Monday 26 October
The Times reveals that, in Italy, to describe someone as a genius doesn’t have the same weight as it does here, meaning instead that Joe is a creative influence in his position.
Tuesday 27 October
Lee Sawyer has left Southend under something of a cloud. Lee asked for the termination of his six-month loan contract and it was granted, he was left out of Southend’s squad at the weekend for what the club describe as “another breach of club discipline”. How that sits with Fifa’s excessively fussy ban is anyone’s guess.
Meanwhile, in the real world, all Chelsea footballers have contracted swine flu from Blackburn Rovers, or Blackdeath Rovers, the typhoid Mary of the Premier League. Some halfwit actually asked Gary Megson (MD, PhD) if he was worried about his Bolton players being infected by the Chelsea team after they played Poxburn Rovers on Saturday.
Shouldn’t Chelsea be more worried about the Trotters? Spitting on the pitch can spread infection wailed the BBC website.
On safety grounds it is obviously important that no fans attend public events where other human beings, er, breathe out in case many handfuls are infected with this extremely mild illness.
A different cretin asked Carlo who said, simply; “I’m not worried … my grandmother’s prescription, it’s hot milk with red wine. Fantastic. My players will shake hands and swap shirts with their opponents as normal, absolutely. The flu is not only on the pitch. It’s everywhere.” ‘Everywhere! Everywhere!’ to the bunkers … save yourselves…
Wednesday 28 October
Chelsea 4:0 Bolton Wanderers
Thirteen goals in a week, none against, has increased the expectation around these parts, many pessimists already have nosebleeds. In fact one said that it would be typical of the ‘old’ Chelsea to take a full squad to Bolton on Saturday and lose after beating them so convincingly with our second string.
Carlo released his team in the morning after dropping copious hints all week: Hilario in goals; Juliano Belletti, Alex returns from injury, Branislav Ivanovic and Paulo Ferreira, first start back from a long break; the midfield will be Michael Ballack, Deco, Florent Malouda and Joe Cole; Salomon Kalou and Daniel Sturridge will start up front.
On the subs bench tonight are Michael Essien, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. So, John Terry and Nicolas Anelka both get the night off completely.
Another Chelsea home game with a bright start, a few weeks ago we were all lamenting that it took an early goal from the opposition to wake the Chelsea players up, in the last three we have threatened to score from our first attack. Joe Cole had a pop in the first few seconds tonight. Deco fired in our second shot but we had to wait until the next attack to take the lead; Kalou headed in Ferreira’s excellent cross from the left. 1-0.
Bolton sought to get straight back in it but Hilario saved at Taylor’s feet, thumping himself in the head at the same time, the medical staff cleared him to play on and he wobbled around the penalty area for six minutes before being replaced by Turnbull. Thankfully Wanderers didn’t notice the punch-drunk stopper or they could have equalised.
As it was we only had to wait a couple of minutes for our next, as Malouda played a wall pass off a defender and slammed the ball in from a fortunate rebound.
As our second string purred perfectly around the pitch the only soul drowning was Daniel Sturridge who tried far too hard in everything he was asked to do. He had two identical shots within a minute in the second-half both laid on a plate both pulled wide. He looked crestfallen to be replaced by Didier Drogba just after the hour.
It was only a few minutes later that Joe Cole crossed, Didier dummied (or missed his kick, take your pick) and Deco turned and fired into the unguarded bottom corner for 3-0. Just before Turnbull had one of his few chances to muddy his gloves with a save from Taylor. He looked the part, with none of the indecision that has dogged his reserve appearances.
Bolton kept pressing and kept Turnbull and the defence busy, at one stage Klasnic tiptoed into the area and poked the ball passed goalkeeper and defenders but saw it rebound of a post.
From that effort we broke up field and Joe Cole crossed and Drogba headed home. 4-0
Bolton in the League cup always remind us of Matthew Harding and how unlucky he was that his last Chelsea experience was losing away at Bolton. He missed the final development of that team and the FA Cup triumph at the end of the season, not to mention everything that has happened since. To Matthew, Chelsea hadn’t won anything since 1971 but had a promising squad and an exciting manager and then the story stopped. Perhaps we should learn to appreciate what we have a little more, what we have been fortunate enough to witness.
Odd news from Portsmouth, they too have been hit by a transfer ban, only in their case the manager only found out when he tried to sign a player called Eugen Bopp on Monday from Crewe Alexandra only to discover that they had been served with a transfer ban two weeks ago for failing to make payments on players; the missed instalments including payments to us for Glen Johnson. And you thought Newcastle were a mess last year – at least they know their multi-millionaire can pay the wages. Banks in Portsmouth will be watching for pay slips on Sunday.
Thursday 29 October
Oddly the Guardian listed Paulo Ferreira in yesterday’s ‘match facts’ as Renato Paulo Ferreira, which when you are mucking about and assuming nobody reads your work, is okay but get your ‘facts’ checked fellas: Paulo’s full name is Paulo Renato Rebocho Ferreira. No word, as yet, to whether his wife is called Renée.
Friday 30 October
Frank, John, Didier, and the Michaels Ballack and Essien have been nominated for World player of the Year, although, organisers need only invite Lionel Messi to the ceremony and make it a small, intimate affair for family only.
Saturday 31 October
Bolton Wanderers 0:4 Chelsea
This is getting to be an enjoyable habit and one that had led us clear at the top with the best goal difference.
Paulo Ferreira kept his place at left-back from mid-week and Deco came into the side as Joe Cole was rested. The change didn’t alter the attacking ambition of the team. Deco seems to have responded to Cole’s glittering displays with a bit more urgency but while they are different players in the tip of the diamond role they both make it work.
That we had to wait until the stroke of half-time to score was the only surprise. We started brightly with Anelka bringing the first save from Jussi Jääskeläinen who also tipped a Drogba header over from the resulting corner.
Ivanovic had the ball in the net but Ballack was given offside, although he was hardly interfering and Drogba and Anelka lined up chances for each other for fun. Wanderers were still dangerous and Cech had to be lively to stop a curled effort by Cohen. Kevin Davies was playing well either shooting himself or setting up Elmander.
Home fans chanted cheat at Didier Drogba after he was awarded a penalty and several commentators who should know better said he went down easily. Reviewing the video evidence Didier clearly has his legs taken from under him as he is about to strike. It is further proof that once labelled a diver you will remain so in many eyes however often you stay on your feet or however badly you are fouled. Thankfully the ref today Peter Walton saw it clearly and made the right decision. Jlloyd Samuel was sent off as the last defender and Frank Lampard, of course, scored. 0-1.
The second-half began brightly with Drogba and Deco having chances but Bolton didn’t feel beaten even with ten men and started with some good moves, until our midfield strength and the mismatch in numbers started to tell. Frank Lampard thrashed a cut-back corner routine off the bar before a one-touch move left Deco to steady himself, switch foot and curl one simply home with the defence bemused. 0-2.
Carvalho played the wee jinky to supply the cross but Ivanovic was cheated out the third as his goal-bound header deflected off Zat Knight. 0-3.
The next goal was something special, a goal that should have been in a cup final, Anelka teased and then crossed to Deco who chested on to Lampard his back-heel flick was buried first-time by Didier. Sumptuous 0-4.
What will have pleased the coaching staff most was that we faced eight corners but didn’t look like conceding
Ipswich Town youth 2:2 Chelsea youth
Chelsea took the lead, somewhat against the run of play, from an Anton Rodgers free-kick before two Ipswich goals gave Billy Knott the chance to thrash an equaliser into the top corner from the edge of the box.
Almost buried by the avalanche of goals and good feelings was news of our League cup quarter-final away at Blackburn Rovers. Manchesters City and United play Arsenal and Spurs respectively while Portsmouth play Villa.
Scotland Yard have apologised to six actors who appeared in the recent motion picture The Firm after stills from the film cropped up in mug shots issued by plod of hooligans wanted in relation to the recent West Ham/Millwall celebrations.
We have said it before but the police in our capital city are not very intelligent, some cannot even tell the difference between grainy CCTV and HD motion picture quality images. The officers responsible have already been promoted to head up the armed response unit of the arse from elbow division
The actors are lucky they were not branded domestic extremists.