Monday 18 May
Germany apparently expect Michael Ballack to play in their next friendly, which you might think is fair enough, until you realise that it is on Friday 29 May. Given that the match is against China in Shanghai he’d find it difficult ot get to Wembley for three pm the next day.Tuesday 19 May
Good news breaks: because Sunderland lost last night their relegation decider against us on Sunday will be broadcast live. A final little fillip for all those who can’t make it all the way to Wearside.
Claudio Ranieri will be able to watch too because he has been sacked by Juventus after their season fell away to five draws and a defeat in the last six.
Ancelotti meanwhile wants to bring in his own backroom staff but the club appear to b determined to make Hiddink’s successor work with Paul Clement and Butch. We have been stung over the last few years in having to payoff assorted coaches and trainers as well as sacked managers.
Wednesday 20 May
Chelsea reserves 2:1 Fulham reserves
Keeping everyone sharp with friendlies is fair enough but they could invite us all down to watch. Miroslav Stoch opened the scoring and Scott Sinclair netted the winner.
Claudio Pizarro maintained Chelsea players’ recent luck in European ties as his Werder Bremen side capitulated to Shakhtar Donetsk.
Meanwhile Milan and Chelsea are giving out mixed messages. AC Milan managing director, Adriano Galliani, said no announcement would be made on Carlo Ancelotti’s future until after their match with Roma at the weekend. Chelsea have been saying, through sources that no announcement would come from them until after he FA Cup final six days later.
Thursday 21 May
Frank Lampard is named player of the year for the third time, goal of the season was Michael Essien’s thump against Barcelona, surprising to many but there was a good game of football before the headlines that night, Ashley Cole won players player of the year which Charlie Cooke came over to present.
Michael Mancienne was young player of the year; he has had some season with first team debut and a call up to the full England squad. Expect big things from the lad.
Friday 22 May
Uefa have decided to go the insult to injury route, by charging Didier and Jose for expressing their honest opinion of the refereeing standards in the second leg of our semi-final with Barcelona. They have both apologised, so we can’t understand the fuss.
The club have been charged with failing to control their players and for some missiles thrown on the pitch. In all the tumult and furore of recent days we didn’t notice anyone throw anything. It is, of course, always wrong to throw anything at a referee, unless you’re throwing spectacles.
Throwing fucking missiles, this against a club whose fans chuck pig’s heads at Real Madrid players. It is hard to contain the level of contempt Chelsea feel for Uefa at the moment.
Guus was a tad more diplomatic: “It is difficult to talk about conspiracy if you have no proof. I am rather human as well and I think Uefa, they will not say it, were very happy there was not an all-English final for the second consecutive time … first of all we should have scored more goals in the home game but besides that I feel the anger and the injustice.” He added that he usually covers the final as a television pundit: “this year they asked me again but I am not going. I don’t have the right feeling to go and sit there and not think about what has gone wrong”.
Chelsea have until Friday 29 May to give their two-fingered salute, Uefa will impose their ill-thought out and spiteful penalties on Wednesday 17 June.
Sunday 24 May
Sunderland 2:3 Chelsea
The season drew its last breath and for all the gabber from Sky about survival Sunday, all four teams threatened with relegation lost and so the table stays as it was this morning and we say goodbye to Gareth Southgate’s gallant Middlesbrough and the mess that is Newcastle United. Frank Lampard and Alex were both absent with twinges.
The game wasn’t exactly a procession but Drogba and Essien were clearly bursting for goals as each had efforts wide or over, Drogba’s early chip would have been so sublime as to see Ra ride down in his sun chariot to congratulate the big Ivorian in person. Which would have led to a rather fiery end to the match after only seven minutes.
Much of the first period was ho hum, with the only big cheer greeting a goal at Villa Park as news came through that Damian Duff had scored into his own net.
Belletti was subbed after a heavy challenge.
The home side didn’t appear to have the energy or determination to save themselves, instead they seemed happy to let event else where save them. We were doing our bit to make them nervous, closing the first-half with a string of good chances; one from Malouda came back off the bar.
We didn’t have to wait long into the second-half for Anelka to claim the golden boot with a magnificent strike, curling high into the net from 25 meters.
Stung by that Sunderland realised that results elsewhere could go against them and countered, Cech missed a cross and that great preening wally Richardson equalised. Kalou thumped us back ahead; volleying in a right foot shot after a corner was only partially cleared.
It seemed every wearsider had brought their tranny, and with due deference to the transgendered community we mean that in the radiotelegraphic sense, because what followed seemed more about Villa Park than the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland had a handball shout for a penalty against Michael Mancienne but the ref looked the other way and then we broke up field. The day was so out of the ordinary that Ashley Cole cropped up to score with five minutes to go. His first goal since, well, ages (there is nothing like having s good team of researchers).
Kenwyne Jones popped in a late header but we rode out the game. Liverpool also won so our vanishingly slim hopes of second spot went and the league season is over. Three months until the next one, no European championships no World Cup, we do have the Ashes but lets not get ahead of ourselves the is an FA Cup final … speaking of which congratulations go to Scunthorpe, who beat Millwall in the third division play-off game this afternoon. The last time The Irons achieved promotion we won the FA Cup.