Pre-seasons after major international tournaments are difficult for every club in the Premier League to manage.
That’s even more pertinent this summer, with the players coming off the back of a hectic 2020/21.
Manchester United are still waiting for their remaining internationals, including new signing Jadon Sancho to return to training.
Solskjaer said after last night’s 2-2 draw with Brentford that they’ll be back on Monday, which leaves them 12 days and just one friendly before the Premier League season kicks off against Leeds on 14 August.
And when Solskjaer was asked by the club’s website whether pre-season is going to plan, he wasn’t quite sure how to answer.
“It’s a difficult question to answer,” he admitted.
“Yes, the boys who have been here are working hard and we can see the benefit they’re getting but there are still players away so you don’t really know how they are, how much they’ve worked.
“Every year when there’s an [international] championship it’s a difficult summer but we’ll work with the players when they come back.”
Hopefully this start to the season is better than last
The pre-season preparations for the 2020/21 campaign were paper-thin.
United were knocked out of the Europa League by Sevilla on 16 August and played the first game of their Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace on 19 September.
Having little more than a month between seasons was ridiculous and United were only able to get one match in – a 1-0 loss at Aston Villa.
United suffered for it, making a very slow start including a 3-1 home defeat to Crystal Palace followed by a 6-1 thrashing at home to Spurs. Solskjaer can’t afford a similar opening to next season.
This summer’s preparations have been longer and fuller and the players who have been able to take a full part will benefit from it.
But as Solskjaer alludes to, having some of his top players getting just 12 days of club training before the season starts isn’t ideal.
As he says, plenty will depend on the condition the players return in.
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