The players are all back now and it reminds me that pre-season training was never much to look forward to from their point of view. At one time it was run, run, run.

I well remember my team reporting to The Dell. A bus would take them all to the Sports Centre where there was lots and lots of running before eventually a ball would be brought out. At the end of the session their job was to run back to The Dell.

I, of course, had things to do so went by car.

I used to stand outside seeing who got back first and last and I remember one year I was quite impressed by a group of oldies such as Peter Osgood and Alan Ball, bless them, as they came in puffing and panting. I said ‘well done’ but eventually I found out they used to get to the top of Hill Lane and thumb a lift.

Of course, supporters galore would be delighted to take them but apparently even buses stopped to let them on and they would get off about 30 yards round the corner. Happy days.

Now of course most of the Premier League teams have a few days back at the training ground, the ball will be out from day one and then they are off abroad.

The majority of our top-level clubs are now under foreign ownership and possibly they are duty bound to travel to the country they live in.

But when you look at a club like Manchester United who are famous all round the world and have probably more supporters than any other club, their trip this year is to Australia, China and Malaysia. Apparently, it is a total of 20,000 miles.

Whilst this may look attractive and glamorous to most people, I am not sure the manager and his players will be too happy.

I remember when I was with England, Graham Taylor inherited a trip in his first close season which had been planned by the authorities to go off to Australia, New Zealand and Kuala Lumpur.

The air flight alone was about 24 hours to get to Sydney. The games were not too difficult but it really was quite tiring.

Apart from keeping their owners happy, the reason most of these clubs take on these trips is to make money and with the television coverage the Premier League gets now it gives supporters on the other side of the world the chance to get up close and see the players that they admire throughout the season.

Not only are they at the game in these countries but more times than not they are all around the training grounds as well.

It’s not just the big name clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool, who are going to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Japan and the USA, but others too who go away.

Some are more traditional. Burnley, a club I have always admired for even surviving at the top level with a superb manager in Sean Dyche, have games are at Crewe, Port Vale, Fleetwood and Wigan. There will be no need to take an interpreter with them.

Apparently they have one game in Nice, but their total mileage is still only 473.

What all of this means of course is that the season is nearly upon us.

Whilst we may all be watching a weekend of take your pick sporting action with cricket, tennis and motor racing all having big days and another part of the Neville family managing the England netball team as their World Cup starts as well, the focus is slowly moving back to the Premier League already.

The players will certainly all have a suntan but what matters most is have the managers been able to introduce new members of the squad? And have they got one or two who are upset for not being included and how will they handle them when all the team are back together in the dressing room?

These are the sort of problems that managers have which are not always publicised.

The early days I spoke about were when a manager had 14 or 15 first team members in the squad but I believe Manchester United are taking about 26 players with three or four still back home which is a big change.