Asmir Begovic
Asmir Begovic

Thursday 2 July
England’s women will not be in the World Cup final after a last minute own-goal robbed them of even a shot a penalties. Japan will play the USA in the final, while England have the consolation of playing Germany for the bronze medal.

Friday 3 July
Chelsea have finally signed a new player – you guessed it – Radamel Falcao on loan from Monaco for the season. It is difficult to get too excited because the only transfer rumour involving Chelsea has been this loan deal. He didn’t pull up trees last season in a misfiring Manchester United team but Jose thinks he can get the best from him.
Mario Pasalic, the Croatian midfielder, goes on loan in the other direction. Mario spent last season on loan at Elche in Spain and made his international debut in September after joining us from Hajduk Split last summer.
Mo Salah is in hot water with Fiorentina. They had an option to extend his loan deal for this season too but are claiming the player hadn’t shown up for pre-season and is after a move to another club. It is a surprise given how successful his stint with the Viola was from January.

Saturday 4 July
England actually beat Germany 1-0 to finish the world cup in Canada in third place. Given the level of hoof-and-hope football we played it can be regarded as proof of the existence of footballing gods who are meddlesome and capricious – we are stuck with this style for another decade of failure and hurt. Still, smile and enjoy the small success of actually beating Germany for the first time ever.

Sunday 5 July
To round off the World Cup in Canada the USA thumped Japan 5-2 in the final.

Wednesday 8 July
Fran Kirby, mini-Messi of the England world cup squad signed for the women’s team from Reading for what is rumoured to be a British record fee. The exact sum is undisclosed but we fought off interest from Man City and Arsenal. Sky were wondering if it could be a world record for a woman.

Friday 10 July
Marco Van Ginkel is a Stoke City player next season and we will all have a better chance to assess his progress. The young Belgian played on loan at AC Milan last season, eventually securing a regular midfield place.
The news suggests that the exciting Asmir Begovic signing is nearing completion, especially as the Potters signed Shay Given from Villa today as well.
Meanwhile, Vitesse will be ironing out the creases in Izzy Brown and Nathan next season as both join on the usual loans to our Dutch cousins. Brown’s progress will be watched most keenly but Nathan is a very promising Brazilian attacking midfielder who signed from Atlético Paranaense on July 1st.
Borussia Mönchengladbach signed Andreas Christensen for the whole of next season. Andreas played well in Denmark’s U21 campaign this summer and is starting to look the finished article. A season in the Bundesliga will hone his skills.
Josh McEachran has joined Brentford on a permanent deal. Josh was the golden boy of the youth and reserves but has lost his way, or stumbled down some on loan cul-de-sacs in recent years. We wish him the very best and we are quietly confident he will start to shine again.
Brentford were close to promotion last season but shot themselves in the foot by announcing their manager would leave come what may in May.

Saturday 11 July
Chelsea U18 4:1 Bournemouth U18
A very young Chelsea XI filled with mostly scholars and schoolboys put in a vibrant and cutting performance after only a few sessions back in pre-season.
Ike Ugbo started where he left off with a first-half strike and a new XI for the second-half piled in the goals, Luke McCormick’s was the pick.
After a few weeks of watching tennis and women’s football Chelsea football is officially back.

Sunday 12 July
Chelsea 4:1 Bristol Academy
The women broke for the world cup top of the tree and thumped a few past poor Bristol to stay there.
Gilly Flaherty, Gemma Davidson, Ji So-Yun and sub Millie Farrow supplied the goals as the league leaders dominated.