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Brutal Training or Lazy Players: A Rash of Injuries in Beijing’s Training Camp

It’s a case of he said/he said in Beijing’s training camp in Hainan lately as a number of players have fallen to injuries over the past few weeks.

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.

Brandon Chemers aka B. Cheng aka A Modern Lei Feng – is a name which may be familiar to many in the Chinese blogosphere. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Wild East Football and is one of the lonely souls writing about Chinese football in English for the last 10 years. Chemers' credentials are second to none – his former blog focused not only on the fortunes of his beloved Beijing Guoan FC, but a multitude of other aspects of Beijing life. He’s deservedly built a reputation in the Chinese blogosphere as an insightful observer of not only Chinese football, but also the wider picture of life in modern China and its many layers. For WEF, beyond writing about Guoan, he often focuses on fan culture and the business of Chinese football.

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