Five reasons to be excited for Tour 2022
Tour 2022 is getting closer and closer, with the Manchester United squad set to depart for Thailand on Friday 8 July.
We’ll play arch-rivals Liverpool in Bangkok four days later, before moving on to Australia, where two games in Melbourne and one in Perth await.
Melbourne Victory and Crystal Palace will be the opposition in the first destination, before we play Aston Villa at the Optus Stadium on Saturday 23 July. All of the action will be shown live on MUTV.
It’s an exciting time of year for United fans and here are five reasons why you should be all over it, starting with the new man at the helm…
It’s been two months since Ten Hag was announced as United’s new manager and a month since his unveiling at Old Trafford. But, with the 52-year-old enjoying a well-deserved holiday over the summer, we’ve yet to see him working with the squad. Tour 2022 will therefore mark the true start of the Ten Hag era and we'll watch the matches and training sessions with intrigue, to see how the Dutchman applies his Ajax-honed footballing philosophy to United.
TOUR: IT’S BEEN A WHILE
Can you believe it’s been three years since we last embarked on a pre-season trip abroad? Leeds, Perth Glory, Tottenham, Internazionale, Kristiansund and AC Milan were the opposition in Perth, Singapore, Shanghai, Oslo and Cardiff back in the summer of 2019. The Covid-19 pandemic made international travel impossible in 2020 and 2021, meaning we had to settle for domestic friendlies, often in front of reduced crowds – or no crowds at all. Now, United can play before full houses of our fervent supporters all around the world again, and we can’t wait to rekindle those relationships.
BRUNO’S FIRST TOUR
Bruno Fernandes was still a Sporting Club player the last time United went on tour. Three years, 126 appearances and 50 goals later and he is now established as a firm fan favourite. This will be the first opportunity our Portuguese magnifico has had to connect with supporters around the world; many past and present Reds admit the first time they realised the true global size of United was when they stepped off the plane and were greeted by pure bedlam! So, Bruno, and the other players who have signed in recent years: prepare to be overwhelmed!
Last season was probably Marcus’s most difficult as a United player, with fitness and form restricting him to five goals in 18 starts. It can’t have helped that he missed our brief pre-season preparations last summer, as well as the first two months of the campaign, due to an operation on a shoulder injury. It was the first real break the forward had had in five years as a professional, but he couldn’t quite hit his straps upon returning. Hopefully, after a summer of rest and then hard work in the gym, we’ll see the old Rashford once again on tour.
CHANCE FOR YOUNG PLAYERS
Tours are always a great opportunity for the next generation to make their mark, impress and – who knows – perhaps convince the manager that they’re worth a place in the team when the season proper gets under way. The likes of Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck have previously shown their worth during pre-season and there's usually a contingent of Academy players taken along to gain experience. There's plenty of excitement around United's young players now, after the Youth Cup win last month, so Ten Hag may want to see a few of the kids up close.