After a much-needed win at the weekend, the lads have got a week off for internationals – let`s see what`s been happening behind the scenes in the latest instalment of Roberto`s Secret Diaries:
Monday: We had a very good win on Saturday against Birmingham. There has been one negative though. Hugo is very worried after his collision with Ben Foster, he got a boot in a very painful place when he challenged for the ball. He`s panicking a bit that he won`t be able to have children any more. We solved that fairly easily; we made him look after Young James and Old James for an hour before he flew out to Spain for Colombia`s match. He lasted 20 minutes – I don`t think he`ll want kids for a while now.
Tuesday: As most of our squad are away on international duty, we`re spending this week doing some alternative training methods. Mr Whelan suggested trying an army-style manhunt, after his traditional idea of bringing back National Service was quashed again. Anyway, Mike Pollitt volunteered to look for the rest of us, so we all fanned out around the countryside around Christopher Park. We`d been hiding and moving about for hours when it started to get dark, and there was still no sign of Mike. I spotted Ben`s hair against the foliage and realised that none of us had been found yet. We went back to the training ground and discovered Mike sat on a deckchair, fast asleep, with a copy of Take a Break magazine on his lap. He must have forgotten what he was meant to do and got bored. That`s the last time we try large-scale hide and seek as a training method.
Wednesday: With so many players away with their countries, this week could have been quite boring. Luckily we have Daniel de Ridder, who is always good for putting a smile on your face, although not always for the right reasons. His latest ruse has been to place ‘energy crystals` around my food at the canteen, in an attempt to get him into the starting eleven. Of course it won`t work, I don`t know why he thinks the crystals have any sort of power, most of them have been lying on Brenda Spencer`s desk as paperweights, and the rest were just the remains of Jordi`s bath bomb.
Thursday: We`ve caught Charles trying to escape yet again. He tried to convince us that Laurent Blanc had called him up to the French squad as a late replacement ahead of their game at the weekend. We agreed to let him go so long as Graham could escort him to the airport. As we suspected, he didn`t check into the flight going to Paris. We certainly aren`t going to let him out of our sight for the rest of the week now – I don`t care what he says, France haven`t switched their home ground to Sunderland.
Friday: Steven is getting quite lonely without Gary, his drinking buddy. I don`t know why Scotland didn`t call both of them up; Craig Levein seems to think they`re trouble. Anyway, to take his mind off his brother being away, Alex Cribley and I thought we`d take him to the pub tonight. Alex played football during the 1980s, so we figured he would be best placed to keep up with Steven once he gets drinking. No chance. I only came along because I thought I`d have to carry them both home, but I don`t remember anything after my second glass of red wine. Alcoholism is contagious; I can`t wait until Gary comes back. Nobody else has a chance of keeping Steven out of trouble.
If you missed any previous entries fear not, they are right here:
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