Do pre-season results matter?

The football season is around the corner as teams across the continent play there last few pre-season games. They have come from a long season which was condensed as a result of the winter World Cup. The long season did see a increase in injuries which is detrimental for a footballers career in the long haul.

The break between the end of the season and start of the new one is necessary for players to rest and recuperate .The pre-season is used to get players fit ahead of the new season. There are reasons why you should not take results from pre-season games seriously and reasons why you should.

Teams are at different levels of fitness

During pre-season, one team could play another who was more fit. This would be the case as they were further ahead in their pre-season schedule having played more games. A perfect example of this is the Barcelona vs Arsenal, where the latter ran out 5-3 winners.

The result should be taken with a pinch of salt since it was Barcelona’s first preseason game, while Arsenal had played five games. Since Arteta’s side had played more pre-season games, they would be sharper and play at a quicker tempo. The Spanish giants would tire quickly since they had not played a game since their LaLiga campaign ended.

Can be used to implement new signings

Pre-season can be a way in which new signings can get used to playing with new teammates. A perfect example of this would be Andre Onana who joined Manchester United this transfer window from Inter Milan.

The Cameroonian international needs pre-season in order for his team-mates to get used to his style of play. This is the case because him and De Gea have completely contrasting goalkeeper styles – Andre Onana is more of a modern goalkeeper as he can play out from the back. Implementing this signing will not be so difficult seeing as the Cameroonian goalkeeper played for Ajax under the tutelage of the Dutchman.

There are more substitutions

In pre-season games, managers can take off a starting eleven. This is to give more players a run-out before the season starts in order to get them up to match speed. This means that the flow of the game can drastically change. Furthermore, if the best players come off ,the opposing team will have the upper hand, providing they don’t take off their best players as well. The result should not be taken seriously as the difference in quality is huge.

Managers can try new ways of playing football

During pre-season managers can implement new ways of playing football and try out new formations. This means there is some importance placed on the result. as if the formation works/system works, it will likely bring a good result if not exciting football.

Pre-season is also the best time to try new systems and formations as it will not matter anywhere near as much in contrast to trying it in a Champions League final. For instance, Pep Guardiola played İlkay Gündoğan as the lone six instead of Rodri in the 2021 Champions League final, which cost his team in the end.

Pre-season results should not be taken seriously since the results will not result in a meaningful trophy. Plus, it is used to get footballers up to speed. Since they are at different levels of match fitness, it would not be fair to use that as a gauge for how well the team will do in the upcoming season. A team can also win all their pre-season games and start their domestic campaign badly.

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