Flying out to Qatar is all part of the exercise, while Wojciech Szczesny proves that even footballers have embarrassing parents and Blackburn's managerial shortlist is leaked
That Rio Ferdinand Two-Week Fitness Plan in full
Step One: Finger exercises! Extend middle finger toward national team. Now relax. You have completed the finger exercises.
Step Two: Fly halfway around the world to do work that could be done by a trained monkey (and often is on the BBC). If you do not fatigue yourself first, how can you rest back to full fitness afterward?
Step Three: Lung conditioning! Laugh your backside off. Now relax. You have completed the lung conditioning. And, presumably, the posterior exercises as well.
|What didn't happen this week
"I'm looking forward to closing this chapter of my career and returning to the year 2005," an enthusiastic Michael Owen announced today.
"Travelling back in time to resume my Real Madrid career at the peak of my powers is definitely the right move for me at this stage.
"I've enjoyed experimenting with injuries, benchwarming and irrelevance but I am looking forward to doing the complete opposite of that over many more long years at the Santiago Bernabeu.
"Oi! Arsene Wenger!" Maciej Szczesny fumed, storming right up to the Arsenal boss. "What are you doing, dropping my boy? He's put so much work in; you put him back in the team right now!"
"Jesus, Dad, stop it," stammered a blushing Wojciech Szczesny. "It's fine, okay?"
"No, son, it's not," Papa Pole said firmly, before turning back to Wenger. "My Wojciech is a very special goalkeeper. I knew it ever since he was very small. Look, I can show you the home videos of him in the bath when he was four, making soapy goals out of the bubbles and 'saving' Mr Ducky the plastic duck from them..."
"Oh my god, Daaaaaaaaad," whined Szczesny the younger, his face turned club colours. "Everyone can heeeear you!"
"By all means," interjected Wenger, speaking to Maciej but staring into Wojciech's eyes with a look that said guess who's picking up the training cones this week, "I'm sure the whole team would like to see them. Oh, look at this one, you can see his little..."
"Aaaaah! I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU’RE DOING THIS TO ME," screamed Wojciech, stomping up the stairs to his room. "You're the worst!"
"'Am I the same person who started listening to this question?' Wow, that's deep. Ask me another."
International communication can be a terrible mess sometimes and it is important to be sure that your translations are accurate. Thankfully, with men like Ian Ayre on hand to explain the more intricate linguistic nuances of Spanish and English, it is getting easier to understand the things that Luis Suarez says.
"If another team comes around with more prospects of competing in international club competitions, which is willing to have me, they are welcome," for example, actually means nothing of the sort. The real translation is: "Under no circumstances would I be interested in a team with more prospects." See how easily there could have been a really embarrassing mix-up there? Phew! Thanks, Ian!
Next week, Mr Ayre explains international body language – how to know if you are being bitten or cuddled.
LEAKED: The Blackburn managerial shortlist
|Pros: Guaranteed publicity. No compensation. Probably some funny stories about Eyal Berkovic
Cons: May disrupt harmonious club structure
|Pros: Knows the club. Discovered Phil Jones.
Cons: Bald. Dangerously close to being 'the stability option'
|Pros: Unlikely to talk back
Cons: Is a horse
Hire this guy! - Shebby
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