Mourinho And Guardiola Learn Nothing From Pointless China Trip

Posted: July 25, 2016 in Football, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League
Tags: , , , , , , , ,



(The Jose Mourinho stall at Beijing market proves popular with the locals)

Manchester United and Manchester City flew to China. The idea being that they could take part in the International Champions Cup which would include two games each, one against each other and the remaining one against Borussia Dortmund.

In an eventful week for United they started by being hammered 4-1 by Dortmund before then taking two planes to fly to Beijing, one of which had to make an emergency landing in Tianjin due to bad weather. Quite why the weather was perfectly OK for the other plane to fly the remaining 66 miles or so to Beijing is anybody’s guess, but there you have it.

Next up in the comedy of errors was a Jose Mourinho press conference being held in the open air. This was because the room to be used was deemed as too hot. Obviously, in a massive modern stadium, air conditioning had not been considered necessary. What was ironic was that Pep Guardiola had given his press conference in the same room earlier in the day although, in fairness, he did sweat a lot.

The press conference descended into farce as there was actually a small crowd in the stadium to watch the players train. Consequently, in the background, every time a player was spotted by the crowd, there was a loud cheer and shouting which drowned out the questions and answers from the press and Mourinho.

Then, to add insult to injury, the marquee game between United and City was cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions, (ironically, had they both been in Manchester there would have been no reason to call the game off). This saved any United and City players from any injuries they may have picked up during the meaningless friendly and certainly pleased the managers.

United’s plan was always to return home immediately after the game so they can bring that forward if they so wish.

City, having suffered the over-heated press conference and the cancellation of the game, are staying in China as they have to play Borussia Dortmund on Thursday before flying back to Manchester.

So the two clubs have, at monumental expense, taken a large playing and coaching staff all the way to China. There, they have trained on waterlogged pitches and played one game of football. As for United, all they learned against Borussia Dortmund was that a team who has played four competitive games is fitter than a team who has played one! I suspect Jose Mourinho already knew this before the game. City will probably learn exactly the same lesson except that Dortmund have now played five competitive games!

It is very difficult for outsiders to gauge how much these trips actually generate for the clubs involved. If, for example, the two clubs had chosen not to tour this pre-season, would they have lost anything? I certainly can’t see how they have gained anything from this China trip.

Sponsors would not cancel contracts, fans would not stop supporting “their” team, so the only reason for the clubs to go, despite their claims to the contrary, is to make money. It is quite amusing to think that, with this tour and the five star hotels and first class flights, only playing one game means that the clubs will probably lose money for once.

The sad fact is that it will not make one jot of difference to either of them. United will still try and sign Paul Pogba and anyone else they deem necessary and City will do the same with Stones, Sane and the rest of their wish-list.

Next pre-season they will both tour somewhere else.


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