Monday 10 January
Liverpool have appointed Steve Clarke as first-team coach under the new Dalglish regime. The theory is that Kenny has been out of football for ten years and Steve might actually know what is going on.
Steve Clarke was the obvious man to replace Ray Wilkins but is another talent we have let go. Perhaps he’ll be back as manager one day?
Daniel Philliskirk joins Sheffield United or four weeks. The Blades recently appointed Micky Adams as their new manager but they are still struggling.
Thursday 13 January
Sunderland youth 0:2 Chelsea youth
For the first time in over a month the youth team pulled on their boots in anger and the long lay off looked to have dulled both teams. Hwld behind closed doors at the The Academy of Light, no we are not kidding, both sides hit the woodwork in the first half before Chelsea goals from Nathaniel Chalobah and George Saville, both scrambled from set-pieces, sealed a home tie against Arsenal in the next round.
Friday 14 January
It appears the answer to the question we have all been asking from the beginning of the moment was Steven Pienaar. If the ultimate answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything can be 42 then the willing but limited Everton midfielder might be the answer as long as the club know what the question was.
It seems we are unwilling to meet his wage demands so the 28-year-old South African might well end up at Spurs.
The youth cup game with Arsenal will be next Thursday at the Bridge.
Saturday 15 January
Chelsea 2:0 Blackburn Rovers
This might be the first step back but everyone was keen to stress that the moment has not necessarily passed.
After talk all week of giving the youngsters a chance after the fine display against Ipswich it was something of a surprise to see Essien, Drogba and Anelka all lining up as usual. They started brightly as well. The ball never left the Blackburn half as we pressured from the kick-off. Ramires is finally starting to look the part and his shot from a half cleared corner smacked back off the cross bar.
With service down the left erratic in recent weeks the team looked right as Anelka and Bosingwa saw plenty of the ball, Bosingwa’s limitations however saw crosses over, or under, hit and hopful shots wafted at the goal.
When we finally set someone clear it appeared that Didier Drogba has lost some of his sharpness. Running onto Anelka’s feed the Ivorian took a clumsy touch and allowed Gael Givet to clear.
Drogba still has art in his boots however, and it was his cross that Anelka tipped onto the crossbar just before the break.
Level at half-time was not so bad, especially when Cech had only the one save to make but the team came out in the same hardworking but uninspired mood for the second period and found Blackburn in the same defensive and unambitious shape. Roque Santa Cruz appeared for the visitors but looked rustier than a bag of nails.
Chelsea’s passing gradually quickened as Anelka snuck a shot through a defender’s legs but wide of the post.
The first goal was coming and when it arrived was a scramble. Terry headed back a corner and Ivanovic smuggled the ball over the line. 1-0. The cheers were of relief rather than ecstacy.
Blackburn looked there for the taking as Anelka had a shot deflected for a corner and John Terry had a flicked header just wide before Drogba showed again how far off his best he is. Samba’s under-hit backpass sent Didier through but the tame shot was easily cleared for a corner.
From that corner Ivanovic again out jumped the defence and Anelka’s flick took the ball past Robinson’s dive. 2-0.
The encouragment really came in the last fifteen minutes with McEachran on for Essien the side was pressing for more without once looking unsteady.
Ramires deserves a special mention on an afternoon when Lampard looked to still be working back to full fitness, the Brazilian was at the heart of every good move as his direct running and, for once, accurate passing made him head and shoulders our best player. Now would not be a bad time for Ramires to start justifying that £18m fee.
Sunday 16 January
As we watch draw after draw in the hat-trick Super Sunday, it emerges that the club have not yet extended Branislav Ivanovic’s contract. Given his performance yesterday perhaps he can add a few thousand a week.