How to stave off the stultifying boredom of the international break

Alas, the interlull is upon us once again...


Sadly, the international break is back, which means that it’s time for England to take on yet another esoteric collection of part-time carpenters, accountants and cruise-ship singers masquerading as a national football team.

Up next for Gareth Southgate’s brave boys is the mighty Malta, who have lost 87 of their 98 previous World Cup qualifying matches.

Still, it should be a tough test for the likes of two-time Premier League Golden Boot-winner Harry Kane, Champions League winner Gary Cahill and £50m-rated right-back Kyle Walker. Perhaps the Maltese can even restrict England to three goals or fewer.

Whatever happens, there’s an entire weekend of dire football and atrocious, repetitive brass band music to be endured. To help you get through it, we’ve put together a list of fun activities that can help keep you occupied over the interlull.

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Literally watch paint dry

Honestly, it’s not half as dull as people make it out to be. Seriously good times are to be had, especially if you’ve gone with a glossy finish on a non-porous surface.

And don’t be afraid to be playful when it comes to colour either. A naughty mauve or a bold, assertive turquoise slowly draining itself of moisture in a light breeze can stimulate the senses significantly more than watching Daniel Sturridge poke in a fourth against Luxembourg.

If you really want to push the boat out, neck a few litres of Red Bull and splash a nice electric pink all over a plain white wall. Business.

We promise that you’ll never again feel the need to waste your time with a less transcendental experience like Norway-Azerbaijan or San Marino-Northern Ireland.

Kyle Lafferty shoots

Head over to your nan’s crib and have a long, slow scan through those sweet, sweet photo albums

Hold on, give it a chance.

Ok, so there’s only so many times you can hear the phrase ‘awww wasn’t he gorgeous when he was a young’un’. But it’s infinitely better than projectile vomiting at the sight of the Moldovan front-two repeatedly shanking volleys into the shins of Danish defenders in a vain attempt to claw back a one-goal lead that the Danes have been protecting since the first minute.

Who knows? You might even come to enjoy the prospect of browsing those snaps of Our Sharon in Torremolinos, ’92 edition.

Compose a volume of haiku dedicated to Theo Walcott’s first touch

Suggestions include:

I was left distraught

When I saw that my Shih Tsu

Had a better trap.


It didn’t take long

For the opposing fullback

To take it off him.

Read the entire Twilight tetralogy from start to finish

Admittedly, this one could end up making you want to douse yourself in WD40, extra virgin olive oil and the tears of a one-eyed beagle before ritually self-immolating in front of St George’s Park.

But that’s still a more appealing fate than having to put up with an 85-pass back-and-forth sequence played out between the Scottish keeper and his defence as they slowly strangle the life out of the Faroese gegenpress.

After all, what’s a mere 50-line description of how sparkly Robert Pattinson’s balls are in comparison to that?

Shop for fitted sheets. Then spend a few solitary moments fitting those sheets on your bed.

Make sure you get right under the corners.

Don’t want that bad boy slipping and then having to re-fit it several times over the course of a single night.

Make the interlull less dull with our odds on the Qualifiers

What do you think?