Wednesday 6 June
Florent Malouda played the whole of France’s final warm-up game as they destroyed Estonia 4-0. For England fans there was plenty to suggest that France can be caught on the break but also plenty of evidence they can break down packed defences.
Thursday 7 June
The Battersea site will not now host a giant new Chelsea stadium after the short-sighted administrators decided it was better to sell it off to property developers. Clearly Ernst and Young are Tottenham fans.
Steve Clarke has jumped to the front of a queue to take over at West Brom. Former giant of Stamford Bridge Steve signed for us in 1987 – if that doesn’t sound very long ago Thatcher was Prime Minister and lager was 90p a-pint. Steve was Liverpool’s assistant manager until Brendan Rodgers took over. It will be interesting to see what Steve puts onto the pitch after he missed out on the Chelsea job when Avram Grant replaced Mourinho.
Gus Poyet was asked about Roberto Di Matteo and pointed out something we have not often reported – just how many of the late 90s side have been successful in management. He said: “Mark Hughes, Gianluca Vialli, Ruud Gullit, Robbie Di Matteo, Dennis Wise,
Dan Petrescu, myself, Didier Deschamps – there are so many – ‘Chappy’ Albert Ferrer … Why not one of us? Why should it be somebody else all the time? I’m not saying that we didn’t have good managers at Chelsea. I mean, Mourinho was different class, but give us a chance.”
Friday 8 June
Hammersmith and Fulham came up with an olive branch this morning saying they were ready to talk about expanding Stamford Bridge. Te scheduled CPO meeting was mysteriously suddenly cancelled. That couldn’t be because, nah…
Euro 2012 got off to a bewildering start as the traditional turgid draw was anything but. Poland against Greece saw the first truly grotesque series of decisions get an absurd red-card for Sokratis Papastaphopoulos for two challenges neither of which was a free-kick let alone a card.
The Arsenal goalkeeper was then sent off but ten-man Greece, having already equalised, then missed the penalty Szczesny had conceded.
Petr Cech couldn’t really be faulted for any of Russia’s goals in the Czech Republic’s 4-1 drubbing by Russia. Another good match for Arsène Wenger as he realises that Andriy Ashavin can actually play like Pele he just couldn’t be bothered to turn it on for the Gunners. Old-boy Yuri Zhirkov played well down the left.