Friday Nov 22, 2019  
  14/07/2011: Auronzo di Cadore: Day Seven
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As always, the morning session was dedicated to condition but coach edy Reja was keen to take a closer look at some individuals on this occasion. He observed Marius Stankevicius for a short period, who is now working hard on bringing himself in line with the other in terms of fitness. Edy then took a look at his three goalkeepers; Marchetti, Bizzarri and Berardi. By the end of the session, Edy Reja was all smiles reports and that may have had something to do with the fact that the entire group worked through the morning without a single injury concern. Everything is going according to plan.

In an afternoon interview, Reja made clear what he expected from his latest hopefuls:

"The boys this year have a lot of attention on them. They are applying themselves and we are working on their physical conditioning. They are concentrated on this from the first day and the technical and tactical has been neglected but this is normal."

"I have a squad of experience, quality and above anything else, character. If there was a deficiency we can speak about in an extraordinary campaign, it was the lack of character."

"First of all this season, we need to repeat our league campaign. We need to consolidate our position at the head of the table and show some stability. We aimed at players with international experience for the Europa League."

In the evening word got out that Djibril Cisse would be heading for camp in the very, very near future. Meanwhile Olympia was to make her first appearance of the season in Auronzo, which would surely boost the squad while terrifying them at the same time.

In the evening session, Reja once again divided the team into attacking and defensive systems before playing a brief friendly. The teams were as follows;

The Red Team - Marchetti, Radu, Stendardo, Biava, Konko, Bresciano, Cana, Matuzalem, Hernanes, Floccari, Rocchi.

The Sky Blue Team - Bizzarri, Scaloni, Diakite', Dias, Lulic, Brocchi, Ledesma, Zarate, Sculli, Mauri, Klose.

The game was won by the Sky Blue team with an exquisite goal from Miroslav Klose. At this stage, patterns are beginning to emerge from these friendlies. Most obvious is Stefan Radu playing frequently at left-back, suggesting that he will be expected to play another season in this position despite his own desire to move himself into the centre. Konko looks like the regular right-back and considering he has been starting these friendlies frequently, Scaloni is his back-up at present. Also interesting to note is that Reja is testing various players with Dias, suggesting maybe that Biava is not a surefire selection at the back. Diakite' looks to be in with a chance of making the first eleven at this early stage. A backline of four appears to be settled on, although today has brought about an experiment with the 4-2-3-1 with some success. It will be interesting to see what Reja will try next, especially with Cisse incoming...

(Cathal Mullan)
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