A source close to the club has supposedly revealed that Richard Dunne and James Collins’ recent misdemeanors came about due to the pairs dismay with regards to the increased fitness sessions and grueling workouts enforced by Robert Duverne, the former French fitness coach who infamously came to blows with then national team captain Patric Evra. Gerard Houllier brought the feisty Frenchman to the club in a bid to boost endurance levels at the club after the team had been accused of fading in the latter stages of matches, and indeed seasons.
The Villa boss felt a no nonsense approach to hard graft would do the trick but appears that Duverne has ruffled more than a few feathers with his intense regimes. Richard Dunne was the focus of some criticism at the beginning of the season having piled on some timber to an already hefty frame and it appears that the 31-year-old isn’t keen on the running so much these days! Reports have suggested that an alcohol fueled rant by the two defenders was aimed at the Villa coaching staff, with 43-year-old Duverne and manager Gerard Houllier taking the brunt of it after it was reported last week that an attack was launched on club legend Gordon Cowans, which seemed unlikely.
According to that most reputable of newspapers The Sun, a source close to the club revealed that the issue was not one held by the duo’s team-mates, who have appreciated the improvement in their fitness levels;
‘Many of the squad are happy with how Duverne has improved their fitness and match sharpness.
‘But some of the other players have complained continuously about extra runs at the end of sessions and gruelling tasks within the season.
‘Dunne and some other senior players do not understand why they are doing pre-season style fitness work in March.’
If the issue does regard an unwillingness to keep up with the increased demands of the fitness sessions I would have to advise a prescription of two testicles. Dunne in particular is known to earn in excess of £50,000 a week, hard knock life and all that!
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