Check out part three of our four-part A to Z pre-season feature. Click on the main image to launch a gallery.
As well as seeing the Reds in action on matchdays, local fans also have the chance to watch players being put through their paces by Sir Alex and his coaching staff at open training sessions, usually the day before games. Things don’t always go to plan, though: an electric storm put a halt to training in Kansas City two years ago, while a mini pitch invasion by excited fans temporarily stopped proceedings in Guangzhou in 2007.
On those rare occasions when a winner fails to emerge from a 90-minute tour friendly, the Reds have been involved in some epic penalty shootouts contested to decide the victor. Unfortunately, United’s record in pre-season friendly shootouts is horrendous, having lost the last six. Bayern Munich (twice), Kaizer Chiefs, AC Milan, Internazionale and Newcastle have all edged the Reds from 12 yards, leaving Aberdeen as our sole shootout victims since 1990. Throw silverware into the mix, however, and it’s a different story. Just ask John Terry.
Tours provide rare opportunities for members of the local media to grill Sir Alex Ferguson and his players on a variety of matters, and they make the most of their opportunties. Upon landing in a given destination, the squad often hot-foots it straight from the airport to a press conference to address any burning issues, while commercial visits also provide opportunities for questioning. Of course, the burden on the players is further increased by those snooping souls at ManUtd.com, MUTV and Inside United.