MANCHESTER United admitted that the draw for the Champions League was not exactly as they wanted it when it was made yesterday. David Gill, present at the draw, declared the outcome for his side was “interesting” because it featured the league Champions of Germany and trips back to Turkey and Russia.
It’s at times like this we can be thankful we have David Gill at the club at all, after all it is he and the Americans that plan very long trips to Asia for Pre Season when it makes no sense to anyone but those in charge of the bank books at Old Trafford. David Gill said yesterday that it was easy to get bogged down and scared by the thought of travelling huge distances and get “psyched out by that sort of thing”. He is quite confident that this will not happen to United. Well he should because United does, after all, cover such distances as a matter of routine. It comes with being a successful football team and a football brand that needs to sell its image in all corners of the world.
If you would like more background on the travelling issue within Manchester United, GtS suggests reading the August edition of Red News when in the Hot Gossip section RN takes David Gill “to task for talking of the fustrations of cancelling the Indonesian Leg of the Far East tour”. United fanzines Red News and Red Issue both “warned against touring a destination with such history of terrorist incident”, especially after other teams had cancelled such games in the area. The world and his dog was advised not to travel there but United, possibly spurred on by the financial rewards of appearances there were all set to go. Then, the experts told United that it was not safe after all, leaving United ‘fustrated’.
So yes, Manchester United are confident that long away trips to Turkey and Russia will not bother the squad. They just keep racking up those frequent flier miles and this time it’s in the name of European Glory.
United’s group stage fixtures
Tuesday 15 September: Besiktas (a)
Wednesday 30 September: Wolfsburg (h)
Wednesday 21 October: CSKA Moscow (a)
Tuesday 3 November: CSKA Moscow (h)
Wednesday 25 November: Besiktas (h)
Tuesday 8 December: Wolfsburg (a)