What on earth do we do now??
- 11 Jul 06, 11:21 AM
LONDON - I asked one of the journalists who has been working on the football desk during the World Cup and who normally runs our games section, how he felt about the end of the sport's showpiece...
Got any suggestions to help him get over the void in his life?
Germany's footballing soap opera gripped us for 31 days.
Now it’s all over I'm left feeling like I've had a five-week fling with Kate Moss .... and been dumped for Bernard Manning.
A quick glance at the TV guide makes for depressing reading. Where once there was Argentina v Serbia & Montenegro, followed by Holland-Ivory Coast and Mexico v Angola, you can now watch Bad Girls, Just Jade and Love Island (they had to drop the ‘Celebrity’ bit because no-one knows who the contestants are).
Then there’s Only Fools on Horses. Jenni Falconer and J-Lo sounds like an interesting combination – until you realise one of them has four legs.
The pub is always an option, but the big screens are now showing Love Island, and even the old soak in the corner has stopped telling you how he would have galvanised England's team into World Cup winners.
Still, it’s not all bad news – there’s only 39 days until the Premiership resumes and we can, at last, get back to watching some ‘proper football’ - none of this fancy dan 24-pass build-up malarkey. Can’t wait.
And if you can't wait til then, the Champions League begins again - this evening with Linfield v Gorica (live coverage commentary on this website!)
It’s no good, this World Cup thing is going to be a very difficult habit to kick. Hang on, though, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, with the Euro 2008 qualifiers up and running in September. The rest of the home nations are back in the mix, but it could make for uncomfortable viewing all round as the groups progress.
Northern Ireland will be partying like it’s 1982 if they can see off Spain, while Wales and the Republic are visiting Germany a few months later than planned.
England should see off the might of Andorra but you wouldn’t bet against Guus Hiddink having the final say when Russia come a-calling.
And then there’s poor old Scotland, who have the small matter of the World Cup winners and the World Cup runners-up in their group – although one suspects they might be more concerned about the thought of tackling their least-favourite banana skin the Faroe Islands.
But can we really get as excited about the Euros as the World Cup? Course not.
That empty feeling inside will only properly disappear in the summer of 2010. Put another way that’s 1,430 shopping days until England (hopefully) kick off their campaign in South Africa.
And 1,454 days until whichever team Big Phil Scolari is managing sends them home with their tails between their legs.