Thursday July 14
JUST ONE training session today and after some running, straight into a full-scale practice match, with Jacques Santini and his coaches pulling play back every now and then to work on specific parts of the game. There were plenty of fans in again including a few familiar faces from England. Lunch was at 1pm and the players relaxed before departing to the game.
ANOTHER case of 'what a result the rest of the world speaks English' as I went to the local shopping centre. How exactly do you say 'hello, would it be possible to look at a ring (it's okay, my wife knows what she's getting, just not what it looks like) in that cabinet' in Swedish? I'll tell you exactly how I approached it.
Shop assistant smiles in a 'they don't normally say hello around here' type way.
Me, sheepishly: "I'm English." Just in case she hadn't worked it out. "Would it be possible to look at a ring in that cabinet?"
Shop assistant: "Of course."
There you go, perfect Swedish. It's a doddle out here...
BACK to the hotel and a shirt dilemma before the match. There was blue shirt number one (wore it on plane), blue shirt number two (wore it Tuesday), blue short number three (not worn it, might need ironing), blue shirt number four (travelled well, no creases). No prizes for guessing which one I went for! We left the hotel at 6pm for the shortish (approximately 20 miles) journey to Gothenburg. Watched the first 45 minutes of SWAT in the coach and we'll soon be experts on the opening credits and scenes of all films. We managed 45 minutes of Bad Boys 2 (not my cup of tea, but great car chase) the other night.
IT'S always difficult to tell exactly looking out of a coach window but Gothenburg looks a lovely city. The Ullevi Stadium must be almost unique in shape and 15,000-plus fans, including many kids playing in the Gothia Cup in the city, made for a great atmosphere. We were treated at half-time to a couple of Swedish pop stars (where are Chas 'N' Dave when you need them?) and everyone seemed pleased with the 2-2 draw.
WE WERE back at the hotel at 11pm, dinner and bed as quickly as possible - it's another 7am start on Friday.
From Paul Miles in Sweden...