Pre-season tours are stressful - but you have to get on with it

A tour of America or Asia has become a regular part of pre-season training for some German clubs. Or to be more exact: it is a summer marketing tour for some German companies.

It has been common practice in England a lot longer than in Germany, I know that from my time at Chelsea. It is just part of the business. That's why I can't understand the panic about the Bayern's losses to Inter and AC Milan.

These trips are really stressful, for players; the travel, the heat, the matches - there is very little time to relax and recuperate. It is mainly a marketing campaign and a huge task for the player. No manager is really happy about it, but this balancing act is part of the game. The club decides. You have to manage it. There is no option.

I really appreciate that the traditional fans, those who have followed the game through it all, prefer the days when clubs were clubs and not businesses. It is important that clubs maintain a connection to these fans, but you can't stand still while the game changes around you. Adapting is an important part of the game.

The real problem occurs when the clubs are struggling during their first games of the new season due to their toll the pre-season tour has taken on the players. Bayern can avoid these issues with the strength and depth of their squad but it is not so easy for the smaller teams.

From my experience, it is only during the last couple of days of a pre-season the players get back to full fitness for the season ahead. Once Bundesliga starts, preseason and last season do not matter. This is the one truth that every club knows.

Super Cup: Bayern can take advantage as Dortmund adapt to Bosz

Saturday, 19:30
Live on BT Sport 1

This is a game that football fans all over the world look forward to. The first meaningful game of the season and, for the fourth time in five years, it features Munich and Dortmund.

A win or a strong performance can help a team hit the ground running for the new season, but a Super Cup win does not guarantee a good season. I am really curious about both teams, how they will line up and approach the game.

Bayern have been relatively quiet in the transfer market so far compared to the other big European teams. The question is: is their squad strong enough to be in the mix for the Champions League title?

I was impressed by Dortmund last year. Thomas Tuchel's departure was not down to their performances on the pitch, it happened due to issues behind the scenes.

The team must band together behind the new manager, Peter Bosz. How long will that take? Such a process needs time. There is always an adapting phase when a new manager is bringing in his new philosophy.

But Bosz has shown how to play successful and attractive football at Ajax. I am curious about Dortmund as I think the appointment of Bosz and the quality in the squad will lead to an exciting season for them.

It is an important test on Saturday - for both teams - but with Dortmund finding their way at this stage of the season, I'll take Bayern on two-goal handicap at 15/2.

Recommended Bet
Back Bayern Munich -2 v Borussia Dortmund at 15/2

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