players and support staff in order to comply with the coronavirus advice from the government.

Arsenal had planned to allow their squad back into training this week after being sent home for two weeks of self-isolation following head coach Mikel Arteta’s positive test for the virus. However, the hierarchy have now conceded it would be irresponsible for them to return and they all have been sent home.

Although clubs doing irresponsible things to get ahead in games is not unheard of, and it would come as no surprise if, when the current period is over, it is revealed that one team somewhere had circumvented the rules that the rest of the country had by and large adhered to.

So Arsenal send their players home – like the rest of football up and down the country, around Europe and across the world – with their own training packages. A lot of them are keen for us to share, but do we really expect the players to adhere to the programmes?

Footballers in general are not known for having the most attentive memory span and appear to be easily distracted from what they are supposed to be doing – even when it’s fun. The law of averages suggests one or two might stray and the thought of them all obeying the latest rules, and running up and down in their garden for two hours a day, may be a stretch for some fans.

Of course, there are some fans who pine for days of yore when your favourite player attained that status for being a ‘character’ and not always taking the game seriously.

Some may argue in defence of those who live in an expensive apartment and have not got a garden or a hotel gym. If they were to come back a touch the wrong side of the scales, you can guarantee their clubs will be looking to move them into accommodation with more suitable facilities with a nod to pre-season.

Maybe today’s players are too focused to allow that to happen, but it is easy to imagine a few in the past who would find plenty of other things to do rather than train at home and, for some, the game is probably poorer without them.

However, these days, the players are a bit more sensible than their predecessors and this might be the first generation that can be trusted to work from home.