Man Utd the only team not to use GPS under Mourinho
Written by Simon Austin — December 19, 2018
MANCHESTER UNITED were the only team in the Premier League not to use GPS after Jose Mourinho scrapped use of the technology.
GPS is widely used to track the physical performance of players, providing data such as distance covered, number of sprints and top speeds. This is regarded as being important in assessing the fitness of players and monitoring their training.
It is widely used at first team and even Academy level by top clubs and one Premier League practitioner has described the distinctive GPS vests as being “as much a part of the modern player's kit as their shin pads and boots”.
However, Mourinho stopped using GPS at first team level soon after he arrived at Old Trafford in May 2016. This was largely at the behest of his long-time assistant Rui Faria, who had ultimate responsibility for the fitness of the players.
Faria left at the end of last season though and was replaced by Stefan Rapetti, who started to re-introduce GPS this season. Throughout Mourinho's time at the club, United had a contract with Irish GPS firm STATSports, who also supply the England national team, but the technology was used only at Under-23 and Academy level for the majority of the time that the Portuguese was manager.
Mourinho preferred his fitness staff to monitor fitness and load using intuition rather than data.
GPS was first introduced at United by former Head of Performance Tony Strudwick during the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson and continued under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.
The tech will now return under caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was an enthusiastic client in his full-time role at Molde.
He said: “I think it is a great tool for physical coaches and for me as a manager to set parameters on the physical work we do during the week.
“Obviously we have physical measurements after the games and after that we plan next week’s training again. Getting all the little details you think you can see but don’t really know.
“All the facts we need, and all the data we get, is really useful in the planning of weekly and monthly training sessions.”