Monday 11 November
BT Sport yesterday confirmed that they will screen the Champions League from 2015. We heard this and assumed they had bought out ITV and rolled over for some more kip. What we didn’t initially notice is that they bought the lot for double what Sky currently pay – £299m a season or nearly £1bn over three years.
BT were feeling the pinch as Sky started hovering up broadband customers, so perhaps offering the Champions League to subscribers is worth a punt in the long run.
Quite how Sky retaliate is going to be interesting.
With new money and a guaranteed bidding war in three years time the clubs cannot lose. If any of this will be passed down to us in the form of cheaper tickets is somewhere between slim and feck no.
Thursday 14 November
Eden Hazard Kevin de Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku all played as Belgium surprisingly lost 0-2 at home to Columbia..
In U21 action for England Nathaniel Chalobah played as England beat Finland 3-0 to extend their lead in their 2015 European Championship qualification group. The U21s have only dropped two points since Steve Holland and Gareth Southgate took over.
Nathan Ake played left-back for the Netherlands as they drew 2-2 away to Slovakia. Lewis Baker, John Swift and Ola Ana played for England U19’s 1-4 away win in Hungary.
Friday 15 November
England 0:2 Chile
When Roy Hodgson finally leaves the England team and we have a proper manager the nation will be surprised at how well these players can play. After an abysmal qualifying campaign struggling out of a mediocre group England sunk to new depths as Chile easily rolled over a disjointed poorly prepared team.
Hodgson seemed to be trying something new with Lallana and Rodriguez from Southampton drafted in to play either side of Rooney. Southampton have enjoyed success by pressing the opposition and Hodgson implemented his new system so successfully that as Rodriguez, Lallana and Rooney pressed in the opening stages the team behind them did not, allowing Chile to wriggle through the gaps time and again.
Frank received his 100th cap before kick-off presented by his dad. Gary Cahill played but did not shine with a nervous goalkeeper, in Fraser Forster, behind him.
Andre Schürrle played an hour as Germany and Italy drew. Petr Cech save a penalty and kept a clean sheet as the Czech Republic beat Canada. Branislav Ivanovic played in Dubai against Russia and drew 1-1.
In U21 action were Andreas Christensen, as Demark beat Bulgaria 2-3, Thorgan Hazard, in Belgium’s 2-2 away to Serbia and new striker Stipe Perica and Matej Delac for Croatia, beaten 2-0 by Switzerland.
Saturday 16 November
Arsenal U18 0:3 Chelsea U18
This was a beefed up Chelsea youth team with Ruben Loftus-Cheek Jeremie Boga and Isaiah Brown among the changes.
A bewildered Arsenal side could not get the measure of Jeremie Boga as he skipped past a couple of challenges to fire in low for the opener on six minutes. Arsenal put up a fight after that but Jeremie repeated the medicine later in the half with an almost identical goal for 0-2 and finished his hat-trick by heading in Dominic Solanke ’s cross.
Arsenal had the best of the second-half but we maintained our lead to make it six wins from seven games.
Nigeria comfortably eased past Ethiopia to become the first African nation to reach the World Cup in Brazil. Victor Moses scored a first-half penalty as the hosts ran out 2-0 on the day and 4-1 on aggregate. Kenneth Omeruo played the best part of 70-minutes without any adverse reaction to his injury problem. It looks like he is on his way back to his best.
The Ivory Coast also made it but in a below par performance against Senegal. Salomon Kalou scored the Elephant’s goal.
In Spain, Juan Mata played as the World and European Champion’s overcame Equatorial Guinea 2-1.
Willian scored in Brazil’s 5-0 romp against Honduras in Miami. The Brazil side now has four Chelsea players to chose from as David Luiz again stood in as captain.
It was impossible to imagine back in the day standing on the freezing Roker terracing back in 1979 or bundled out of the Cup by Wigan that Chelsae would ever rise so high as to have one players at the World Cup let alone a whole team.. Why where humiliations in the 70s always accompanied by cold weather?
Sunday 17 November
Samuel Eto’o and Cameroon will be at the World Cup again as they comfortably beat Tunisia 4-1 at home. Eto’o has been involved with a few controversies recently after supposedly saying he had retired from internationals and then claiming his team mates refused to pass to him. He did have a quiet match despite the scoreline.