Bench warmer. Fringe player. That's what the papers have been calling me ever since the debacle of our World Cup misadventure and I've got to admit it's true. Roy hasn't even had me in the squad for the matches against the Swiss cheese makers and the minnows of Estonia and San Marino. I don't know if it was anything to do with Lamps and me leading Raheem and Lukey astray in Miami, but apparently they did tell their mums about our little foray with the "ladies" and the mums only went and complained to Roy about me. I thought we were doing the little toe rags a service but there's no gratitude these days.
I've got to hand it to Roy though, he does know who he can depend on when the fish are down, as Gianluca Vialli would say, and I was back in the squad for Slovenia and the auld enemy. You've got it - the Jocks. OK so I didn't get a kick against Slovenia, it sounds like a foreign disease don't it, because Roy was saving me for the Scots. He needed somebody who doesn't mind seeing the odd yellow card for the surreptitious elbow or the more blatant kick in the nuts, the "professional" foul as we like to call it, and I'm your man for a bit of gratuitous violence as you well know.
Anyway, unfortunately my services weren't called upon yet again as the match was played "in a sporting manner", much to my annoyance and yes, I stayed keeping the bench warm with Theo and the team donkey Jordan Henderson. We did stuff the haggis eaters though and I did get to see some action eventually, even if it was after the game.
I'd opted out of the post match meal in the hotel, much to Roy's disapproval and I headed for the seamier side of Glasgow with the England band members expecting to sink a few pints of heavy and hoping to engage with a couple of the local ginger lassies who might be open to an English invader. So it wasn't long before I was propping up the bar in a central Glaswegian pub, surrounded by wide eyed freckled redheads all eyeing my wad as I flashed it around telling them how an average English Premier League player trousers £2.3 million a year, some including yours truly even more.
Before flying up I had had the foresight to stuff my wallet with good English £50 notes, not being sure if they take Amex platinum cards over the border, and I was taken aback when the barman gave me some change in monopoly notes with "Clydesdale Bank" written on them. I grabbed him by the throat and asked him what his game was, giving me this fake stuff, until he and the landlord assured me that it was real and that there are six banks issuing banknotes in Scotland. But they went too far when they told me the exchange rate is one for one. One for one? One for bloody one? This Mickey Mouse currency is as good as the English pound? I was steaming and shouting at the bastards when I suddenly realised the England band had gone and I was all alone with bloody drunken Glaswegians. One shouted "Ye Sassenach bawbag" I think, which probably isn't a term of endearment, so I thought it was time to leg it. I thrust my way through the admiring ginger babes pretty sharpish and dodged a flying bottle before I left them all in my wake. Good job I'm a highly trained athlete.
Well, I suppose that highly paid transfer to Celtic is off now.