Monday 10 May
Tottenham Hotspur youth 3:0 Chelsea youth
A poor end to the season but a return to tradition as a Chelsea team played in blue shirts and white shorts for the first time since 1964. The poor performance could be down to end of season syndrome or Kaby Djalo being sent off half way through the first-half. Or it could have been the threadbare squad we took. When Philip Prosenik limped out in the second-half the big ’keeper Sam Walker had to come on as a striker.
There will be a victory parade, on Sunday starting at one. The usual route with a stop at Eel Brook Common.
Ron Gourlay has been speaking about summer business. It seems the club are determined to allow the kids a bit of space to improve next term and are keen to avoid a bidding war but if needs be: “If the question is: is the ability there for us to go into the marketplace and spend x million on a player? Then yes. If it’s right for the football club.”
That will be good news for John Terry who spoke yesterday of the need for investment and he spoke up for some of his colleagues waiting for new contracts: “No doubt it’s going to be a busy summer for the big clubs, but we have a great squad here anyway. And hopefully we can keep the likes of Coley who has been key for us with his goal away to Man Utd, Nico hopefully signing a new deal, and we can keep everyone here.”
Tuesday 11 May
Carlo Ancelotti is in Naples today giving evidence in the trial of former Juventus president Luciano Moggi and former Italian referee’s chief Paolo Bergamo, the two at the centre of the Calciopoli scandal. There is no suggestion that Carlo has ever done anything wrong.
Gianfranco Zola has been sacked by West Ham United. It is not exactly a surprise as the new owners have been pouring scorn on him and his team since they took over. They have made a stupid mistake; Zola and Steve Clarke would have built a decent side given time and money. Instead they’ll have a few years with a number of different managers and a struggling side. No news yet about Steve’s position.
Fabio Capello announced his 30-man provisional squad and all the Chelsea boys are in. Frank Lampard, John Terry and the Coles all make the first cut. Surprises were few: Ledley King is in, as are uncapped duo Adam Johnson and Michael Dawson. Tom Huddleston and Jamie Carragher are both late choices.
Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka are both in the French squad. Hilario misses out in Portugal but the others are in. All our Africans are going with their respective nations. Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic (put your whites in the new and improved Nemanjamatic©™ for a cycle and those stains will drop out” or do you take one for a headache?) are going with Serbia and Miroslav Stoch is going with Slovakia.
Which leaves Alex sitting at home watching the television. Brazil must have some quality at the back to leave out a player who has grown into the role and matured since Ricardo Carvalho’s injury problems this season.
Blackpool won a thrilling play-off semi-final against Forest 3-4 at the City Ground to book their place in the final.
Wednesday 12 May
John Terry went to hospital for a scan on his foot. He left Cobham in a protective boot. It later transpired they were being over cautious and that John is fine. It didn’t stop near hysteria on Sky Sports news as England’s chances at the World Cup went into meltdown.
We are now the only champions in SW6 after Atletico Madrid beat Fulham in the final few minutes of extra time in the Uefa Cup final. Yet even the most die hard Blue wanted them to win, it was even faintly charming to hear “stand up if hate Chelsea”, sung live on Channel 5.
Tears in Leicester as well, as the foxes lost on penalties in Cardiff.
A Chelsea IX travelled to Tottenham for a behind closed doors friendly designed to showcase players that can be transferred or loaned for next season. The invited guests were managers from around the leagues with a smattering of Premiership managers and scouts being joined by virtually every championship manager. Spurs won 5-3, our goals were scored by Mellis, Kakuta and Bruma. Jon Obika scored four for Spurs.
Thursday 13 May
In county court news: Edward Terry, John’s dad, admitted dealing coke to a News of the World scumbag. He will be sentenced later and by a higher court.
Happier news at Cobham where Didier accepted his golden boot for his 29 goals and Petr Cech his golden glove for keeping 17 clean sheets. For good measure the club were handed a Merit award for scoring 103 goals in the Premiership.
Saturday 15 May
Football Association Challenge Cup Final Tie
Chelsea 1:0 Portsmouth
The double is sealed in the craziest cup final in years. It had everything: shots on the woodwork, fine saves, glaring misses, penalties and one decisive goal. Oh, and the kind if pitch you find down Hackney marshes.
Frank Lampard looked determined to open the scoring, sending a few sighters before, in the thirteenth minute, he clipped the post with a long-range effort with James scrambling. Anelka quickly found room for a shot that James turned round for a corner. Then a fine move on twenty minutes, as the team worked the ball to Drogba in space but both of his shots are athletically blocked by Mokoena. Portsmouth, especially O’Hara had been getting away with some hefty hacking in the opening exchanges. They decided to contribute at the other end when a quick break left us scrambling and Boateng’s shot should have been turned in by Frederick Piquionne but Cech threw up an instinctive hand to claw the effort away.
“And Kalou must score”, Ashley Cole danced into the box and laid the ball across for Kalou unmarked and a few feet away from the goal. He hit the cross bar.
Next up for the crossbar trick was John Terry, Malouda’s deep free-kick found the salmon like skipper heading at the far post, of course, it hit the bar and away.
Boateng then hacked down Michael Ballack in a sick and calculated attempt at revenge after a bit of girly shoving between to two earlier. Ballack stays down for an age and fails to run it off and is replaced by Juliano Belletti.
Drogba then slams a free-kick from thirty yards against the bar and down on the line. James actually got a hand on it to make it a stunning save.
Didier was next to hit the post as he tucked the ball under the advancing James the ball skewed off the post for a goal kick. To hit the woodwork five times in one half is an unusual boast and ensures that this cup final will be forever remembered as the final when we hit the woodwork five times. Tyldesley will use it every year as soon as a team hit the bar or post he’ll be unable to stop himself: “of course, Jim, Chelsea hit the woodwork five times in a single final”.
Portsmouth started brightly after the interval, pressing but not making much headway. The Belletti decides to stick out a leg on Aruna Dindane for a clear penalty. Boateng lines up the strike but somehow scuffs the ball straight and Cech blocks away with his feet.
A relieved Chelsea clear the corner up top Drogba who is slashed down 25 yards out. The free-kick flies through a gap in the wall and smashes against the post and in. 1-0. Didier has now scored in seven cup finals.
Kalou had another shy this time after Ivanovic made some space but he was wide and made way for a Joe Cole cameo.
Joe Cole could have scored when Drogba fed him after his own shot was blocked but the defender closed before Joe could react.
Everyone is looking desperately tired as Lampard runs into the box a tired Portsmouth defender cannot do better than bring him down for the game’s second penalty.
Frank Lampard steps up but drags a weak effort wide of the left hand upright.
The game dwindled to a close after that everyone too knackered to play. Daniel Sturridge got a run in the last few minute and Frank had a shot to redeem himself but dragged it tiredly wide.
Final whistle provoked more scenes of wild celebration. Pompey fans stayed and cheered their team so Chelsea lifted the cup in a near full stadium. The presentation out of the way and Carlo Ancelotti can reflect on a season of near perfection, he joins Dave Sexton, Ruud Gullit, Gianluca Vialli, Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink in winning the FA Cup but he is the only manager who has ever done the double.
Ashley Cole reached two milestones, with six he has now won the cup more than anyone else, ever. He is also completing the double with a second club and feat Anelka matched. We become only the sixth team to retain the trophy and the seventh team to win both league and FA Cup.
Sunday 16 May
Got to the party a little late but caught the bus at Parson’s Green by which time Didier was sitting at the back nursing the Premiership trophy like a baby.
Michael Ballack has criticised the tackle that ended his afternoon as swelling means he will have to wait until Monday for the prognosis for his World Cup.