He has impressed in training is a common explanation from managers when a player is picked on matchday. But how players are doing in training is far from always a proof that they will perform in a competitive match.
This season Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has selected a lot of different teams and formations. More than before. He is chopping and changing and is critisised for some of his decisions. And rightly so, some selections and substitutions aswell has been a bit peculiar and hard to understand.
Recently he said that Emre Can impressed in training and he has been chosen twice on the spin now and performed quite good. So in this case Rodgers has been spot on.
But I believe that managers are too quick to put an equal sign between good trainer and good performer. And in the process telling everybody outside the club that they don´t have the whole story and therefore can´t judge players as good as a manager.
Well they are wrong. The only interesting thing is how a player performs on the pitch in matches. And the games are in the public domain all over the world so everybody has the same possibility to judge players.
How a player does in training is in fact irrelevant. To be good in training doesn´t mean a thing if you can´t reproduce your skills and ability in games. So the only interesting arena to judge a player is on matchday.
Of course some players are good trainers and good performers. But some aren´t. They freeze when in games. And sometimes managers take too long to realize this. Hopefully Brendan Rodgers gets this and doesn´t pick players just because they train good.
The message must be: Be as good in matches as in training because then:
We Go Again.