Thursday Jun 22, 2017  
     
 
  10/07/2012: Auronzo di Cadore: Day Two
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Normally on the second day of pre-season training, physical preparations truly kick in. Those who put on a few pounds over their vacation begin to feel the effects of being back to work and so you generally push them that little bit further to get the most out of those weary limbs and joints.

Today was no exception, as the players went on an early morning bike ride and finished today's sessions in the gym but in between, there was plenty of work on the field. Petkovic started with 7 on 7, then 8 on 8, then 11 on 11 and finally, 12 on 12. The focus was on defensive and offensive phases of play and some patterns have already began to emerge. 

As speculated, Hernanes was tried and tested in a deeper role, 'alla Pirlo' is the Roman media's take on it. Interestingly, a backline of four was used in each of the line-ups and one particular backline featured the pair of Dias and Diakite' at the back. In truth, the line-ups don't look to be anywhere near the radical move away from Reja that many had reported. In the same line up that saw Dias and Diakite' at the back and Hernanes in the Pirlo role, Cana was deployed as a defensive midfielder while the defensive combination of Cavanda and Konko lined up on the right. However in attack, Zarate, Floccari and Kozak all featured. The formation was 4-3-3, with the exception of a goalkeeper as the stoppers worked separate to the group. At this early stage, it appears as though Petkovic has an idea of how he wants the defence to line-up, but with Hernanes deep to supply two wingers and three strikers, it seems Petkovic is less sure of how to form his attack.

(Cathal Mullan)
 
 
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