I have had a couple of posts recently about fitness for football. Basically the idea is to train functionally - think about the demands of the sport and train for that. You will not be running continuously for 90 minutes....or even for 5 minutes, so why train like that? It makes more sense to build training around sprints, balance work, agility etc rather than long runs.
Anyway, I spotted this article in the Guardian : Appliance of Science replaces gruelling summer slog - footballers in pre season training are doing interval training instead of long runs - it gets them fitter faster and more effectively.
.......McGregor says that Villa's players can cover up to 14km (8.7 miles) over the course of 90 minutes, although that is often in short, sharp bursts giving little value to the old-fashioned long- distance run. Instead much of the training now is intense and also involves the ball. "What we want to try and do is kid the players," says O'Leary. "We want them to be running but running with the ball so they don't realise they're working so hard."
(I'm an Everton fan by the way, hence the photo...)