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Hot Temperatures - Hotter Wings

evertonfc.com , 19th July 2011 - 23:28

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It's been another busy 24 hours on the east coast of the United States of America.

The training session on Monday morning was played out in ridiculously high temperatures and the intake of fluids was essential for everyone - even those of us who were merely observing from the side of the pitch.

Dragging my 15-stone frame after a ball that had flashed over the crossbar and away into the distance showed me just how tough it must be for the players. I scarcely had the strength to kick the thing, let alone execute my original plan to chip it into the air and half volley it directly into the feet of Mikel Arteta!

I decided to carry the ball pack and roll it gently to the side of the pitch!

Dave Billows told me that the lads lose up to 2 litres of fluids during these sessions - and that's an awful lot. The Sports Scientist who invents an isotonic drink that replicates the flavour of Samuel Adams American beer will indeed be a rich man.

An ice-cold bottle of ‘Sam' is crucial for me at the end of a hot, busy day!

The curtain came down on Monday after a players meet and greet in O'Neals Bar on South 3rd Street in downtown Philadelphia. Messrs Jagielka, Baines and Cahill joined Graeme Sharp and me in a specially arranged Q&A session with some local and ex-patriot Evertonians.

I always enjoy exchanging banter with the ex-pats - they always seem to miss the same things about home - the football, the Wine Lodge and Ladies Day at Aintree.

It was a great night, Spoonie and Robbie in O'Neals were the perfect hosts and the Hot Chicken Wings were delicious. The next flavour up from ‘Hot' is ‘Inferno' and I will certainly be giving them a tasting before we leave the States.

The Tuesday morning session back at the Philadelphia training complex was another gruelling session for the players. I met up with Ian Munro, a former Glasgow Rangers and Stoke City defender who was David Moyes manager at Dunfermline.

He told me that his former centre-half and captain was always going to be a top, top manager.

Once again the temperatures were nudging the high-90s and I've never seen a group of players so keen to gallop over to the ice bath at the end of training!

Finally for today, a tip.

If you are ever in Philadelphia and need a taxi-cab, always make sure before you enter the vehicle that the driver knows the whereabouts of your destination. The chances are that he won't.

It's a most charming city but it is home to the most incompetent bunch of taxi drivers since Sid James, Hattie Jacques and Kenneth Williams filmed ‘Carry on Cabby'.

We asked our driver on Tuesday evening to ferry us to the PPL Park Stadium.  His response of ‘Where they play the golf?' set the pattern for the rest of the journey...

By Media and Publications Manager Darren Griffiths.

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