Monday 11 February
English football is relaxed about appearing to be corrupt as they allow Oldham
Athletic to appoint Paul Scholes as manager. Scholes owns 10% of Salford City. Oldham and Salford could well end up in the same league next season but the Football League (of the English Football League as they moronically like to be called. Honestly when you are the oldest league in the world and have the right to be identified as the one and only, original Football League, why would you listen to a marketing consultant who suggested dropping the name used since 1888 to become the ‘EFL’ – a name that makes the competition sound infinitely less prestigious and more homogenised – we’d have stuffed the guy’s prawn sandwiches up his sunshine hole and sent him packing) shrugged off any criticism of what is a blatant conflict of interest.
They should have forced home to sell his stake or not allowed Oldham to offer him the job.

Tuesday 12 February
Gordon Banks has died at the age of 81. The goalkeeper in Alf Ramsey’s World Cup team, Banks showed a very quiet perfectionism in amassing 73 caps before a 1972 car accident robbed him of the sight in one eye. Bank’s only domestic trophy was the League Cup he won with Stoke City in ’72 against us.
Pat Nevin had a word for Mickey Thomas who has stomach cancer and plenty of treatment ahead of him, we’d like to echo the thoughts Pat sent to his old colleague. We hope he gets well soon because he was, without doubt, one of the biggest characters we ever employed.
Carly Telford extended her contract with us until 2021 and talked about the importance of the goalkeeping coach, Stuart Searle, in her decision to sign.

Thursday 14 February
Malmo FF 1:2 Chelsea
A solid rather than spectacular foot on the first rung back to consistency but a reasonable defensive performance and a couple of well worked and taken goals leave Sarri smiling for the first time in a while.
Well, he would have been if it hadn’t been for the slip that allowed their consolation and the failure of Jorginho to track the runner who scored with ease. Malmo, you’ll remember, are in their pre-season preparations.
Given what happened to Arsenal this evening against our old friends BATE Borisov – who raised the flag of Belarusian football to a new height by thrashing Arsenal 1-0 – perhaps we should be thankful for small mercies.

Friday 15 February
Chelsea U23 0:2 Swansea City U23
Another frustrating night for the development squad as Swansea scored early and doubled their lead after injuries left us reduced to ten-men with Richard Nartey in goal.

Sunday 17 February
Chelsea 3:0 Arsenal
After our uncertain start to the season it would be a great achievement to retain the FA Cup and two goals from Bethany England split by a cracker from Jonna Andersson should give us all the confidence we need. The weather was so good you could be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t spring already.