“I always try to train with very good hygiene, eating right, all of these factors. All exercise, good nutrition. I’m just trying to stick to this routine. Obviously, we have no idea when this season will end. resume or if it will resume soon, so I’m just trying to prepare myself for that, really. “
Tuanzebe trains six days a week and we’re talking about her designated “day off”. He isolates himself at home with his family and his brother Dimitri, a former Clitheroe striker, is an invaluable partner in the gymnasium and garden of Tuanzebe to maintain the intensity of Axel. The 22-year-old defender United’s withdrawal symptoms echo across the board.
“You never know what’s going on around the corner, so you always have to be on your guard,” says Tuanzebe. “I have been unhappy this season, whenever it is possible to play regular minutes, there is always a form of breakdown. But even if COVID-19 is there, I feel [physically] ready to play, I would like the season to resume and return to play situations, as long as it is healthy to do so.
“My brother is always there for me whenever I need specific training and the work of the ball comes into play. I am fortunate to have the facilities at home to do gym exercises and have someone out there to push you. Makes you perform better. So I am lucky in this situation. ”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer spoke to Tuanzebe directly after United postponed training sessions at their Carrington complex and is in constant contact with his teammates. Even if United players are separated, social media allows them to maintain a locker room atmosphere through the flexions of their home gyms.
“The manager sent me a message that said, ‘Keep training and keep working and, we don’t know when we will come back, so we don’t want any surprises, as there are discussions and rumors about the number of matches [within a condensed timeframe]. So be in good health, stay in shape and maintain good hygiene.
“The club has been very supportive and has provided training and nutrition plans to oversee this period and we have group discussions – FaceTimes, videos of us practicing. And we have our own Instagram page that we follow to keep and stay up to date with what’s going on with the new training.
“We can reach each other, a few jokes and other things. So it’s good to have this camaraderie still going on. We are a close group, so group chats always fly everyday. Everyone just comes here and there, it’s more about training now with a little competition, the people who put what they’ve done. So everyone gets involved and everyone gets involved, which is good. ”
The surreal trio of a hip strain, a hamstring strain and a global epidemic have derailed Tuanzebe’s progress in a season that started off briskly. He was the center of third choice half behind Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof and, once cup competitions allowed him to play, Tuanzebe put pressure on Lindelof, captained United against Rochdale and started in Newcastle . Solskjaer fatally moved him from center back to right-back with the scoreless game halfway through the second half and Newcastle triumphed 1-0.
This underscored the importance of Tuanzebe and he was short-listed for the Liverpool visit, but injured his hip during the warm-up and missed six weeks. Then in December thigh tension in the League Cup quarter-final victory over Colchester United sidelined Tuanzebe for more than two months.
Tuanzebe returned to the United match team eight days before the suspension of professional football in England. “It’s just frustrating, it’s very difficult to manage mentally. Just because you see everyone progressing and you want to be part of it, I want to improve and be denied this opportunity is very frustrating.
“And coming from the back of last season and so well lent [at Aston Villa], I wanted this season to be special for me, but it didn’t go as planned. But we still have time to improve and start again. ”
United igniters still sang the name Tuanzebe in Manfred Mann’s number one in the 60s, Do Wah Diddy Diddy. “I feel very privileged to have a song, and it’s just real moral support. Even if I don’t play on the field, they always sing my name and ask me about my return and, as a player, you really can’t ask more of the fans and I really appreciate this support.
“We are watching every home game if you are not on the team for whatever reason, so the fans have been very supportive of this tough time for me, which I really enjoyed, and I don’t will never thank them enough. I hope we will be back soon and play Old Trafford. ”
So what’s in store for Tuanzebe’s day off? “I’m just going to spend it watching Netflix or movies, playing PlayStation online. I love my sleep, so I try to sleep in the afternoon if possible, just to pass the time too. I have Money Heist to watch, so I’ll probably give in to that. I need to watch Top Boy and Snowfall. “He keeps himself busy.