Injuries have kept Xu Liang, Wang Xiaolong, and Zhang Sipeng (among others) out of training for days or even weeks in some cases. No player has gone on the record, but off it, they point the finger at Jaime Pacheco’s tough training workouts that are leading to more injuries among the squad.
What does manager Pacheco have to say about it? His take on things is very different. He argues the club put together specific, individual training regimes for each player to keep to in the offseason to prepare them for the upcoming winter training sessions and the season. Some of these injuries are due to typical preseason bumps and bruises, but the majority of them are a sign that the players didn’t take their preseason training schedule seriously enough.
As a longtime observer of the league, this comes as no surprise. I have little sympathy for the complaining players whining about Pacheco’s “European style” training methods. With almost 20 years experience in managing, I’m sure Pacheco is not doing anything out of the ordinary. Instead, it’s far more likely that the players came into camp out of shape and not ready for the Portuguese manager’s training sessions.
That the players would go to the media over this just shows the lack of professionalism in the Chinese league and is part of the reason why I’d like to see more young talent go overseas when ready to build up their career and stay away from the bad habits of veterans in the domestic league.
Guoan’s winter training will continue through the end of the week before reconvening after Chinese New Year when the team will move its camp to Portugal.