Monday 2 September
The German left-back suffered a serious knee injury a couple of years ago on loan with Schalke and has struggled to show the form that led us to buy him from Augsburg.
Kenedy will take his hit-and-miss football to Getafe in Spain this season and Lucas Piazon signed on for another year and headed back to his native Brazil for a season with Rio Ave
Marc Guehi, the next in line of fine centre-halves we’ve been producing, signed an extended, improved deal that keeps him with us until 2022. Ever-present in the development squad Marc will be hoping for first-team chances this season.
Tuesday 3 September
England’s women continue to unravel under their amateur manager Phil “thank your lucky stars” Neville. The hapless 3-3 draw with Belgium last week was followed by an incompetent display in losing 2-1 to Norway. Neville keeps starting players in unfamiliar positions and then scratching his head about why it doesn’t work. This time, the manager played the best right-back in the women’s game, Lucy Bronze, in midfield. Leaving holes down the flanks that Norway walked into over and over again. The Lionesses novice manager neither seemed to notice or be able to react.
To be fair the FA board that run the women’s game are all amateurs too so it is hardly surprising that they appointed an unqualified coach. Perhaps mistaking him for his brother – who at least had a few months experience in a real managerial job before his incompetence got him the sack.
Neville actually said that he had “a vision and bravery that no other coach has, so thank your lucky stars. I’m here to stay”. Sadly, his vision doesn’t seem to include what is happening in front of him on the pitch.
Jamal Blackman has joined Vitesse Arnhem on loan until the end of the season. The young goalkeeper was on loan with Sheffield United two seasons back where he looked the business but last term at Leeds didn’t really work out.
Wednesday 4 September
Fifa unveiled the emblem for the Qatar World Cup: the design features a Bangladeshi construction worker crushed under a steel girder while laughing Fifa executives stand idly by filling their pockets with petrodollars. It is the first really fitting World Cup emblem.
It was a great day for football all round as Inter fans denied that monkey chanting was racist and a former German international was accused of peddling child pornography.
You have to feel for the cannabis farmer in Spain who lost his business when a TV helicopter covering La Vuelta flew over his roof-top crop.
We have new third kit. It is another appallingly lazy effort from Nike who have tried to suggest that it is a tribute to Ruud Gullit playing in charcoal and tangerine. Possibly because it has an orange stripe or possibly because it is ugly, cheap and sloppily designed.
Andreas Christensen and Denmark smashed Gibraltar for six.
Thursday 5 September
Michael Hector is leaving is for Fulham. The 27-year-old never really found his place at Chelsea after signing from Reading in 2015. He will train with Fulham until the Christmas window opens at which time he will become a full-time Cottager.
Emerson and Jorginho both played as Italy took the long trip to Armenia and returned with the points. Emerson providing assists for their first two in a 1-3 win.
Kepa Arrizabalaga started his fifth qualifier in a row for Spain and made some fine saves as they took the points from a trip to Romania.
Friday 6 September
The handball law reached new depth of absurdity when Germany were awarded a penalty against the Netherland tonight. The ball struck a defender’s arm which was held out appealing for handball against the striker. The ball had looped off the striker’s arm, fell from behind the defender a brushed his arm on the way down.
Ifab will be cracking open the champagne because this is what they wanted – a confusing but long-standing law on handball turned into a farcical, total lottery.
The Dutch won 2-4 in any case.
Michy Batshuayi scored twice as Belgium struggled to beat San Marino 4-0.
Ethan Ampadu made his first start of the season as Wales beat Azerbaijan. Our youngster, who is out on loan with Leipzig, played the first 75-minutes in a game rescued with a bundled late winner from Gareth Bale.
Trevoh Chalobah and Marc Guehi made their U21 debuts in an England side that struggled in Slovakia but smuggled a 2-3 win away with the duty-free.
Saturday 7 September
England 4:0 Bulgaria
Mason Mount continues to make us proud, this time he slotted into the England midfield, in place of the increasingly wooden Jordan Henderson, and looked the part. One early thrashed shot cleared the bar by a mile but he settled into a position on the left and looked like he belonged at this level.
Ross Barclay played the whole 90-minutes and looked powerful in midfield.
Olivier Giroud scored for France as the dismissed Albania 4-1.
Sunday 8 September
Chelsea 1:0 Tottenham Hotspur
Step forward for a Stamford Bridge bow Beth England. She opened the scoring with a blinding strike from distance in front of a 24,000 crowd.
We then dominated the possession and showed Spurs the level they will need to reach to compete in this league.
Last season was undermined by a start featuring four draws before a brave European adventure rescued the campaign. Emma Hayes will know that without European football we should be fresher for the league.
Jorginho scored a penalty as Italy beat Finland to open a six-point gap at the top of group J. The worrying news from this match concerned Emerson who limped out of the match in the first-half.
Danny Drinkwater has found a new way to standout from the rest of the professional game: by getting beaten up in a drunken brawl outside a nightclub.
The club was Chinawhite, of all palaces, and it is loosely reported that the altercation involved another’s girlfriend and Danny was on the losing end. He will miss about three weeks and will be meeting Sean Dyche, who will likely be severe.
It is an idiotic situation to find yourself in after going on loan to reboot your career after being ignored last season and being banned from driving in May.
Still, if we all made the right choice at the right time and never got bladdered we’d all be healthier and wealthier. We wish Danny well on his long journey back to sobriety and midfield at a respectable level.