Many of the top teams start their pre-season campaign this
weekend, which means the usual long-haul trips.
Manchester United play in Malaysia
on Saturday, Chelsea are in Seattle,
while Liverpool and Tottenham are among the others with visits to Asia planned.
These tours are big business nowadays, with clubs looking to
sell shirts and other merchandise, and consolidate their global fanbase. It has
become almost compulsory for the leading teams.
Whether it is the ideal pre-season preparation, however, I
am not sure. Training sessions are short and matches are played at a low intensity, so you