Monday 13 August
The U18s will face Manchester United, Newcastle United and Norwich City in Group F of the Premier League Cup. Andy Myer’s squad are holders but this looks a tricky group with either two away matches and one home or two home and one away. Yeah, they don’t know how to organise a simple group stage.
Tuesday 14 August
Tiemoue Bakayoko will spend the season trying to recapture his form at AC Milan on loan. The Italians will have to option to buy at the end of the season. Bakayoko has not lived up to his considerable reputation after signing for us for £40m from Monaco. He seemed to have lost his confidence to the extent that he could barely pass the ball in a straight line in pre-season. We hope he can rediscover his self-confidence.
Mason Mount scored his second in three for Derby as they beat Oldham in the League Cup. There was some excitement as it looked like Fikayo Tomori had scored the first but it was given as an own goal.
But Trevoh Chalobah missed a penalty as Ipswich slumped out at Exeter City.
Wednesday 14 August
Ola Aina signed a new contract and was immediately loaned out to Torino in Serie A. Ola was learning his trade in Hull last season so Turin is going to be a bit of a change.
Kenneth Omeruo, now 24, will spend next season at Leganes in La Liga. Ken has been impressive for Nigeria since 2012 when we first signed him but we haven’t seen anything of him as he has been out on loan, last season in Turkey with Kasimpasa. He started two matches at the World Cup and must be wondering why we keep him around if we ain’t going to use him.
Thursday 15 August
Victor Moses, at the grand old age of 27, announced his retirement from international football.
He scored for Nigeria at this year’s World Cup as Nigeria only narrowly missed out on the group stages. He was originally picked for the Super Eagles in 2012 and was a pivotal member of the team that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013.
Victor wants to concentrate more on his club football and his family.
Friday 16 August
Bosnia and Herzegovina for the women in the Champions League as they drew SFK 2000 Sarajevo. The Bosnian women seem to have overtaken the men’s club they originally drew their name and colours from as the men’s club is now defunct.
Matches to be played away between September 12/13 with the home legs between the 26/27.
Saturday 17 August
Chelsea 3:2 Arsenal
We need to do a bit of work in this system. The first-half was a cruise as Pedro gave is the lead and Alvaro Morata added another only seconds after they had clumped one over the bar. We were dominating, totally in control, so what happened next showed up all the weaknesses of this system. Arsenal started to attack down our flanks and with a narrow midfield not covering wide and a defence accustomed to playing a three we were swamped almost like we had adopted zonal marking from open play. We didn’t cover our full-backs, we didn’t track runs, what we did was stand and watch the ball as they equalised and really should have raced into a lead.
As it was the half-time whistle saved us from further humiliation. The regrouping at the break meant Arsenal barely got a kick again in the second period.
The match was full off all kinds of new experiences; Kovacic came on and looked right at home in midfield – one sublime tackle on Bellerin showed a lot of promise – Kante even got into a striker’s position for a diving header that flew just over.
Marcos Alonso scored the winner after drifting into the box and finishing Hazard’s cross.
The match was certainly free flowing throughout; it was rare the ball went out of play for a corner or even a throw. As a result Arsenal’s defending was so weary at the end that Alonso was afforded a full minute and a half to stroll toward the box and set up Giroud. It was that kind of afternoon.
Chelsea U18 1:1 Leicester City U18
We scored late but then conceded later in our first home game of the season. Tino Anjorin scored our goal.
On loan: Trevoh Chalobah scored an equaliser for ten-man Ipswich as they held on for a draw with Villa. Kenedy didn’t have such a good day with Newcastle failing to find a colleague with a pass in the first-half, kicking out at an opponent and missing a penalty at the death.
Sunday 19 August
Chelsea 3:1 Brighton and Hove Albion
The women started their season with a win. Brighton are always a test and it showed a lot of character to force three goals from them. Drew Spence, Fran Kirby and Bethany England scored our goals.