Wednesday May 24, 2017  
     
 
  20/07/2014: Auronzo di Cadore: Day 9
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Day 9 begins at 10am and Pioli's morning session is devoted to exercises with the ball. Etrit Berisha remains absent with his leg issue, while Ederson continues to train alone. 

Pioli divides his team into two groups of eleven, and at this point, Antonio Rozzi does not take part. The first exercise involves working on long passes and short passes. The second exercise sees one group try to win the ball off the second group, with the second group tasked with keeping possession. Pioli rotates the instruction after a while so both groups spend time working on both tasks.

The third exercise of the session is concentrated on building play. Pioli and his assistants, Murelli and Lucarelli are quite vocal during this exercise. In recent friendlies, it has become clear that certain midfielders are seen as capable of playing a certain role in Pioli's 4-3-3 formation and this is once again evident during this exercise. Pioli instructs Ledesma and Elez - who have been the central midfielders of his midfield trios - while Murelli and Lucarelli work closely with the other midfielders.

The attention to detail is impressive. Pioli is heard demanding that there are at least three men in the box at the end of an attack.

With a ridiculous amount of footballs on the field at the end of the session, the players conclude their morning by messing around, hitting the ball about the field. Novaretti, however, takes it to another level, repeatedly booting the ball goalwards. One of his efforts proves to be an absolute wondergoal and is met with astonishment from his teammates who proceed to jump on top of him to celebrate.

More of the same in the evening session. Pioli divides the boys into two teams and works once again on the construction of play. After about 40 minutes, Pioli changes exercise and this one is particularly fascinating; he works on defending throw-ins. Pioli is keen for his players to not let the opposition gain an advantage from quickly-taken throw-ins and this exercise is designed to ensure that the players mark up any possible targets for the throw-in taker. The manager can be heard shouting to the players that he does not want to see any attacking players left unmarked.

The work on dead ball situations continue with instructions on corners and free-kicks. In particular, Pioli works on attacking corners with the simple aim of putting the ball in the back of the net. 

There is no time today for a practice game, but we will definitely see some real action tomorrow as Lazio have their first friendly against professional opposition as they welcome the Indonesia U23s.

Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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