Monday 1 November
Spurs waited four months before sacking their seventh-choice manager. After a chaotic summer in which six potential managers came and went they appointed Nuno Espirito Santo on June 30th after sacking Jose Mourinho back in early April. Given a short time to work with a squad who clearly knew that he wasn’t first, second, third etc. choice for the job Nuno was on a loser from the start.
Spurs wanted Antonio Conte in the summer but couldn’t satisfy his demands for transfer funds. Given the expensive, vainglorious Tottenham super bowl project and the limitations of FFP and Newcastle’s new owners potentially flooding more money into the English game it is debateable how much impact Spurs can make in the market.
Turning to one of Chelsea’s former managers hasn’t worked well for Spurs in the past. Glenn Hoddle, Andre Villas-Boas and Jose Mourinho all took over at Spurs with mixed results – mostly draws and defeats. You could argue Peter Shreeves (former Blues assistant manager) and old boys Terry Venables, George Graham also played their part.
Tuesday 2 November
FF Malmö 0:1 Chelsea
Malmö might be the hardest working team we play this season. Hakim Ziyech is closing in on the form he showed in pre-season before his injury and his goal wasn’t the only story. What really happened tonight was a defensive display that so controlled our hosts that they didn’t have a serious effort for Edouard Mendy to save.
Callum Hudson-Odoi hadn’t long switched flanks with Ziyech, moving over to the right, when he skinned two defenders and laid the ball in for the Moroccan to finish.
Malmö didn’t deflate but they seemed to know the game was up. They had a few early sniffs with a. full-house roaring them on they pressed really effectively and Ruben Loftus-Cheek was briefly caught out but that was the most the home crowd got. Ruben grew into the evening and his first Champions League start since Jose Mourinho’s last season.
The Swedes were hanging on at times as we created, slid balls down the sides of them, crossed by the desperate defending was almost enough. Almost.
Juventus won their home game against Zenit so a point from our next two takes us through.
FF Malmö U19 0:5 Chelsea U19
It was a tense first half with few chances and an even game but Bryan Fiabema decided to intervene after prodding one in he finished off a slick move that cut through the defence as if it wasn’t there for a second before the break.
Lewis Hall and Alfie Gilchrist adding the second-half goals before Charlie Webster blasted in a fifth right on the whistle.
Antonio Conte has taken the Spurs job. The news broke in the morning and there is no getting away from the fact that Spurs have finally landed a manager of real stature and ability. Conte was admired and even loved at Chelsea where he turned around a declining, directionless side and won the league and FA Cup.
Wednesday 3 November
Unai Emery turned down the Newcastle job, instead pledging himself to Villarreal.
Fulham had some fun at Blackburn’s expense, thrashing seven past their 10-man hosts.
Thursday 4 November
Trevoh Chalobah has signed a new contract. The reward for breaking into the first-team is a new deal that takes him through to 2026.
Ben Chilwell, Reece James and Mason Mount are all in the England squad for the next two games against the might of Albania and San Marino. Four points will guarantee qualification.
Friday 5 November
Xavi will be the next Barcelona boss after they bought out his contract at Qatari club Al Sadd. The former captain replaces Ronald Koeman who left after the worst start Barcelona have made this century.
Saturday 6 November
Chelsea 1:1 Burnley
A really frustrating finish as we drop points for the first time since the City game.
Kai Havertz scored his second league goal of the season and that should have been the opening of the floodgates. Instead, the team created so many chances – 25 – as Silva hit the post Reece James thrashed one and Nick Pope was on excellent form.
Their equaliser was opportunistic and deserved for that but Tuchel was clearly irked afterwards that we had dropped two points through carelessness.
Tuchel reacted to the looseness that infected the side last season to made us an almost impregnable unit. Almost.
Aston Villa 0:1 Chelsea
Jessie Fleming’s finish half way through the first period gave us the points as Emma experimented again with resting the more experienced limbs ahead of a midweek European outing,
Chelsea U23 1:2 Crystal Palace U23
Lewis Baker is rolling back the years leading the U23s and it was his free-kick goal that rewarded our early form. Palace however hit back five-minutes later and won the match late on.
Crystal Palace U18 3:4 Chelsea U18Almost too many scorers to list but the decisive strike came from Malik Mothersille who handed us a winner after we’d allowed Palace back from 1-3 down.
City heaped more humiliation on United in the Salford derby and Norwich secured their first win at Brentford only to promptly sack Daniel Farke. A punishment, possibly, for not finding space in his midfield for Billy Gilmour and Mathias Normann.
Conor Gallagher scored again for Crystal Palace as they beat in-form Wolves.
Sunday 7 November
It turns out our slip yesterday was less costly than we’d feared as City had already closed up before we kicked off and this afternoon West Ham beat Liverpool 3-2.
Monday 8 November
We will be standing at the Bridge from January as the safe standing scheme starts in earnest. The first match back on our feet will be Liverpool at home on Sunday 2 January next year.
Mason Mount’s dental problem, that means he has missed the last two league games, has delayed his participation with England. He is being monitored.
Aston Villa joined the managerial merry-go-round by sacking Dean Smith. Of all the recent job losses this is one of the weirdest. Villa haven’t had the worst start to the season and the fall off from last season is easily explained by selling your most valuable asset and having his replacements fall injured. Sacking a football manager is always selfish and short sighted but Christian Purslow saying “this year we have not seen the continuous improvement in results, performances and league position which we have all been looking for”, takes the myopia biscuit.
Tuesday 9 November
Servette FCCF 0:7 Chelsea
We were absolutely unstoppable. Poor Servette were on the wrong end of a performance that has been coming in recent weeks and Maren Mjelde made a 25-minute return after the serious injury that saw her miss the end of last season. The Norwegian suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in the league cup final last term but Emma has clearly been waiting for her to return.
Melanie Leupolz opened things up with Fran Kirby and Sam Kerr netting twice each and Jessie Fleming all scoring in the first-half.
The second was a little quieter as we took our foot off the neck of the semi-pro Swiss side and only added Guro Reiten’s second-half goal.
Emma Hayes was made up at the end. After two difficult matches against Juventus and Wolfsburg, who drew two-each in their tie, we sit top of the table and with a Rolls-Royce footballer back in the squad.
Eddie Howe has been confirmed in the Newcastle job. Weird that Saudi Arabia spent over £300m on a new toy and didn’t have a plan for what they would do when they took the prize. It doesn’t bode well. Howe is a really exciting and competent young coach but not yet a firefighter who can save you from relegation.
Thursday 11 November
Steven Gerrard is the new Villa job just 24-hours after we asked out loud why anyone would trade titles and Champions League football for a Birmingham backwater like Villa.
Gerrard’s time in Glasgow is being lauded as a massive success when in truth he managed one trophy out of the nine available in his time in Scotland.
There will be plenty hoping Villa go down with Newcastle for the hubris.
The club announced that the U16s won the national championship after a tournament at Loughborough a couple of weeks back. We topped a group containing Manchester United, Spurs and Middlesbrough, beat Manchester City in the semi-finals and Everton in the final both 2-1.
Friday 12 November
England 5:0 Albania
With both Reece James and Ben Chilwell offering the width England dismantled Albania. Usually boring their way through a first half and picking up late goals, tonight Gareth Southgate’s team hit their stride with an early Harry Maguire goal a Kane hat-trick and a rare Jordan Henderson strike. The second period was the boring struggle.
Reece James’ performance was a revelation. Usually playing within himself for England, tonight he was the driving force for a side that struggled against Hungary last time out.
Armando Broja missed the game with a recurrence of his ankle problem and Albania missed their one decent chance.
Elsewhere, Billy Gilmour led as Scotland to a 2-0 win against Moldova and a play-off place. Gilmour has made the most of his Scotland chances and Steve Clarke has relied on him despite his limited playing time at Norwich. Andreas Christensen and Denmark top the group with a 3-1 win over the Faroes and will have a perfect record if they beat Scotland in the final round on Monday.
Italy drew with Switzerland and Jorginho skied a chance from the spot to win the match. Italy finish against the North of Ireland.
Saturday 13 November
Captain America continues to inspire as he came of the bench to score the winner as the USA beat Mexico 2-0 to take the lead in their group.
N’Golo Kanté and France qualified with a thumping of Kazakhstan and Ethan Ampadu and Wales managed a thumping of their own when they beat Belarus 5-1.
Not that we were supposed to care what happens to our rivals but in the WSL hitherto perfect Arsenal drew one-each with Spurs.
Sunday 14 November
Manchester City 0:4 Chelsea
Dominant and ruthless Emma Hayes actually complained that we had played poorly in the first half, in which we scored twice and restricted busy hosts to few half-chances.
Jessie Fleming pounced on an awful blunder to score inside the first minute and Sam Kerr finished a swift passing move five minutes into first-half injury time.
We didn’t really need to get out of second gear as Fran Kirby and Magdalena Eriksson nodded in a corner. We didn’t take the opportunity to punish them further but with a midweek against Servette and Birmingham City we appeared to be conserving energy.
We move up to one point behind Arsenal at the top of the table.
Conor Gallagher has had some season, scoring regularly on loan at Crystal Palace and contributing for England U21, now the youngster has been called into the full England squad for the trip to San Marino as Mason Mount, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, Luke Shaw and Jordan Henderson have pulled out.
Kai Havertz scored with a neat finish as Germany beat Armenia away. Germany are already qualified and missed Rüdiger and Werner suspended and injured.
Cesar Azpilicueta and Spain will play in the desert next winter as they beat Sweden 1-0 to clinch qualification. Zlatan Ibrahimović tried to rearrange Cesar with a shoulder-barge that went unpunished and unreviewed.
Monday 15 November
San Marino 0:10 England
The first time we have put ten past an international opponent since the USA in 1964 and Conor Gallagher, a second-half sub, could have had one of them, instead, our loanee hit the goalkeeper’s midriff.
Cobham were also represented by Reece James, Ben Chilwell and Tammy Abraham as second-half substitutes.
Oh, and England confirm their qualification for Qatar. Poland finished as runners up.
Scotland ended Denmark’s quest for ten out of ten and made it six international victories in a row for Steve Clarke’s side. The win confirms a home tie for the play-off semi-final.
Jorginho will have to enter the play-offs after failing to beat Northern Ireland as Switzerland qualify top of the group.
Dean Smith has been confirmed at Norwich City boss, on Canary who looked underwhelmed, explained that they had just lost a manager who was capable of winning promotion from the Championship but was on a losing streak and appointed a manager who was capable of winning promotion from the Championship but was on a losing streak.
Tuesday 16 November
Sam Kerr signed an improved two-year extension to her contract. The 28-year-old has scored 39 goals in 47 appearances, 21 in 22 last season in the league.
Leyton Orient or Newport County in the FA Youth Cup 3rd round and Forest Green Rovers in the Papa John’s trophy. Forest Green are having a blinding season so far and sit top of League Two.
Derby County asked for their 12-point administration punishment to be reduced and walked away from the hearing with a further 9-point deduction for breaches of the profitability and sustainability rules with another three-point deduction suspended. Wayne Rooney’s boys are now back on -3 and 18 points behind a safety.
Thursday 18 November
Chelsea 1:0 Servette
Everyone salivating at the prospect of playing a home leg against a side we beat 0-7 in the away tie will have been a little let down but there was plenty in this narrow win.
Emma Hayes had warned that Servette’s second-half performance in that tie meant we were in for a sterner test than last time. After a stale first half, Sam Kerr scored the only goal we also had a positive first showing from Lauren James who held the ball up really well and had a chance at the end to open her account.
Juventus beat Wolfsburg in the other group game meaning we are top by three points with ten.
Edouard Mendy has spoken out about his picture being used in the media in stories about Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy. City’s Mendy has had additional rape charges added to his case this week and pictures of our goalkeeper and his cousin, Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy, have been used to illustrate the story in French and English media.
When we talk about racism we also mean the lazy ‘they all look the same to me’ racism but as Edouard pointed out the different colours of the club kit are also a clue.
Timo Werner was back in training ahead of the Leicester trip. Mason Mount and Marcos Alonso both also trained.
Friday 19 November
Leeds U23 1:3 Chelsea U23
Xavier Mbuyamba scored two towering headers to give us a perfect start and Lewis Baker provided the assists before the referee saw a penalty in a challenge when Mbuyamba cleanly won the ball and didn’t touch the man.
Our second-half display was really good, creating chances and denying Leeds the ball before a soft penalty at the death handed Baker the chance to restore our advantage.
Xavier Mbuyamba could have had a hat-trick at the end but Andy Myers will be very pleased with how the group is coming together.
Chelsea women play Birmingham City on Sunday and the Blues warmed up for the match by sacking their manager Scott Booth. Carla Ward resigned as Blues boss in May over problems with respect and resources. Booth wasn’t able to turn things round as Birmingham have one point from the eight matches they’ve played this season.
Saturday 20 November
Leicester City 0:3 Chelsea
This could have been so many more. Three was a minimum we deserved on an afternoon where we again proved that playing at lunchtime after an international break is no problem. Organised and motivated, they are underappreciated traits in a squad.
Bright eyed and bushy was Ben Chilwell who flashed his finish against the bar after Jorginho’s excellent spot and long free-kick. Leicester ignored the warning and our press simply didn’t let them out of their half, Rüdiger opened our account from the first corner. Kanté, Havertz, and James all had chances to hit the target before the Frenchman marched forward and buried his chance.
In the second Ben Chilwell had a chance acrobatically saved by Schmeichel before Callum Hudson-Odoi flashed one just wide. We were creating chances for fun and Subs, Ziyech and Pulisic combined for the third, the American just about keeping his feet an nutmegging Schmeichel.
Three efforts were ruled out for marginal offsides as we picked the game to pieces until the end and Leicester were happy to get off the pitch. Ben Chilwell was booed by the home support until about twenty-minutes to go by which time the Foxes were all grumbling back up the Raw Dykes Road.
Leicester City, for their part, had one chalked off for offside and gave Mendy the opportunity to look world class when tipping a Daniel Amartey drive over the bar.
Elsewhere, Match of the Day highlighted Billy Gilmour’s contribution to Norwich’s first win under Dean Smith. The young Scot, playing in a more advanced role, again showed how he can control matches with the right support. Smith’s regime might just be the springboard for Billy’s season after so few starts under Daniel Farke.
Brighton & Hove Albion U18 1:6 Chelsea U18
We fell behind in this one but a flood of goals after Brighton were reduced to ten means we keep our place at the top of the table.
For those keeping count the goals came from Tudor Mendel-Idowu (2), Charlie Webster, Malik Mothersille, Leo Castledine and Edwin Andersson.
The wheels fell off Manchester United, again, this time 4-1 at Vicarage Road. Keep your fingers crossed that we meet United in that frame of mind on Sunday.
Sunday 21 November
Chelsea 5:0 Birmingham City
The usual, a hat-trick from Sam and a brace from Fran. Birmingham worked really hard to restrict us to one goal in the second period. Lauren James made a WSL debut after coming on during the week and played some neat passes.
Manchester United couldn’t hold their nerve and sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. They have admitted that they had no plans to get rid of the Norwegian and are looking around for a interim manager until the summer when they’ll be turned down by Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag among others.
PSG might bring legal challenges over the number of stories linking their manager with the now vacant Salford seat.