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TLOTLDR - World Cup Blog Day 17 (17th June 2014)

So I'm staying of course at the Leme hotel (pronounced 'Lemmy') and after last night it's clear that it's 'No Sleep Til São Paulo'! (Another in joke for the headbangers)

Couldn't get a wink of sleep - having to get out if bed, dress and go to the lobby to do a report into the breakfast show at 3.45am local time just broke the monotony of staring at the blinking red light of the smoke alarm in my room, strategically positioned right above the bed so as to burn into your retina even when you have your eyes firmly shut trying to block it out.


Took my first serious daytime walk along Copacabana beach after breakfast and instantly regretted it. Mainly because, thanks to the joyless nerks in life who hate you for having this job, you start to feel guilty if you treat this trip even slightly like anything other than a job of work. But stuff em, I thought, I'll walk a bit further anyway, just to show em.

My impression repertoire on the England media 'fun bus' is extending beyond Graham Taylor catchphrases. My Graham Courtney and Stan Collymore routines were well received this morning en route to Urca. They'll soon get tired of them. They really will.

Back to the England camp we went and chatted with Frank Lampard and the man of the moment, Raheem Sterling about what's to come on Thursday. You cannot imagine, given his impact on Saturday, that Sterling will not start against Uruguay. Lampard looks set to retain a watching brief which he admitted to me was a 'bit edgy' for him in Manaus and likened it to what Chelsea fans must've felt watching Bayern Munich in the Champions League final!

He went on to defend Wayne Rooney who remains the chief concern for England fans as to his worth in a starting XI. The reports about him 'training with the reserves' yesterday have been firmly debunked by Gary Neville and the FA themselves - although I can hear some cry 'well they would, wouldn't they?' - and I firmly believe only an injury in tomorrow's session at the stadium in São Paulo will prevent Rooney starting the game? He and Sterling might swap roles from the Italian game but nothing against suggest to me that Rooney's place is under threat. Yet.

As for Sterling? He appears to be taking everything neatly in his quickening stride despite his relative lack of experience in front of the media. I believe Uruguay should be more concerned about what he can do than we should be about a Luis Suarez lacking match practice facing us. If he wasn't deployed at 2-1 down to Costa Rica, he isn't 100% as he insists in my opinion. Only the next 48 hours will bear that one out...

Did one of those Twitter Q&A sessions with Hannah & the good folks at Vauxhall back at the hotel. A surprising lack of abuse came my way...which was nice. Most of the questions centred around systems other than 4-2-3-1 for England. Like 4-1-2-1-2 - which sounds narrower than the road that leads up to the England media centre. And believe me, when your sat on the fun bus within millimetres of hitting just about anything and everything en route, you know 'narrow'.

Brazil look ordinary as I watch their one-paced performance against Mexico. For the first 20 minutes, I turned my telly down to hear the reaction of fans on Copacabana beach...and then turned it back up with not a lot happening in front of goal or across the road for that matter. Quite how Mexican 'keeper Ochoa has been allowed to run his contract down at Ajaccio without being sold beforehand is beyond me. Some daft Twitter rumour began circulating to the effect that he had 6 fingers on one hand!?! Anne Boelyn had 6 fingers according to legend. Henry VIII had her beheaded...if Ochoa keeps a clean sheet tonight he'll feel like a king in Fortaleza! And his agent? Well. Kerching.

And he did! Keep a clean sheet that is! 

Was hoping to see some friends from Brum tonight for a catch up, but Billy no mates was blown out and I ended up people watching again from a bar just up the road from the hotel. Lots of argumentative Brazilians in very animated conversations as they sat eating. Was trying to earwig and listen out for the C-word i.e. Coutinho. He isn't in this squad and Fred, Jo, Bernard and Cyril (or something) are. A travesty.

Well at least I'm not on breakfast duty in the morning. That would be a travesty for a man with energy levels similar to Fred's up front tonight. Given that my sleeping habits have been somewhat...erratic, Russia v South Korea is currently testing my patienczzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

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