Not every Premier League team is on a money-driven ego-trip to the other side of the world for pre-season, you know.
Take a look at West Ham United: their short jaunt to face Colchester United tonight has been preceded by games against Boreham Wood, Bournemouth and Cork City, which, if you’re anything like me, you will find reassuringly old-school.
No, not for Sam Allardyce the exotic summer tour of some far-flung corner of the globe – in fact, Bournemouth and Cork are the type of places you imagine Big Sam goes on holiday – but it’s been so far, so good for the Hammers as they aim to avoid the dreaded ‘second season syndrome’ in 2013/14.
Not that they should worry too much: a solid tenth-placed finish last year was achieved fairly comfortably and this summer has been a fruitful one for Big Sam.
The club record purchase of Andy Carroll and 11 goals in three friendly victories has kept momentum ticking along nicely and at 12/25, they can see off Colchester at the Community Stadium.
A draw is 31/10 with the home win a 17/4 chance, but the Hammers are the bet here.
Colchester survived in League One by the skin of their teeth last season and manager Joe Dunne will be hoping for a more enjoyable campaign, but it is hard to see where too much improvement will come from at this stage and West Ham have the beating of a side that lost 11 of their home games last term – the most in the division.
The likes of Kevin Nolan, Mark Noble and Matt Jarvis have been ever-present this summer and Allardyce is expected to name a strong side for the short trip.
And with Colchester possessing such a poor record last season against the better sides in League One – only relegated Bury won fewer points against the top-half teams – West Ham at 12/25 are the obvious shout.