Pierre Barrieu: No team will outwork Swansea City
26th October 2016
Bob Bradley's Swansea City will put in the hard yards behind the scenes to ensure they do not take a backward step on the pitch.
That is the verdict of Pierre Barrieu, the fitness coach Bradley has brought with him to Wales.
Barrieu is a vastly experienced fitness expert who has had stints with the USA national team - where he got to know Bradley - the New York Red Bulls, LA Galaxy, the UAE national side and Sheffield Wednesday.
The Frenchman has also worked with Bradley in his last two posts, at Stabaek - where he was a consultant - and in his homeland with Le Havre.
When Bradley landed the Swans job, he immediately set about ensuring that Barrieu, a trusted lieutenant, would come with him to SA1.
As he gets to know new surroundings, Barrieu has been quick to praise the team of support staff already in place at the Liberty Stadium.
And the 44-year-old has revealed how Bradley will demand that his Swans team are never outworked.
"I don't expect the guys to be 100 per cent at the start of a game and 150 at the end - that would be crazy," Barrieu says.
"But I don't want a player to think 'I don't want to make that run because I won't be able to make the next one'.
"That's terrible - especially with the way that Bob likes to play football, which is controlling the tempo."
Barrieu, who has also spent time working as an instructor for Fifa, reckons a group of players with exceptional fitness can even thrive against the very best teams around.
"It's about controlling what you can control," he adds.
"You do not always enjoy fitness work, but if you do it, whatever happens on the pitch, whatever the demands are, you know the physical factor will not have an impact. If it does have an impact, it will be positive.
"In the US team, we knew this was an area where we would most likely have the edge over the opponent, and that gives you a mental boost.
"We might come up against a team with some big names and they might be technically gifted, but believe me, we were always going to give them a game. Nothing was going to be easy for them when they played against us.
"Also, when the opposition see you are going to be consistent and persistent, it can put some doubts in their mind. That's a good feeling to have."
A former professional team handball player, Barrieu began his coaching career at the University of Virginia at the age of just 24.
His work there saw him get involved with the US team when Bruce Arena was in charge, and he ended up going to three World Cups with the Americans.
At the third of those, in 2010, Bradley was the coach, and the pair have been close ever since.
"I know Bob. I value his friendship, his expertise and his knowledge," Barrieu says.
"I know I am comfortable working with his system.
"He likes to engage with people. For me it was a no-brainer to come and work with him at Swansea.
"I enjoy working with him for sure, and I am not the only one. I am always in touch with members of staff from other places where we have been.
"Bob has the capacity to make everyone feel like they can contribute. He engages everyone so they all feel on board - that's part of his trademark."