It’s the NFL game at Wembley that had a capital city’s worth of evening commuters asking why, and it looks set to spanner up a perfectly tedious England match.
The American Football match, more American than football, saw to it that the Circle line on London Underground was chock-full of boisterous meat-heads in Dallas Cowboys and Jacksonville Jaguars jerseys.
According to Wembley managing director Roger Maslin, England’s inevitably humdrum Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Slovenia on Saturday will now take place on a marshy battlefield of discarded mouth guards and elaborate shoulder pads.
He said: “I can confirm that the NFL game at Wembley has played merry hell with the pitch.
“Our groundsman will do his utmost to get the turf up to an acceptable standard in time to stage a frustrating snooze-fest, but at this stage he says he can’t make any promises.
“With the pitch in its current state I’d estimate the likelihood of any one player picking up an injury at somewhere between 98 and 99 per cent, so we do expect to encounter some managerial consternation.
“Arsène Wenger for example has expressed concern at Roy Hodgson’s selection of Theo Walcott despite the player having only just returned from a long-term injury.
“I’d just like to take this opportunity to assure Arsène that Walcott is going to get injured again anyway so it might as well be this weekend.
“Ditto Wilshere and Oxlade-Chamberlain. I hope that puts his mind at ease.”