Wednesday July 14
I SUPPOSE the players would sum up today like this: Woke up, ate, trained, rested, trained, ate, went to bed. But that's the idea of a training camp - the players work hard, eat and rest. Training looked tough again this morning with a series of 80m sprints particularly catching the eye while this afternoon was a lighter ball work session including set-piece routines.
WHILE the lads were sweating it out, Jacques Santini took time to talk to the Swedish press at the training ground before the friendly against Danish outfit FC Copenhagen. He is insisting on speaking English in his conferences and he did brilliantly considering it was only the second time he has spoken to the press in his new language. It always amazes me how well people in other countries speak English - Sweden is the perfect example - or pick it up so quickly (Helder Postiga comes to mind last season) whereas, generally speaking, we tend to struggle when we go abroad. Travelling around with Spurs for the last few years has only opened my eyes to this further. You could speak to a great deal of Swedish people in perfect English yet if we were asked to try and speak in Swedish, I'm sure we'd hit back with a witty 'Ikea, Sven, Abba' type response. Not that I'm complaining - makes my life easier.
JACQUES has spent a lot of time working on the language with his interpreter Roberto (pictured with Jacques and Martin Jol) and it is paying off already, Roberto only chipped in a few times to help him out earlier today. However, he is suffering some nasty side effects to seeing so much of him and admitted in the conference: "Today I had breakfast with Martin and Frank and told them I am now dreaming of Roberto!"
SPEAKING of Roberto, he's getting a bit of stick out here. Various nicknames have cropped up including 'Blakey' (remember 'On The Buses'), Pedro (?) and 'Baldrick' (Blackadder). To be fair to him, he's taken it all in good humour.
WE HAD a visit from American girls team 'Storm Soccer', over from Santa Monica, California, for the Gothea Cup tournament I mentioned earlier. I can't emphasise how big this tournament is - rumour has it that most of the hotels in and around Gothenburg have been snapped up by teams taking part. There must be a few teams staying near out hotel a few miles outside the city - we've heard them returning every night at midnight. Anyway, the girls grabbed Kasey Keller for a chat and the US national goalkeeper was, as ever, was the perfect ambassador for the club and his country.
TABLE-tennis update: I'm reliably informed that Stephen Carr and Robbie Keane are the kings of the doubles, followed by Lee Barnard and Dean Marney. Not sure what's happened to Jacko. I'll keep you posted.
From Paul Miles in Sweden...