El World Cup Diario, Day 13: Back home (via the realm of despair)

Nick Harper prepares to welcome home England's brave Lions after bowing out in Brazil...

This Day 13 update of El World Cup Diario may not be as long or as laboured as previous instalments, for the simple reason that we're currently busy doing something else.

For 'something else', read 'standing in the rain at Luton Airport'. That's right. As has become a time-honoured tradition for fans of mediocrity, welcoming the squad back home as they touch down on the tarmac is all part of the great World Cup adventure. It gives us a chance to offer our thanks to those guys for their sterling service overseas, via the medium of waving flags and shouting woo at a plane. We cannot wait to see who turns up in Gazza's plastic tits!

In truth, it's not been the campaign we expected of our brave Lions, but avoiding a whitewashing with a point against a team going completely through the motions is not to be sniffed at. A pointless tournament? In many ways yes, but in the points column and the annals of history, oh no, no, no.

Of course, our England Heroes could have stuck around a bit. Did they really need to board the first flight out of Brazil as soon as last night's final whistle had blown? True, they could have gone on a goodwill tour of an orphanage or helped build a wall in a favela or something worthy like that, but it smells and the people there are quite poor.

Far better to get our lads back home and make like this sorry mess never happened. We can concentrate on the next Premier League season because it is only 52 days away now, and it's better than the World Cup anyway, because an English team always wins it.

Oddly though, as we stand beside the tarmac of runway 12, there's still no sign of The Official England Plane. Maybe it hit turbulence or got lost in Roy Hodgson's Realm Of Despair. Who knows. But let's use this down time to fill you in on some of the stuff that happened on Day 13. So what have we got...

Well, the big story yesterday was not really World Cup related at all. It was all about Yaya Touré, the Ivory Coast midfielder who should have been preparing for his country's tournament-ending defeat against Greece last night, but was instead complaining about his treatment at the hands of his employer, Manchester City.

You'll recall that City irked Yaya by forgetting to buy him an expensive car for his birthday? Well now it turns out they refused him time off to be with his brother, who passed away last week. "I confess that I am still very sad," said Touré, speaking in the pages of France Football. "At the end of the season, I wanted to stay for four or five days with my brother before I flew to prepare for the World Cup with Ivory Coast. Except that City did not want to give me a few days. I went to celebrate the title championship in Abu Dhabi while my brother was in his sickbed."

This was sad news, of course, but Yaya's statement was very long and our attention was quickly stolen by a headline about Louis van Gaal having a lucky penis!

"Maybe Louis does have a golden willy," said Holland winger Arjen Robben. The flying/falling Dutch winger had just been asked about Van Gaal's tactics in the game against Chile, in which both substitutes (including one from Norwich who obviously wasn't Ricky van Wolfswinkel) scored. Never mind that Robben's answer makes no real sense, El Diario was gripped and wanted to know more.

Was it simply a veneer of gold or a solid-gold Johnson? Would it be simply decorative or could it still function normally in removing waste water from Van Gaal's bladder? And would the gold stop at the base or cover both plod and swingers? So many questions, but sadly no real answers.

Oddly, El Diario appears to be the only person waiting to wave at a bunch of disinterested footballers right now. Can we be the only diary in all of England to have been re-energised by last night's heroic goalless draw?

Maybe everyone else thought they were getting back later than this morning, figuring they'd do some charity work before they came home. Not likely. They boarded the plane still dressed in their kit, so they really should be back any minute now.

Other news yesterday? No, there was no other news. An impressive Greece going through by beating Ivory Coast with an improbably late penalty kick? Yes, that happened, and even the Greeks have been good in this World Cup, but nothing else.

Oh yeah, there was something about a bloke sinking his teeth into the shoulder of an opponent. Luis something or other. Uruguayan lad, about so high, large teeth and a look of the night about him. But apparently it was no story at all and we should all just stop talking about it. "This is a football World Cup, not about morality," said Oscar Tabarez, the coach of Uruguay.

Sadly for Oscar, and for Luis, and for Uruguay's hopes of going any further now without him, Sepp Blatter may beg to differ; why Mr FIFA is always big on morals and hot for justice.

Sadly for El Diario, there's still no sign of that sodding plane. It's probably not coming, is it.

Oh, hold on. Don't England's players all live in Dubai now anyway? Maybe they just flew there instead. Bugger.


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