Friday 1 September
Chelsea U21 3:0 Wes Bromwich Albion U21
A very confident return to winning ways for the U21s. Two first half goals from a confident Jimmy-Jay Morgan finish and a deflected Castledine freekick.
The second half had fewer chances but late Donnell McNeilly acrobatics made it three.
The U21s take an international break and return with a game against Lyon in the Premier League International Cup.
Deadline day and through the door comes Cole Palmer. The £42.5m attacking midfielder stood out for England U21 when they won the European Championship in the summer and scored in the Charity Shield and the Super Cup, he has had fewer chances in the league while at City.
He has played with Raheem Sterling before, as well as Noni Madueke and Levi Colwill from England. Cole talked about the project, a phrase we heard from every signing last summer and in January. But the project was, like Brighton to bring in players cheaply, improve their value and sell at a profit. We are buying at eye-watering prices and even if we improve them nobody – with the exception of Saudi Arabia – will be able to afford them.
Palmer is an exciting prospect but with Callum Hudson-Odoi leaving it feels like we are selling the family silver and buying in silver plate.
Callum joined Nottingham Forest, as he looks to recover the form he showed before his injury in 2019. Last year’s loan to the Bundesliga didn’t quite work and an £3m move (possibly rising by £5m) will help him rebuild his career. Plenty at Chelsea are very disappointed he wasn’t given the chance to do that here.
Mason Burstow switched to Sunderland in the Championship. Mason’s video about his life and progress to this point is really moving, if you haven’t already seen it on the website. We look forward to plenty of Mackem goals from Mason this season.
Diego Moreira will spend the season in Ligue 1 but not at Strasburg but at Lyon. Laurent Blanc’s side have had a dreadful start to the season but at least the youngster should get a chance.
Bashir Humphreys signed a new deal and left for Swansea on loan. Bash has been away before, last season with SC Paderborn and is highly rated.
Louis Flower has been snapped up by Brighton on a permanent deal. The striker was behind Ronnie Stutter, Donnell McNeilly and Jimmy-Jay Morgan and with other new signings and might have felt he needed a move to shine.
Staying are Conor Gallagher, Trevoh Chalobah and Ian Maatsen. Spurs put their hand up for Gallagher but failed to make a bid. Trevoh was on Bayern’s radar but is still recovering from injury. The treatment of Maatsen is more worrying. Burnley asked to take the Dutchman on loan with an obligation to buy. The total would have been £31m. It was up to Maatsen and he turned the offer down. We were a Ben Chilwell ankle twist away from a season of Cucurella on the left.
Saturday 2 September
Chelsea 0:1 Nottingham Forest
This is it. This pitiful display is what we’ve mortgaged the future on. Pochettino has to take a lot of the blame. He was sacked from Spurs, flopped in Paris and said he had taken time out to look at how football tactics had progressed and what was needed for the future. Apparently that includes walking football.
We started with some zip moving the ball quickly but Forest just needed to keep their shape.
Our play slowed to the now familiar stroll. Slow to move the ball forward, all the defenders taking three or four touches to move the ball to a midfield that just passed it back to them.
We had no skill, no imagination and, as soon as they scored, that was it, we were never going to find an equaliser.
Chelsea Football Club, under the owners, have spent £1bn on this. There is no other plan, this has to work because there simply isn’t any money left.
Pochettino had better sort this out soon or we’ll be looking for another caretaker and Emma is busy.
Chelsea U18 4:2 Barnsley U18
Premier League Cup group stage action for the U18s and a goal down early didn’t hamper the youngsters. Frankie Runham drew us level, Michael Golding put us ahead and Shumaira Mheuka gave us a two-goal lead at the break.
The second-half was closer. Saheed Olagunju headed us further ahead as we controlled the ball. A late goal back didn’t take the shine off an impressive display. Sulaiman’s side is looking confident and full of goals.
Ted Curd slipped out to join Hashtag United in the Isthmian Premier League. We think Cesar Azpilicueta is still involved in Essex based Hashtag.
Sunday 3 September
Chelsea 3:2 AS Roma
The women are back and playing exciting football. Aggie Beever-Jones scored the last-minute winner. Guro Reiten scored our first equaliser, Lauren James thrashed in from 20 yards for our second. There were some rough edges and substitutions upset the rhythm but this was a positive display.
Racing suffered an away defeat to Nice. Jeanricner Bellegarde was sold to Wolves during the week and Racing looked lightweight at the front.
Angelo Gabriel had half an hour as a sub, meanwhile, Jérémie Boga was a late substitute for Nice.
Union Berlin welcomed back David Fofana but lost a man to a red card and the match 0-3 to RB Leipzig.
Monday 4 September
Wieke Kaptein, the youngest Netherlands international at the World Cup, signed a four-year deal with Chelsea. The 18-year-old came through the ranks at FC Twente, where she will return on loan for the ’23/24 season.
Tuesday 5 September
Oxford United beat Northampton Town in the EFL Trophy. Both sides fielded plenty of youth. Northampton were ahead through a soft penalty but Oxford equalised from an even softer one for handball. Oxford managed a couple of neat finishes in the second period.
Wednesday 6 September
Maika Hamano has just had surgery on her shoulder and will be out for months. Her loan with Hammarby has been ended as she starts her recovery. Maika made her world-cup debut this summer and is a real prospect, we wish her well.
Friday 8 September
Moises and Enzo clashed as Argentina beat Columbia 1-0 in Buenos Aires.
Saturday 9 September
Chelsea 4:0 FC Bayern München
A fitting tribute to Gianluca Vialli at Stamford Bridge tonight. The pre-match rendition of Nessun Dorma was teary as people remembered Gianluca’s time at Chelsea. The oldsters made it look easy at times as goals and chances came thick and fast. Michael Essien scored a wonderful header to set Roberto Di Matteo’s side on their way. JT then broke forward to finish Florent Malouda’s pass.
The second period was more even, Sam Hutchinson forcing a good save, until Gianfranco Zola scooped the ball over the defence for Gary Cahill to score and a late trap and scooped finish from Tiago completed a memorable night.
Playing for Chelsea at various stages were: Petr Cech, Hilario, Carlo Cudicini, William Gallas, Frank Sinclair, Gary Cahill, John Terry, Ryan Bertrand, Jon Harley, Michael Essien, Obi-John Mikel, Frank Leboeuf, Claude Makelele, Jody Morris, Sam Hutchinson, Tiago, Ramires, Danny Granville, Salomon Kalou, Gianfranco Zola, Florent Malouda, Tore Andre Flo, Pierluigi Casiraghi. Eidur Gudjohnsen stayed on the bench.
Next time perhaps Suggs will try Nessun Dorma.
England drew 1-1 with Ukraine in Wrocław. Ben Chilwell started on the left and Conor Gallagher came on toward the end. Marc Guéhi partnered Harry McGuire at the back and Jordan Henderson made it two hopeless old men in the England line up. Mudryk played for Ukraine but was starved of possession. Levi Colwill stayed on the bench.
There was very little creative play as England imitated Chelsea, playing at a walking pace and not either making runs nor finding space.
On loan Russian defender, Alsu Abdullina, came on as a sub as Paris FC knocked Arsenal out of the Champions League. The match was a belter as Arsenal came back from 0-2 down and them equalised again for 3-3 in extra-time. Only to then lose 4-2 on penalties.
Monday 11 September
Cole Palmer set one up and scored as England U21s beat Luxembourg U21 0-3.
Noni Madueke also played and created half a dozen chances before Liam Delap nicked the ball off his toes to open the scoring. Callum Doyle hit a superb volley before Palmer thrashed his effort in off the underside of the bar.
Tuesday 12 September
Scotland 1:3 England
Chilwell sat on the bench but Conor Gallagher came on as a late sub as England fans enjoyed the 150th anniversary of the first international match. Jude Bellingham is the real thing.
Billy Gilmour was positive in a Scotland side that struggled to make much of an impact. Lardy, Belisha Beacon Maguire turned the ball into his own net under no pressure to put a lie to the ‘Harry-never-lets-his-country-down” merchants.
Wednesday 13 September
Eaton blue? The new third kit is out and harking back to 1905 the strip is Eaton blue except this being Nike, they actually gave us mint and told the owners it is Eaton blue.
Thursday 14 September
WSL transfer deadline day… we did all our business so early there are no new players. Nicky Evrard moves on loan to Brighton for the season. The 28-year-old stopper came to us from OH Leuven in Belgium this summer on a three-year deal.
Friday 15 September
Lucy Watson has recovered from her ACL, signed a new contract and headed out on loan to Crystal Palace. Lucy suffered her knee problem this time last year when a loan to Charlton had to be shelved. Lucy is an exciting young forward who we signed from Sheffield United in 2022. Watson joins Lexi Potter at Palace who are top of the league.
Saturday 16 September
Chelsea U21 1:3 Lyon U21
A poor match for both sides in the first half but we managed to get our noses in front when Jimmy-Jay Morgan headed in. Lyon had looked out of sorts in the first period but they flew out of the blacks in the second and buried a bemused Chelsea. We did have other chances but looked second best.
The U21s have a match on Tuesday against Luton Town in the Premier League Cup to work on making things better.
Chelsea U18 1:3 Fulham U18
A first defeat for the U18s as Fulham started stringer and dominated fir an hour. Chelsea elbowed their way back into the contest but couldn’t take any of the chances created until Shumaira Mheuka scored, into the top corner, with virtually the last kick.
Fulham will argue that their defence should be credited with the blocks but we had enough efforts at goal to win 6-3.
Sunday 17 September
Bournemouth 0:0 Chelsea
This was another very poor performance. Just like Forest two weeks ago, we had no creativity, no shape, no ambition, and no sign that Pochettino is capable of making any difference.
The selection was a puzzle as Levi Colwill was asked to play left back in a four with Chilwell and Maatsen on the bench. The tactical plan was possibly more complex but we lacked width and the practice did little to suggest anything sophisticated was in operation.
We have to accept that we are fecking awful. This was exactly the same shit we played against Forest. Every opportunity to break was declined, in order to slow the pace. We didn’t look for forward passes, instead, we slowed down to pass inside.
To be honest, Graham Potter was incompetent and out of his depth, but his Chelsea sides were better than this.
Just before the half hour Gallagher, Sterling and Gusto had the chance to break down the Bournemouth right. Within the space of three passes they had delayed the break, allowed the defence to get reset and passed the ball back. We will never score a goal from open play again.
In the second Bournemouth pinned us in the box as our defence stood off and watched. Nobody moved, nobody closed down. It was helpless football.
The referee was an absolute disgrace. He booked Enzo for leaving the field too slowly and took every chance to hand out cards and deny us freekicks.
Pochettino needs to start producing performances soon.
Racing came back from two down to draw at home with Montpellier. Angelo played well in a difficult midfield battle. Down in Lyon Diego Moreira came on as a sub and played a lively part but couldn’t help struggling Olympique score in a nil-each with le Havre.
Tuesday 19 September
Chelsea U21 4:1 Luton Town U21
Leo Castledine bagged two, Dylan Williams and Tyrique George scored the goals in the first PL Cup group match.
2-1 up at half time, we had to wait until late in the second for Castledine’s second and Tyrique George’s first at this level.
Alfie Gilchrist signed a new contract in the afternoon. The 19-year-old defender impressed many during the summer tour in the USA and there is probably a loan deal in January.
Wednesday 20 September
David Fofana played the last ten minutes as Union Berlin very nearly earned a draw in Madrid only for a deflection to give Jude Bellingham a tap in deep into added time.
Friday 22 September
Manchester City U21 1:2 Chelsea U21
Deivid Washington’s equaliser in the first half was deserved but Josh Brooking’s winner was just exceptional. Running from his own half, beating players left and right before slotting a neat finish into the corner.
A really good performance all round, City did have a late chance but our defending restricted them to scraps. The stiffs’ patchy start has righted itself again.
England, with Jess Carter, Millie Bright and Lauren James, beat Scotland in their first Nations League match. Erin Cuthbert was missing for the Scots, with an unspecified injury.
Saturday 23 September
Norwich City U18 3:6 Chelsea U18
A great and entertaining start to the weekend. Donnell McNeilly and Tyrique George continued their good form with two each and Shumaira Mheuka and Michael Golding got the others. A penalty and two late Norwich strikes gave the scoreline a wonky slant that we didn’t deserve.
Still no live coverage on the Chelsea site. Perhaps, like subsidised coaches, bothering to show reserve and youth fixtures is financially unsustainable.
Sunday 24 September
Chelsea 0:1 Aston Villa
Pochettino is not a lucky general. The red card ensured defeat but the usual bright Chelsea opening was already fading when Gusto was sent off for an accidental contact.
Ollie Watkins found a way through Roberto Sanchez after Colwill brilliantly blocked his initial effort, our ’keeper did make a couple of great saves to deny Digne and Nicolo Zaniolo. Both were flying fingertip saves.
We did make chances as Nicolas Jackson and Raheem Sterling forced saves and Enzo blazed wide.
The sending off was unfair, rather than ridiculous. Gusto clearly won the ball and there was no intent to make contact but referees have little understanding of the game and a great fondness for dishing out cards. The idea that he was either reckless or out of control is purely in Jarred Gillett’s head.
Mykhailo Mudryk had a positive match, finding one pass to set up Jackson which suggests he is more than just speed.
On the plus side Armando Broja made a long-awaited comeback, on the down, he’ll be needed as Jackson picked up the yellow that means a ban.
It seems absurd but Mauricio Pochettino must be looking over his shoulder. We have only beaten Luton and AFC Wimbledon. The string of appalling performances after a positive pre-season is difficult to understand. Pochettino’s football tiptoes forwards, it doesn’t create enough chances nor is it solid enough. This is a very new Chelsea team but seven competitive games into a season should be showing the style and personality of its coach. So far, nothing.
Monday 25 September
Emma Hayes announced that her father, Sid, has died aged 82. Sid Hayes was very proud of his daughter and our thoughts are with Emma and her family.
Tuesday 26 September
Northampton Town 2:2 Chelsea U21
(Chelsea win 4-3 on penalties)
We needed this. After a game when we should have won, the extra point for the penalties means we can still qualify.
The match opened with the Liquidator, we’d forgotten how many other clubs play Harry J before their games.
Ronnie Stutter put is ahead after a move that sliced through the defence but Northampton hit us with two in quick succession as our marking broke down.
We recovered our composure, equalised – Michael Golding finishing a Jimmy-Jay Morgan knock down.
Tyrique George headed in but Morgan was offside when crossing. Eddie Beach then stopped a goal from half way, he’d come a long way to clear and scrambled back to tip away Wyatt’s shot.
Beach made the penalties his own by saving the first Northampton kick. He the watched Williams, Castledine, Rak-Sakyi and George score before the last Northampton Town kick went high.
If we beat Oxford in November we will qualify behind Milton Keynes.
Wednesday 27 September
Chelsea 1:0 Brighton & Hove Albion
A real struggle but Nicolas Jackson has bagged goal of the month for September.
Early signs were really bad as we tamely passed straight to Brighton players but scrambled the resulting shots away. At the start it looked like Brighton knew what they were doing and we were trying to work it out. They passed with deliberation and we winged it.
Nicolas Jackson’s simple finish just after the break was greeted with the biggest wave of relief seen inside the Bridge in years. Worse league start since 1978, but knocked out of the League Cup already by Bolton Wanderers that year. Jackson was denied another by an offside flag. The match will have improved moral and done a great deal for confidence in Jackson who is going to be good.
Ian Maatsen looks like he deserves a more regular place. It was his ball to Cole Palmer, impressive in his first start, that fed Jackson. Armando Broja was risked for a few minutes at the end but looks too far away for Monday.
Ben Chilwell will probably also be missing as he limped off at the end.
Brighton had so many chances in a fluctuating game but a fair, if hard-fought, result.
Round four draw handed us Blackburn Rovers at home.
Earlier in the day Reece James was charged with “using and/or insulting and/or abusive words and/or behaviour” towards the odious little tit who sent off Malo Gusto at the weekend. Our captain, doing a captain’s job.
Reece has just two days to mount a defence against the accusation. Jarred Gillett’s future conduct against us will come under scrutiny.
Thursday 28 September
Infinite Athlete are close to adding their name to the front of our shirts. They are a tech company developing player data on the cheap. They think multiple angles will make football more exciting for fans. Americans.
The shirt deal is for £40m a year in headline figures We originally signed a deal with a company called Tempus Ex Machina to enhance power in an innovative, globalised fan blather.
Tempus Ex Machina were so confident they changed their name to Infinite Athlete.
Neil Bath is in charge of redeveloping the training ground. The Guardian are reporting that long-time academy head, Bath, has been tasked with handling the tricky design and complex planning issues involved in any development in leafy Surrey.
Saturday 30 September
Chelsea U18 3:2 Arsenal U18
Donnell McNeilly scored two and Ato Ampah scored a winner after Arsenal had levelled.
It was harder work than it might have been but momentum is maintained.
Infinite Athlete has been confirmed as our shirt sponsor. Who knows how a tech start-up can afford £40m-a-year. Perhaps they are doing part exchange for proliferating, strategising, revolutionary, leveraged, innovative, mission, empowering, potential, dynamic, opportunity, experience, ground-breaking, proprietary… what is that they actually do?
Their official app enables fans to, “tailor live streams of matches with graphical overlays, real-time statistics, play-by-play match events, player tracking, and instant highlights.” Unless they want to watch coverage of the U18s or U21s, or any of the library of matches in the Bates or Abramovich eras.