More On The Pre-Season Tours And Chelsea Selling Their Belgians!

Posted: July 21, 2018 in Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Opinion, Premier League, Tottenham Hotspur
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So the big clubs have jetted off around the world on their pre-season tours. Manchester’s United and City are in America where they will be joined by Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur. Chelsea are travelling around 20,000 miles and starting off in Australia and Arsenal begin in Singapore .

These “far-away” games are followed by matches nearer home in the likes of Dublin and Nice.

Why do teams feel the need to travel so far to play a few games of football? After all, the World Cup has only just finished and a lot of players won’t even be going on tour with them.

As an example, Manchester United will be without Paul Pogba, Romelu Lukaku, Marouane Fellaini, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard, Marcos Rojo, Victor Lindelof and Ashley Young, whilst Manchester City will be missing Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Agüero, Vincent Kompany, Ederson, David Silva, Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, John Stones and Kyle Walker.

Yet, even without these stars, they still feel the need to fly thousands of miles to play football in countries where the fans will only ever get to see meaningful games on TV.

These tours are now somewhat akin to those of rock stars where they will try and fit in as many gigs as possible in the short time available. The problem is that not many fans would turn up to see The Rolling Stones if Mick Jagger decided he wasn’t touring, or U2 without Bono as lead singer.

So why should they be expected to turn up when half of a team’s star players are missing?

The Manchester United versus Club America friendly was played at a stadium boasting a capacity of 63,400 yet only 37,660 could be bothered to attend the game.


Tahith Chong – One of the stand-out performers during the friendly against Club America

José Mourinho later described it as a “good workout” but it amounted to no more than a training session which could have been played against opposition just as good, if not better, in England. So why go all the way to the USA to play a friendly?

These games, according to the clubs involved, are a way of letting distant fans see their favourite players first hand. Well that is just a downright lie and is an insult to the intelligence of even the most ardent supporter.

Most of the favourite players, as we have previously pointed out, aren’t even on the tour so how are distant fans going to see them first hand.

If that truly was the reason for going then this year’s pre-season tours would have been cancelled. The explanation would have been relatively straightforward and would go something like the following:-

The club regrets the cancellation/absence of it’s pre-season tour this year due to circumstances beyond it’s control. As fans will be aware, there has been a World Cup and this has resulted in extended breaks being given to players involved in the competition. As they will not be available to tour the club does not feel it right to expect supporters to pay large amounts of money to turn out and watch players they have never heard of. We thank you for your understanding in this matter”.

But this, of course, hasn’t happened. Why not? Because the clubs involved are only really interested in making money. They couldn’t care less about the fans and only travel such distances because they are the countries in which the most money is likely to be made.

They will debut their new kit for the following season, in the hope that a few hundred thousand will be sold. The bigger European clubs will, at some stage, play against each other to generate massive crowds to make even more money. The pre-season is just one big greed festival.

They will then return home, add all the money they made on tour to all the money generated by shirt sales at home and all the money paid to them by the TV companies and this will allow Liverpool, for example, to spend £67 million on a goalkeeper!

The world, particularly that of football in Europe, has gone completely mad!

And finally…..


Are this pair about to elope to Madrid together? Does Hazard even know that Courtois already has a girlfriend?

Could Chelsea really be about to lose both Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois to Real Madrid?

Yes, according to The Daily Express and The Daily Star. The former reckons that a fee of £170 million has been agreed for Hazard and the latter reports a fee of £31 million has been agreed for Courtois, although why he would be valued so much lower than Alisson is a bit of a mystery even if he does only have one year left on his contract.

So with two world-class Belgians possibly leaving the club can Chelsea still be expected to mount a title challenge? Answers on a postcard or, alternatively, in the comments section below.

  1. RedMe says:

    What is wrong with a pre-season in Europe? They could play the games at a time whereby the Americans get out of bed to watch the game. What about the fans in Africa? Not enough money?
    Obviously more money to be made in the USA selling the shirts and tickets for even more money.
    The year the world cup is played the pre-season tour is a joke. But money matters more, lets hope they don’t pay the price in the league.


  2. pauleee says:

    Title challenge!? Wait, I thought we were placing bets on the point gap between City and the rest of the galaxy?

    I’ve already got knots in my stomach thinking about losing them. I take only a little solace in knowing we won’t be losing Willian to United. He’s going to Barcelona. Ha, take that!

    I would have thought these guys might like to get an idea of what is in the plans before jumping ship. It appears Sarri will employ a more attacking strategy, which should at least make them consider what the season has in store for them. Waiting so long to lock down a manager certainly didn’t help matters, but they wouldn’t have been to camp yet no matter what. Why wouldn’t they all want a face-to-face with the new manager?

    Challenge for the title? No, I don’t think so, not in any meaningful way. I’m optimistic for the season, though. New manager, new style of play, new set of players attempting to prove they’re better than the ones who left. Good stuff. When can we start? Prediction: 3rd place and the FA Cup.

    Now, what we SHOULD do is ponder whether Guardiola is sacked mid-season or at the end of it.


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