As the nation watches the tense game between England and Croatia in the World Cup semi-final, every aspect will be analysed carefully.
What might need analysing more though, is why someone would throw a dead fish onto the pitch.
The bizarre incident occurred in the first half, when England were 1-0 up.
It’s not clear which stand or what group of supporters it came from, but eagled-eyed photographers were quick to snap the poor guy lying on the grass, definitely not where it should be.
The fish was quickly cleared away and didn’t seem to disrupt the game.
England currently find themselves 2-1 down in extra time, their first semi-final at a World Cup since Italia ’90.
Kieran Trippier scored a brilliant free-kick within the opening five minutes of the game to put the Three Lions ahead. However, Croatia managed to pull one back in the second half.
Perisic managed to flick one past Pickford to equalise, before the game was taken to extra time.
It’s been a tough but rewarding journey for England throughout their World Cup campaign. And it comes as no surprise that getting to the World Cup semi-finals requires a very high level of physical endurance.
What’s perhaps more surprising though, is how the England squad went about preparing themselves.
Back in June, manager Gareth Southgate reportedly brought his squad and support staff together at St George’s Park for an intriguing announcement.
Southgate then surprised his men by informing them they were off on a 48-hour trip, and this certainly wasn’t for a relaxing spa break complete with massages and pedicures.
In preparation for the challenges ahead in Moscow, the squad secretly hit a commando training centre Lympstone, Devon.
Images have surfaced showing the Three Lions training hard with the Royal Marines, and the exercises look seriously intense.
On arrival, the players had their phones, jewellery and personal belongings taken from them. They were then put into uniform and taken to a special training area where they were taught all about survival tactics.
Their first night was spent living in the woods, where they had to forage for their own food. Their lives of luxury were put aside as they went completely back to basics.
The following morning didn’t prove any easier. The young squad were taken to the Royal Marines’ gruelling endurance course. Not for the faint-hearted, this is two miles of tough-going tunnels.
According to Sky News, Southgate explained:
We wanted to come and put the guys into a different environment, something they weren’t expecting.
The marines talk about a dislocated expectation, and that was part of the theme of the camp – how will we be adaptable in moments of difficulty for us as a team?
We wanted to expose the guys to an elite environment with one of the elite forces in the world. We wanted them to see that there’s another world out there.
There’s no doubting the level of endurance the players have had to face so far.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.