Monday 26 July
Plenty to get through today:
Spain U19 3:1 England U19
A bit of a lesson for the U19 side, out thought and out played by Spain. It will not help their development that their coach seemed intent on getting it forward early. It is a hopelessly archaic tactic most of the time but a suicidal one on an afternoon when you can’t get the ball in the first place. Spain gratefully accepted all the long balls and punished us for our stupidity.
France U19 2:1 Croatia U19
Gaël Kakuta is the star of the tournament so far and France’s win sets up an intriguing final on Friday with Spain.
Gaël scored the equaliser after being gifted possession by a poor back header, the first goal conceded by new wonder kid, Matej Delač. The young stopper could do nothing with the French winner.
Chelsea U15 3:0 South Coast Bayern U15
The annual trip to Northern Ireland for the Milk Cup brings a comfortable win over South Coast Bayern (oddly they are from California not Bavaria). Adrian Viveash’s team looked completely dominant. Ruben Loftus-Cheek with two and Ismail Seremba. Loftus-Cheek must be a local lad but you’d guess from W12 rather than SW6. Just to clear up the kid with the daring hairstyle, mentioned in the defeat at home to Plymouth, was Walter Figueira.
Tuesday 27 July
Co. Armagh 0:7 Chelsea
More Milk Cup goals for the U15 side from Ruben Loftus-Cheek (another two), Walter Figueira (2), George Cole, Lewis Baker, Ismail Seremba. The game was a touch one-sided the Armagh goalkeeper in particular will want to forget the match. Pick of the goals came from Walter Figueira when he cut inside his defender and finished low into the near post.
Wednesday 27 July
Chelsea U15 1:0 Co. Tyrone U15
Reece Mitchell raced clear to put us ahead in the sixth minute and everyone sat back and waited for more but Tyrone were dogged and the Chelsea boys started to look tired. Dundalk in the semi-final.
The welcome mat is out, this time for Giovanni Mauri a fitness coach who has worked with Ancelotti at Parma and Milan.
Jeffrey Bruma has been called into the full Dutch squad. At 18 and with nine U21 caps that is some achievement. The match with Ukraine is on August 11.
Down the road Fulham have appointed Mark Hughes as their new manager following the rather public humiliation of being left at the altar by Martin Jol.
Thursday 28 July
Chelsea U15 4:0 Dundalk U15
Complete control from the start and win through to their first Milk Cup final. Joel Tamina scored after only a few minutes, tapping in a free-kick after the Dundalk players thought they’d heard a whistle. The rest of the goals came in the first-half from Reece Mitchell and two from George Cole. Dundalk barely touched the ball in the second-half but we kept skying chances.
The youngsters will play Cruz Azul from Mexico in the final.
Wycombe Wanderers 5:1 Chelsea IX
A strong Wycombe side were too good for Chelsea’s reserves this evening. Many who had been away with the first-team squad returned. It all started so well, Kaby Djalo tipped in the rebound after Scott Sinclair’s shot was well saved. Sadly Wycombe had an American called John-Paul Pittman up their sleeve and he scored a hat-trick, one audacious lob, in the space of four minutes.
Friday 29 July
Chelsea U15 3:0 Cruz Azul U15
It has been so many weeks since Chelsea picked up silverware then two come along at once.
Two goals in the first-half, both crackers, from Reece Mitchell’s bicycle kick finish right at the start and John Swift’s 25-yard drive pretty much sealed things before a late Lewis Baker penalty. Chelsea’s young side were never really troubled and showed good football throughout the tournament. It is the first time we have won the Milk Cup.
The coach, Adrian Viveash, said: “It’s been a tremendous week, on and off the pitch, we’ve loved being in Ireland … this is a new group we’ve brought and they are worthy of the Milk Cup, this competition and its history – we’re delighted that they’ve won”.
The Academy, on this evidence is starting to become a production line. This side played with attacking flair and defensive responsibility, scoring 18 and conceding, erm, none.
France U19 2:1 Spain U19
Gaël Kakuta becomes our latest European Champion as he supplies the cross for the winner after France came from a goal down. Josh McEachran and Nathaniel Chalobah won the U17 title with England earlier in the summer.
Saturday 31 July
The first-team took the short trip to Frankfurt this afternoon and Carlo Ancelotti made a couple of announcements. Firstly that Didier Drogba will be fit to play Hamburg on Wednesday and then that Alex and Petr Cech should be fit to face Manchester United in the Community Shield. Well, he said fit to face Manchester and we are assuming he doesn’t mean the league game in December.
Sunday 1 August
Eintracht Frankfurt 2:1 Chelsea
After hours struggling to find a grainy live feed that didn’t involve registration, passwords and credit card details this was a huge let down.
As a fitness exercise it couldn’t be faulted, everyone not injured got a run out.
We started with Hilario; Ferreira, Bruma, Terry, Cole; Benayoun, Mikel, Zhirkov; Kalou, Anelka and Malouda but there was no coherence to the approach play and chances were few. Chances for us that is, Frankfurt were making hay, scoring after another goalkeeping error on 24 (1-0) and forcing Hilario to work for his money. They were playing by far the better football.
The second-half team was: Hilario; Mancienne, Carvalho, Ivanovic, van Aanholt; Lampard, Essien, Matic; Sinclair, Borini, Malouda (McEachran 58). Instantly we were better, more competitive. Our equaliser came from Frank Lampard’s determination on the hour, following up his own shot to slot home. 1-1.
Matic pulled down their striker Russ and the resultant penalty made it 2-1 and goodnight. Fabio Borini had a late chance when he broke the offside trap but the ’keeper saved with his legs.
Not a good result or performance but this was the first match the squad has played together and after their fluctuating fortunes over the summer it might take some time for the World Cup players to find fitness and form. Don’t expect miracles in the Community Shield.