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World Cup 17/6/10 - Day 7

What day is it today? Oh yeah – a day off! A chance to give the larynx a breather whilst still punishing other muscles at the preening parlour a.k.a. the gym. I forgot to take Stan’s fitness plan with me to work from, so it was as clueless a workout as you can imagine, but at least I felt I was getting somewhere…despite running on the spot for most of it.

Due to a fractured elbow I sustained nearly 2 years ago now, I cannot straighten my left arm at all, but I’m determined to minimise the lack of movement – thankfully I can still drum without problems…but I can’t drum anywhere near as well as these South African supporters can.

Once you can hear them above those B flat trumpets that is. Actually the vuvuzelas weren’t so much in evidence in Polokwane tonight as the French crashed and burnt 2-0 to the Speedy Gonzales’s of Mexico. More singing heard there rather than the ‘herd of bees’ as my roommate Jim described it the other day.

A load of Mexican fans were in evidence wearing the old Lucha Libre wrestling masks. The idea of England fans turning up in Cape Town en masse tomorrow resplendent in Kendo Nagasaki hoods is doubtful, but I can still dream. Ah, World Of Sport – International Log Rolling or Cliff Diving from Acopulco, the ITV 7 from Haydock and Towcester, Banger Racing from Hednesford and then Wrestling from Croydon Fairfield Halls…and not forgetting the best theme tune to a TV show ever ever ever. You were either Swap Shop then Grandstand or Tiswas then Dickie Davis growing up and I was unashamedly the latter – am I getting sidetracked here?

So, anyway - it’s ‘au revior’ Monsieur Domenech, and not necessarily ‘a bientot’ to Les Blues at a major tournament anytime soon. I do not envy Laurent Blanc’s task when he takes over as manager with that rag-tag bunch of egotists and unrealised potential. We’ll file them in the ‘and you think Capello’s got problems?’ file along with Spain’s defeat and Italy losing their best player with a back injury shall we?

And how about the play antics of the Greek player who got Kaita of Nigeria sent off with the sort of fakery that would warm Rivaldo’s heart. And possibly Diego Simeone’s too. Someone will snap up Enyeama the Nigerian keeper after this tournament, but English clubs would’ve got him a lot cheaper a year ago if they’d gambled. But no, they’d rather wait a year and then spend way over the odds and pile the pressure on him to be worth that expense.

It’s getting very cold again here in our base camp - so cold that Adrian Durham has purchased a hot water bottle and I’ve resorted to the trick I learnt in cold unheated flats wot I have lived in by warming up the bedsheets with the hair dryer…this isn’t a complaint by the way. I packed for cold weather and it’s here so I’m getting on with it. I gather from the wife that it’s lovely back home…

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