It’s a complaint that sums up the compromises many international managers have to make. During the March World Cup qualifiers, one high-profile coach wanted one of his midfielders to press in a particular way. His preferred system was dependent on it. The manager quickly found, however, that the player could barely do it for 20 minutes. The midfielder just wasn’t physically conditioned to play that way, because his club naturally prepared him with a fitness programme that suited their own needs.
It’s one of many issues the 24 management teams have to solve for these European Championships, that have taken