‘Special departments’ – Tottenham fitness coach opens up on his methods

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Antonio Conte
Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

As quoted by Calciomercato, Tottenham fitness coach Gian Piero Ventrone has responded to perceived media criticism of his pre-season training methods.

Conte took over as Spurs boss in November after Nuno Espirito Santo’s departure was confirmed by a three-nil capitulation at home to Manchester United (Guardian).

Despite bumps along the way, the Italian managed to mastermind a return to Champions League football after finding the Lilywhites languishing in ninth position at the beginning of his reign.

Having been hailed as a tactical genius by both Robbie Keane and Jamie Redknapp (Daily Mail), Conte also places a huge emphasis on gaining extreme levels of fitness and that starts in pre-season.

Alessandro Del Piero, who played for Conte whilst at Juventus, told ESPN TV that although Conte’s methods were extreme, they helped develop mental resilience within his squad.

The 52-year-old has recently received backlash for his methods, with Leyton Orient head coach Richie Wellens claimed that players can easily be burnt out in pre-season in a recent interview with Sky Sports.

One of the fitness coaches Conte brought with him to N17 was Gian Piero Ventrone, a man once infamous for making players ring a ‘bell of shame’ when they dropped out of training first (Daily Mail).

Ventrone has now voiced the purpose behind his techniques, stating (Calciomercato via SportWitness: “Let’s clarify a basic concept: harder training does not mean better, otherwise we would train the players like the Marines.

“It’s simple, we train them like special departments and after two days there is no one left on the pitch.”

Ventrone also replied to Julian Nagelsmann’s recent comments by which he suggested that Juventus were slack with their fitness training (La Gazzetta dello Sport).

Nagelsmann said: “I spoke to him [de Ligt] after training and he told me that today’s session was the hardest in the last four years. It was difficult, but not that much.”

Commenting on this, Ventrone said: “It is a sport that we must respect, then the important thing is that it works. Today there are many ideas, many copy and paste, then we can do what we want, even take them on a kayak.

“But, if they resist more than the others on the pitch, they go faster than the others and they don’t have many injuries, it’s fine to me to send them kayaking, but we have to prove it works. Juve is an evolved club, these words seem strange to me.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Conte’s sides have always had a reputation for running the most and being the most disciplined. We started to see that quickly after he was appointed at Spurs. Now that he has been granted a full pre-season with his squad, I fully expect to see a supremely fit Spurs team lineup on August 6th.

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