“Go all in” – Arne Slot’s words to Liverpool players in new pre-season fitness test

It was back to business for Liverpool as pre-season got underway on Friday, and while only a small group of players were involved, there was plenty to take in.

We are now looking forward instead of behind us as Arne Slot stepped into his official duties, first with a photoshoot and press conference before overseeing the start of pre-season.

The club named eight players who were to return, but 16 in total were spotted at the AXA Training Centre on the first day doing gym work and running on the outside pitches.

Liverpool’s ‘Inside Training’ video gave us a good glimpse of what transpired, and here is what we noticed.


The lactate test has been replaced

The dreaded lactate test became a hallmark of a Jurgen Klopp pre-season, but with the German no longer in the building that has changed.

The Reds were instead seen doing a six-minute race test, which saw players run as fast as possible for six minutes to cover maximum distance in that time.

It evaluates maximal aerobic speed and the performance staff can use the data to plan accordingly based on each player’s results.

“Go all in,” was Slot’s final words as he joked that Sepp van den Berg told him he was going to win – but in his group, Conor Bradley claimed that title!

It looks and sounds just as appealing as the lactate test…


Good to see these familiar faces

Considering all the changes in the wake of Klopp’s departure, it was good to see some familiar faces in the fitness department and beyond going about their business.

Conall Murtagh, first-team fitness coach, was a vocal presence throughout the first session, while Jordan Fairclough, assistant fitness coach, was back working closely with the players.

Lee Nobes, head of physiotherapy, remains at the club and was quietly going about his work as the cameras followed the players and Slot throughout the day.


Ruben Peeters easing in

Peeters acted as the head of performance under Slot at Feyenoord across each of the last three seasons and has followed him to Anfield.

He was present throughout the first day of testing but you could sense him easing into his new role as lead physical performance coach, with Murtagh instead being the prominent voice.

Though you could hear Peeters say before the six-minute race test that “This is a really important test for the manager, it will show your fitness levels so try to go as fast as possible.”

No doubt we will be seeing and hearing more from him in the near future.