Saturday 1 June
Gary Cahill is a free-agent. He leaves after seven seasons and with one of every medal available. He has been a calming influence over the years and it was good to see him lifting the trophy on Wednesday in his role as club captain.
In Madrid in the play-off for the minor European trophy both sides stank and were an embarrassment to the British game. That said Liverpool managed to score a couple of goals so Klopp has his silverware. Given their performance this season it is hard to begrudge them.
The result also means that there is only one European trophy in London, as usual.
It means we will play the Reds in Istanbul in August for the Super Cup. The travel will be a bit of a headache as the game falls on the first Wednesday after the start of the new season on Saturday 10 August.
The Toulon tournament didn’t get off to the best start as England U20 lost to Japan U23. No, nobody really knows about the age gap but we have been entering an U21 team in winning the last three. Marc Guehi and Trevoh Chalobah started at the heart of the defence but Japan closed down and harried everything we tried to do and were worthy winners.
Monday 3 June
We have a pre-season game in this country. Well, Reading in any case; the match is on Sunday 28 July, the match will have to be squeezed into a busy period with a trip to play RB Salzburg in Austria on the Sunday.
Tuesday 4 June
Ashley Cole’s short stay at Derby is over. At 38 he will probably retire. Frank Lampard released five players over 30 as he starts to rebuild the squad in his own image.
Things got worse in Toulon as a side with Chalobah, Connor Gallagher and Reece James wilted in the face of a determined and skilful Portugal U19 side.
We really seem to have turned up under-prepared and looking towards the beach.
Wednesday 5 June
Portugal await in the final of the Nations League if we should get that far.
Thursday 6 June
Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til its gone… Sky are reporting an initial £88m for Hazard from Madrid. Dependant on medicals and personal terms that looks like that.
They paved paradise… we will recover, after all Liverpool didn’t really coalesce until Philippe Coutinho was off loaded to Barcelona, but nobody can pretend that the football at Stamford Bridge isn’t going to be a little less colourful… and put up a parking lot.
Some England fans have been blamed for sporadic trouble in Porto ahead of England’s Nations League match tomorrow. It is hardly surprising in a nation that votes for the proto-fascist Brexit Party that some of the fans following the national team might misbehave.
The condemnations should though wait for confirmation that it was the fault of England fans. They have, after all, been attacked before by riot police with no provocation. That was no matter to the Football Supporters’ Association who “unreservedly condemned the anti-social behaviour and violent disorder” from the comfort of their own armchairs back here in the UK.
Lennart Johansson has died at the age of 89. Johansson was one of the few decent administrators that Uefa have known. He lost the race to run Fifa to Sepp Blatter because he promised to clean up the world game. Given the financial disparity now in the game we are not sure if creating the Champions League really counts as an achievement but he did award Euro 96 to England despite the usual opposition.
Friday 7 June
England 1:3 Netherlands
Marcus Rashford’s penalty was all we had to show for a below par performance that was halfway between a testimonial and a pre-season.
The catastrophic defensive blunders are more the fault of the manager who had failed to identify an English midfielder who can link play in the last eighteen-months. At the start of Gareth Southgate’s tenure Ruud Gullit said that we were trying to play a possession, passing game with a team of players good at receiving. Tonight the Sky panel have finally caught on. They couldn’t identify an individual player to save England but Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Wilshire have not featured in Southgate’s plans and James Maddison and Mason Mount are on holiday while Fabian Delph takes up room in the squad.
The performance on the pitch may have contained mistakes but the stadium organisation nearly cost lives – thousands of fans who arrived an 45-minutes to an hour before kick-off were locked outside, faulty turnstiles and where then charged by baton wielding local thugs wearing police uniforms.
A Uefa spokesman, eerily echoing South Yorkshire’s liar in chief Norman Bettison, blamed fans for tuning up late. The thugs with batons were there to “restore order” and the gates were thrown open because 800 fans had already undergone “initial ticket checks”.
It all proves that the authorities never learn lessons from events like Hillsborough they just arrogantly go on treating fans like cattle. The three-hour wait for a train after the match, queuing outside in the rain, didn’t really endear Uefa to fans.
The Eden Hazard deal is confirmed at £130m. Eden will pull on the filthy, phalangist rag that is the Real Madrid shirt on Thursday.
Given that we have all that lolly rolling around in our pockets it is hardly surprising that we have appealed the transfer ban with CAS. The transfer window closes on Thursday 8 August, CAS have not been able to give us a decision date.
The World Cup started in France with a thumping win for the home side against South Korea. Ji So-Yun couldn’t do much inspire going forward but tackled back and worked extremely hard. England’s embarrassing failure under an amateur manager starts on Sunday against Scotland.
Saturday 8 June
It is a matter of huge satisfaction and pride that Steve Clarke is manager of Scotland but Chelsea fans tuning in to wish him well in his opener against Cyprus were reminded that, however much you respect the manager, he still only has Scottish players to pick. They struggled to a 2-1 win against the minnows and play Belgium in midweek.
Ethan Ampadu was prominent as Wales lost 2-1 in Croatia.
Emerson was rewarded for his late season form for us with a third Italy cap and provided an assist for the third goal in a 0-3 win in Greece.
World champions France lost 2-0 in Turkey, creating few chances for Olivier Giroud.
Justin Edinburgh died at the age of just 49. He had a heart attack last week but the news is still a shock. Edinburgh was one of the Spurs players never to beat Chelsea in a decade of trying.
Brighton and Hove Albion have been many people’s second club since the Fans United protest twenty years ago but they are doing their best to alienate fans now. After they sacked the manager who had kept them in the Premier League, now they have fired three of their ground staff for allegedly leaking team news on social media. The club have provided no notice to the sacked staff or any evidence that they were responsible.
The case will be taken to an employment tribunal by the GMB and Brighton will lose more than just the legal costs and compensation due but a lot of good will from the wider football family.
Sunday 9 June
Switzerland 0:0 England
Jordan Pickford was so determined to be the penalty hero that he took one himself and then saved the next spot-kick to hand us the prestigious third place in the inaugural Nations League.
The rest if the match was attack against defence and saw England miss half a dozen decent chances.
England’s women beat Scotland in France. Fran Kirby was busy in a wide role but VAR decided the match early giving another absurd handball decision where no England player had appealed.
Monday 10 June
The retained and released lists are out and Chelsea are shedding 11 players. We should say that some of them might accept new contracts but at the moment as well as the much-publicised departure of Gary Cahill and Robert Green we are potentially losing Bradley Collins, Fankaty Dabo, Eduardo, Todd Kane, Josimar Quintero, Ruben Sammut, Kyle Scott, Martell Taylor-Crossdale and Jared Thompson.
Of those, while some are relatively unknown, Todd Kane is already attracting interest from Villa and Derby, Kyle Scott and Martell Taylor-Crossdale and Fankaty Dabo are quality players.
Tuesday 11 June
Kurt Zouma scored as France beat Andorra 4-0, it was the big defender’s first goal for his country. Ethan Ampadu is making a regular Wales place his own but he has been subbed by the time they conceded a winner to Hungary.
Steve Clarke’s second game in charge wasn’t quite as good as his first. Belgium scored in each half to condemn him to his first defeat. Old-boys E Hazard, T Courtois, T Hazard, K De Bruyne and R Lukaku it is painfully clear that we recently owned five of the starting IX of the top ranked team in the world…
Talks have opened with Frank Lampard as Derby move to replace him with Lee Bowyer. Frank appears to have popped to the top of the list because few other coaches are available this summer.
Reece James’ ankle isn’t broken and he should be with the squad for pre-season training. James, who made big headlines at Wigan last season, hobbled out of England’s defeat to Japan in Toulon. England finished that tournament with a 4-0 win over Guatemala in the prestigious 9th place play-off. Marc Guehi played the first hour.
Thursday 13 June
Manchester United away on the opening day. Or the opening weekend as it has become with Liverpool and Norwich starting us off on the Friday 9 August and our match the 4pm Sunday pick. We have two games against Liverpool in the first few weeks with the Super Cup game on Wednesday 14 August and then again at the Bridge Saturday 21 September. Our first trip to the new Three-Point Lane stadium is just before Christmas. The curtain comes down with a home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday 17 May.
There will be a mid-winter break so our home game with Manchester United will either be on February 8 or 15 depending on which side of the break Sky and BT decide we should play.
Saturday 15 June
Frank Lampard has, apparently, opened talks with Derby about a new contract because no formal move has been made by Chelsea. The board have shown themselves incompetent in hiring managers in the recent past … remember that Conte arrived for the first day of pre-season because we hadn’t yet appointed Sarri. Now it seems Sarri is going to go before we have a replacement lined up.
Sunday 16 June
Well, Sarri is out of the door after being unveiled as Juventus boss. We have all been a little unkind to Maurizio Sarri. He came with high regard and leaves for one of the most powerful club sides in the world. He leaves us with a trophy and a scintillating thrashing of Arsenal it was too. And yet…
There have been too many ‘and yet’ moments in his tenure to suggest that he didn’t quite fit.
Soccer Aid rumbled on at the Bridge as England lost to the rest of the world on penalties. Sadly, someone let the human shit-stain Piers Morgan into the ground and the lying criminal dick started some Arsenal chants. Sadly, nobody even keyed his car.
It was good to see, Joe Cole, Didier Drogba, Ricardo Carvalho and a host of other old boys.