Monday 18 September
Chelsea U23 2:2 Manchester United U23
It is a shame we needed to haul ourselves back into this as we dominated proceedings but still found ourselves two down just after the break. Isaac Christie-Davies led the fight back and Callum Hudson-Odoi levelled but the deserved winner didn’t come.
Given our dominance and the 2-2 against Sunderland last time out we are putting in the right kind of performances but not getting the rewards.
Tuesday 19 September
Another probe into Chelsea’s recruitment of youth players, this time by Fifa, is rumbling in the background. Given that the previous investigations came to nothing, you would assume that the club know what they are doing when signing minors. Both Atletico and Real Madrid have transfer embargoes because of their dealings with young players, so size and wealth are clearly no bar to punishment.
Fran Kirkby and Millie Bright both played as England thrashed a very poor Russia side at Prenton Park. The women embraced their controversial coach Mark Sampson after one of the goals as the split in the English game over the racist comments made by Sampson looks to grow ever wider.
Wednesday 20 September
Chelsea 5:1 Nottingham Forest
Well that is better, a hatful of goals, some bright and promising performances from our youngsters and Eden Hazard finishing the 90-minutes.
Forest were very generous with space and time as Kenedy shot us into a quick lead before Michy Batshuayi and young Charly Musonda added gloss to the half-time score. Forest did hit a post but we’d bossed the whole evening to that time.
Any half-time pep talk was rendered useless by Hazard bursting through the Forest defence and squaring the ball for Batshuayi’s second and our fourth. He got his hat-trick as the ball cannoned off the bar from Kenedy’s fierce shot, hit the Belgian striker and bounced in.
Ethan Ampadu came on in defence and announced himself to the crowd with a crunching tackle. He looked the part at only seventeen. Also on Dujon Sterling and Jake Clarke-Salter.
Extra drills for everyone in the defence as Forest grabbed a late consolation.
Charly Musonda, bless ’im, gave almost an Oscar acceptance speech after the game: thanking everyone in the team, all his coaches, his mum and dad, his brothers, all the members of the academy . . .
The draw for the next round paired us, at home, with Everton.
Earlier in the day the FA sacked Mark Sampson as head coach of the women’s team. Not, you understand, for racist comments they had already cleared him from (after two thorough and independent enquiries), no, he was sacked after safeguarding allegations from his time as Bristol Academy coach… allegations that date back to 2014 which have already been investigated and he was cleared in 2015 as suitable to continue working in football.
It seems Sampson has been given the push after being found not guilty in three inquiries.
In trying to further the racist comments cover-up the FA have been lying through their collective dentures all day. Clearly annoyed that their flawed ‘investigations’ and hush money payments didn’t make the racism problem disappear, they have now bounced Sampson out his job on trumped up safeguarding charges. The line is that they have only just been made aware of the details of the case and now feel they warrant the sack.
Not to mention that the FA should have known about the allegations when they interviewed Mark for the job… once again they are either lying or grotesquely incompetent.
Thursday 21 September
Atletico and Chelsea announced the transfer of Diego Costa for around £57m. The Brazilian born Spanish international, for whom the phrase wantaway striker was invented, has finally got his move, the club have finally got some money, Atletico have a fine player and we can finally stop hearing about him. It is a shame to lose a player who has been monstrously good since he first signed three seasons ago but honestly if it weren’t for Brexit there wouldn’t have been a longer running media saga.
Tiemoue Bakayoko pranged the SUV on his way home from training. His brother has already posted that Tiemoue doesn’t like driving on the left but we couldn’t speculate as to the exact nature of this minor collision. He will be fit for Stoke.
Friday 22 September
Leicester City U23 2:0 Chelsea U23
A run of disappointing results continued for the U23s as a goal in each half from George Thomas sank a misfiring blues side.
Emma Hayes says she is committed to Chelsea as speculation mounts linking her with the England manager’s post.
Saturday 23 September
Stoke City 0:4 Chelsea
We don’t often get to play teams at the right time but Stoke today finished without a recognised central defender and we took advantage magnificently.
Alvaro Morata might be someone Antonio Conte would take home to meet his daughter but the Stoke rearguard will not be extending the invitation. Morata beat their offside trap with fewer than two minutes on the clock and Pedro doubled our advantage after a sloppy pass allowed him time and sight of goal.
Morata completed a hat-trick after the break as Stoke showed plenty of fight. Morata’s second came after he ran past three defenders and clipped his shot in from a diminishing angle. It was a moment of pure class.
Tackles that would have seen a Chelsea player sent off but that only drew a yellow from corrupt officials, number 37 in a series: Peter Crouch on Cesc Fabregas. In the dying stages of the game Crouch launched himself, studs up into Cesc’s knee. Obviously a red card offence but strangely the referee, as if to confirm that there is one rule for us and another for all the rest, only awarded a yellow.
Swansea City U18 0:5 Chelsea U18
Quickly then, a list: Billy Gilmour, Martell Taylor-Crossdale from the spot, Diashawn Reden with two, and George McEachran scored the goals – all of them crackers from distance.
Sunday 24 September
Chelsea 6:0 Bristol City
A great way to start life at Kingsmeadow with the BBC streaming the game live the girls stepped up with goals from Drew Spence, Fran Kirkby, Magdalena Eriksson and Gilly Flaherty on what was a wonderful afternoon all round.