Monday 27 August
Spurs joined the queue on nine points at the top of the table by putting three past northern strugglers Manchester United. Jose was not very happy at the end, arguing at length with anyone who wanted a scrap that tactically he had won even though he’d lost. In his mind three was the number of titles he had won compared to the other 19 managers in the league who only had two… Yes, we scratched our head until we remembered that Manuel Pellegrini is at West Ham.
Sadly Oran Tully passed away. Oran was an Irish fan who suffered from a very rare stomach complaint. He came over and recorded his dream day out meeting John Terry and Roman Abramovich for Sky a few years ago. He played and coached in Co. Dublin for Skerries and will be missed everywhere and by everyone he touched.
Tuesday 28 August
Gary Cahill has sort of retired from international football. He didn’t shut the door completely saying that he would cover in an injury crisis but that he didn’t want to be considered for future squads.
Thursday 30 August
Third round of the league cup sees us off up to Anfield. At least it will definitely be on the telly. Frank takes Derby to Old Trafford to play Jose Mourinho… if our old boss is still in charge of United at the end of September.
It is nice to see United melting under the same kind of strain Jose brings in his third season. When it happened here we made excuses for him and tried to look on the bright side but now it is happening in Salford not Hammersmith and Fulham it is, somehow, much funnier.
Ike Ugbo is off to Scunthorpe on loan. He will toil for the Iron under Stuart McCall in League One.
Friday 31 August
It took 45-minutes to conduct the Uefa Cup draw in Monaco and we landed some decent trips to Greece, Belarus and Hungary to play PAOK Salonika, BATE Borisov and Vidi (formerly Videoton).
We have never played any of these before so ground hoppers will be able to tick off three new stadiums. We start away in Greece with PAOK on 20 September, at home to Vidi on 4 October, then home to BATE on Thursday 25, away in Belarus is 8 November before PAOK in November and finishing with a trip to Hungary Thursday 13 November.
It is our first taste of regular Thursday night football… thankfully not on Channel 5.
Tammy Abraham is going to help Villa with their promotion push this season. Successful loans with Bristol City and Swansea made Tammy a big signing for any Championship side and Villa offered the best option.
Michael Hector will join Sheffield Wednesday for the rest of the campaign.
Michael joined from Reading in 2015 and has barely been through the front door in all that time. He is 26 now and the reason we keep him is becoming a little vague.
Charly Musonda has joined Vitesse until the end of the season. He will shine in Dutch football. Fankaty Dabo will join him in the Eredivisie only he will be in Rotterdam with Sparta. Dabo was with Vitesse last season and knows his way around the league.
Eden’s brother Kylian has joined Belgian perennial strugglers Cercle Bruges. At least he will be near home.
Mason Mount has been called up for the England U21 side for the first time. The 19-year-old has scored four times in his eight games so far for Frank Lampard’s Derby.
Saturday 1 September
Chelsea 2:0 Bournemouth
After the humiliation of losing to this lot last term the boys looked determined to put thing right. Breaking down teams that try to defend in depth is going to become a speciality of Maurizio Sarri and our two late goals proved that, so far, he has the magic touch. Substitute Pedro gave us the lead and Eden Hazard blasted in the second to keep us level at the top with Liverpool who stumbled on their way past Leicester… well their new goalkeeper did anyway.
A word should go to Marcos Alonso for his assist in Hazard’s goal it was a sly pass that deserves the lay-off-of-the-season award. When they get around to inventing one.
Chelsea U18 3:1 Arsenal U18
A new name on the score sheet to many as Thierno Ballo started his path to destiny – or some such, he said he thought he would be in the first-team by next season when he joined, so at least he doesn’t lack in the testicular department – at 16 the Austrian looks a real prospect. Clinton Mola doubled the lead early in the second-half.
It wasn’t plain sailing, a highlights reel would show mostly Arsenal chances being acrobatically saved by Karlo Ziger. A late Ian Maatsen strike made the game safe.
Sunday 2 September
Swansea City U23 0:1 Chelsea U23
A third clean sheet and win on the road for the development squad. Swede Joseph Colley bundled the ball in for our goal.
Amusingly, Spurs or Watford would join us at the top of the table with a win when the clashed at Vicarage Road as both had already won three this season. The broad smile is because it is Watford on 12 points from four games as they beat Spurs and made them look nervous and unimaginative.