Monday 29 June
The FA are facing a £300m blackhole thanks to covid-19 and have laid off 124 members of staff. No furloughing or bridging loans for the FA – straight to the P45.
Rightly mocked as incompetent marketing executives, this is a new low for the wankers who run the FA.
After the lockdown they had no financial rescue package for the grass roots and the amateur and women’s game. After black lives matter they are floundering and wondering why the board is almost exclusively white – its because marketing executives are almost exclusively white. Now they have made staff bear the brunt of financial difficulties because – they don’t have a contingency fund and they are too stupid to ask the government.
The game as a whole would be better off without this shower.
Congratulations to Northampton Town who beat Exeter City 4-0 in the League Two play-off final and so became the first side to pick up their medals themselves rather from the regional vice-president for brand activation (Sky Bet plc. Midlands).
Tuesday 30 June
The Premier League chief executive, Richard Masters, got his gormless mug in in front of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee but didn’t actually say anything useful.
Quizzed on the Newcastle takeover he blustered about the process and refused to say anything definite. Invited to recognise the human rights abuses of the Saudi backers of the bid he conspicuously failed. Confronted with evidence that Saudi Arabia backed a pirate television station that undermined the League’s own overseas broadcasting rights he again failed to condemn.
It seems Masters is going to be another emotionless, greed-driven nonentity at the top of the game.
Manchester United brushed Brighton aside 0-3 and closed the gap to two points.
Wednesday 1 July
West Ham United 3:2 Chelsea
Why is it that West Ham play like a bunch of strangers week after week and then turn it on when they play us?
The London derby doesn’t really explain it because this lot don’t show up for Arsenal or Tottenham but for the points they have won off us they’d be second bottom.
The performance was confirmation that you can change the home shirt but not iron out the inconsistencies. We even benefitted from a weird VAR that ruled out an opener for the Hammers because the ball struck a player lying offside.
Willian scored his penalty with his usual ease – incidentally making him the first player to score in every calendar month – but their equaliser was a joke Soucek headed in but the ball had been sliced out for a corner rather than cleared up field when Rüdiger and Kanté got in each other’s way and Arrizabalaga was sitting on his arse rather than commanding his area.
Antonio got up from theatrically diving for a penalty to score as the hosts used the distraction to move the ball wide. Willian’s excellent free-kick equaliser should have been the spur for a winner but fell to a sucker punch.
Frank was furious that we’d fallen for that against a frankly woeful opponent. The Hammers are awful and will be relegated next season unless they spend money they clearly don’t have. But we have to stop playing in first-gear and, it is a shame to say it, buy a new goalkeeper.
We should have risen to third two ahead of Leicester as it is United will overtake us on Saturday as they play Bournemouth at home before we play Watford.
VAR had another bad night disallowing a Spurs equaliser for handball when the ball cannoned off the back of a prone Spurs player. What are we saying that was an excellent decision, doubles all round.
Sunday 19 July at an empty Wembley for our semi-final with Manchester United.
Friday 3 July
Ramona Bachmann has left the club. The Swiss international had a habit of scoring important goals at vital times for the women and she will be missed. The turnover of staff in the women’s squad seems to be increasing but it is just possible we are starting to cut our cloth.
Frank has made the shortlist for the very first manager-of-the-month award for June.
The club announced their very first snake-oil partnership with a nutritional drink called Blue Fuel… which is pink.
Saturday 4 July
Chelsea 3:0 Watford
Back to the basics and goals from Giroud, Willian and Barkley hauled us back into the top four.
There had clearly been words exchanged after the West Ham fiasco but it took a great goal to breakdown Watford’s stubborn system. Mount drove the ball in to Ross Barkley who slipped the ball on to Giroud – not many strikers could turn and bamboozle the ’keeper with a. finish or be that precise. It was a world class finish.
The second from a penalty deflated the visitors as Willian scored for the third game in a row from the spot – itself a rare enough feat.
Watford sparked occasionally in the second-half but Ross Berkey swivelled and struck an excellent third.
The new kit might be growing on us… if it wasn’t for the colossal 3 across the front. There used to be a rule about logos not taking up more than 250 square centimetres and that 3 take up about 90% of your field of vision.
The win means we keep pace in the race for fourth. Frank said afterwards that his young squad would have to get used to this: “Today, there was a bit of pressure to get back to fourth and we produced – so get used to that pressure, whatever way it looks, because it’s going to be tough all the way through”.
Or… fifth place might bring Champions League as well. The Manchester City financial cheating verdict is due this month.
Finally, it is becoming distressingly clear that Chelsea are failing to safeguard their young players from the influence of more senior pros with beards. Mason Mount already fallen under the influence of Olivier Giroud’s frankly enormous Jimmy Hill and has developed an under the chin goatee that looks likely to be the next generation’s Jimmy Hill… “oh, Mason Mount you did…”