Wednesday 10 July
Bohemians 1:1 Chelsea
Well, what did we learn from Frank Lampard’s first game? Possibly just that he is going to be tactically more flexible than previous managers and that there is a long way to go.
He used 22 players in the leg stretching exercise starting with two holding midfielders in a 4-2-3-1 and reverting to a 4-3-3 in the second-half
Ethan Ampadu and Danny Drinkwater held the base of the midfield as we dominated the first period. Michy Batshuayi will be very pleased with his early goal and the pace and energy he brought to the performance.
Overall, especially as the team changed at the interval, we looked a bit leggy against a team who are mid-way through their season. But Billy Gilmour really stood out with his control and positive, forward looking football. He is a gem.
St Patricks on Saturday afternoon next.
Thursday 11 July
Everyone who had a problem watching the live-stream on the 5th Stand will get a refund. It make a change from the old days when the suggestion would be made that it was your fault or your antiquated tech’s fault.
Friday 12 July
The women’s game at the Bridge has sold out. If everyone turns up it will be the biggest crowd in the women’s game since Dick Kerr’s Ladies drew 53,000 to Goodison Park in 1920.
The development squad will play Swindon Town, Bristol Rovers and Plymouth Argyle in the Checkatrade Trophy Group Stage.
It might be that we are destined to always play Argyle in the group stage
Mitchel Beeney, Dujon Sterling, Trevoh Chalobah, Josh Grant, Michael Hector, Jacob Maddox, Lewis Baker, Ike Ugbo, Izzy Brown Lucas Piazon, Jake Clare-Salter, Sami Nabbad, Luke McCormick, George McEachran, Juan Castillo, Tariq Uwakwe, Tariq Lamptey, Charlie Brown and Marc Guehi all played as the loan group beat Bretford B 7-1 at Cobham this morning.
The name of the group suggests that many of these players will be dotted all over the Championship this term. We thought Lewis Baker, Izzy Brown and Marc Guehi should be in the first-team squad but, perhaps, injuries have held them all back in the last few months.
The development squad beat Swansea City U23 3-0 in the afternoon.
Saturday 13 July
St Patrick’s Athletic 0:4 Chelsea
This was much better from both the XIs we put out. Mason Mount was the standout performer in the first-half. He took his goal brilliantly but more than that he drove the team forward relentlessly, took set-pieces and looked the all-round pro.
We played with both Abraham and Batshuayi attacking in the first half with a diamond midfield. In the second we gave Olivier Giroud a run and he battered in two. This time with Billy Gilmour pulling the strings in a 4-2-3-1. Billy was brilliant in midweek and while probably heading for a loan he looks at home in first-team company.
St Pat’s are in the middle of their own Europa League adventure and weren’t risking many of their more important players so old boy Conor Clifford didn’t get to play.
Weirdly Eric Molloy, who scored the equaliser for Bohemians on Wednesday came on as a sub for St Pat’s where he is on loan. Had he scored again he might have become an interesting quiz question.
The players have been speaking very positively about Lampard’s training methods and the improvement in speed and accuracy from the midweek game suggests that everything is going in the right direction.
We can’t help smiling every time we think of the up-coming season.
Sunday 14 July
Andy Myers will take over the academy team for next season after Joe Edwards stepped up to first-team duties.
It seems Frank Lampard’s influence is not just creating chances for young footballers but young coaches too.
Myers is only 45 and came through our academy himself in the 1990s. Jon Harley will assist.
Ed Brand steps in to take the U18s and assumes the mantle of winning back our FA Youth Cup.
James Simmons take over the U16s and assist Brand.
The all the academy sides are on their holidays in the west country playing Bournemouth and Poole Town at the weekend.
Martell Taylor-Crossdale washed up at Fulham
Monday 15 July
Mason Mount has signed a new deal. The five-year deal is the clearest sign that he is a big part of Frank Lampard’s Chelsea. Mason has been a Chelsea boy since he was six and the new deal will take him through his twentieth year at Chelsea.