Monday Sep 20, 2021  
  18/07/2012: Auronzo di Cadore: Day Ten
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Once again this morning, Vladimir Petkovic chose to give the squad tactics lessons. He divided the team into two groups - one that he would work closely with and another to work on their athletic ability while he gave his masterclass. He began with the defence emphasising the particular movements he wants the backline to learn. Petkovic is said to be encouraging the wing-backs to venture forward and part of this philosophy is to maintain an equal distance between each member of the defensive line. Andre Dias in particular struggle with this and was reminded on several occasions to look at his positioning by the Bosnian. Later, Petkovic took the offensive group and asked Lulic and Gonzalez to supply crosses for an onrushing forward to get on the end of.

In the afternoon, the players took on the challenge of walking up Mount Agudo. It is a physical strain that Petkovic was keen to see the players perform under and there was no time for the squad to take in the breathtaking views - Petkovic demanded a brisk pace. Rather surprisingly, it was Mauro Zarate who reached the summit first perhaps inspired by the apple strudel that was on offer once the players took a cable car to the bottom of the mountain. A nice reward for their hard work today and in day's gone by.

As feared, Olimpia made her bid for freedom today but thankfully she returned to the hand of Juan Bernabe' eventually and everything is now fine. Another less dramatic sub-plot involved the Lazio hierarchy. Prior to the morning session, Igli Tare held a 45-minute conversation with Petkovic. After the evening session, the duo had a phonecall conversation with President Lotito. Something is moving and will become clear in the very near future.

(Cathal Mullan)
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