Saturday 1 July
Ruben has been saying goodbye. After twenty years at the club, it was clearly difficult for him. From the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland through the FA Youth Cup and Premier League wins, Ruben has been an influential, imposing and under-appreciated footballer. As a club we should learn from our failure to make him an asset.
He summed up how he felt on Inst-a-twit: “To the fans, you’ve supported me and had my back from day one, no words will ever be enough to tell you how much that has meant to my family and I”
We find ourselves saying this a lot at the moment, Amen to that.

Transfer activity continues: Diego Moreira arrived from Benfica and Alex Matos signed on from Norwich. Moreira won the Uefa Youth League with Benfica last year and Matos is known from his time with the Canaries. Both will go into the development squad.

Cesc Fabregas has retired. An Arsenal refugee when we signed him in 2014, Cesc lit up our midfield. His artistry, precision and passion have never been replaced. Fabregas won the Premier League twice while a Chelsea player and has retired one year into a. two-year deal at Como and heads to their youth and reserves as a coach. So, he might well be back at Chelsea on the day we junk the metrics and hire football coaches again. Apparently he had a magic hat…

England were held by Portugal in a friendly, Jess Carter, Niamh Charles and Lauren James all played in the disjoined display.

Sunday 2 July
England U21 beat Portugal 1-0 in one of the best rearguard actions you could wish to see. Anthony Gordon scored the winner.
Wednesday’s semi will see us reunited with group rivals Israel. We are already complacently projecting an easy win because of our 2-0 group-stage win.

Monday 3 July
Mauricio Pochettino started work today. Three months after the owners sacked Graham Potter we finally have a new head coach.
He seemed a little confused in his first interview, saying Chelsea are “the greatest team in England” over the last 10,12,15 years. It has been 19-years since we started amassing the 22 trophies won under Abramovich. If you do count only the last 15 years, then City have won more trophies.
He talked about the project and how excited he is to work with a ‘very young team’ with a ‘different approach than in the past’. What that means in terms of tactics and personnel we’ll have to wait and see.

The EFL Trophy dates have been confirmed. Milton Keynes Tuesday 29 August at 7.45pm. The others are 7pm starts Tuesday 26 September away at Northampton Town and Oxford Tuesday 7 November.

Tuesday 4 July
Mason Mount said goodbye in an abrupt manner. He said that we deserved more than a written statement, and then proceeded to read from a written statement. The move is “what’s right for me at this moment in my career”.
Usually, we would wish players well on their departure but in this case… actually we hope Mason does well but that his new club suffers years of uncertainty over ownership and funding.

Hannah Hampton has joined Chelsea after her Aston Villa contract wound down. A great young goalkeeper, and for free, Hampton gained her first England cap last season and heads to Australia with England for the women’s World Cup.

Nike launched the new season’s training gear today – their usual half-hearted effort – but still no sign of an official first-team strip.

Wednesday 5 July
England progressed comfortably from their semi-final against Israel to reach the Euro U21 final. The 3-0 score could have been more comfortable – we missed a penalty at 0-0 – and will meet Spain in the final on Saturday.
Levi Colwill started and Noni Madueke came on as a late sub. It is England’s first final since 2009.

The Spanish ended Ukraine and Mykhailo Mudryk’s chances with a thumping 5-1. Mudryk swept down the wing to set up the opening goal but Spain took control. Mudryk looked to have enjoyed his tournament after his impressive display against France caught the eye.

Thursday 6 July
Mason Mount left because he was not in Chelsea’s plans and that was made clear to him months ago. The mystery surrounding Mount’s move to Manchester United is becoming clearer. It seems our sporting directors or owners made a decision on Mount’s future long before Pochettino started.

Cesar Azpilicueta has left Chelsea. He was released from his contract and is in Madrid ahead of a move to Atletico. His tearful farewell was difficult to watch, Cesar has been such a stalwart servant of Chelsea Football Club.
Dave has been at the club so long he has become part of the furniture. Signed back in August 2012 – for £7m – alongside Eden Hazard and Victor Moses, Azpilicueta has been one of the most reliable and consistent performers in a Chelsea shirt, becoming the first foreign player to make 500 appearances. He won everything available while at the club, his 13 major finals is a record. Captain for the last few years he won the Champions League and Club World Cup as captain. The phrase captain, leader, legend was coined for someone else but fits Dave perfectly. He leaves with the best wishes of everyone.

Friday 7 July
Ex-Bristol City centre-half, Brook Aspin, signed her first professional contract with Chelsea and will return to her former club on loan for the season. Some controversy because Chelsea do not have to pay compensation to Bristol as they would for a male player in the same circumstance.

Mauricio Pochettino dead batted every question in his first press conference. His slow Spanish lilt is really hard to concentrate on, rather like Andreas Villas Boas’ low growl, press conferences and post-match comments are going to be hard to pick up.
While sounding positive, he really didn’t actually say anything. He understood that winning is important, players would be bought and sold, he was excited by the project, etc.
Many will have heard Pochettino say that the club needed to rebuild the club’s relationship with the fans. That, if he was sincere, would be a good place to start.

Saturday 8 July
England U21 1:0 Spain U21
Levi Colwill and Noni Madueke won the European U21 Championship. A deflected free-kick goal and a last-minute penalty save mean England have their first tournament at U21 level since 1984.
Ashely Cole was sent off from the bench in the second half as the referee proved that, whatever you think of PGMOL officials, there are worse referees.
There were a lot of Union Flags in the audience. Almost like the 1966 final back when few knew what an English flag was.
Congratulations to Channel 4 for grabbing the broadcast rights to the final. Perhaps a channel will cover the whole of the next tournament.
It was a triumph of the development structure introduced when St George’s Park was finally built. It was also a result of all the academies, the coaches and everyone who promotes young, English, homegrown talent.

AC Milan tabled a successful £19m bid for Captain America. Christian Pulisic clearly expressed his desire to join Fik, Olivier and Ruben as the ex-Chelsea in Milan, despite interest from Lyon.
Christian is another player whose time at Chelsea has been limited by injuries and managers who didn’t get him.
Like Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi, Christian needed a run of starts to get into his groove. Once there the 24-year-old is a great player but surviving on a few minutes here and there from the bench didn’t suit his game.
Odds on an AC Milan scudetto are shortening.

Ishe Samuels-Smith has been confirmed from Everton. The 17-year-old defender cost around £4m and will join the development squad.

Juventus have expressed an interest in Romelu Lukaku. No figures have been mentioned but the news should spur Inter into actually putting some money on the table.

John Terry’s return to the club as an academy coach came from his twitter account. John left to help Dean Smith keep Leicester City in the league but after that didn’t exactly work he has returned to coach in the academy.

Erin Cuthbert is now a doctor. The University of the West of Scotland made her a professor in midfield-generalship.

Monday 10 July
The new shirt has finally been unveiled, months late and without a sponsor as the owners cover themselves in glory once again.

The shirts themselves are the usual Nike dross. Poorly tailored and featuring a badge that looks a different colour depending on the angle. A crap fad that looked out of date on the Lionesses shirt last summer. It is as if the US clothing company have given up entirely and just put out whatever their poorly-paid interns could come up with. Given the many really good kits other clubs have had in the last few years Nike’s for Chelsea are the worst.

The soulless photoshoot to launch the latest rag has Roberto di Matteo and Denis Wise awkwardly photoshopped onto model’s faces. The kit is a tribute to the 90s, so expect our new tactics to consist of Hollywood balls into the channels.

No, actually, both 90s icons were at the shoot. It just looks so bad that photoshop was a more obvious guess.

The lack of a sponsor is wholly down to the owners. Not content with costing us millions by missing Europe, they have tossed at least £40m by failing to secure a main shirt sponsor. Barcelona used to keep sponsors off their shirt to indicate that their club represented their fans, their city and their region. We don’t have one because our owners are helpless amateurs.

They have spent the day pretending that the deal with Stake.com was abandoned before the supporter backlash. But if their competence at everything else is a measure, they are awful liars too.

Oh, and if you were keen, as many will be, to buy a Chelsea shirt without sponsorship – you can’t. The kit is not on sale until August, after the season starts.

In local news: QPR boss, Tony Fernandez, has opted for the quiet life and sold his shares. That still leaves Ruben Gnanalingam at the helm of the sinking ship.

Racing appointed Patrick Viera as head coach at the start of last week and we are a little slow keeping up with news from out French stablemates. Patrick left Palace in March, only to see his septuagenarian replacement instantly improve his side’s attack threat and guide them to safety. We are sure his tactics will be a little more attacking and closer to his first season at Selhurst than his second.

David Datro Fofana is heading to Union Berlin on loan. The move still has to be confirmed but will please fans of the Bundesliga, after Callum’s less than successful loan last season. The loan is without a buy option. Union qualified for the Champions League after surprising the Bundesliga and leading the league until the final weeks.

Tuesday 11 July
The women will play at least seven matches at Stamford Bridge next season. Four league games and all of the Champions League games are scheduled for the Bridge. Progress from the Champions League group is, almost, guaranteed so there could be many more.

Wednesday 12 July
Romelu Lukaku did not turn up for training today as the club explore a transfer to Inter. The saga is coming to an end but Inter are thought to be waiting for their ’keeper, Andre Onana, to join United before they sign any cheques.

Dion Rankine takes his dribbling and wing play to League One Exeter City on loan next season. Dion is an excellent prospect and we need an excuse to drop in on the Grecians – semper-fi.

A Fulham fan has been banned for homophobic chanting at the Chelsea game in February. It is another waring to supporters that your behaviour in a crowd is not anonymous and you can be caught.

Thursday 13 July
Chris Garland has passed on aged 74. Chris signed from Bristol City in 1971 and scored 31 goals for the Blues in four seasons. One of the most noticeable players with a very 1970s shock of blind hair. He nearly equalised for us in the League Cup final defeat to Stoke City but Gordon Banks saved.
His time at Chelsea was hampered by injuries and the declining fortunes of the club. He left for Leicester City 1975. Chris was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease as early as 1992. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Christian Pulisic is confirmed as an AC Milan player in an £18.8m deal. All Chelsea fans wish the little American well. He scored 26 goals in a stop-start Chelsea career, the opener in the Real Madrid semi probably the pick.

Overnight, Jamaica lost to Mexico in the semi-final of the Gold Cup. Dujuan Richard came on for the closing minutes with the damage already done. The USA lost the other semi to Panama on penalties.

Last season Arsenal started their pre-season fixtures on July 2nd, by the time they met us in Orlando they had a 21-day head start. We looked off the pace and ill organised in losing 4-0.
Arsenal started their pre-season games this term against Watford last Saturday and Kai Havertz made his debut away to Nuremburg tonight. Our first fixture is still ten days away.

Michael Emenalo has agreed to join the Saudi league as sporting director. Michael was under appreciated when at Chelsea, during which time he identified dozens of world class talents. It is sad to see such a talent scout, wasting his time with the Saudi plastic-football exercise.

Friday 14 July
‘Chelsea rent boy’ has just cost Wolverhampton Wanderers £100,000. Directed at us for years, the chant is just crude, homophobic nonsense. Some opposition fans have tried to argue that it means Abramovich bought the league by buying players over the odds. That is a bit like arguing that the Y-word used against Tottenham is not antisemitic.

England and Canada played out a 0-0 behind closed doors in Queensland. All the Chelsea girls played, almost the entire squad played at some stage.

Saturday 15 July
Rumours coming out of Italy that Lukaku and Inter have fallen out over wages. With Chelsea apparently willing to accept around £30m, only for the deal to flounder. Gossip tends to prevent accurate reporting but when the stir is this strong we listen.
Romelu has said disparaging things about AC and Juventus in the past, perhaps he wants to play in Jeddah.

Sunday 16 July
ngelo Gabriel from Santos will join the squad in the USA on Monday. The left footed winger set all kinds of records as the youngest player and goalscorer in the Brazilian league. The deal is around £13m.

Monday 17 July
The squad is heading to the USA for another disjointed and exhausting pre-season tour. Successful clubs in Europe tend to have four or five weeks away in a secluded training camp, rather than flying from place to place with jetlag.
Romelu Lukaku was not on the plane. Rumoured to be working on a transfer. As is Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who is nearing a move to Marseille. The French club have agreed personal terms and are talking to Chelsea about price.
Also missing are Reece James – feeling unwell – and Wesley Fofana, Marcus Bettinelli, Benoit Badiashile, Armando Broja who are all recovering from injury.

Willian has resigned for Fulham after rumours linking him with Forest came to nothing.

At the weekend, Racing signed Abakar Sylla, an Ivorian centre-half, from Club Brugge. At €20m (plus €2 add-ons) the fee doubles he club record. Welcome to Blue Co.

Tuesday 18 July
Boreham Wood 3:3 Chelsea XI
3-0 down within 20-minutes, we looked a little disjointed. There were a few head in hands mistakes but Callum Hudson-Odoi dragged us back into it by the half and Leo Castledine and Ty George pulled us level. Boreham Wood are National League contenders and this was their fourth pre-season game. So, Chelsea’s U18s, on as subs, toward the end and Donnell McNeilly almost winning it at the death was impressive.
Whatever the result or performance, Chelsea football is officially back.

The WSL fixtures hit the mat this morning. We start at Stamford Bridge, Sunday 1 October, against Spurs – and its live – 5.30 kick-off. Manchester City away follows that.

Wesley Fofana missed the plane because he needed ACL surgery. Signed from Leicester City last summer for a reported fee of £75m, Wesley made only 15 appearances last season because of knee problems. The injury means he will miss the coming football season but be fresh for 2024/25.
It must be desperate news for a 22-year-old athlete and we wish him well.
Levi Colwill is suddenly in the right place at the right time.

Wednesday 19 July
Chelsea have agreed in principle to purchase the Oswald Stoll meaning a new stadium could well be on the cards. The final decision is up to the Stoll trustees and is unlikely before the autumn.
BlueCo are still talking about moving to a new site – Earls Court – seemingly unaware that the Pitch Owners will no budge.
The stadium should be done stand by stand, starting with pulling down the hotel and building a Blue wall.
Sadly, the owners are more likely to get suckered by a shiny new architect’s model and a developers sweet talking. We will end up in a soulless Spurs-dome-a-like shithole.

Ethan Ampadu has joined Leeds United for £7m, with a reported sell-on clause. Ethan has been on loan almost from the moment we first signed him with stints at RB Leipzig, Sheffield United, Venezia etc. Still only 22 the versatile midfielder can play across the backline as well. It seems a shame that a player with 44 Wales caps while a Blue made only one appearance for his parent club in 5 years.
Exeter City earned £1m from the sale. Which will strengthen the Grecians ahead of the season.

Meanwhile, Oriol Romeu has been resigned by Barcelona as a 31-year-old for around £3m. Oriol arrive at Chelsea, aged 20, as the next Makelele but loans to Valencia and Stuttgart led to an exit to Southampton. The really surprising element of the midfielder’s return is the €400m release clause inserted in his three-year-deal.

Thursday 20 July
Chelsea 5:0 Wrexham
A good shakeout for the squad. A lot got minutes, a few impressed and Ian Maatsen pushed himself forward.
Maatsen’s two first-half goals were coolly slotted but his overall play as a left winger caught the eye. After a very successful season with Burnley last term, Maatsen is looking to step up.
In the sweltering heat and in front of 50,000 fans – Wrexham are famous – Nicolas Jackson wasted no time in latching on to a through ball and, unselfishly, feeding Maatsen. The Senegal striker was in his rhythm quickly and set up the young Dutchman for his second just before the break.
Andrey Santos, 19-year-old signed from and loaned back to Vasco De Gama last season, played a deep midfield role and linked attack and defence really well. If Caicedo is too expensive the young man is in the box seat.

Substitutions looked to have robbed the game of any coherence but at the death first Conor Gallagher, then Christopher Nkunku and then Ben Chilwell gave the scoreline a favourable look.
Wrexham we brave and direct and gave our defence plenty of tests. Nothing can be read into early pre-season games, less tactical analysis is possible in fitness exercises, but it is always better to be scoring goals and keeping a clean sheet.

And, yes, the new kit looks good. But that is mostly because it doesn’t have a huge advert on the front.

Overnight, a gunman decided to mark the women’s World Cup by gunning down one and injuring five more on a building site near squad hotels in Auckland. The police shot the perpetrator. Maren Mjelde said the Norwegian team had woken up with the sirens and police helicopter outside their hotel but they weren’t directly threatened. Not a terrorist but a disgruntled employee

As the women’s World Cup kicks off in Australia and New Zealand, Sam Kerr is out with a calf problem. The Chelsea striker will miss at least the first two matches.

In the tournament, New Zealand beat Reiten’s Norway 1-0 and the Matildas beat the Republic by a penalty.

On the same day he played well in a Chelsea midfield for the first time, Andrey Santos has been granted a work permit. There was some doubt but Mauricio can count the Brazilian in his squad.

Friday 21 July
Millie Bright is fit to lead England in the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Millie has been out with an ACL since March.

Aubameyang to Olympique de Marseille has been confirmed. The 34-year-old picks up a 3-year contract. Signed because he had a special relationship with Thomas Tuchel, only for his mentor to be sacked after one game. Three years is a good deal when you are 34.

Omari Hutchinson has joined Ipswich Town for the coming season. Omari got two appearances, both against Manchester City, last season and was a mainstay of the development squad. Exciting and attacking describes both player and club as the Tractor boys scored over a hundred goals getting promoted in second behind Plymouth.

Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence both played as Canada drew their opener with Nigeria. Old girl Ramona Bachman scored a penalty as the Swiss beat the Philippines 2-0 and Spain thrashed Costa Rica 3-0.

Saturday 22 July
Barnet 5:3 Chelsea XI
Before the past midnight game in the USA, the first Chelsea action was at Barnet’s Hive.
Barnet are another solid National League test for the development squad. The Bees are probably two-weeks ahead in pre-season, and even then our very young XI dominated at times. We could have been two up in the opening exchanges before Dylan Williams followed up Harvey Elliot’s saved shot. Barnet equalised before half time, sometimes the unit you are playing against is just too big.
Williams took just seconds of the second half to lob us back into the lead. Barnet then looked fitter and more mature going through a number of times to stretch to a 5-2 lead as Chelsea shuffled players in and out. Leo Castledine saved the best for last by curling a 25-yard into the top corner.
A good workout and performance from the Chelsea XI. At times, half the players on the pitch are still qualified for the youth cup.

England scraped a win against Haiti in the World Cup opener. A twice taken penalty and a couple of great saves from Mary Earps. It was a disjointed display, Haiti were better than we expected, especially Melchie Dumornay who has signed for Lyon.
Lauren James started on the bench and England’s attacking looked as disjointed as it has in recent matches.
But it is a winning start.
Japan enjoyed thrashing Zambia 5-0, Denmark with old girl Pernille Harder up front beat China 1-0 and, for once, the USA beat Vietnam.

Sunday 23 July
Chelsea 4:3 Brighton & Hove Albion
Goals from Christopher Nkunku, Mykhailo Mudryk, Conor Gallagher and from the impressive Nicolas Jackson ensured we beat 10-man Brighton.
There is plenty of work to do, Brighton’s first was well worked but our defence was passive and the penalty and late third will have the coaches working on things on the training ground. Brighton’s Jan Paul van Hecke was sent off for two quick yellows.
Overall, Pochettino has clearly adopted a system, 4-2-3-1 and the players know their roles and seem comfortable with the style. The shakiness at the back is no more evident than it has been when we play with a four rather than a three, goals against might be a sacrifice to enable more goals for in the new season.

In the World Cup, Johanna Rytting Kaneryd and Sweden beat South Africa 2-1. The Chelsea lass provided the cross for Sweden’s equaliser.
Eve Périsset had to watch from the bench as France drew 0-0 with Jamaica and the Netherlands beat Portugal 1-0.

Monday 24 July
Trevor Francis has died at only 69. Trevor was the first £1m footballer and a long serving servant of a number of clubs as player and manager and a regular media presence. There can only ever be one first million-pound man. Even if Al Hilal have offered €300m for Mbappé.

At the women’s World Cup, Melanie Leupolz played an hour of Germany’s 6-0 demolition of Morocco. Ann Katrin-Berger and Sjoeke Nüsken watched from the bench. Italy beat Argentina 1-0 and Brazil thumped Panama 4-0.

Tuesday 25 July
Aldershot 3:1 Chelsea XI
A very good start as Ronnie Stutter put us ahead in the opening minutes. The performance fell away. We were solid in conceding just an equaliser in the first half. This was another young side measuring up against good National League opposition and results will be patchy.

West Ham’s £40m bid for Conor Gallagher has been rejected. Rumour is that the move is up to the player if an acceptable bid is tabled. Given that Conor, with one season and 45 appearances, is our most experienced midfielder, you’d expect we’d be bringing players in rather than letting them go.

Guro Reiten and Maren Mjelde both played as Norway won a point against Switzerland. They will need to win their final game against the Philippines but that nation’s win over New Zealand evens up the group and anything is still possible.
Columbia beat Ji So-Yun’s South Korea.

Wednesday 26 July
Joe Lewis, the shady figure behind the scenes at Spurs, has been indicted for insider trading in the USA. Lewis must have been tipped off because he switched his ownership of Spurs to a family trust late last year. This kind of financial skulduggery, doesn’t disguise the fact that Lewis is in control of Spurs. Earlier this week Lewis was being quoted as interfering in the Kane contract and transfer situation, hardly the actions of someone who doesn’t have effective control.

The Republic of Ireland are out of the World Cup after Canada came from behind to win 2-1. Three Chelsea girls were in from the start for the Canucks, Jessie Fleming made her first appearance of the tournament, Kadeisha Buchanan and Ashley Lawrence played in the back four.
The Irish scored direct from a corner in the opening minutes, for the nation’s first goal in the tournament. Although the Irish had some bright moments, Canada were always the better side.
Japan and Spain both progress after wins against Costa Rica and Zambia respectively.

Thursday 27 July
Newcastle United 1:1 Chelsea
One of these sides secured a Champions League place last season and from this showing it was hard to tell which.
Nicolas Jackson looks the real thing. His movement and work rate were exemplified by his goal. Fed by a slick through ball from Ian Maatsen, Jackson held off his defender and finished expertly.
There were good performances across the park as Newcastle represented a tougher test than Brighton.
Maatsen has really staked a claim to a place in the squad. A left/wing back at Burnley last season, many thought he would be behind Ben Chilwell and, the still malfunctioning, Marc Cucurella. Instead, he has shown adaptability and flexibility by playing wide and through midfield.
Newcastle’s equaliser, to returning Atlanta favourite Miguel Almiron, was almost the Magpies only chance in the game. It was depressing to see Cucurella miss the ball and misjudge the run.
Our defence was not always perfect but we are preventing chances being created. For a side that lacked direction and confidence last term, we already look like a different outfit.
Mauricio said afterwards that Jackson needed to work on his fitness , that the Premier League will be tougher than this and that he wanted to recruit another midfielder, even if Gallagher stays.
Reece James was captain and he sems the natural fit. Perhaps Thiago as club captain and James his representative on the pitch.

In the World Cup, Australia were beaten by Nigeria 2-3, the shock means neither host are guaranteed to progress. Portugal beat Vietnam and the Netherlands almost upset the USA but the sides drew one each.

More Moises Caicedo rumours, this time an £80m bid. Brighton want £100 for a player with one senior season under his belt and 32 Ecuador caps. They are standing in his way but, at that price, Chelsea should be looking elsewhere.

Kingstonian 0:3 Chelsea U18
Frustratingly little on the official site. Apparently Somto Boniface, Frankie Runham and Shumaira Mheuka with the goals. Would it hurt for an occasional official update or match report? This is the U18s third pre-season outing and there is nothing from Chelsea.

Friday 28 July
Lauren James announced herself on the world stage by curling in a beauty from the edge of the area as England beat Denmark at the World Cup. Pernille Harder was starved of possession early but Mary Earps made a few good saves as England lost Keira Walsh to, what looked, a bad knee injury.

You are not welcome at Stamford Bridge if you are under the age of 16. The club announced that everyone will have to bring a grown-up, which seems unnecessary and unworkable. We started at the Bridge in 1978 with a under 16 season ticket. Earlier games had been birthday outings with someone’s dad trying to corral seven or eight kids.
The stadium has long had an age problem as the profile of the fans who can afford the tickets rises ever higher. Keeping under 16s out seems mean spirited and illogical.

Chelsea have settled a case with Uefa for submitting incomplete financial information during Roman’s time at the club.
The £8.6m covers 2012-19 but there are no details. The new owners self-reported the matter to Uefa and we are unlikely to find out the details. The size of the fine means a minor infraction of technical rules and takes into account the statute of limitations on reporting.
It does rob us of the moral high ground.

Saturday 29 July
Ebbsfleet United 2:6 Chelsea
Ronnie Stutter pulled us back with two equalisers early on and then set up Harvey Vale to give us the lead at the break.
Jimmy Jay Morgan swept in a fourth before tapping in for our fifth and the scoring was completed with a Vale free kick.
A very good run out for the squad with a couple of behind closed doors games ahead of the season opener Friday 11 August.

Sweden with Zećira Mušović and Johanna Rytting Kaneryd, beat Italy 5-0 to progress easily. France had a more difficult task but scored a late winner to beat Brazil. Eve Perisset started at right-back.
Drew Spence and Jamaica beat Panama for the country’s first win at the finals. They move ahead of Brazil while level on points with France.

A £23.1m bid has been accepted for the Rennes midfielder Lesley Ugochukwu. The 19-year-old came through the Stade Rennais system and has 60 appearances, 35 of those last season. Speculation is that he will stay in Ligue 1 with Racing.
We are not sure but probably our first Les since Les Fridge all those years ago.

There is some good news for Keira Walsh – her knee is not an ACL tear. There is no indication of when she might be back but she will miss at least the last group game against China.

Sunday 30 July
Chelsea 2:0 Fulham
Craven Cottage is about a mile away and a nice walk, so playing them in Maryland seem a bit extreme.
We are Summer Series World Champions. The final league table doesn’t lie.
We looked coherent in the first half and goals came from Thiago Silva, from a corner, and Christopher Nkunku. There were positives in all the performances, Sterling looks like he is going to contribute. Chukwuemeka looks a handful. ngelo Gabriel had an impact. Jackson and Nkunku work well together. Many of those who were around last season looked good too. In every game, so far, we’ve looked in control, looked solid and dominated sides who all finished above us last term.

We have had another bid accepted, this time for Axel Disasi from AS Monaco. The 25-year-old has a few caps for France and will cost around £38.5m. With Fofana and Badiashile both out we needed to splash on another French defender. Monaco is Lawrence Stewart’s old stamping ground but the price doesn’t seem favourable. Badiashile and Disasi are mates.

At the World Cup, Norway found their form and Guro Reiten a penalty as they beat the Philippines 6-0. Morocco beat South Korea Switzerland’s draw with New Zealand means the co-hosts are out and Germany lost to Columbia despite Sjoeke Nüsken playing the second half. The Germans equalised with almost the last kick, only for Colombia to secure a winner with the last kick.