The Times: "His
delivery and his touch were immaculate...Over the next three or four
weeks he is in a position to prove himself to be one of the best natural
two-footed players in Europe, if not in the world."
12: Robson and Wilkins went cycling, whilst the rest of the squad played
golf. The four Everton players arrived in the evening to make up the
full squad of 22.
MAY 13: The squad
trained, without the Everton players, but with Robson and Wilkins.
MAY 14: England
beat South Korea, 4-1, at the Fountain Valley School. Both Robson and
Wilkins played, without any concerns, but Beardsley, Hateley, Hoddle and
Hodge all picked up injuries. Trevor Steven was the only Everton player
MAY 16: Beardsley,
Hateley and Hoddle were all named in the squad to face Mexico in Los
Angeles, but Hodge had damaged ankle ligaments and was to stay in
Colorado, along with Gary Bailey (recovering from a cartilage operation)
and three Everton players (Lineker, Reid and Stevens), who were still
acclimatizing to altitude.
MAY 17: England
beat Mexico, 3-0, in Los Angeles.
'Robson's chosen men have thrown down the gauntlet'
...it took England a mere
37 minutes to dismantle the defence, the record and the esteem of the
MAY 19: Bobby
Robson submitted his squad to FIFA, four days early, despite concerns
over the fitness of Gary Bailey and Steve Hodge.
MAY 20: Potential
replacements for Bailey and Hodge (Martin Hodge
and Stewart Robson), were put on standby.
MAY 21: England's
upcoming international with Canada was switched from an artificial
surface, at Vancouver, to a grass pitch in a smaller stadium, at
Burnaby, because Bobby Robson did not want to increase the risk of any
of his players twisting or jarring anything. Steve Hodge, meanwhile,
passed his fitness test.
MAY 22: Whilst Gary
Bailey passed his fitness test, Bobby Robson expressed concern that
Bryan Robson had been unable to train since the game against Mexico.
The Times: ''Neither
of us can tell whether he will break down when he comes back."
MAY 23: The squad
arrived in Vancouver.
MAY 24: England
beat Canada, 1-0, in Burnaby.
The Times: 'Even
the scare proved insipid'
In the first half England
MAY 26: The squad
flew from Vancouver to Monterrey, their Mexican base for the first round
group. Gary Lineker's left wrist was heavily strapped after severely
straining it against Canada.
MAY 27: England
trained at Saltillo in 36-degree Celsius heat. Lineker trained with his
arm in a sling and Robson trained separately to the rest of the squad.
MAY 28: England's
second string beat Monterrey, 4-1.
MAY 30: Lineker
trained with a fibreglass cast on his wrist.
MAY 31: England
played a light-hearted half-hour game against a team of eleven-year-olds
in Saltillo and drew, 5-5!
JUNE 1: The squad
trained in the Estadio Tecnológico, with Bryan Robson appearing closer
to full fitness.
JUNE 2: Bryan
Robson was declared fit and ready to face Portugal...