Day 17 – 24th May 2006
Seeing pictures of the England squad strolling around a half finished Wembley stirred some wonderful memories. Those victorious finals when Middlesbrough and Aston Villa were vanquished, the wonderful sights and sounds of a crowded Wembley Way all came flooding back as did visions of those wonderful twin towers..
However, it was the sight of our national team having a kick-a-bout on the sandy surface that made me smile the most. After, the Charlton fixture at Stamford Beach a few years ago I half expected John Terry, Frank Lampard and Joe Cole to kick off their wellington boots and turn on the style. Weaving in and out of the builders before crashing the ball between a couple of makeshift posts. Thankfully, I was to remain disappointed.
Sadly, rumours that young Theo Walcott left the arena in tears after being refused a bucket and spade to build a sandcastle cannot be confirmed. Unfortunately, the general state of the new arena does leave a bad taste in the mouth. Considering it should have been ready to host the FA Cup Final this year, it still looks a world away from being ready. Indeed, you have to seriously consider whether we’ll all be trekking to Cardiff for the 2006-2007 FA Cup Final. It’s completion really has become a shambles with nobody seemingly showing an urgency to get the project finished.
With the 2012 Olympics on the horizon, recent events and the failure to complete Wembley on time, do nothing to install confidence in your average working man. The same working man who’ll be expected, in one way or another to pay for what will, mark my words, turn out to be an expensive white elephant. Indeed, I’ve yet to find anyone who’ll admit to being filled with confidence about our ability to successfully stage the games.
People who commute regularly across London know that the ageing tube network is struggling to cope as it is now, yet alone with the added demands of thousands of tourists flooding Eat London. Perhaps, I’m wrong but you just get this dreadful feeling that it’s all going to go wrong, that instead of rejuvenating the area it is meant to benefit, it’ll remain a drain on resources and confidence.
The very sports it is intended to benefit could well still be considerably behind football as the nation will, hopefully, continue to wallow in the glory of being World Cup Winners 2006 and 2010 with Wayne Rooney and John Terry knighted.
Thankfully, if they’re stuck for a venue to play the beach volleyball in, then I’ll suggest Wembley, after all it’s doubtful whether it’ll be finished by then either!