Saturday 1 July
Get sent off. Lose to Portugal on penalties. After the game, Sven is absolutely distraught. He is inconsolable, head in hands, weeping quietly, alone in the corner. I feel guilty and go over to apologise.
‘Sorry, boss. I have left myself down, let the team down, let the country down, let the fans down and I have let you down.’
‘I can’t believe it. 22 players, 6 assistant coaches and 15 FA officials and no-one thought to get me a leaving present’
Sunday 2 July
Fly home. Thankfully, there are no hanging effigies of me (like Becks got) but I notice that graffiti about me and ‘Grannies’ is still in the arrivals hall at Speke Airport.
Message on answerphone from Fergie. He wants to see me at Carrington tomorrow morning. He doesn’t sound pleased.
Monday 3 July
Fergie gives me the full hairdryer treatment. He is mad about my sending off and the tangle with Carvallho. He is worried that I may have damaged my metatarsal on his testicles. Another scan.
Then he says he wants my thoughts on (another) Keano replacement. I say that I would personally prefer Carrick as he would be better for my game but Owen Hargreaves is stronger in the tackle and has incredible stamina. Fergie interrupts and says ‘No. Not them. I’ve had a word with Moyesy and we’re getting Phil Neville back on a free’.
Tuesday 4 July
Night out to watch Italy-Germany with Gary Nev and Giggsy. Call Steven Gerrard who is too ’tired’. Call Michael Owen to see if he fancies a knees-up. Slams the phone down on me. Frankie Lamps is up for it and drives 180 miles but loses his way right at the end.
Wednesday 5 July
Portugal lose to France. Text Ronny after the game to offer my comiserations and clear the air. He is inconsolable. The presidential elections at Real Madrid didn’t go as he hoped. He fears he will be back at OT next season. Get Carvallho’s number and call him too to sympathise ‘That was never a penalty mate’.
Thursday 6 July
Ruud calls to ask when pre-season training starts. He sounds a bit strange. Maybe it’s because he had a disappointing World Cup too. I tell him I’m worried that Ronny will be a ball-hog next season and never release the ball or pass to us. Ruud makes a funny noise that scares me a little. He tells me that he simply can’t wait, can’t wait, can’t wait to lay eyes on Cristiano Ronaldo again.