Monday 17 June
Fifa seem not to care that we can all see them cheating. VAR has clearly been instructed to cut the hosts some slack as they were allowed to have two goes at a late VAR awarded penalty to beat Nigeria 1-0.
Nigeria have a less valuable television market than France.
Rumours are circulating that Napoli fans have taken down a plaque dedicate to Maurizio Sarri erected after he left to join Chelsea last year. Apparently, the Napoli fans consider taking over at Juventus a huge betrayal.
Tuesday 18 June
England U211:2 France U21
Another England side lines up without a midfield. Naturally suspicious of those scheming, devious Europeans and their ‘passing’ football, a proud England team sought to win a match by pumping long balls for their out of form striker.
That is right, the limited England manager, Aidy Boothroyd, chose to leave his best midfielder, Mason Mount, on the bench and rely on good, old fashioned heft to get the ball anywhere near their box.
We could have been long buried by the crafty French tactic of passing the ball to players in the same coloured shirt and having a shape and tactical plan but they missed two penalties. The first one of those imaginary handballs, where ball strikes hand from a very short distance and from behind but the new breed of ignorant referee delighted in the award.
With England’s women struggling against modest opposition in France under an amateur coach and the U21 side bullied and mismanaged by a disciple of the moronic, long-ball football of Charles Hughes and Wing-Commander Charles Reep, it is clear that England are not going to add to the age group trophies they picked up in 2017. Those were clearly an aberration in the nation’s continuing quest to hoof balls into positions of maximum opportunity.
Michel Platini had his collar felt by French plod over the award of the World Cup to Qatar. It seems Fifa are incapable of investigating the obviously corrupt award of a summer football tournament to a country where it is impossible to play football outside in the summer.
Qatar has further endeared themselves by enslaving thousands of overseas workers to build their vanity project and then casually slaughtering them through unsafe working conditions.
Wednesday 19 June
The Scottish FA are to buy Hampden Park from Queens Park in 2020. It will bring an end to more than a century of the amateur side playing their matches at the national stadium.
The sickening spectacle of VAR incompetence robbed Scotland of progress at the World Cup. A penalty was incorrectly awarded after VAR only showed the referee one angle of a tackle in which the Scotland defender played the ball. To compound the error the kick was then retaken after the Scottish ’keeper move a microsecond too soon.
The BBC is promoting the Women’s World Cup with the slogan “Change the Game” but it seems the incompetent fools at Ifab are the ones changing the game, only for the worse. With every tinker from the International Football Association Board the game becomes more and more of a lottery of absurd handball decisions and VAR errors.
How these incompetent idiots can be removed and the damage they have wrought on the game repaired is unclear at the moment. We might have to march on their headquarters in Zurich with lighted torches and pitchforks.
Nathan Baxter will slum it in in Scottish football next season. He will take his prodigious talent to Ross County in the Scottish premiership after winning every club prize on loan at Yeovil last term. He might have looked for a Championship side next term but top flight football in Scotland will give him a good grounding.
Thursday 20 June
Former defender Ian McFarlane shuffled off at the age of 86. Ian joined the champions in 1956 and made 43 appearances in two years for Chelsea. One of his most notable performances was in being turned inside out by Stanley Matthews in one of his last games at the Bridge.
McFarlane moved on to Leicester City where he really made his name as player and later caretaker manager.
John Terry signed a contract extension at Villa. Terry was interviewed for the Middlesbrough job last month and his ears will have pricked up when the Chelsea job became available but this move rules him out.
And leaves the way clear for Frank Lampard – if ever the club can get around to dotting the t’s and crossing the i’s in their usual muddled fashion. They wished him a happy 41st birthday this morning and his wife posted a photo of the putative new Chelsea boss on a boat floating on water far too blue to be the Thames near Putney.
Friday 21 June
Much to everyone’s surprise Petr Cech is back at the club as technical and performance advisor. When done well the role is a go-between for the squad, academy and the board and should reduce the incidence of players falling out with the management. The appointment, so clumsily leaked just before the Uefa Cup final, will not have any influence over transfers or contract negotiations.
Brad Collins has been snapped up by Barnsley after being released by Chelsea. Our former ’keeper played 35 games for Burton Albion last year on loan.
Fernando Torres has announced his retirement from the game at 35. The Spanish striker came to us from Liverpool in midseason and against the then manager’s wishes but he scored a number of important goals in blue. None more important than the goal at Camp Nou that secured the semi-final against Barcelona in 2012.
Out in Italy another England U21 late crash and burn at the Euros saw them score two but concede four in the last 15 minutes. The farce should mean that Aidy Boothroyd loses his job. Tonight he chose to leave Tammy Abraham on the bench again, after leaving the 20-goal-a-season striker on the sidelines against France in favour of a player who couldn’t break into the Bournemouth first-team (no disrespect to Dominic Solanke but he hasn’t looked in form for months). Boothroyd fancied giving Dominic Calvert-Lewin a shot tonight. Calvert-Lewin perhaps should have started against France, had some good touches but never looked like troubling the Romanian defence.
Our young striker looked the part from the moment he entered the game, scoring one, unsettling their defence and hitting the bar. With City’s influential midfielder Phil Foden left on the bench, we kid not, rested for the latter stages, the delusional Boothroyd said he wasn’t going to resign: “they’ll have to carry me out”.
Saturday 22 June
Norway beat Australia on penalties. Maren Mejlde, Maria Thorisdottir and Guro Reiten all played with Mejlde and new girl Reiten slotting in the shootout.
Sunday 23 June
Real Madrid 5:4 Chelsea
The old boys put in a good shift as Shevchenko, Poyet, Gallas and Florent Malouda scored our goals. Madrid were very impressive on a night when the legends put on a show of skill, control and balance. The final score does mask the fact that we did very well to fight back from conceding three goals in the opening twenty minutes.
Phil Neville managed to steer England into the quarter-finals as they beat a poor Cameroon side 3-0. Cameroon’s players came close to a strike after England’s second goal wasn’t ruled out for offside. Perhaps it will take direct player action for the tyrannical weirdos running Ifab and the refereeing community to realise they have gone too far.
Norway in the next round on Thursday.
Monday 24 June
The FA gave Aidy Boothroyd a new contract just before the European U21 championships in Italy. His U21 side let three leads slip in their last game to draw 3-3 with Croatia. England limp home from another tournament without a win.
You wouldn’t mind if anything was going right with England but they have stalled badly this summer. The main squad slumped at the Nations League finals because they didn’t have a midfielder capable of taking the ball off the defence or covering opposition breaks. The U20 side in Toulon were overrun because they didn’t have anyone to take the ball off the defenders or cover opposition breaks, the U21s in Italy did have players capable of taking the ball off the defence but chose to leave them on the bench or rest them for the latter stages. The contrast with Romania’s highly organised, dynamic squad couldn’t be clearer.
The reason England teams never win anything is we continue to appoint coaches brought up on Wing-Commander Reep’s long-ball philosophy. It does not work.
Playing a possession game can be done but the tactics need to evolve and we are playing the same way we were three years ago. There isn’t any direction or, seemingly, any understanding of the problem. Instead we blame individual players and absolve the coaches.
Tuesday 25 June
Derby County have given Chelsea permission to talk to Frank Lampard about the manager’s job. What’s that… about time too? We have agreed to £4m compensation. Watch this space…
David Duckenfield will be back in court in October to face manslaughter charges for killing 95 people at a football match. We hope he rots in prison forever as a reminder to all the police and stadium authorities that supporter safety is their overriding responsibility. We have seen an alarming increase in recent years, from Brighton to Portugal and the Nations League, of incidents of heavy-handed policing and stadium intransigence creating dangerous crushes.
Wednesday 26 June
Richard Nartey signed a new deal and headed straight out on, the now well-worn, loan path to Burton Albion.
Those hoping that Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will promote the best of the youth team will be disappointed to hear that Jay Dasilva has joined Bristol City on a permanent deal. Jay was well on his way to becoming a classy defender, capable of going forward, crossing and creating. It is a bit of a wrench to see him go.
Thursday 27 June
Millie Bright and Fran Kirby both starred as England beat Maren Mjelde, Maria Thorisdottir and Guro Reiten on the Norway team. England’s 3-0 result is one of the best by any England team in a generation. We might have to be a bit kinder to Phil Neville but we would ask why he has adopted Gareth Southgate’s wardrobe.
Chelsea will be playing a couple of matches in Ireland again. St Patricks and Bohemians 13th and 16th of July.
Then we are off to Japan and when back we’ll be playing Reading. Borussia Monchengladbach on August 3rd finishes off the pre-season matches.
Saturday 29 June
Magdalena Eriksson and Jonna Andersson and old girl Hedvig Lindahl, playing for Sweden, beat Germany to book their place in the World Cup semi-final. They will play European champions the Netherlands next Wednesday.