Date: 17th December 2010 at 6:57pm
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Ahead of our match with Wigan tomorrow Gerard Houllier has dismissed reports of a player revolt over the new training regime being employed by the club.

Quoted on the BBC today Houllier said:

‘I’ve read about dissent in the squad over training methods but it is not true. I know it is different to what it was before but it is not true and the players will adapt gradually. We do a lot of work with the ball, we play a lot of games, we do some tactics aswell.’

Whilst Houllier dismisses annoyance amongst the players due to the training changes implemented, he doesn’t hide from the fact that some players are undoubtedly unhappy as that is the nature of the game. Players were unhappy under the previous manager, it’s not that much of a stretch to think some would be unhappy under a different manager.

‘Do people have to adapt to a new manager and methods? In a way, yes. You adapt or you die. We are changing a lot of things and that upsets the comfort of some players. Any manager who runs a team knows the players who are playing are happy, and the players who are not playing are not happy.’

Probably the most salient quote to pick out is the following.

‘We know that we are changing things, we know that sometimes people are whingeing and moaning but they have a fantastic job.

‘They are paid high wages to play and enjoy football. This is a fantastic job and sometimes you forget that.’

I’m not a professional footballer, and like many here if I ever had the chance to represent Villa I’d probably end up killing myself on the pitch but truth be told I wouldn’t put that same effort in if I ever had the chance to represent another club. For another club I would however be willing to pick up in excess of £25 grand a week to sit on a bench and train for 4 odd hours a day.

But I’m not a professional, and maybe that explains why those sitting on the bench or relegated to the bench aren’t happy.

Rubbishing a further nonsensical rumour, Houllier addressed the supposed punishment of players by them being selected to play in the behind closed doors game against Leicester the other day. I’m sure we all saw the rumours and reports ‘told to train with reserves’ blah blah that some (clearly by their own accuracy here) unreliable outlets banged out across the net, but the truth as ever is slightly more mundane that that.

‘It is not a punishment when you play a behind closed doors game to help players keep their fitness. It is a punishment when you don’t play at all, when you are left out, but I had a lot of players who either had not played for a long time or needed a game to restart like Reo-Coker.

‘Pires, Carew, Delfouneso, Ireland; all those not involved for a long time played that game. Some gave 70-80 minutes, others played the full game.’

Houllier added that it was just the perfect way to help keep fitness high because the reserves calender is over until the New Year and because of the weather some games had been cancelled. He also says had it not been for the weather the game would’ve probably taken place a week or so ago.

So there you have it.

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