The club have stepped in to cover the cost of alternative travel for all the packages. Which is decent of them and they’ve announced that they will be making different arrangements for future travel and hospitality packages.
A sign of the times: the league cup match against Grimsby, that is a third round Carabao Cup match on a Wednesday in September, is sold out. We left it late to look for tickets assuming that Grimsby Town wouldn’t be such a draw but it seems 42,000 people want to see Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James.
Megan Rapinoe made an incredible speech accepting her women’s player of the year award from Fifa. She laid into the football authorities for failing to deal with discrimination and prejudice and praised Raheem Sterling and the Inter defender Kalidou Koulibaly for their stance on racism. The World Cup winning co-captain of the USA women’s team boycotted Donald Trump after her team’s success earlier this year. Addressing the footballers and bureaucrats attending the award ceremony she said “I ask everyone here, lend your platform to other people, share your success. We have a unique opportunity to use this game to actually change the world for better. I hope you take that to heart, do something, we have incredible power in this room.”
If you ask us Megan should stand the next time the Fifa presidency is up for grabs.
Sulking human turd Ronaldo missed the ceremony and so he was left out of the team of the year… even though the votes and press material suggested he should be in. But fixing things is just what Fifa do.
Tuesday 24 September
Bristol Rovers 2:1 Chelsea U21
What was in effect a Chelsea U18 side just fell short as Rovers took their chances. Charlie Brown handed us the lead when he nipped in to intercept a back-pass but we had to admit that Bristol were the better side. It is the first defeat this group have suffered this season but the defensive experience will be invaluable.
Spurs, having a crap start to the season, managed to raise a smile by losing in the league cup to Colchester on penalties. Crawley Town, who knocked Leeds United out in the last round, beat Stoke City also on penalties.
Wednesday 25 September
Chelsea 7:1 Grimsby Town
This was a spectacular night, the most goals we’ve scored in the competition since 1961, with a confident attacking performances from our two returning stars Hudson-Odoi and James, but also, really impressive displays from Billy Gilmour and Marc Guehi, as well as, fine cameos by Tino Anjorin and Ian Maatsen, and, 39,674 people turned up for a league cup game in September.
Billy Gilmour made the side tick, especially in the second-half when he really took the responsibility. He dominated his opponents and the midfield as a whole.
Anjorin looked really effective in midfield and Hudson-Odoi played really well for his goal and the chances he had blocked or saved but the night really belonged to Reece James. The young right-back was busy and efficient as a defender but his ability enabled him to attack with flair, providing the assist for two goals and scoring a scorcher from 22-yards himself.
Frank was little bit negative at the end; talking about how much work we need to put in with some players and how we need to pay attention from the start. He was concerned that we let Grimsby put us under pressure in the first-half but as the interview turned to the performances of the youngsters his smile broadened.
The goal against will irritate the coaching staff but there was little to complain about.
The draw for the next round brings Salford minnows Manchester United south at the end of next month. We hope that both sides stick to the youth first policy.
Thursday 26 September
Barcelona negotiated a deal with Antoine Griezmann last year behind the back of Atletico, the player’s then employers, the move saved Barça €80m as Griezmann’s release clause dropped by that amount after the beginning of July when the deal was announced.
To prove how even handed the Spanish football authorities are Barcelona have been fined £265.
Saturday 28 September
Chelsea 2:0 Brighton & Hove Albion
That nil will be celebrated as much as the win by the backroom staff as we kept our first clean sheet of the season.
The form we showed in the first-half with 17 attempts at goal without reward means we are consistent in our attacking play but the stadium wasn’t as clam as the players as Tammy Abraham hit a post and Ross Barclay the goalkeeper from a superb Alonso cross. A few edgy feelings crept in as Pedro also hit the goalkeeper and Alonso blasted wide.
That edginess was relieved when Mason Mount nipped in to intercept a back pass and was clipped. The penalty was put away by the excellent Jorginho.
Brighton with the footage of our nervous second-half performances had a go, bounced one off the bar but Willian thumped in a deflected second to settle nerves and keep us in the hunt on eleven points.
Leicester City U23 2:2 Chelsea U23
Tino Anjorin made all the difference when he came on in the second-half. Already two down Tino scored on and made the other for Thierno Ballo. Two each appears to be the score of choice for the development squad.
Sunday 29 September
Bristol City 0:4 Chelsea
Guro Reiten is starting to make an impact as she fired us ahead with two early strikes. Ji So-Yun and Sophie Ingle added the other as we got into gear against struggling Bristol.