It can't be just for the money. Surely it's got to do with the fact that United are a global club and brand and therefore the good ol' folk in China, by their millions, deserve a chance to see the club's players in flesh. That is all noble and just but we also know that it's really about the commercial aspect that sets the club on an ill-managed tour in apparent disregard of the need to have proper preparation for the season.

Indeed, Wayne Rooney and the rest of his England contingent made the plane to China because the club was pushed to come good on its commercial obligations. No sooner had the players hopped off the sponsored jet in Shanghai than a select few were whisked off to attend to commercial obligations.

Of course, it must be remembered that the club's incredible array of sponsors are the reason the club can afford to lay out 100m quid on Paul Pogba. Perspective though dictates that, above all, Manchester United remain a football club whose aim is to ultimately be successful on the pitch. As such, everything around the club should be tailored to achieving that goal.

Whilst the club cannot be blamed for the adverse weather conditions in Beijing that forced the cancellation of a pre-season fixture against Manchester City, it is general metrorological knowledge that at this time of the year, the rains come down hard in that part of the world. Where was the planning in that respect?

So far, the club have a a couple of pre-season games under their belt, one of which was no more than a outing against extremely inferior opposition. When United came up against a side of equal footballing stature in BVB Dortmund on Friday, they endured a football lesson against a side that is far down along their pre-season schedule--even though United start their season before the German side.

A fixture against English opposition (and a rival) would have further given an indication as to where United are in terms of preparations for August. At least Joe Mourinho had the presence of mind to quickly note that the club's summer schedule was fixture light and added a couple of fixtures to it. As such, United remain with a game at the weekend in Sweden to step up their preparations.

Incredibly, it means that if the club had remained with Louis van Gaal, there would have only been a maximum of two pre-season games (including the Wayne Rooney testimonial) before the Community Shield as the China tour would be reduced to one game.

As it stands, Jose Mourinho would have to make headway with a week at the club's training ground back in Manchester before they fly out to Sweden. United's preparations this season hinge on how well they can get back, recuperate and make up lost time on match fitness.

With the rest of the squad returning from holiday next week, and the season kick-off less than three weeks away, Jose has his work cut out to get United ready for the big kick-off. 

Labels: ,