Nashville’s nickname is ‘Music City’ and the home to the headquarters of Gibson Guitars. Several famous artists have wielded a Gibson – Eric Clapton, U2’s The Edge and Slash to name three – so we decided to pay their custom factory a visit with a couple of our players (look out for that video coming soon). It is a remarkable place, with million dollar guitars hanging casually on the wall, and the smell of sawdust thick in the air as chunks of mahogany are painstakingly fashioned into beautiful instruments. By a strange quirk of fate, we discovered that the company was founded in 1894, the very same year MCFC was formed. There was definitely something cool in the air that year!
Open training intensity
The players continued to put in the hard yards at training on Friday at the Nissan Stadium, working through quick touch passing moves and finishing. Despite the high profile games taking place here on tour, a consistent theme of Guardiola’s press conferences has been reference to the physical condition of his players. That, after all, is the name of the game in pre-season and the players are looking strong and sharp with two weeks to go until the Premier League opener at Brighton.
Nissan Stadium City view
The Nissan Stadium is, like many US grounds, open at one end save for the big scoreboard screen. If you’re in the right spot you’re afforded a fine view across the Cumberland River to the Nashville skyline beyond. With a capacity just shy of 70,000, it completes the trio of impressive arenas on City’s tour following the NRG Stadium and the Memorial Coliseum.
It’s been said before but it bears repeating: the US is big. That means when City come to town, dedicated Blues put in heroic cross-country trips to come and see the players. A group of loyal members of the New York Manchester City Official Supporters Club from New York have made the 17-hour car journey down to Music City for the match – a superb effort!
The tour party heads back to the UK after the game for more work in Manchester, before Friday’s trip to Iceland and the West Ham friendly. For the players that have joined during tour – Danilo and Benjamin Mendy – it will be a first taste of their new football base at the City Football Academy. And not long now, of course, before the Blues kick-off the 2017/18 season.