Dutch fitness boff hits out at Chelsea, Arsenal, and Spurs over crocked stars
Published 23:00 10/12/10 By Darren Lewis
The Premier League top clubs have been criticised over their treatment of their Dutch players.
The blast has come from former Manchester City fitness coach Raymond Verheijen, who has worked for Holland, South Korea and Russia as well as Barcelona, Chelsea and City.
The Dutchman hit out at Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs over their handling of Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart.
Verheijen, 39, said: "They called Robben the man of glass when he was at Chelsea. Last year he played with Bayern Munich. What they did was reduce his training volume. He played the best football of his career. They won the title because of him.
"All of a sudden he was not injured anymore. The question is, 'Was he a player of glass or was he trained by coaches of glass?' Arjen Robben and all the other explosive players, like Robin van Persie, when they make an action they use more energy than other players.
"If they train the same volume as the other players their energy expenditure is twice as high as the other players. So you have to reduce the training volume by 50 per cent, which is what Bayern Munich did with his programme."
Verheijen also called into question the injury record of luckless Arsenal striker Van Persie. He added: "It not all down to bad luck. If you check Robin van Persie's injury history, these were not all fractures. At Arsenal he has suffered from several muscle injuries."
And there was a no-nonsense assessment of Van Persie's apparent inability to last a season without being injured.
Verheijen went on: "I knew him as a kid. I worked with him in 2001 when I assisted the Dutch Under-20 team at the World Cup in Argentina and that is the way he is built.
"Van der Vaart had a long season and didn't have an off-season because he had to play the World Cup final. At the end of the World Cup he was still fit. His fitness was high but he had low freshness because he had just finished the World Cup and was tired.
"World Cup players are already fit - they don't need fitness training in pre-season because it fatigues them even further and eventually leads to a loss of co-ordination and control and, ultimately, injuries.
"Players get unnecessarily injured. Their careers are shortened by incompetent training methods. That is a hard one to swallow. Every player deserves top treatment.
"A lot of coaches treat all the players the same way, whatever their age, whatever their body composition, whatever their injury history - everybody is doing the same training, which is stupid."