The FT has run a fascinating article about Barcelona and buried deep within it, they reveal crucial evidence when it comes to juice… notably, Barcelona players ARE allowed to drink it.
‘Just before afternoon practice, Barça midfielder Busquets pops into the kitchen above the training ground for a spot of refuelling. Before training, that usually means fruit juice.’
The f*cking audacity. But wait, it gets worse; and for all those that have been arguing with me about the horrors of juice sugars in elite athletes who burn 5000+ calories a day, you might want to look away…
‘Players are also encouraged to drink beetroot juice to boost nitrate levels (including two shots in the hours before kick-off) and “during busy competition schedule” to eat the equivalent of 100 tart cherries a day (which sounds rather like a challenge in a competitive eating championship).’
For the prominent anti-juicers on Le-Grove, this is a huge blow, but for those of us who truly believed in the sugary goodness of a post-game Sunny-D, this is a great day. That said, word of warning to English folk when you come to America, always say the ‘Sunny’ part, ‘I’m just popping out for some D’ means something different in these parts.
Interestingly the same article also points to caffeine being promoted for improving mental sharpness before games. Not even an elegant cortado, I’m talking about cans of NUCLEAR LEMONERRY MONSTER IN 2 LITRE CANS.
Back to the story. The gist is basically that all that organisational stuff I evangelise about; that the grunts blow off as ‘hipsterism’, is actually a thing at proper clubs. I shouldn’t have to explain that, but you know, this is the internet and being militant about something you have little insight into is human nature (I see you MJ fans).
Now, I’m not suggesting that great players aren’t important. I’m not for one moment considering putting a proposal forward that would put Deep Blue in the hot seat after Emery. I’m just saying that if you’re not considering all of these advanced approaches to nutrition, data, scouting, analytics and psychology, you’re simply putting off the inevitable. You are Blackberry believing in the fixed keyboard. Kodak ignoring the digital camera. My dad saying social media was for dickheads… hold on?
Technology and advanced approaches to specialisations in the game are not there to replace humans. They’re developed to help smart people make more informed decisions. To make more time for creative problem solving.
For the performance team, the richer the data they’re pulling from, the better their prediction models will be for players breaking down. If you could measure stress levels in players saliva and map it against their performance, you might be able to work out who is better suited to taking high-pressure penalties (sorry Auba). MAYBE the club could identify the gene for doing stupid things on the football pitch… I can tell you now for certain, I have that gene, my school friends will attest to this. Could personality mapping work out if players have elite mentality? Could it tell you if a player was suited to a managers style so you don’t end up with £400k wasting away on the bench?
Imagine players learning about tactical models in interactive VR worlds so they don’t fall asleep in video analysis lectures. Wouldn’t it be cool if AI could analyse the game in real time and work out that Luke Shaw may have smashed 40 nuggets before the game and as a result is running at sub-optimal levels and suggest his side of the pitch is overloaded in the second half?
There are so many possibilities…
However, we’re stuck with a fanbase that’s currently in a serious debate about whether having a footballing identity is important. So maybe park this for a bit.
Anyway, bravo Simon Kuper. What a piece. Funny story, I once recorded a podcast with him and the sound failed. Pretty embarrassing.
Moving on from juice.
What the hell is wrong with the UK press? The defence of Harry Kane for being offside looks like the #FakeNews my Russian twitter friends warned me about.
Do you think the England striker is super petty about critique? Most of the slobbering defences of him over the weekend seem to have come from English journalists. One can only assume they are protecting their World Cup access. Imagine getting a late night DM from Hazza.
‘Myster Wollace, read u sleggin me. 2morrow, ure gonna correct it. Say u spoke to the experrts, make me look the victim… or else Jon X gets the exclsive on me favourite color next munth. Uv been warned Wally-ace lollololol wally like ‘u wally’ lolol’
There are obviously some terrific UK journalists, but I swear, the group that dictates the news cycle really jump on some painfully embarrassing narratives. Give me Honigstein, Horncastle and Laurens all day long… none of those boys are drinking MONSTER for breakfast.
Big game this week. Rennes in the Europa round of 16. I like the French team, they have a fun squad, but I think we’d have to play pretty badly not to overpower them with our superior quality. That said, they have had their fixtures moved around by the French FA to allow them max prep time. They’ve not had a game since the 27th of Feb, which to be honest is a hefty amount of time to take off to prepare…
The game is also against the backdrop of a mega match against United at the weekend. That really is a must win for us if we hold out any hope of an upset in the top 4 race. The game is also at home. I’d take a draw with a weaker squad at Rennes if it meant we can flying out of the traps for the weekend’s game.
Right, that’s me done… see you in the comments, let’s talk juice.