Jermain Defoe has given us all an insight into what life was like playing for England under Fabio Capello’s strict rule, specifically the day-to-day monotony of the Three Lions’ 2010 World Cup camp.
England were based in Rustenberg for the tournament in South Africa, with Capello “tightening the screws” (his words) to instil a sense of professionalism and belonging in a squad that arrived “switched off”.
This included applying a marshal law approach to preventing contact with players’ agents throughout the tournament, a ban on social media posts and newspaper columns, contact with families being kept to a minimum and a total ban on alcohol in the team hotel.
Of course, it wasn’t long before several senior players openly complained of boredom creeping in – six hours of table tennis after training will do that to you – but Defoe has now lifted the lid on how tedious things actually became at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Campus.
Recounting the experience to ESPN, the striker grumbled:
When we were in South Africa, I remember one night I was bored, so me and Wayne Rooney sat in his room and watched his whole wedding on DVD.
It was nice to spend quality time with a teammate. Wayne had something like a flash mob, the waiters were singing, dancing, if I can remember.
It was good because he was my strike-partner. Yeah, you do get bored but all the teams get bored.
Christ. That’s just about as dull as it gets. No wonder team morale was an issue under Capello. This is bordering on torture.
However, the oddest aspect is that Rooney got married two whole years before the 2010 World Cup, so why on earth did he take the DVD with him?