WELL I have returned to Toronto for pre-season training and to say it’s cold is an understatement.
I arrived late Saturday and it was minus 10 when I touched down. Sunday was a rest day and we started work on Monday.
It was the usual first day with blood tests, medicals in the morning and then speed, agility and strength tests in the afternoon followed by the bleep test. The bleep test is a difficult one as you get up to high tempo running straight away, but although the tests are for the results they are used for heart rate monitor purposes.
I finally got to meet our new manager in Preki (former Everton and Portsmouth midfielder Predrag Radosavljevic). We had a very good chat and he seems a really straight honest guy.
His vision for the game and outlook is that of a winner and a very focused guy. I’m sure there will be a lot of changes this year and we will wait and see what happens. Nothing amazes me in football and nothing ever will.
The CBA agreement is still yet to be resolved and the deadline has been extended to February 12. Let’s all hope we can resolve this and can just get on with playing.
(The CBA is a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the MLS and the Players’ Union over contracts. Issues including team bonus increases, an increase in the minimum league salary and an increase in salary cap are all up for discussion as in the MLS players sign for the league, not the club.)
The transfer deadline in Britain came and went and it must of been one of the quietest windows ever. The big clubs decided against making any moves, although Manchester City splashed out £7 million on young Adam Johnson.
There were a lot of loan moves, especially out of Spurs, with Alan Hutton going to Sunderland and my pal Robbie Keane going to Celtic.
Now this is a great move for him and one that he has always wanted as he was a Celtic supporter as a boy. Although a bit strange to leave Spurs, I’m sure he’ll be a massive hit for them this year.
Away from football I must say that I’m looking forward to the Six Nations tournament that starts this weekend with Wales playing England – a massive grudge match. There will be lots of pride at stake and I’m sure it will be very tense down at Twickenham.
See full story in the County Times