Monday 28 May
League Two play-off final
Coventry City 3:1 Exeter City
A thumping win for the 40,000 Sky Blues who travelled down to Wembley but a crushing disappointment for plucky little Exeter who get by on a tenth of Coventry’s budget.
The goals were a treat on a humid afternoon as shots rattled in from the edge of the area we were left thinking that this was the most entertaining game at Wembley this Spring.
If you are feeling your age don’t read the next section: over in America, Timothy Weah scored for the USA. George’s son is the youngest, at 18, to score for the USA as they comfortably overcame Bolivia 3-0.
Manchester United will enter a women’s team, in the newly restructured WSL and Championship. That is the headline news but the scandal is that Sunderland, Watford and Oxford drop out of the top two divisions. Sheffield United, Lewis, Charlton and Leicester City will join Manchester United in the Championship with West Ham stepping straight into the WSL. The clubs forcibly relegated will be offered a place in the women’s third tier the Women’s National League.
The new structure will be full-time at the top and clubs had to reapply for a place after guaranteed backing from a men’s club. It is clear that some of these clubs are attempting to run before they can walk but the upheaval is such that it should be the last for a few seasons.
Tuesday 29 May
Roman Abramovich is an Israeli citizen. After weeks waiting for the Home Office to grant him a new visa he plumped instead for a new nationality.
The status of rich Israeli’s coming here to work is different from the old visa and he will not be able to have a hands-on role in the affairs of the club.
What Vladimir Putin makes of the defection of one of Russia’s richest men is not known.
The Sun has found a new way to undermine England – attack Raheem Sterling. This time they are criticising his tattoo of a gun on his right leg. They lined up a mouthpiece to knock him for glamorising gun violence, possibly unaware that Raheem’s own father shot and killed.
It is because he is the most prominent black England player and the Sun are both racist and traitors as they try to demolish one of our best players just a few weeks before the World Cup.
The press have criticised him for buying a house for his mum, eating breakfast the morning after not winning a PFA award, shopping in Poundland and eating Greggs sausage rolls. What they actually want is more difficult to guess.
England U21 0:0 Mexico U21
Not much to report from the Toulon tournament, Tammy Abraham and Jay Dasilva played in an even contest.
Phil McKnight has passed away aged 93. Phil signed for us just after the war and played wing-half 33 times before moving on to Leyton Orient.
Wednesday 30 May
Carlo Ancelotti is the new Napoli boss as the world waits to see if Chelsea appoint Maurizio Sarri. Sarri lead I Ciucciarelli to second in the league last term but stood down as manager, looking for a stepping stone to move to a bigger Italian side.
We are not sure that is how the board would like to think of Chelsea but the short-term nature of the coach’s role here it could suit Sarri to stay a couple of seasons before walking into one of the Milan clubs.
John Terry has left Aston Villa and will probably pop up across the pond as Villa tighten their belts ahead of another season in the second tier.
Thursday 31 May
The new stadium is on hold. Roman’s difficulty getting a new visa from the Government is possibly the main reason behind the move but officially the terse club statement said there was an ‘unfavourable investment climate’.
They added that there is no timeframe for reconsidering the decision, which sounds pretty final.
Abramovich’s visa problems probably also explain the continuing drift at the club as news seeps out about a breakdown in contract negotiations between the club and Courtois… more on which later. But no new manager has been announced despite the widely expected departure of Antonio Conte. There haven’t been any signings, nor have we been linked with any significant moves.
Drift is never healthy for a football club and since we won the league in 2017 we seem to have been sitting on our hands.
Frank Lampard is the new Derby County boss. The Rams have taken a punt that the hardwork and dedication that brought Frank success on the pitch will make him a good manager. There will be a sweep running in who gets the push first – Gerrard at Rangers or Lampard at Derby.
Marco Silva is the new Everton boss and it seems like a good fit.
Zinedine Zidane has stepped down as Real Madrid boss after three Champions League wins in a row. Perhaps he wants now to make an honest contribution to the game.
Real might do worse than David Hopkin as their next manager as the Livingstone boss, and Chelsea old boy, stepped down after taking Livingstone to the Premiership from League One.
Friday 1 June
FA Women’s Football awards are mostly ours – team of the season and manager of the season and Fran Kirby signed a new three-year contract in the morning. Another good day for the women’s team.
Tammy Abraham scored again as England U21 progressed from the group by beating Qatar 4-0. They will meet Scotland in the semi-final after a Billy Gilmour goal helped the Scots eliminate South Korea. Perhaps now Eurosport will shell out the few quid to get the match on the box.
Saturday 2 June
England 2:1 Nigeria
Gary Cahill marked his reintroduction to England with a cracking header to make if 1-0 and an assured performance at the back to clear almost everything Victor Moses and Nigeria could bring. Kenneth Omeruo and Ola Aina were both in the squad alongside former Blue Obi John Mikel. Not the best match ever but better than many warm-up games.
It is glaringly obvious what Gareth Southgate is trying to do and if you can see it from the back of the Wembley stands you can bet Belgium, Tunisia and Panama will have seen it too.
Antonio Rudiger couldn’t help Germany as they lost 2-1 to Austria. Whereas, Andreas Christensen played the whole match as Denmark drew nil-each with the old enemy – Sweden.
Sunday 3 June
Cesar Azpilicueta played the whole match as Spain drew with Switzerland and Willian played as Brazil continued their good form with a win against Croatia at Anfield.