Monday 21 May
Didier Drogba has made up his mind and the strongest rumour we’ve ever known says that he has already told team-mates he isn’t going to renew.
That doesn’t mean he is going to China, France or Manchester – just that he is not coming back to us. You could almost see it on his face just before the final penalty.
And finally: while there is no such thing as a god or gods whatever you were told when you were young; touching wood does no good in pressure situations; the baby Jesus never existed, nobody died for your sins; Santa Claus is not a big fat man with a beard; black cats are innocent of all charges; the tooth fairy is American; there is no such thing as ghosts (because humans don’t have an immortal soul, any more than your Labrador does) – but you should never, ever, for any reason touch the European Cup before the final …
Anatoliy Tymoschuk did just that before Saturday’s match and you could almost see it on the desperate Bayern faces; a hopelessness born of a knowledge that they were cursed by fate. There have already been calls for him to be transferred.
Tuesday 22 May
The club have confirmed Didier Drogba has left the building. The biggest striker in the history of the club beyond a doubt. Yes Jimmy Greaves had better goals per game, but he left; Peter Osgood was loved by us and feared by everyone else, but he broke a leg and then played in a declining team; Didier Drogba arrived in 2004 for £24m took a while to adjust and then blitzed everything put in front of him: 157 goals puts him fourth in the all time list and he leads our top European scorers with 34, he scored in nine major finals for the club including the two this season and won ten trophies in eight years.
The man was a force of nature when in the mood – not struck by injury or malaria – we will never see his like again.
Fernando Torres takes over as the fulcrum of the side and he is a very different kind of person. Romelu Lukaku will be licking his lips at the opportunity.
Didier has no worries about the future for the club: “Players will go, some stay, but the club will remain as ambitious as it has always been. I am not worried … Chelsea was there before I came and always will be … It’s impossible to forget this moment. Leaving Chelsea in any case would be difficult, but now even more. It is impossible, Chelsea is in my heart. My blood is blue and my heart even more so.”
We salute him and wish him well.
Meanwhile, away from the Bridge Jose Mourinho signed an extended contract with Real Madrid ending any speculation in that direction.
Wednesday 23 May
Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa have both been let go by Chelsea. A big summer clearout is on the way.
Salomon came from Feyenoord in 2006 with a reputation as a goal-a-game striker and we immediately put him out on the wing. He was always popular at the Bridge but it never really sparked for him out wide and he developed a reputation for missing decent chances in big games – and hitting the bar from yards in the FA Cup final.
He has written his name into folklore with the cross that John Arne-Riis headed into his own net as our luck started to change in the Champions League.
Bosingwa never really clicked after his move from Porto in 2008. He missed the whole of the next season with injury and has not reclaimed anything like the form that we imagined we were getting for £16.5m.
They have both contributed hugely to recent success. Bosingwa as an emergency centre-half in Barcelona and Kalou drove us to victory so often at the end of the double season he deserves his own song for that but he’ll have to settle for this – altogether now: “He comes from the Ivory Coast, Kalou, Kalou. He don’t do coke like Adrian Mut… etc”
Away from the real world of football and into the world of the Olympics where both Didier Drogba and Josh McEachran carried to torch as part of the relay. Most people know about Didier’s charitable work but fewer know that McEachran works very hard at the club with the terminally ill.
Thursday 24 May
Jeffrey Bruma will spend another season away in the Bundesliga. The 20-year-old centre-half made 20 appearances last season for Hamburg after Frank Arnesen hoovered up all the loose players last term. Jeffrey has a couple of Dutch caps (stop the sniggering) and is one we should not let go too easily.
Saturday 26 May
Womens FA Cup final
Ashton Gate, Bristol
Chelsea 2:2 Birmingham City
(2-3 on penalties)
Chelsea women were very unlucky to lose a final they led twice but ultimately they were undone by a quick free-kick and a referee that allows cheating.
We scored first when Helen Lander broke but in injury time at the end of the 90-minutes they somehow poked an equaliser from a corner. Substitute Kate Longhurst broke onto a loose ball the Birmingham defence seemed uninterested in to put us back ahead only for the referee to award a free-kick for a marginal off-the-ball incident when Chelsea had cleared the danger from the attack easily. She then allowed Birmingham to take the kick while we were organising our wall – an act otherwise known as cheating. If the referee allows you to set up a wall she has an obligation to mark how far that wall is and instruct the attacking player to wait for the whistle. To instruct the attacker to take the kick whenever they like and not inform the defending side is giving a clear and deliberate advantage. Under the laws of the game an attacker is at liberty to take the kick whenever they like. In fact referees have no right to instruct them to wait for the whistle in law. But there is precedent that allows them to and to break this is against the spirit of the game, that precedent and is ungentlemanly conduct.
We were a bit pathetic in the penalty shootout that was shunted to the red button because Sky switched their coverage to Wembley for the play-off final.
So, female referees are just as idiotic as their male counterparts but you’d hesitate to call them the names you routinely use – flip ref, you are the offspring of a she-ass and your father was a veritable jackal.
Norway 0:1 England
Oh what is the point… yesterday’s manager sent out a team in yesteryear’s formation and his captain should have been sent off for a hideous lunge that ended the game for Tom Hogli. Still, a makeshift England held on for a scrappy win against superior opposition. France will be quaking dans leur bottes.
England too easily conceded numbers in midfield and couldn’t get the ball as Norway dominated and pushed their full-backs on. Hodgson is wedded to 4-4-2 and will never change. England will come home after their first three games with no points if he is allowed to persist. Perhaps John Terry will sort him out.
Congratulations to Huddersfield Town who found a way to beat Sheffield United on penalties in the first division play-off final. We know a healthy number of Wednesday fans who will be crying into their Theakston’s at the prospect of losing the Sheffield derby for another year. They will just have to make do with life in the Championship.
Sunday 27 May
Fernando Torres has made the cut in the Spain squad, along with Juan Mata.
The final act of what has been an incredible season saw Crewe Alexandria promoted from the second division at the expense of Cheltenham.