Thursday, February 2, 2012

holiday parties can do wonders for team spirit, but in British culture of binge drinking does not help that teams who lose their fizz

is one of the first appointment that you look at the fixture list at the beginning of the season - where will you spend New Year? For most of us players, even if we do not play on Jan. 1, the amounts of a typical year celebration of a new family home evening, slide early to bed hoping that the children do not noisy. Bristol City will not play until Tuesday, but we are morally bound by alcohol-free 72 hours rule, which includes even be on licensed premises, such as restaurants.

Everything was so different in the beginning of my career. At that time, the withdrawal period is 48 hours and it was not uncommon for players believe they could still be a world champion in the field, after a night of drinking. I remember New Year's Eve, when I was in Liverpool, many of us threw a party and a man, everyone joined in the festive spirit to save a lot of drinks. We played a little over 48 hours later, Norwich - if you do not technically violate the prohibition of alcohol - but still, it was not the best preparation for a match. Yet we won 4-0 and sit on top of the world. You could never get away with this sort of thing now, though. With the advancement of sport scientists constantly monitor the fitness levels of players, the level of professionalism is much higher

most of us, that is. Some players do not need New Year's Eve as an excuse to go out drinking and when I look back at the teams that I played over the years has had a clear correlation between poor performance on the field and a strong culture of alcohol at the club. It has never been a case of drinking a player on your own, always a group of players and has a negative influence on the team.

I played in a club because there would be a meeting of half a dozen or more players a crazy drinking every week. Week after week - it is not surprising that do not do well this year, narrowly avoiding relegation. The main culprits also became the core of the team. In clubs of ethics was a chance of a hangover. It may have been the night before a game, but still interfered with the preparation. The reason I get days off during the week to rest and repair, but if you spend a day off to recover from a hangover, then almost not prepared properly.

English managers in general tend to be staunch supporters of the union of the team through the use of alcohol. I remember one of my managers is shouting to foreign players not to go out and get drunk because, he said, were unfair to the rest of the team. Another commonly used to go on a drunken night in - with the President and the coaching staff - the night before a game. I had a big discussion about it at the time because he was convinced that the manager must follow the rule of abstinence - after all, how to run the locker room if he was struggling with a mouth wood the next day? It seemed clear to me that should be one rule for everyone involved in getting a good result for the team.

The increase of foreign players in the English game has certainly made a difference in attitude here, but this does not mean that foreign players are not getting drunk. There are those who love the English mentality, but overall I think they are much less enthusiastic about alcohol and go to clubs.

amuses me, however, who seem to need these abstainers rules in English football, while Europe has a glass of wine before a match is considered civilized. I remember Steve McManaman describing how the entire Real Madrid team sat down to eat and enjoy a glass of wine together the night before a game. If the English players would be chaos. In our culture, binge drinking - drunkenness - always seems to be the final result

Maybe I'm biased at home, but I disagree with the idea that a little alcohol helps the team bond. Just as it is in the Christmas office across the country, with a drink gives you the opportunity to talk with colleagues in a deeper meaning beyond "How is your bad knee" The problem we have in England is not to know when to stop, it's too easy to take to complete the game in a bar or club
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