George, whose job is safe, because no one even cares anymore, said : "What with the high-profile call-offs from players who didn't fancy flying to the other side of the world for no reason in the middle of the season, it gave us a chance to hand caps to players you've never heard of before and are unikely to be ever heard of again, come to that.."
A squad player did agree with George that the trip was a useful learning experience. "I've learned that death is nothing to really worry about and may be infinitely preferable to enduring 12 hours on a plane pretending to listen to George's inexhaustible fund of 'when I played for Ipswich Town' stories."
Crew on the Japanese Airlines flight confirmed that several players had requested an extra cushion, blanket, eye-shades and a seppuku kit to end it all, but cabin crew refused saying: "If we have to live through this, so do you."
At Narita, engineers were called to the plane to investigate a strange droning noise emitting from the aircraft despite the engines being powered down...(please feel free to fill in the rest).
Inside: High profile call-offs likely as George announces next friendly opponents: The Tharggian Ladies' Knitting and Athletics Club, away, on The Planet Thargg.