Former Wales assistant manager Raymond Verheijen, an assistant coach with Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City, called Moyes’ methods “Jurassic Park” after Robin Van Persie was taken off in United’s 3-2 defeat to Yokohama F Marinos this preseason. Verheijen blamed the Moyes for overworking the forward, who has a history of injury problems.
He wrote on Twitter: “In Sydney Moyes said: ‘We’ve overtrained Robin this week to build up his fitness’. [In Japan] he picked up muscle injury. It really makes you wonder how these prehistoric training methods can still take place at the highest level.
"All over the world in pre-season you see the pattern ‘overtraining-fatigue-injuries’. Always avoid accumulation of fatigue in pre-season.
"But as long as most dinosaurs are still in denial & ignore how things develop in other countries, nothing will ever change in Jurassic Park. Obviously, players like RVP should learn to protect themselves better against ‘overtraining’ & ‘punishing training’.”
“The main reason for injuries in football is accumulation of fatigue,” he once told the Australian edition of FourFourTwo. “Injuries do not happen because of bad luck. Football players have made football actions all their lives. All of a sudden a hamstring or ligament snaps and that has to do with the status of the body at that particular moment: fatigued.“
For Verheijen fatigue comes from training lack of balance. “It is very important that you are doing the right football training at the right moment and in the right sequence. As an example, if you play four versus four in training today, which is very demanding on the body, you will definitely be tired the next day. If you do sprint training or shooting exercises the next day, then an already fatigued body, with fatigued muscles, is doing more maximum explosive actions in a higher frequency than they normally would in a game. You are asking for trouble. You are overloading a fatigued body.” Fitness has also been a personal trademark for Paolo Di Canio the manager, just as it was for Di Canio when he was playing. But maybe Verheijen would disagree with Di Canio’s methods. The Sunderland manager has overhauled the club since replacing Martin O'Neill, moving out some players while recruiting others this summer, and completely changing his staff. But, above all, he was focusing on improving team’s fitness. “This club’s unique in the fact that we train or we’re in training every day. Monday to Friday we’re in and even Sundays when there’s a Tuesday game”, Paul Benson told the Advertiser. “There was a time between January when I first joined and probably the middle of April or the end of April when I only had three or four days off. When I was at Charlton I pretty much had that in one week.” Since he took the job as Swindon Town manager, Di Canio has made a name for himself as a hard worker on the pitch, pushing his players through intense workouts to raise their strength and conditioning skills. He mixed conditioning drills with ball drills. A great article from former Swindon player Stuart James details these drills. Training under the guidance of Paolo Di Canio is a hard task. His methods are modern. A lot of sprints, 400 and 800 metres runs with short rests between, are utilized more than long runs to get players in shape. John O’Shea spoke of the impact Di Canio has had. ‘Managers have their own styles,’ said the one-time Manchester United defender. ‘It’s a new approach and one that the players are really enjoying. ‘He does quite a bit more with the shape of the team than we’ve done previously and that’s an individual style. Managers all have their own style and he’s quite hands-on in terms of showing the players where he wants them to be, the movement he wants them to make and the options we could have. He wants prove his routine of double training sessions is worth of faith. Di Canio thinks these new training methods and some quality signings should make the impact Sunderland needs.