Football: My display on the wing in Kathmandu made Sir Alf adopt 4-3-3

THE GAFFER TAPES

Dramatic news from the Old Cornfield where the chairman has given me permission to enter the chase for Paul Gascoigne. I've already spoken to his agent's brother's gardener and he tells me we've a very good package.

I think we've covered all the bases. He can go fishing on Sir Hirem Firem's private lake whenever he wants; Deidrie the tea lady is lined up to be his personal counsellor; Jimmy Five Bellies is to be given a grace-and- favour flat above the Mop & Bucket where they are going to install a dentist's chair in the tap room; and he'll be allowed to straighten all the dressing- room towels before a match.

I know there's no way the others can compete with that. Stan Collymore's contract stipulates that only he can be towel man at Villa Park while Duncan Ferguson is Everton's counsellor and Alan Sugar hasn't got a lake.

It'll be good to sign him as I've had a bad week. I was late getting back from Rome having been arrested for swimming in the Trevi Fountains. I kept telling them I was innocent, that I was merely trying to wash Paul Ince's blood off the jacket I'd lent him at half-time. This followed the embarrassment of Saturday morning when Glenn and I went for a quick prayer at St Peter's. Apparently you aren't allowed in wearing shorts. Glenn seemed very nice about it. He said he'd just make it a quick prayer so I wouldn't have to wait outside for long, so I don't think it was related to the team bus leaving me behind at the ground after the game.

With the carabineri bashing heads outside that made for tricky journey back into Rome. I eventually wangled a lift on the back of Angelo Di Livio's scooter but, sad to report, he was still a bit wound up and I actually ended up in the Trevi fountain when he took objection to my singing "Three Lions" as we drove past. It could have be worse, I could have got a lift with Christian Vieri. The poor fellow took a wrong turn and found himself making a very hairy journey down the Spanish Steps.

If that wasn't bad enough I got back to find I'd been snubbed by the FA. They launched a new book, "England: The Official FA History", and invited a few has-beens and never-weres like Trevor Brooking and Ray Clemence to promote it. Not a mention of my six minutes for an FA XI against Nepal in 1964. That was a seminal performance, Sir Alf told me himself if he hadn't seen my display on the wing that night in Kathmandu he would never have adopted 4-3-3.

Of course, I realised afterwards why I wasn't mentioned. The book's been brought out by Virgin - well, you might find me looking at a book of virgins but not in one.

I've had to take training all this week as Kit Mann, my assistant, has been away on a special mission. After hearing about Spartak Moscow having to replay their European match with Sion because their crossbar was too small, I've sent him round to measure the goals at all the clubs we've lost at this season. He could be away some time.

While he's absent I've taken the opportunity of removing Howard Wilkinson's picture. When we went on that coaching conference a couple of weeks ago there was a picture of Wilkinson in the goodie bag. He's Kit's hero so he's put it up in the boot room. I haven't got used to it though, I was convinced those staring eyes were following me around. I'd come back from training an there'd be a voice saying things like "Have you worked on their ball skills? Are they fit enough? Is their shape right? Do they have kippers for breakfast?..." It was driving me mad.

On top of everything else we've had the police round. One of the YTS boys has been nicked for trying to steal the ticket dispenser at the meat counter in Tescos. He claims Sir Hirem asked him to pinch it after the physio decided to set up a queueing system in the treatment room following an unfortunate incident.

Meanwhile Shaun Prone is out with an injured hand and Ivor Niggle has an bruised jaw.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Reach Volunteering: Would you like to volunteer your expertise as Chair of Governors for Livability?

Voluntary and unpaid, reasonable expenses are reimbursable: Reach Volunteering...

Ashdown Group: Payroll Administrator - Buckinghamshire - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + substantial benefits: Ashdown Group: Finance Admin...

Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrator - Windows, Linux - Central London

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Linux Systems Administrat...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?