Early Doors had a real shock this morning when opening its paper to discover that after Saturday's big Remembrance Day service at Wembley there is a football match going on. Did everyone else know England were playing Spain, the reigning world and European champions?
You could have been forgiven for missing the fact. After all, a cursory glance at any news source over the past week would have suggested that this week's opposition was in fact those dastardly fiends at FIFA, who cruelly saw fit to prevent England sporting poppies on their shirts.
Thankfully, though, the dashing front two of David Cameron and Prince William fired off harshly-worded letters to help secure a tremendous victory against football's Swiss overlords, assisted of course by those 'lovely' people at the EDL. Well done everybody. Great team effort.
Early Doors has already given its view on the desperately boring poppy row, but remarkably, despite FIFA caving on the issue and bowing to external pressure for just about the first time ever to allow England to sport poppies on their black armbands, the issue STILL dominates the agenda.
A picture of Joleon Lescott's poppy-emblazoned boot adorns the back page of the Times while, predictably, the most ridiculous coverage comes from the Daily Mail, the newspaper that has ridden on a wave of righteous indignation ever since this row erupted.
"POPPY POWER," roars the Mail's back page. "Special armbands can inspire us to beat Spain, say proud stars."
They say nothing of the sort of course, but how terribly English to believe that passion for "our brave boys abroad" will be enough to overcome a huge technical disparity, or get Gareth Barry playing like Xavi.
In fact, Early Doors suspects the only way poppies could help England beat Spain is if they were real as opposed to being made of plastic and card, dried, processed into opium and then surreptitiously dissolved into the world champions' Lucozade during their warm-up. That's how you get Xavi playing like Gareth Barry.
It is also typical of England to let an extraneous, pointless row detract from the fact that the country has the honour of welcoming one of the greatest international sides in the history of this great game to Wembley - by far the most illustrious friendly that has been hosted under that famous arch.
This should be an occasion to observe, to learn, to be humbled. A chance to see what a team playing with a distinct, accomplished style and identity looks like. A chance to see whether England might actually have a chance of toppling the titans of tiki-taka next summer. (SPOILER ALERT: they don't).
It is a chance to test young players like Phil Jones and Kyle Walker against some of the best attacking players on the planet, to explore the options available to Fabio Capello as he contemplates how best to replace Wayne Rooney for the opening three games of the Euro 2012 finals next summer.
Though it is of course right and laudable that Remembrance day should be marked - and it will, extensively - this should be an occasion that is about football, and unfortunately it has become something rather more political. Spain must wonder what mad country they have brought the finest exponents of the passing game to.
If it isn't the sorry poppy saga then it has been the furore over allegations John Terry racially abused Anton Ferdinand making headlines - a controversy that certainly does demand real scrutiny and careful consideration.
Jones found himself being quizzed about Terry in his inaugural England press conference on Thursday and offered support for the under-fire skipper.
"There is a great team spirit in the camp and we are all looking forward to Saturday's game," said the Manchester United defender. "Nothing has been said. John Terry is a great leader, a great captain and is a great player. John has said nothing. He is our captain, and I have not felt there are any issues. It's business as normal. Everything is fine."
At least Capello - a man who must surely question on a daily basis just what he let himself in for when taking the job - saw fit to discuss football. A novel concept, ED is sure you will agree.
"We have good players of our own but not good enough to try to have the style of play which Spain have," he said. "You cannot think of playing one touch if you do not have the quality.
"I think they've got a lot of top players. They have a lot of players who are really good when you've got the ball, really good at winning back the ball. This is the new football style - winning back the ball quickly.
"It's a big mistake to copy this style. You need to play the style to fit the kind of players you've got in your squad."
Such brutal honesty about England's shortcomings has been woefully absent from the discourse of our national game for decades now, certainly from a figure with as much authority as the England manager, and full credit to Capello for laying bare the problems he faces in attempting to construct a decent side.
Did this thoughtful and important critique make the back pages and capture the headlines though? Of course not. Those were reserved for the ongoing poppy row.
ED sincerely hopes that at the conclusion of the two-minute silence that will be observed by England's players on Friday - a rightly poignant and necessary Remembrance Day tribute to those who have died in battle - we can finally focus on what Saturday's friendly against Spain really represents.
To bastardise the title of a rather prominent book-cum-film, we need to talk about football.
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "I wouldn't say I'm exempt from the hairdryer but I would say I can give as good as I get. There have been probably half a dozen of these hairdryer-type moments give and take over the last eight years as chief executive. The important thing is he never sulks, he never carries it on and we move on. That's a great thing about Alex, he can have an opinion and blow his top but it's forgotten like that and I think that's the true measure of the man." - Manchester United chief executive David Gill says he can dish out the hairdryer treatment on occasion. ED can't imagine him smacking David Beckham in the face with a boot though.
FOREIGN VIEW: "I would not play if I was anything less than 90 per cent ready, as the game is a very important one. I am not nervous about the injury. I have 70 stitches in my head already, so I am used to it." - Petr Cech signals his availability for Czech Republic's Euro 2012 play-off first leg against Montenegro on Friday evening.
COMING UP: It's the small matter of those Euro 2012 qualifiers tonight and we will be bringing you live coverage of the matches involving Estonia and Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Portugal, Turkey and Croatia and Czech Republic and Montenegro. Scotland are also in action in an international friendly against Cyprus.
Before this evening's games though, Paul Parker and Jim White will be filing their latest columns and we speak to FA big cheese Gareth Southgate about the English contenders to replace Fabio Capello as national boss following Euro 2012.