Monday 16 July
Chelsea U18 4:0 Oxford United U18
A great winning start for Andy Myers and his new charges. The match was held at the refurbished Meadowbank stadium, home of Dorking Wanderers and the Surrey FA.
Thierno Ballo scored our first two and Charlie Wiggett and James Clark rounded off the scoring with a thunderbolt. Don’t worry if you don’t know those names just yet this was a team of first-year scholars and schoolboys. Their names will gradually become better known.
Jamal Blackman has joined Lewis Baker at Leeds United for the season. It will be hard for a Chelsea fan to watch Leeds without wanting them to lose but they should have a very interesting season.
Trevoh Chalobah and Dujon Sterling both return to the England U19 side in an attempt to retain their European Championship crown in Finland. Conor Gallagher and Tariq Lamptey. Jamie Cumming, join them in the squad. Paul Simpson’s side will need to qualify for the semi-finals to make the U19 World Cup.
Tuesday 17 July
Turkey U19 2:3 England U19
Trevoh Chalobah and Dujon Sterling both played as England hauled themselves into a 3-1 lead after falling behind early. We managed to contrive a defensive blunder to allow the Turks back in but held on for an opening group win.
Mason Mount will light up Frank’s Derby County in the coming season. He joins alongside Liverpool’s Harry Wilson. Mason was best player at the U19 European Championships last year and had an inspirational time at Vitesse last season scoring 14 times as Arnhem qualified for the Uefa Cup.
Todd Kane joins Hull City for the season. And the club announces a training partnership with Uxbridge College. Chelsea coaches will help out kids in Uxbridge’s football development centre.
The rest of the news is speculation. It seems now we have a manager we are suddenly linked with half the continent’s footballers and ours are linked with Real Madrid.
Wednesday 18 July
Woking 1:0 Chelsea U23
Another young but strong U23 group went down against a full adult team by the odd goal. We had so many chances as well. Charlie Brown had the ball in the net in the first-half but the flag went up. Daishawn Redan hit the bar and Islam Feruz had a chance smothered in the second. Charlie Wakefield made his latest return from injury and overall the squad got a good run out against tough opposition.
Maurizio Sarri has given his first press conference and he emphasised having fun was his main aim. At least half the questions were about Eden or other players who might want to leave and he handled it all in Italian but he has reasonable English.
The most significant thing he said and a big hint as to why Chelsea pursued him with so much determination: “I feel much more a pitch manager than a general manager, I think I am one of the few managers who is bored by the transfer market. I don’t want to talk about it and I am not that interested in it. I think our task as managers is growing the players we have.”
The club have confirmed that Gianfranco Zola is going to be on the plane to Australia as assistant coach.
Our Checkatrade Trophy group contains Swindon Town, Plymouth Argyle and Newport County. That looks a tougher test but we did manage the semi-final last term.
Finally, Neil Barnett will not be hosting match days this season and has announced that his 32-year association with the club appears to be at an end. Neil has always been a decent guy and done an excellent job, some of the jokes weren’t great but like a drunken uncle at Christmas you’d miss him if he weren’t there. And it seems next season he will not be there. It seems a very odd way to ditch someone who has worked for the club for so long. It is not just managers who are kicked out without ceremony or thanks.
Thursday 19 July
As the 25-man squad lands in Australia we learn that Erin Cuthbert has put pen to paper on a new contract. On her 20th birthday she signed a three-year extension. Scottish international Erin is widely regarded as one of the best around and managed 18 goals for us last term.
Saturday 21 July
Sutton United 0:2 Chelsea U23
Charlie Brown scored two second-half goals to give the development squad their first win of pre-season. They have been playing senior opposition in order to prepare for the Checkatrade Trophy as well as the league.
Chelsea U18 6:0 Bournemouth U18
Goals came from first-year scholars Pierre Ekwah Elimby, Armando Broja, George Nunn and Marcel Lewis. The other two came from Clinton Mola and schoolboy Ben Elliott.
A big permanent move for Jeremie Boga as he joins Sassuolo in Serie A for a rumoured £3.5m. The side from Modena – where Ferraris come from – qualified for the Uefa Cup last season in their best finish ever.
Jeremie started our season opener last term in what was supposed to be a breakout season for him but ten minutes in and the referee had absurdly sent off Gary Cahill and Boga was withdrawn. He showed great promise with us and we hope we inserted a by-back clause. If not we wish him well.
The first team have been training at the WACA and it was largely wasted on them because only Michael Hector knows anything about cricket.
Monday 23 July
Perth Glory 0:1 Chelsea
An interesting start for Maurizio Sarri’s reign as his new troops lined up in his favourite 4-3-3 and pulled off a win.
Callum Hudson-Odoi really made a statement for the coming season by bamboozling the Perth defence down the left and crossing for Pedro to steer home the only goal.
Jorginho looked a metronome in the midfield flicking the ball on and on and on with each touch. Ross Barclay impressed going forward and looked more the player we thought we were getting from Everton. He was one of our three efforts that hit woodwork in what could have been a more emphatic score.
Sarri said afterwards that he was happy with the first hour. He let slip that we had lost the distance between midfield and defence towards the end and would have to work back at Cobham. It might be an insight into how his teams defend well in depth while scoring so many at the other end.
France to play Nice on Saturday is the next assignment.
Marcel Lavinier has signed his first professional contract. The versatile defender is also an England U16 international.
France U19 3:0 England U19
Trevoh Chalobah, Dujon Sterling and Connor Gallagher all played as France brushed us aside on their way to the semi-finals. We now need to win a play-off with Norway to qualify for the U20 world cup next year.
Tuesday 24 July
Emma Hayes could add the Fifa women’s coach of the year to the league and cup double she has already won this year. New-mum Hayes will find out in September.
Adelina Engman has finally arrived from Göteborg FC. The deal was done a while back for the Finish international striker but only made official this week.
Mario Pašalić will spend the season with Atalanta. He had a very successful loan at AC Milan two years ago. Last term the newly capped Croatian midfielder was with Spartak.
Wednesday 25 July
The transfer market really hotted up as Chelsea snapped up, er, Robert Green… are you sure?
Green has been out of contract since being let go by Huddersfield. Given that he is 38-years-old we seem to be pushing the maxim that goalkeepers get better with age to its limits.
Tariq Lamptey made his debut for England U19 as they crashed out of any hope of qualification for next year’s U20 World Cup by losing t0-3 to Norway.
To be fair we were second best to France and the Norwegians and probably need a bit of work.
Jacob Maddox has joined Cheltenham Town in League Two for the coming season. Jacob is a great young midfielder and, at 19, should find his feet quickly on his first loan.
Thursday 26 July
The lesser-spotted Bekanty Victorien Angban will play for Metz in France’s Ligue 2. Victorian has been our player since 2015 but has barely been at Cobham with plenty of appearances in midfield on loan to minor teams in smaller leagues in Belgium and Spain. Quite what our plans are for the Ivory Coast international is anyone’s guess.
Little known local club QPR have agreed to settle their FFP fine with a £42m settlement payable over ten-years. Rangers failed at CAS with their argument that financial fair play was illegal. The hopeless case added £3m to their bill as they agreed to pay the FA’s legal bill.
Let’s hope the Loftus Road minnows can bounce back from that.
Saturday 28 July
Chelsea 1:1 Internazionale
(5-4 on pens)
This was an interesting match at both ends of the pitch. At the front Pedro scored but it was Alvaro Morata who danced through the packed defence to set up the chance. Sarri heaped praise on the Spanish forward at the end saying he didn’t need Higuain while he had Morata on that form.
The stadium in Nice wasn’t full by a long way but the Blues who did travel made as much noise as they could as they watched 10 shots on target on the first-half.
We were wearing our new yellow away shirts and finally, after years of black and white, we looked like a Chelsea away side.
The second wasn’t as smooth at Inter figured out that our narrow midfield left our full-backs exposed. They created chances but it was a loose pass from the out-of-sorts Tiémoué Bakayoko that allowed Roberto Gagliardini to equalise.
The penalty shootout was perfect as Jorginho, Danny Drinkwater, Victor Moses and Tammy Abraham all netted before Cesar Azpilicueta scored the winner.
Away to Dublin and Arsenal on Wednesday.
Monday 30 July
Kasey Palmer will spend another season on loan – this time at Ewood Park – as he looks to repeat the promotion push with Blackburn that he helped Huddersfield Town achieve two seasons back.
Tuesday 31 July
Emma Hayes has been speaking about her pain in losing one of her twins and the difficult process of telling to squad what had happened.
Emma delivered a healthy baby boy in May but the second child she was expecting didn’t make it.
To achieve everything she did last season while pregnant but also with the burden of the tragedy she had suffered is just incredible. Our Emma Hayes is made of sterling stuff.
Meanwhile, the first-team squad were landing in Dublin ahead of tomorrow’s clash with the Gooners.
Wednesday 1 August
Chelsea 1:1 Arsenal
(5-6 on penalties)
Well, it is won one and lost one on penalties after we contrived to throw this away at the death. Antonio Rüdiger headed in our now customary early goal. We then kicked into gear as Callum Hudson-Odoi and the midfield ran Arsenal ragged for twenty minutes. Alvaro Morata was having a ’mare as he missed a penalty and fluffed a number of promising positions.
Still we held our lead and defended really well until the last kick of the game saw an equaliser and then a penalty competition.
The WSL will kick off with a home game against Manchester City at Kingsmeadow. Most of the competitive action seems to be Continental Tyres Cup group stage action against Brighton and Brentfo… London Bees.
Thursday 2 August
Montpellier 3:2 Chelsea
The women had a good workout in France but rust and a really hot evening took their toll. Our goals came from Erin Cuthbert and Ji So-Yun. Barcelona are next up later in the week.
Willian has issued a statement through his lawyers about a forged document that purports to change his agent. The move is the latest in a weird summer for Willian who was due back last Friday but has, apparently, been given permission to return late.
Maurizio Sarri said he wants to talk face-to-face with Willian and is very keen to keep the Brazilian.
Pedro signed a one-year contract extension that keeps him with us until 2020.
Friday 3 August
Reading 1:2 Derby County
Half the Chelsea community tuned in to see how Mason Mount, Frank Lampard and Jody Morris got on in their first Derby match. It was really strange to hear ‘Super Frank’ sung in a Derbyshire accent. Mason Mount looked surprised by the pace of the game at Championship level, he is stepping down from the Eredivisie but finished his goal well – even if the Reading ’keeper palmed the ball into his goal.
The last-minute winner had the ex-Chelsea off the bench and dancing around. We will watch Frank’s progress with interest.
Paul Clement in the home dugout did not look so pleased but his Reading showed fight and were unlucky to lose.
Alvaro Morata has done the new dad thing and changed his shirt number from 9 to 29 because his twins were born on July 29th.
Saturday 4 August
Chelsea U18 2:0 QPR U18
George Nunn and Armando Broja scored the goals as the U18s finished their pre-season with a win.
In the league Trevoh Chalobah started for Ipswich to much acclaim as they came back from two down to draw with Blackburn, Reece James started as Wigan beat Wednesday and Jacob Maddox started for Cheltenham who will do better than lose at home to Crawley this season.
Sunday 5 August
Manchester City 2:0 Chelsea
Well that was a shambles. Manchester City turned up and proved that they have not lost the groove they slotted into last season. They chased every lost cause, closed down, and played their way out of the press confidently and with style. And we didn’t.
We didn’t get into a rhythm, we didn’t close down, we didn’t have the shape on the pitch and effectively watched as they played football.
Morata had another stinker, slow and apathetic as he teammates closed down defenders he ambled away. When we had promising situations he got himself offside and didn’t try to get back.
The real problem was having our narrow midfield bypassed by the width that made City dominant last term.
It doesn’t exactly speak well of Sarri that he knew how City would play and did nothing to counter their shape.
It is fair to say that City have had two seasons and a settled squad to perfect their system and we have had three weeks and a state of near wantaway transfer chaos.
That doesn’t really explain why almost every pass was misplaced. How we tried to play our way of the back and stumbled over the ball handing possession over time and again.
If the away game at City last season was the low point for Antonio Conte then this has to be the worst performance of Sarri’s tenure or he will be our before the end of September.
The club announced the sad news of the passing of Cliff Huxford who played in our first ever European game in 1958 – an Inter-Cities Fairs Cup win against Copenhagen. Cliff left us for Southampton in 1959 and spent most of his career there.
Lewis Baker came off the bench to make his debut as Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds opened with a win against Stoke.
Barcelona 1:1 Chelsea
The women left it late to snatch a draw with Barcelona. Karen Carney with the diving header at the death.