IF YOU WANT A HEADLINE HERE, JUST REFER TO YESTERDAY'S
Even by the godawful standards of England press conferences, today's meeting between Mr Roy, Wayne Rooney and some of the most distinguished members of a profession that wonders why it is on its battered backside was a dismal, depressing and utterly contemptible charade. Highlights included an England football manager finding himself actually saying "one would prefer that there were no situations where people were making mistakes in their tweeting" and Rooney struggling manfully to come up with a reasonable answer to an inquiry as to whether news that his wife is expecting a second child makes him "doubly determined to beat San Marino".
Let us now pause to see whether we can summon the will to go on.
[Fiver receives clip around the ear and order to go on]
OK then. Mr Roy was asked about Ryan Bertrand's apology for including the eff word in his tweet about zzzzzzzz ...
Let us pause now to see whether we can summon the will to go on.
[Fiver receives powerful knee to the lower abdominal region, and order to go on]
Right. Mr Roy was asked about Ryan Bertrand's apology for tweeting the eff word in his explanation for his unavailability for the formality against San Marino. Angered by suggestions that he was suffering merely from a sore throat, the Chelsea left-back, in the finest tradition of Chelsea left-backs, turned the internet blue while pointing out that his illness was more serious than that, though not so serious that it should keep him out of the Poland game next Tuesday. "His sentiment was laudable … but his choice of words was wrong and this is a reminder of how unbelievably careful players have to be," lectured Mr Roy, who might have found himself more in tune with popular opinion if he told the hackery to shut the eff up and move on to something more interesting.
Eventually the topic of football did crop up, with Mr Roy revealing that "whatever team I choose is likely to win so it's a question of how many players I spare and keep fit for the game against Poland on Tuesday". Still, the prospect of a certain victory against tiny no-hopers seems to have captured the imagination of the English sporting public, with Wembley already being a 90,000 sell-out. "Since I've been involved with England the fans have been fantastic, you wouldn't want to let them down," hurrahed Rooney, who, we seem to recall, voiced rather different views about those fans after letting them down in the 2010 World Cup.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"Manchester United is Alex Ferguson. When he leaves, the club will lose 30 to 40%. So much depends on him. He's a father to all the players" – Swollen travesty Anderson envisions a chilling future in which he might have to turn up for work resembling an athlete.
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"Re: Polish Scrabble (yesterday's Fiver letters). Actually, it's Blaszczykowski with only two 'k's, so in our game of Polish Scrabble where we are allowing proper nouns, I have just challenged Haydon Bambury's 'Blaszczykowkski' and, as a result, he loses his 284 points and forfeits his turn. It's a shame as it would have been a really good play after my dismally low scores with 'la' and 'ow', though as neither of those is a Polish word, he should have challenged them too" – Paul Cooke.
"Haydon's only hope is to get 'to Blaszczykowski' accepted as a verb in general use, and the Fiver is a past master at verbing random words, so any suggestions what it could mean? 'To miss a game against England with ankle-knack' is a bit dull, but would serve. 'To thrike one from the edge of the area against Russia' maybe? Any better ideas? Winner gets 284 points" – Robin Hazlehurst.
"The warning to skip ahead to Quote of the Day was welcome (yesterday's Fiver), but could've gone further. Perhaps today you should advise us to skip to the end" – Simon Riley.
"I'm sure I won't be the only pedant to point out that Belgium's tld is .be, not .co.be (yesterday's Bits and Bobs). And yes, www.tintinandchipswithmayonnaise.be is still available if anyone wants to register it in the hope of selling it back to the Belgian tourist board. I think the £9.99 might be better spent on comics and tea though" – Alec Cochrane.
JOIN GUARDIAN SOULMATES
We keep trying to point out the utter futility of advertising an online dating service "for interesting people" in the Fiver to the naive folk who run Guardian Soulmates, but they still aren't having any of it. So here you go – sign up here to view profiles of the kind of erudite, sociable and friendly romantics who would never dream of going out with you.
BITS AND BOBS
Robbie Keane has been ruled out of the Republic O'Ireland's World Cup qualifier against Germany tomorrow due to old age. He will be replaced by Jonathan Walters. Team: Westwood; Coleman, O'Shea, O'Dea, Ward; McGeady, Andrews, McCarthy, Fahey, Cox; Walters.
Brendan Rodgers has an envelope, and in it is a new contract that will soon be signed by Spanish midfielder Suso.
West Ham's Ricardo Vaz Te will be out for at least eight weeks after having surgery on his knacked shoulder.
And Trinidad's new national security minister, Jack Warner, is seeking to ban the release of crime reports and statistics, saying that publicising such information encourages people to commit more offences. "I decided with immediate effect that no figures of any kind will be given anywhere," declared the former Fifa vice-president. Hmmm …
STILL WANT MORE?
Want to wow the girls with insights into Joe Mercer's tenure as England caretaker manager in 1974? Then you'd better read Rob Bagchi's brilliant Forgotten Story.
Thunderthighed eejit Roberto Carlos only ever scored one free-kick right? Tell it to this week's Classic YouTube, which includes 10 minutes of Carlos belters and some lovely backheels too.
Paul Doyle has never forgiven the Fiver for outing him as a former KISS roadie, so who better to look back at some of football's famous feuds.
Download Three Bald Men and a Little Lady, also known as this week's Football Weekly Extra.