Monday 15 January
Cyrille Regis has left us at the age of only 59. Cyrille was a great man and a beacon of dignity and calm in the face of the worst that 1970s racists could hurl. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that his behaviour in the face off provocation won the argument and paved the way for the generations of black players who have had such a huge impact on our game and our nation. He will be missed.
The right to light hold outs blocking the potential redevelopment have been scuppered by Hammersmith and Fulham through a sneaky little manoeuvre where by they took an interest in the land in question (currently owned by Network Rail and Transport for London) in order to engage section 203 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016 which negated the right to light. You see, paying attention you gave, the hours you spent checking Hansard and lobbying your MP regarding the passage of the 2016 Housing and Planning Bill through Parliament was worthwhile afterall.
Wednesday 17 January
Chelsea 1:1 Norwich City
(Chelsea win 5-4 on penalties)
The video assistant referee system exploded tonight as referee Graham Scott trashed the match and the VAR system, sent off two players and generally acted like a clown.
Briefly the match: Michy Batshuayi scored the goal that looked to have taken us through until the last kick equaliser spun off a Norwich head and looped into the net.
Extra time: Having already allowed plenty of agricultural tackling from Norwich the referee lost the plot completely with the connivance of the VAR.
Willian went round his man, was about to shoot when Timm Klose tripped him. It was clearly a penalty. Mr Scott booked Willian for a dive. The VAR said that the ref had not made a ‘clear and obvious’ mistake. How can booking a player who has been tripped in the box and refusing to give a penalty not come under the heading ‘clear and obvious’? What is clear and obvious now is that the refereeing community have such disdain for Chelsea that they are prepared to openly and blatantly manipulate events to see us beaten.
Mr Scott took matters further, having booked Pedro for a dive (Pedro slumped to the floor expecting a contact from the goalkeeper that didn’t come) he then handed him a second booking for stopping Norwich breaking. That decision was petty given the number of challenges made by Norwich players that went unpunished but at least looked correct.
The jumped up little martinet moron then demonstrated his impartiality by refusing Alvaro Morata’s demands for a penalty twice and a free-kick. The first penalty shout saw Klose grab Morata round the chest and haul him down if Mr Scott had called the VAR he would have been able to see it. The second shout for a free-kick was a trip a subtle but clear trip on the replay but was adjudged diving, again. If he had only used the system designed to make sure he didn’t make an arse of himself by getting the calls wrong he would have been able to see as much but he chose not to. Perhaps in the knowledge that the VAR had already incorrectly judged a call against Chelsea he was unlikely to criticise his decisions this time.
Morata’s second yellow that followed him being hauled back by the shoulder in the box was the clearest act of partial refereeing seen at Bridge since Tom Henning Ovrebo. Morata was fouled but Mr Scott booked him for diving without reference to the VAR. When Morata protested that he should have reviewed the incident he gave him a second booking for dissent and sent him off.
There was still time for him to watch Willian being hacked in the ankle and fail to award a free-kick.
That we nervelessly won the penalty shootout is almost an after thought.
Graham Scott’s performance and the VAR’s absurd decision not to award a penalty to Willian clearly cost us two players and forced the match to a penalty shootout. The VAR decision means one of two things: either the refereeing community is so close that they will cover up for each other’s mistakes come what may or, more worryingly, they are simply biased and think Chelsea cheat.
Both are possible. Referees have been booking Chelsea players for simulation when they have clearly been fouled for years. Ovrebo, Foy and to a lesser extent others have taken great glee in cheating us out of results… the feeling is that we are still being punished for Anders Frisk’s decision to quit the game after conversing with the then Barcelona manager at half time back in 2005. Frisk refused to clarify the truth of what happened after he had sent of Didier Drogba for a completely fictional offence. The controversy that followed blackened Chelsea’s reputation and went uncorrected by the referee who did have a conversation with Frank Rijkaard but allowed the technicality that he had not invited the Barça manager into his room to act as a smokescreen.
That referee’s will bend over backwards not to criticise each other in public has long made them a public laughing stock. The secretive Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL) have long mishandled the game, covering up for several Mark Clattenburg clangers while asking their officials to change match reports and, effectively, lie. Watching a succession of ex-referee’s patiently explaining to bemused TV hosts that black is white, that Fergie time didn’t exist (when statisticians proved that it did) has all happened while English referee’s reputation sinks ever lower with Fifa and Uefa.
Video Assistant Referee’s were supposed to clear things up on the pitch, what they have actually done is confirm the incompetence and flagrant bias of referees on and off the pitch.
Chelsea U18 7:0 West Bromwich Albion U18
No extra-time in the FA Youth Cup as Callum Hudson-Odoi and Daishawn Redan scored two, Marc Guehi Tino Anjorin and Martell Taylor-Crossdale added the rest.
West Brom were on the back foot from the start although they did manage to hit our woodwork.
Thursday 18 January
Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s ankle is a lot worse than everyone initially thought with the prognosis months rather than weeks. Ruben had been on the verge of a break through season injured his ankle just before the New Year and will possibly miss the World Cup.
Saturday 20 January
Brighton and Hove Albion 0:4 Chelsea
Not as easy as the scoreline suggests but the boys put us at our ease with a Hazard strike after just three minutes and then netted our chances where they missed theirs. Yes, they should have had a penalty.
Hazard’s opening strike came from a deflected pull back but our second will probably make the goal of the season highlights as Hazard Batshuayi and Willian flicked and tricked the ball into space and Willian crashed in the shot.
Brighton were better than their billing and Willy Caballero had a few reckless moments, charging out and conceding the penalty that the ref thankfully didn’t see, as well as flapping at crosses and generally giving us palpitations.
Hazard grabbed his second late in the second-half and Victor Moses capped the display striding on to an excellent Charly Musonda pass to score his first since the Community Shield.
After a few stuffy draws and the chaos of Wednesday night it was good to get back to winning, especially an early kick-off.
Chelsea U1§8 2:0 Norwich City U18
Once again the scoreline does not tell the story as we did manage to finish two of our chances, through Tino Anjorin and Marcel Lavinier, but Norwich were on the front foot for much of the match and the defence and ‘keeper got a real workout.