I WISH I could speak German. Not only would it have made previous travels much easier (travelling, remember that?) but I could also understand what the Bundesliga players are saying.

Yes, the German league got going again on Saturday in pretty surreal circumstances, to say the least – and it was actually quite good.

As expected after a long-term lay-off, the pace of the games was a little slower than usual, but nowhere near as sluggish as many had feared.

Full-backs in particular stood out more than most, often managing to get up and down the flanks with seemingly more urgency than usual.

A friend subsequently pointed-out to me that it’s probably because players in that position have to be the fittest on the pitch anyway, given the job they do.

But as they hugged the touchlines, it was the players and staff outside of them which raised my eyebrows the most.

All substitutes are kept two metres apart while they’re sat on the bench, or rather a makeshift ‘bench’ in the unoccupied stands.

They all wear masks, too – until it comes to warming-up, when the masks are removed and they all run about among themselves.

Said substitutes are then called upon by their managers, who don’t have to wear masks, and enter the field of play – a place where it’s a bit tricky to keep your distance if you have designs on winning anything.

They’ve obviously been told to avoid big, sweaty group hugs when they score and generally avoid them.

Except, that is, for when they forget all about that until their goalscoring teammate is already part-engulfed in a half-embrace, which is then awkwardly retracted and switched for a touching of forearms (coronavirus obviously doesn’t transmit through those).

When put like that, the measures put in place do seem more than a little bit pointless, but they do have a use.

Football does set an example to some areas of society, and so by taking these precautions it shows those people that the pandemic is far from over.

And while the following of said measures can get a bit lackadaisical at times, it’s still better than doing nothing.

If and when the rest of the Premier League season resumes, I imagine we can expect much of the same to be implemented here.

Which just leaves, in some eyes, that most dreaded consequence of all of this – the deafening din of a stadium sans supporters.

I can only speak for myself, but while a ground full of jolly Germans would obviously been better, the lack of fans didn’t ruin anything for me.

Until we’re all allowed to run amok in our teams’ headquarters again, which won’t be for some time, this will definitely do.

It might give broadcasters a headache, though, because if the pros are anything like I am at five-a-side, their choice of vernacular will veer into blue territory a bit too often.

I’m sure the players I watched last weekend were effing and jeffing like there’s no tomorrow. If I spoke German I could tell you, but I can’t. I wish I did though.