POOLS-SIDE: Brilliant Germans and dodgy singing

Pools enjoying the World Cup at their Spanish training camp
Pools enjoying the World Cup at their Spanish training camp

COLIN Cooper has allowed his player’s the past two evenings off to watch the World Cup semi-finals from Brazil.

Judging by Brazil’s inept display against Germany – anyone predict a 7-1 defeat? – people may have been forgiven for thinking Big Phil had given his squad the night off as well.

Germany's Thomas Muller celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 8, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Germany. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation

Germany's Thomas Muller celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the FIFA World Cup Semi Final at Estadio Mineirao, Belo Horizonte, Brazil. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 8, 2014. See PA story SOCCER Germany. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only. No commercial use. No use with any unofficial 3rd party logos. No manipulation of images. No video emulation

The Pools squad were in awe of the outstanding Germans and there were howls of disbelief when the goals kept going in.

I was lucky enough to join the squad (pictured above) and it was fascinating sitting alongside boss Cooper to get his thoughts on the action.

After the match, the Pools gaffer gave a rousing speech lavishing praise on the Germans and calling on his own side to take inspiration from their display.

Fast-flowing, one-touch, two-touch football.

Hartlepool Mail reporter Richard Mennear. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool Mail reporter Richard Mennear. Picture by FRANK REID

The Germans were unstoppable and the general consensus afterwards was that we’d all just witnessed a new dawn in football.

The German’s combining the Spanish style of tiki-taka football with physical power and presence – resulting in the Brazilians crumbling in their wake.

Of course, the host nation were missing star players Thiago Silva and Neymar Junior but the Pools camp were enthused by the this crazy and one-side match.

During the half-time break, there was some lighter relief thanks to the traditional singing performance for those experiencing their first tour abroad.

pools his & hers.jpg

pools his & hers.jpg

Stepping up to the mike was young defender Josh Nearney, sadly, his vocal performance didn’t match his enthusiasm.

But the effort was there at least, according to the coaching staff still trying to work out what he was singing.

New boys Matthew Bates and Stuart Parnaby survived having to make their own vocal performance – for now.

Good job the tradition doesn’t stretch to everyone enjoying their first trip abroad with Pools, given this week has also been my debut.

Doubt I would have been welcome back in future, mind, if I did have to step up to the mic.

YOU know a hotel is posh when it has the complimentary robes and slippers hung on the back of the bathroom door.

At least, I hope they are complimentary given I have already stashed them inside my hand luggage – I like to travel light just in case there are goodies to bring back.

The robes are ‘His & Hers’ but sadly for my better-half Kelly, otherwise known as my long-suffering wife, she won’t be able to try ‘Hers’ on for size, given I couldn’t blag her a trip too.

To be honest, I’m still amazed – as I sit on my sun-baked balcony overlooking the plush golf course – as to how I even managed to blag a trip here myself.

Wonder if my editor has worked out yet that there are no matches being played during this pre-season training camp?

As well as the robes and complimentary smellies, my bathroom also has a heated floor.

I’ve heard of underground heating at football stadiums to keep the pitch frost-free in the winter but am yet to come across a heated bathroom floor – until now.

It’s almost as warm on my bathroom floor as it is on the terrace, did I mention temperatures had been hitting 30C during my stay?

Still, it won’t be long before I have to, literally, peel myself from the floor and head back to good old Blighty.

Wonder whether Kelly would be up for some underfloor heating at home?