Leeds United, who returned to the Premier League this season, started three games without too much excitement. The West Yorkshire "White Roses", who scored 8 goals in three games and won two wins, are becoming one of the most eye-catching teams in the Premier League in the 2020-21 season.
The outstanding results of Leeds United on the field are largely due to their unremitting efforts outside the field during the epidemic isolation period. What is not known is that they were actually prepared for the new crown epidemic as early as January this year.
Special Translation / William Qiu
Editor / Yin Haonan
The original text was published on www.forbes.com
Author / Steve Price
Due to editorial needs, some deletions and adjustments have been made to the original text
The clock is set back to June 21, 2020.
After returning from isolation, Leeds United ushered in a 0-2 loss to Cardiff City. The scene that many Leeds United fans worry about seems to be happening again-at the time, the team was ranked second in the English Champions League, followed by Fulham and Brentford, and the final crash of last season is still vivid.
But now and then, the tragedy of losing five of the last ten games was not repeated this time. Instead, the team rushed to the throne of the British Championship with a wave of undefeated records, and returned home after 16 years. Premier League.
To a large extent, this is due to the unremitting efforts of Leeds United during the epidemic isolation period.
"I discovered one thing after communicating with other clubs. I think we are the team that has prepared the most and worked hardest during the epidemic," said Leeds United's chief team doctor Rob Price.
利兹联（Leeds United）的首席团队医生罗布·普赖斯（Rob Price）说：“在与其他俱乐部沟通后，我发现了一件事。我认为我们是在疫情爆发期间准备最多，最努力的团队。”
Price's statement is not unfounded. Under his leadership, Leeds United players not only did not relax during the epidemic, but they continued to train, maintaining training intensity and volume.
Through a Zoom meeting arranged by Visit Britain, other reporters and I were able to get in touch with Price. Teleconferencing seemed a little strange to many people a year ago, but now it seems to be part of life. While introducing the best restaurants in Leeds and the recommended things to do here, Price gave a detailed introduction to Leeds United’s preparations during the epidemic.
In fact, Leeds United had prepared a plan for the new crown epidemic in January. Therefore, when the epidemic broke out in the UK in March, everything had been arranged. The club arranges cycling and weight training for the players, and provides them with equipment and dietary support to help them train normally at home.
When the quarantine order came, they made another crucial decision-unlike some other clubs that give players a long holiday for a few weeks, Leeds United decided not to let the players idle. They arranged the club’s staff responsible for monitoring the performance of the players to work six days a week. At the same time, they arranged for the players to do a lot of sprint training, orientation training and ball practice every day, so that they can prepare for their return to collective training.
Leeds United midfielder Elder Costa (right) against Liverpool defender Robertson in the game
However, making this decision is not easy. After all, no one can predict how long the epidemic will last.
Leeds United team doctor Price said that the biggest challenge is to arrange everything in an orderly manner when it is uncertain when the rematch will be. However, thanks to the training program designed by the club in advance, the players were able to train according to the intensity of the club's vision, and their physical condition after the rematch was even better than before the epidemic.
"Devil training" has always been the symbol of Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa leading the team, especially his famous "Murderball" link.
Note: Murderball, this training is known for its high-tempo and high-intensity uninterrupted training. Players are required to keep the ball running. Once the ball goes out of bounds, the coach will immediately throw the ball into the field to let the game continue.
At the same time, Leeds United’s fitness and conditioning division adheres to the principle of "the more tired you practice, the more tired you will be during the game." In response, Price added that the coaching staff needs to push the players to the limit in order for them to show consistent performance on the court.
In addition to dealing with the impact of the epidemic, the club also needs to deal with a shorter pre-season preparation period, a more intensive Premier League schedule, and a weekly double match from time to time.
In last season's British Championship, Marcelo Bielsa was the coach with the fewest rotations. In view of the fact that the team didn't do anything in this summer window, Bielsa will rely on the same group of players this season. In the opinion of the Argentine coach, the Premier League schedule should not have too much influence on the team. After all, the Premier League schedule is actually more intensive than the Premier League, with eight more games played, and many games are scheduled in the middle of the week.
As for the shortened pre-season preparations, Leeds United only gave the players seven to ten days of rest. As the players' physical fitness is still maintained at a relatively high level, the team allows them to "wasted" the first few weeks of pre-season preparations. Friendly matches are another bigger challenge, mainly because many of the opponents they want to date have not accepted the new crown test. Therefore, it is not easy to arrange friendly matches at a correct time.
However, no matter how hard Leeds United works, the new crown will have a huge blow to a Premier League team. This can be done by a team isolation or a few positive cases in the team.
Take Paris Saint-Germain as an example. With many players on the team infected with the new crown virus, their new season started in chaos. It was given to Lens and Marseille, in which the Paris players headed by Neymar had a large-scale conflict with their opponents in the match with Marseille). In the Premier League, there are currently many players including Thiago and Mane who were diagnosed with the new crown at the beginning of the season.
On October 3, Liverpool officially announced that the team forward Mane tested positive for the new crown
In order to prevent the new crown virus from making Leeds United, which is already a thin lineup, more strained, the club separates players under the age of 18 who will not be tested for the new crown from those who have been tested and the coaching staff. The indoor training ground in Leeds United has also been transformed into a locker room and medical clinic to create a larger and more air-circulating environment.
In addition, every activity performed by the team will have a risk assessment, and GPS tracking will ensure that players will not stay together for a long time during training. Price said that these measures are designed to prevent a positive case in the team from expanding to five or six.
Right now, the new season is in full swing, and they will face Manchester City's challenge at home on October 4. Although some stadiums are already in trial operation to allow some fans to enter the game, concerns about whether the epidemic will further expand in the UK and trigger a new round of quarantine have never stopped.
Price said that the epidemic has taught them a lot, and everyone has changed their working methods and opinions during the isolation period. If we isolate ourselves again, "there should be no room for change," he said. The only difference may be that at the beginning of the quarantine, the team will consider giving players an extra week of rest.
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