Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is replicating what Sir Alex Ferguson has done by taking them to the middle east to rest the players and post a training camp with less intensity. The Manchester United manager could not have asked for a better start to his Premier League campaign by securing five wins out of five games.
The Red Devils spent a week at Nad Al Sheba Sports Complex last year following their ejection from the League Cup by Bristol City. It was a torrid time, and the former manager Jose Mourinho wasted no time to travel to the middle east and help the players gain morale.
Sir Alex Ferguson said that his team often comes to the Middle East for its beautiful setup.
“Dubai is our first location in the Middle East. When you see the plan and vision in Dubai Sports City it makes you wonder why we haven’t been out here earlier. It’s a truly amazing set-up.”
After a demoralizing defeat to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League and Northampton Town in the FA Cup, Sir Alex Ferguson decided to take a week off at the UAE in 2004.
Many photos popped up which saw Cristiano Ronaldo in a rubber dingy, Ferguson and Mike Phelan in the training course, and Emirati Sheikh Rashed bin Mohammed Al Maktoum invited the manager to the palace to gift honor him.
Following the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, clubs will be considering themselves to travel to Saudi Arabia. But, Manchester United did travel there in 2008 and played a friendly against Al Hilal club which resulted in a 3-2 defeat.
This got featured in the MUFC documentary with Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra dancing in Prince Abdullah Palace, Anderson riding a camel, and Rafael da Silva’s hilarious golf attempt.
Ferguson said “We’re resting on Tuesday. Some of the players will stay by the pool and get some sun, some will play golf. I’ll certainly be playing golf. Then we’ll have two training sessions on Wednesday before heading back home.”
The results got improved massively and the Red Devils were able to lift the Premier League.
After two years, it was the same continent, but a different destination – Qatar. Since it is one of the richest countries in the world with tremendous facilities, they were able to spend their test to the fullest.
Manchester United were beaten 3-0 by Burnley, and 2-1 by Manchester City in the League Cup semi-final. Sir Alex understood that the whole squad needed some time away from the normal routine.
The much needed off time saw them overcoming their arch-rivals in the first leg and rinsed Arsenal 3-1 at Wembley in the finals to lift the trophy.
The club then traveled to Qatar in 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes’ squad flew to Dubai a year later.
Most of them were all success for the Red Devils and Solskjaer wasted no time in taking his team there. After overcoming a huge hurdle by closing down the gap to the fourth place, the players will have a huge responsibility to step up and qualify for the Champions League next term.
Tottenham Hotspur will invite Manchester United to Wembley when they go head-to-head on Sunday.