Monday 16 January
Gary Cahill is, finally, a Chelsea player. After daily updates about price, personal terms and possible moves from Tottenham or Manchester United, a medical and his appearance in the stands on Saturday we finally have a new defender. Whether he will be better than the ones we already had only time will tell. Gary will wear the number 24.
Chelsea reserves 2:3 Wycombe Wanderers reserves
Jacob Mellis scored both the goals as the reserves played a loosener. Wycombe were too big and too experienced opponents for a young Chelsea team but there were positives in a game where we dominated possession and chances.
Tuesday 17 January
Fulham youth 2:1 Chelsea youth
A bit of a backward step for the academy; Adi made several changes from the side that played in the youth cup last week and his young side passed up a host of chances to win this. The goal we did manage came from Swedish/Bosnian wonder kid Anjur Osmanovic.
Alex had been given permission to speak to QPR. No fee has yet been agreed but a fine, successful Chelsea career is to come to an end in the hoops of disgrace. Alex has been a brilliant servant of Chelsea football club. It will always be to AVB’s discredit that two players as valuable as Nicolas Anelka and Alex were made to play with the youth team for asking for a transfer.
Josh McEachran and Patrick Van Aanholt are out on loan. Josh, to everyone’s surprise, has joined Swansea City and links up again with Brendan Rodgers. Patrick will take part in the Vitesse Arnhem experiment that is going steadily at the moment. Vitesse sit sixth just seven points from the top.
Everyone’s attention will be focussed on Swansea for the rest of the season. Josh has shown such promise and 18 games between now and the end of the campaign should develop him into an automatic first choice for next term. It worked for Daniel Sturridge last year at Bolton.
Patrick is in a different situation, he has demonstrated time and again that he is ready for this level but is perpetually stuck behind Ashley Cole. We wish them both well.
Meanwhile the BBC is reporting that we have signed three brothers from Luton Town. Dasilva wins Rio and Cole (12) along with their older brother Jay (13) have been snapped up by the academy in a deal that could bag the Hatters £1m if all three make the first team.
Meanwhile, in late news: QPR thrashed Milton Keynes, a side two divisions below them, by one goal to, erm, nil. So we’ll be back down there the weekend after next.
Thursday 19 January
Sam Walker has joined Yeovil Town until the end of the season. Huish Park is getting a very good ’keeper and one who is starting to get noticed. Yeovil’s manager, Gary Johnson, had Sam at Northampton earlier this season said: “I didn’t want to lose Sam because there’s a few clubs who know about him, so I’m pleased he’s back working with me.”
Reports emerge, in a thoroughly reputable newspaper and one unconnected in any way to phone-hacking, that Chelsea’s board attempted to buy the 75% majority it needed for the CPO vote last year.
It couldn’t be true though – Abramovich gives the impression of a man who doesn’t mess about. If he were determined to get a majority we’d already be on our way to Battersea Park.
Friday 20 January
The CPO AGM was almost as extraordinary as the summer’s EGM and passed off without actual fisticuffs but it is a sign of how far we have come that the CPO’s annual shindig gets reported at all. This year the board were elected and that was it. They wanted to sell more shares and expand the board but both resolutions were voted down when the new chairman, Steve Frankham swung the proxy vote against the bids. So, the CPO will do no new business for a year and another EGM will be scheduled to give shareholders an opportunity to voice suggestions.
Saturday 21 January
Norwich City 0:0 Chelsea
What a washout: we are treated to the same recipe for a soggy pudding of a performance topped off with a creamy swirl of racist chanting. Since the draw with Tottenham we’ve stunk, it seems that this team, set up this way cannot exercise control over a match against any opponents; cannot create enough chances, cannot take those we do and can do little or nothing to protect our goal from average teams.
This performance came on a weekend when we knew at least two of our direct rivals at the top would drop points. So obviously the squad was pumped up and eager to close the gap.
Gary Cahill sat in the stands for this one so we’ll have to wait a week for his bow. Daniel Sturridge was back on the right with Lampard and Ramires behind and Meireles in the holding role.
Norwich City had answers for our early probing and Holt and Morison cut through our back line three or four times without reply. The best moment of the first-half came when Torres remembered his lines and stabbed an effort that Ruddy in the home goal tipped round the post.
Lampard hobbled out of the action after a little more than half-an-hour, to be replace by Malouda.
The second period started much as the first with Norwich finding early space before we started to impose ourselves. Torres swiped at one from a corner but missed the ball before poking and excellent chance wide after Bosingwa had wriggled into the box.
Mata was playing his socks off again and had a low effort saved shortly before Meireles got away with a two handed block.
Torres and Meireles were replace by Lukaku and Essien and the rangy Belgian made an impact running hard down the right he muscled defenders out of the way before his cross is cut out and apart from a few fluffed efforts from Malouda that was really that.
To put this afternoon into perspective this is the first time Norwich City have kept a clean sheet this season.
The racist chanting happened on the train on the way home, just to add a charming note to a miserable day.
Sunday 21 January
Didier Drogba scored for the Ivory Coast as they overcame Sudan 1-0 in their opening game of the African Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile, Manchesters City and United beat Tottenham and Arsenal, we are prepared to bet that neither side will play as poorly against us. City were lucky not to finish with nine-men as both Lescott and Balotelli assaulted Tottenham players without punishment. Both incidents were straight red-cards and it’ll be interesting to see what the FA decide to do about it.
After the match yesterday the squad flew off for a spot of warm weather training in the med but poor Frank has had to stay in London for tests on his calf.