Eduardo Berizzo’s First Training Sessions Characterized By Attacking, Pressure, And Intensity
Eduardo Berizzo knows that he only has a limited amount of time before Athletic Club begins playing meaningful football. The new season is just over a month away and he intends to have his team ready to compete and challenge for European qualification. With 34 players in the preseason squad the Argentine has meticulously planned out every detail and it shows. As expected attacking, pressure, and intensity have characterized the first few days of training.
Throughout his managerial career, Berizzo’s system has certainly reflected the fact that he is a Marcelo Bielsa disciple. During his first press conference on Monday, the new manager said that he needed to “seduce the players” with his idea of how to play football and laid out what he wants to see from the team. Berizzo’s goal is to play collective football, with an emphasis on possession-based attacking, while also having a reliable defense that uses pressing to win back possession as quickly as possible.
With a few days of training sessions already completed it is easy to see that Berizzo is working hard to implement his ideas. The team has focused heavily on ball drills with an emphasis on movement, passing, positioning, and winning possession. Toto trusts his coaching staff to carry out his demands and the players often break up in groups to work on specific areas while the manager moves around to give correction and guidance.
During Thursday morning’s session, Berizzo allowed his assistants to run most of everything. Meanwhile, he worked closely with a group of defenders and midfielders -Lekue, De Marcos, Capa, Andoni López, Balenziaga, Berchiche, Ganea, Unai Nuñez, Etxeita, Yeray, Iñigo Martinez, Unai López, San José, Dani García, Iturraspe, Nolaskoain, Mikel Rico, and Beñat. The goal was to start forming the foundation of the system. Toto was involved the entire time by teaching, correcting, demanding more intensity and rhythm, and also pushing his players to direct and encourage each other.
Shouts of “You can’t lose the ball, that’s no good!” and “Win it back!” have rang out through Lezama quite a bit already, especially during pressing drills. Berizzo demands and expects perfection from his players and is using daily drills to install the habits that he wants to see from every player during actual matches. Football matches are won by proper preparation and Toto is making sure that his players have a firm grasp of the system every day.
After what happened under Kuko Ziganda fans want to see Athletic playing beautiful and passionate football again. The hiring of Eduardo Berizzo brought hope and expectations and his training sessions have been exactly what you would expect based on his coaching history. The players seem to be responding well to the new manager and the team is picking up on things quickly. Berizzo has a defined system, clear ideas, and a demand for excellence that should have fans excited about this season.