|Switzerland 0-2 England. St Jakobs Park..|
England last played there in 2010, when the French were striking over something - I suspect having to work more than twice a week - which meant a near fatal four hour delay in getting a train from Paris to Basel for the game. No such problems this time, we'll avoid France on the way there and avoid it in the main on the way home. Famous last words.
What should have been a nice, early flight from Gatwick to Milan and then a delightful train journey through the Alps from Italy to Switzerland descended into farce as the crew of the EasyJet flight decided to turn up late meaning an hour delay. Be ten seconds late for a flight and Sir Stelios is rubbing his hands with glee, turning you away for this disgusting lack of punctuality and forcing you onto a far more expensive flight for your troubles. So the irony and anger at this turn of events was understandable.
|High on a hill sits a lonely goat|
|Swiss fan complete with cow bell|
Basel was eventually reached with the England fans gathering pre-game in Steinenvorstadt. This long, pedestrianised street had everything you need for drinking in Switzerland - a Spar where cans of Quollfrish were £1.50 as opposed to the £12 (TWELVE) a pint in a pub and plenty of places to hang flags. A good old fashioned sing song erupted, the police posed for photos, Swiss fans wandered past with cow bells and cheese and Toblerone themed hats. As you do.
|This bloke had seen better days...|
|Nelson Mandela House, Basel|
|"2 caps for Wembley, you're having a laugh"|
Post game and drinking in the street was obviously out of the question so that meant biting the bullet and paying the £8 (EIGHT) for a pint of Wadenswiller. Firstly that meant Bar Rio which unfortunately shut at 1am which neccesitated the move to Papa Joes. This was the second visit in succession I'd decided to sleep rough in Switzerland and Joes once again fully encouraged this scenario, allowing people to just doze off in their bar with none of the sort of hot headed treatment such behaviour can garner in England.
|Stuntman shots = not a good idea|
How do you know if you've had too many tequilas? Why, when it reaches 4am and you are sick of course, at which point it is time to retire to bed or in this case a bench in the main station. At 6am it was off to catch a train to Strasbourg from where Luxembourg and a flight home would be reached. Or so I thought...
|This doesn't look like Luxembourg|
How's that for a cock up? Thank Christ England won
Switzerland: Yann Sommer, Steve von Bergen, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Johan Djourou, Ricardo Rodriguez, Gokhan Inler, Xherdan Shaqiri, Granit Xhaka, Valon Behrami, Haris Seferovic, Admir Mehmedi (Josip Drmic).
England: Joe Hart, John Stones, Phil Jones, Gary Cahill, Leighton Baines, Jack Wilshere, Fabian Delph, Jordan Henderson, Raheem Sterling, Danny Welbeck 2, Wayne Rooney (Rickie Lambert)