Monday 22 July
Kevin is on a plane home as his knee looks more complicated than Jose let on yesterday. The club are still making optimistic noises about the Belgian rejoining the tour when we hit the States next week.
Guus Hiddink suddenly resigned from Anzhi Makhachkala today and his odds on becoming the next Barcelona manager were slashed. To think that we might have ex-managers at both of Spain’s big clubs is a sign of how far we’ve come since Bobby Campbell.
Jeffrey Bruma has officially joined PSV after medical hold ups. It is a bit of sad day because Jeffrey looked the perfect defender for us as he developed through the youth and reserves. Somehow it was not to be as managerial insecurity saw him out on loan at Hamburg for two seasons before this move. We wish him well, as always, and hope we do have the rumoured buy-back clause.
The first-team arrived in Indonesia to a welcome from thousands of fans. It is sometimes difficult looking from London to realise how big Chelsea Football Club has become – we have over 2m likes in Indonesia.
Tuesday 23 July
Sutton United 0:4 Chelsea U21
The hard work is starting to pay off for the U21 squad as goals from Alex Kiwomya (as always), new boy Ulises Davila, newer boy (see below) Cristian Cuevas and John Swift saw of Conference South side Sutton. Izzy Brown also played his first match on these shores in front of a crowd of almost 2,600.
Left-back/left-winger Cristian Cuevas is officially a Chelsea player. The 20-year-old agreed to join from O’Higgins in Chile. Rumours are that he will go out on loan immediately possibly joining Kakuta at Vitesse Arnhem.
Bah, Barcelona appoint Gerardo Martino to replace Tito Vilanova, just to confound diary columnists who have predicted Hiddink would get the job. Martino is an Argentine who signs from Newell’s Old Boys.
Wednesday 24 July
The new third kit is released by Adidas and guess what? No, go on you know you can. What colour is it?
Gaël Kakuta, Patrick Van Aanholt and Thorgan Hazard are all back on loan with last year’s clubs; Van Aanholt and Kakuta with Vitesse and Hazard with Zulte Waregem.
The U18 fixtures are out and they are a mess. Another new league structure sees us play almost every Saturday morning home and away against all the teams in a new southern section and home or away against the northern bastar… teams. Not much room for youth cup or NextGen matches.
Thursday 25 July
BNI Indonesian XI 1:8 Chelsea
Walks in the park don’t get much walkier than this. Indonesia had been billed as a tough defensive unit but as a scratch side thrown together at the last minute they didn’t have much in the way of cohesion and surrendered and then surrendered again. It could be that we have become more powerful than you can possibly imagine but after Hazard’s early penalty, 0-1, the goals came at regular intervals. Ramires scored a belter, 0-2 and his shot was saved for Demba Ba to tuck in the rebound, 0-3. John Terry headed in to make it four at the break.
Second-half was more of the same. Lukaku came on to terrorise the terrified defence. Bertrand Traore made another statement with a blistering fifth goal from the edge of the box curled deliciously into the top corner 0-5. Lukaku scored a brace, 0-6 & 0-8 and in between Ramires capped his fine display with his own second, again, from outside the box 0-7.
The only player not to enjoy the whole experience was Tomas Kalas who bundled in their consolation effort.
Aston Villa at home has been moved to the first Wednesday 21 August to accommodate the super cup in Prague.
The squad flew home after the match and have a couple of days off before flying out to the colonies.
Friday 26 July
Ken Bates, el Presidente to Leeds United supporters, is no more. He has been sacked from Leeds’ new project ending one of the most corrupt careers in football history.
Whatever you think about the Old Pirate you have to acknowledge the work he has done in leading Leeds into the wilderness and making sure they stay there, He even picked new owners with cash flow issues. His last act was to lavish £13m on a restaurant and West Stand refurbishment rather than on footballers.
Saturday 27 July
Colwyn Bay 1:5 Chelsea U21
Frank Sinclair now manages Colwyn Bay and would have been celebrating as his side took an early lead after defender and goalkeeper got into a muddle but Dermot Drummy’s side quickly asserted their dominance as Izzy Brown equalised before John Swift put us ahead just after the break. The point of the match was, as always at this time of year, fitness so the whole 20-man squad made an appearance. Brown, again and Swift, again netted either side of an Alex Kiwomya strike.
Chelsea U18 3:2 Stevenage XI
Close and competitive this will have been an important win for Adi Viveash as the season nears. George Cole, Anjur Osmanovic and Nias Butungu scored the goals in a side full of schoolboys and debuts.
In the evening Pep Guardiola lost his first match as Bayern München manager as Dortmund tripped them up 4-2 in the Germany super cup. Pep did not look happy as he congratulated his players by hugging them round the throat.
Sunday 28 July
Germany won the women’s’ European championship by nicking the only goal against Norway. They had all the luck in the world in this tournament as Norway spurned two penalties. At least we will see the back of the smug BBC presentation that continued to be all about England ten days after we were knocked out.