Tuesday 14 July
Mark Hughes has been talking of John Terry’s impending move to City, or not: “It is not a question of finance, or money, it is about a different challenge, and John being at a different stage in his life and his career, and maybe that is why there hasn’t been a response because John is seriously thinking in those terms. I went through that process myself as a player and I can understand if that is the way he is thinking.”
Expect strong denials and this to drag on and on.
Meanwhile, in the real world, Lee Sawyer joined Southend on loan. The 19 year-old has already had a loan spell at with the Shrimpers as well as Coventry and Wycombe. He will be in Essex until Christmas.
Wednesday 15 July
The bans handed out to Didier and Jose have been cut by one match each. Drogba will miss three with two suspended and Bosingwa will serve two with one suspended. Chelsea withdrew their appeal against the fine. We have gone on record about our contempt for this whole process and reducing the sentences does not remove the injustice.
Latest on Terry to City – it seems he will be flying to the US tomorrow with the squad and joining in with our pre-season.
John’s potential wages seems to be confused still, let’s get away from the rather patronising insistence on calculating his weekly wage – as if he were paid in cash – John Terry earns £7m a year which is not a bad whack, if City double it they’ll pay £14m a year but the commonest quote is nearer ten. Travelling to the States and continuing to play for Chelsea will not make the story go away, he will have to make a statement.
John is apparently distracted by the lack of a big name signing in the last few years. So Nemanja Matic’s announcement will have eased his fears. The 20-year-old Serbian midfielder blurted out that he had agreed to join Chelsea but the clubs (Chelsea and MFK Kosice) need to thrash out a price.
Our shirts will bear the Samsung logo for a few years yet as a new deal is agreed. The press release is written in the most coruscating newspeak. Remember the difference between their pay packet and yours is that they don’t snort down their nose when they read this shit out loud. Financial details will follow.
Thursday 16 July
Joe Cole suffered a meniscus tear in his knee that required surgery yesterday. He was not on the aeroplane with the rest of the team as they left for the States. Joe has been out since January so any setback must be disheartening but the medical staff said about four weeks so he cold be ready for the start of September.
John Terry got the plane much to Man City’s disappointment.
Miroslav Stoch has joined FC Twente on a season long loan. At 19 Miroslav will benefit from a year at senior level in Holland under the tutelage of Steve McClaren.
Saturday 18 July
Seattle Sounders 0:2 Chelsea
So, we are back on and back in form. John Terry played the first-half and played as if committed to the club even as his silence on his future hangs over the team.
First-half goals from new boy Dean Sturridge and old hand Frank Lampard provided the comfortable win and the Sounders provided a testing workout for rusty limbs.
Ancelotti changed the entire team at half-time. Cech; Bosingwa, Alex, Terry (c), A Cole; Deco, Ballack, Lampard, Malouda, Anelka, Sturridge played the first: Hilario; Belletti, Ivanovic, Carvalho, Hutchinson; Ballack (Mikel 62), Sinclair, Shevchenko, Lampard; Pizarro, Di Santo the second.
Sturridge’s control was the most impressive aspect of his strike with just eleven minutes gone. He flicked the ball inside his marker before curling his shot passed Kasey Keller, yes, that Kasey Keller, in the Sounder’s goal. It was Keller who provided the early entertainment as a simple backpass got stuck under his boot, there followed an undignified scramble as Anelka tried to score.
Seattle attacked well throughout with Freddie Ljungberg supplying the ammunition. One of Ljungberg’s free-kicks brought a flying save from Petr Cech.
Deco was playing like a man possessed, playing deep in midfield his passing was, at times, majestic. If he stays injury free he could become and almost accidental part of a successful jigsaw.
Chelsea’s second came just after the half hour, Sturridge’s pass found Anelka and his cut back was buried by Lampard.
The second-half almost became a personal duel between Franco Di Santo and the Seattle goal. He had efforts on the post, over, wide and cleared off the line. Even Obi John had a stinger which for once hit the target but was tipped over. The nicest thing to say about Shevchenko is that he needs to consult a hiardresser.
Soccer in America might still be a minority sport but 65,289 turned up for this one; perhaps it is growing.
Chelsea youth 3:0 Colchester youth
Saturday morning saw a big new intake for the academy and a comfortable first win. Philipp Prosenik made a scoring debut after signing from Rapid Vienna he tapped in the second goal from a rebound from his own shot after Milan Lalkovic opened the scoring a great goal (and all his own work).
Gokhan Tore, our dashing young Turk, scored the third and virtually the whole team had chances against a poor Colchester side.
There were so many new boys involved it will take half a season to get to know them all.
Crawley Town 1:2 Chelsea reserves
Fabio Borini scored a brace to give the reserves a decent win against a competitive conference side. Borini was brought down for a penalty just before the break and while Crawley equalised just afterwards Borini volleyed the winner just before the hour. It was good to see Gael Kakuta back in action after severe ankle problems last season.
A healthy 4,500 odd turned up with plenty of blues in attendance.
Sunday 19 July
Mark Hughes has been speaking, again, about JT: “It’s well documented that we put in a bid and that was rejected … He’s a player I know, I played alongside him at Chelsea and I admire him as a person and captain from afar. He’s obviously the type and calibre of player we need if we are going to progress and compete at the top level. Chelsea have come out very strongly, in no uncertain terms, saying that he’s not available, so we have to reflect that position because John is very much a Chelsea player. But we need to address the defensive strength of our side and we’ll look at all options.” All of which probably means nothing other than Everton should build a bigger fence around Lescott.
Monday 20 July
Mark Hughes, etc.
This time he has been denying any ‘tapping up’ of Terry pointing out that Chelsea made Manchester City’s interest in their captain public with a statement on their website.
Meanwhile there are reports that we are in for the young Brazilian Douglas Costa. Costa has attracted attention from all over Europe, with Manchester United quotes £20m odd for a player who has only just broken into the first team at Gremio.