Tuesday August 3
IT WAS a slightly bleary eyed crew that emerged for breakfast at 7.45am on Tuesday for a quick bite to eat before heading off for training.
With a late-ish night following arrival on Monday, a few alarm calls were put into the rooms by Chris Hughton. Now Ledley King and Anthony Gardner are known to like their kip, but I put it to them after breakfast that, as new fathers, they should be removed from the call list. Cue a spot of knowing laughter, they both responded that a trip away with the team was the perfect way to catch up on some un-interrupted z's at night.
A short bus ride followed to the training base, a small ground that is home to Rinconada. The heat was building every minute, but a tough session still followed before we returned to the hotel at 11.30am.
Most of the players then had a rest mapped into the day's schedule but Robbie Keane - who is looking better all the time and able to do his ball tricks - joined Frank Arnesen at a Kappa Cup media briefing at the Olympic Stadium.
Other coaches and players were there to say a few words about the competition and an interpreter was on hand to translate either English into Spanish or the other way around. He was made redundant when it was Frank's turn to speak - Frank said his piece in both English and Spanish.
Departure for the game was at 4.45pm for a 7.15pm kick-off and it was certainly a bit warm inside the Olympic Stadium. The imposing structure allowed for little in the way of breeze and sweat beads were rolling off the head in the press box. I would imagine it was 10 times worse at pitch level - but good for the fitness, all the same.
From Richard Hubbard in Seville...