Monday, 13 October 2014

Summer Tour Was It An American Dream

Is the new idea of touring thousands of miles from home the correct way to prepare a squad for a long season, when the pressure will be on from day one?  This year it was America with huge distances to complete between games, we have to ask ourselves is it worth it, for some obvious advantages or would it be better to have the players back at Melwood working away to be in tip top condition for Southampton?   I think that it could be, there are lots if advantages that could out way any downside.
   Firstly we are completing a relatively normal pre season the players are working on their fitness, they are integrating new signings with the squad, they are working on tactics, formations and systems and they are reintroducing work that they had done last year on the training ground along with spending time together presumably improving team spirit and they are doing it under the supervision of the manager, coaches, dieticians, doctors etc twenty four hours a day, whilst if they were at home I presume, they would be spending many hours a day away from the club.  Now I know all our players are the perfect professionals but there is always the opportunity for boys to be boys so let's just keep a close eye on them.
   There is also the chance to meet fans allowing many people to see their heroes in the flesh that would otherwise never have a chance of watching anything other than coverage on television and they have certainly taken the opportunity in their thousands.  The players deserve credit for the extra work they have taken on, I have enjoyed the stories and photos we have seen from the other side of the world with local supporters certainly letting the players know they are welcome.  In fact, I'm left a little jealous as they often appear to have better access to players than we do back home and we are all getting used to new signings telling us how the worldwide support shows to them just how big a club we are.  I personally, and I think many other supporters also enjoy the team playing in iconic stadiums some of the pitches were a little shabby but Liverpool playing at Fenway Park, Soldier Field or the home of the New York Yankees with according to Twitter "Liverpool fans turning the Bronx red" is something that doesn't happen every day


                            Liverpool playing at Fenway Park the home of Boston Red Sox

   The games themselves we have to admit are friendlies and by their nature do not have the competitive element that we are all used to in the premier league but, I still enjoy them.  There is the obvious excitement of see new signings and the opportunity to see If some of the younger players may be ready for the step up or loan players have returned better for their time away.  The results for Liverpool have been generally positive and that can't do any harm and again we have seen an improvement from game to game as more first team players returned and players got fitter increasing confidence and optimism for the season ahead.  With talk of sometime in the future a 39th game it is always better to be prepared so a bit of experience of playing in U.S.A and Australia can only help if this ever comes around.
   Despite all of the above excellent reasons for visiting America we all know the real reason for this tour and I'm sure any in the future is money, partnership deals will be struck and solidified, sponsorship will be sought, merchandising will be maximised, tickets and television will be sold and prize money will be won. I cant imagine how much this all adds up to but I heard two million pounds, in prize money alone, for reaching the final,not an amount to be sniffed at.  We can all be cynical about money grabbing but money is a necessary evil, we all want the signings and the ground improvements, we all want the trophies and in modern day football to achieve these you need the cash.
   I have enjoyed this tour as a supporter and I'm certain the American Reds have enjoyed it.  I'm certain the money will have been made and the ground work done for more deals in the future.  We will have to wait and see if it has been good or bad for the players performance on the pitch at the start of the season but I believe that we are no worse off than if the squad had stayed at home, so I am pleased to say that I think these summer tours are here to stay and I don't think our American supporters will have to long to wait before Liverpool return.


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