Monday 10 June
The happy one is back and had the press dangling on his every word again. He confirmed that John Terry will still be captain and that he hopes to get more out of him than the last manager could. He said it was a good time for both Chelsea and him to renew their acquaintance and warned the players left from his first spell that there would be no favouritism. Everyone has to earn his place.
On transfer targets he said there might be one or two in, that was normal, but not the number linked by the press in the last few days.
His message was one of humility and of continuity he stressed that if he proved himself then he would like to see out his four-year contract and he hinted that he would be less confrontational.
That said, he managed to mention that Wenger had not won a trophy while he was away and to say that he would not comment on Rafael Benitez’s decisions in a way that left no doubt about what he thought of his predecessor.
Good to have you back Jose, now let’s win the league.
Tuesday 11 June
England’s U21 journey through an easy group at the European Championships proved too much for them as they finish bottom of the group without a point, a goal from open play, barely a shot on target in three matches or a manager who knows what he is doing. Both Josh McEachran and Nat Chalobah played in the 1-0 defeat by Israel but what they will have taken from the defeat and the humiliation of losing all three games we are not sure.
Luckily for clueless coaches everywhere, the FA has already voiced their support for Stuart Pearce.
Wednesday 12 June
Patrick Van Aanholt played the whole match as the Netherlands U21 side were beaten by Spain as both progress to the semi-finals. The Dutch will play Italy on Saturday.
John Obi Mikel played on an artificial pitch against Namibia and early reports suggested that both his back and his knees came through unscathed. The club were concerned about his participation in the World Cup qualifier that leaves the Super Eagles needing a result from their last game to reach the play-offs.
Two late goals from Spain, the second from substitute Juan Mata, beat the Republic in New York as the Spanish played their last match before the confederations cup.
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has been asked to cough up the tax he owes the Spanish government. His debt is about what your firm turns over in a year but he probably has it in change down the back of his sofa.
Meanwhile, The Scottish Football League is to merge with the SPL in a move designed to spread more money down the league.
Friday 14 June
Chelsea announce terms with Leverkusen for Andre Schürrle, all we need now are personal terms and a medical for the first buy of the summer. Schürrle has been on the radar for a long time – he was linked with us last summer and again in January – there is no news about the proposed loan for Kevin De Bruyne going the other way. £18m has been suggested but as always you’ll have to wait for the annual accounts for actual figures.
Marina Granovskaia, Roman’s long term assistant has been appointed to the club’s executive and plc boards. She has been in the background informally for a while and has taken part in negotiations to bring back Mourinho but as far back as Torres’ arrival.
Manuel Pellegrini is finally Manchester City manager after a few weeks of negotiation. He completes the line up of new managers at the top of the Premier League and adds spice to the new season – which is only two months and two days away. Unless Sky switch our first game to Monday night.
Owen Coyle has been charged with leading Wigan Athletic to Europa League glory or promotion, whichever.
Saturday 15 June
Brazil won their opening Confederations Cup match against Japan 3-0 with David Luiz and Oscar to the fore. Neymar scored a cracking opener with only a few minutes on the clock as the Seleção developed the new tactic of thrashing crosses in hard and low. They are probably tired of defenders heading them out. It is an unusual move that is worth watching.
Outside the police used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up a largely peaceful demonstration against staging of the World Cup in such a poor country. They had been lied to when the bid was won, told that the money would be private and the tournament would cost them nothing. That of course was a neo-liberal fantasy and almost all the money has come from budgets that should be spent on hospitals and schools.
The police attacked the crowd because the story is supposed to be about football. Just bear that in mind when you find yourself agreeing with the Daily Mail that Britain’s youngsters need to be controlled with water cannon and rubber bullets; they will be used against you.
Sunday 16 June
Italy beat a poor, unadventurous Mexico in Rio and Juan Mata came on for the last ten minutes of Spain’s comprehensive 2-1 over a poor and unadventurous Uruguay.
It is important that the world’s football coaches devise a plan to destroy tika-taka before the next world cup. Spain are extremely effective at what they do but it is boring as heck.