Chelsea Football Club

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FROM THE VAULT

For well over a decade SoccerSpecific has been committed to providing it’s coaches community a plethora of great content and we have reached deep into the vault to reintroduce this session from “The Special One”! The finishing activity and final 11V11 provide an interesting twist. There are plenty more like this one waiting to be rediscovered, find one for yourself and try it this week in training. Enjoy!

Led by Mourinho this Chelsea squad went on to win it’s second consecutive Premier League Title as well as the Community Shield. In late July through August 2005, Chelsea traveled to the US to carry out part of their pre-season preparations. The following session was performed by Jose Mourinho at Rutgers University in New Jersey on August 3rd. The session was observed and submitted by Dave Kelly, an assistant coach at Hartford University. Dave is an ex-professional player who currently holds a USSF ‘A’ License.

Chelsea Football Club has reached new heights under manager Jose Mourinho. Prior to joining Chelsea in June ´04 he had an impressive record at FC Porto where he won both the UEFA Cup and Champions League in back-to-back seasons. The 04/05 season for Chelsea proved just as successful as they were crowned English Premier League Champions.

In late July through August ´05 Chelsea travelled to the US to carry out part of their pre-season preparations. The following session was performed by Jose Mourinho at Rutgers University in New Jersey on August 3rd. The session was observed and submitted by Dave Kelly, an assistant coach at Hartford University. Dave is an ex-professional player who currently holds a USSF ´A´ License.

Rutgers University 8/3/05
Start Time: 10:30am
Conditions: 95 degrees and very humid

9:30am – Fitness coach, Rui Fereira and GK coach, Silvinho Loreiro arrive and set up two pitches for the session.
10:20am – Players and staff arrive.Jose Mourinho has his coaches make a few adjustments to the dimensions of the training area.
10:25am – Bibs are distributed to the 22-man squad.

Warm-Up Phase

10:26am – Players are organized in a circle as shown in Diagram (a) below.  Fitness coach leads the static stretches for 15-second intervals on his whistle.

Diagram A

10:30am – Players jog as a group around the perimeter of the pitch.

10:35am – Players move freely inside the grid changing speed and direction on their own accord.

10:36am – Additional static stretches are performed.

10:40am – Players are organized in pairs as shown below in Diagram (b).

Diagram B

On the coaches signal the pairs perform a 10-yard sprint. The following variation of sprints are performed:

  • Jump shoulder-to-shoulder and then sprint 10 yards
  • Resisted runs – hold partners shirt and then let go into a 10-yard sprint
  • Jump chest-to-chest, turn and sprint 10 yards.

10:45am – Water break

10:47am – Additional static stretching performed

Phase 2

10:50am

Activity #1:

Set Up:

Players are organized as shown in Diagram (c) below. The setup is duplicated to accommodate the entire squad. The players are positioned at the 4 cones as shown.

Diagram C

Explanation:

Player (A) passes to player (B). Player (B) lays it off to oncoming (A). Player (A) passes to player (C). Player (C) repeats the sequence in the opposite direction by passing to player (D). All players follow their pass and advance to the next cone.

10:58am – Water break

Phase 3

11:00am

Activity #2:

Set Up:

Possession game – three teams of 4 players are organized in a 25×15 yard grid as shown in Diagram (d) below. The white team is positioned around the perimeter of the playing area; the red team acts as defenders and the yellow team are in possession of the ball. The setup is repeated to accommodate the entire team.

Diagram D

Explanation:

The yellow team attempts to maintain possession of the ball while utilizing the perimeter players as support players – this create an 8v4 situation. If the defenders win the ball they must quickly return it to the attacking team.

Rotate defensive team after 1.5 minutes. Each team – white, red and yellow has 1 round as the defensive team.

11:05am

Activity #3:

Set Up:

Same area as above (2 fields set up). Two attackers (red) and four defenders (yellow) are positioned inside the playing area as shown below in Diagram (e). Six support players (white) are positioned around the perimeter of the playing area as shown. The setup is repeated to accommodate the entire team.

Diagram E

Explanation:

The 2 attackers must attempt to keep the ball away from the defenders by utilizing the 6 support players. Two-touch restriction applies for all players. Work for 80 seconds then rotate the players.

11:13am – Water break

Phase 3

11:15am

Activity #4:

Set Up:

Finishing and attacking activity (2 groups) – players are organized in a 30×36 yard grid as shown below in Diagram (f). Goalkeepers are in each goal. Jose Mourinho is located at the corner of the playing area with a supply of balls as shown. The setup is repeated to accommodate the entire team.

Diagram F

Explanation:

Players are numbered 1,2,3,4. Mourinho calls out a number 1-4 and then passes the ball into the grid. Players must enter the grid and defend the goal opposite them. The first player to the ball must pass it to the goalkeeper before he can attack the opposite goal. In the above diagram, players (1) have been called out to play. Mourinho has passed the ball into the grid. Red (1) has got to the ball first. He has passed the ball to the goalkeeper. He must now get the ball back and attack in the opposite direction.

NOTE: Within the second group the players defend the goal they started at.

11:25am – Groups 1 and 2 switch activities.

11:35am – Water break

Final Game:

11:40am – An 11v11 is organized on a small 60×100 yard field as shown in Diagram (g) below. Three zones are created – 2v2 in each end zone; 7v7 within the middle area.

NOTE: For illustration purposes only half the pitch has been shown in Diagram (g)

Diagram G

Explanation:

Both teams compete for possession and attempt to score in their opponents goal. One player from the middle grid may enter the end zone to support the attacking players. This creates a 3v2 in favor of the attacking team. In the above diagram, Player (A) has passed to center forward (B). Player (C) has burst forward into the attack to support the two forward players creating a 3v2.

11:50am – 11v11 on same field with no restrictions.

11:55am – Session ended.

Observations:

Mourinho was encouraging but did not step in to make many coaching points.
Very little downtime throughout the session – short water breaks etc.
Session flowed – fields were set up resulting in no downtime to reset cones etc.
In the final game, when it was 3v2 in the end-zone Mourinho asked for “a quick solution”.

Full 90-minute session