Tuesday 28 February
Branislav Ivanovic scored for and captained Serbia in a 2-0 win over Armenia held in Cyprus at tea-time.
David Luiz played the whole game for Brazil in Switzerland. The five-time World Cup winners triumphed with an own-goal in injury-time against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Oriol Romeu and Gaël Kakuta were in action for their U21 squads and Nat Chalobah, Todd Kane and Patrick Bamford all played for England U19, Bamford scored.
Wednesday 29 February
England 2:3 Netherlands
Many had fallen asleep long before this match finally burst into life with two quick Dutch goals on the hour. Dashing fox-in-the-box Gary Cahill pulled a goal back before Ashley Young levelled. Stuart Pearce had been done no favours by withdrawls and injuries but was brave enough to replace the limping Gerrard with Daniel Sturridge who seemed to revel in the occasion. The rest of England were functional and it was sobering to watch the Dutch shift through the gears during the second-half especially Arjen Robben.
Sturridge was named man-of-the-match and limped off just before the end. The club expect him to be fit for WBA.
Jeffrey Bruma sat on the bench for the Dutch.
Florent Malouda also scored as France beat Germany 2-1. On as a late substitute the Chelsea man’s goal was only his eighth in over 70 appearances.
Petr Cech, the Czech player of the year, again, played the Republic but was beaten by a West Brom player in a 1-1 draw. Couldn’t be an omen, no way.
Josh McEachran played all of England’s U21 4-0 win over Belgium. The opening goal is literally the most outrageous goal ever scored by Henry Landsbury.
The FA Youth Cup semi will be against Manchester United after they overcame Charlton. We met them at this stage last season but this time the second-leg will be at the Bridge.
Friday 2 March
The club released analysis of the problems involved in redeveloping the Stamford Bridge site. Too small, too hemmed in and too expensive is a fair summary of the advice they have received.
The report doesn’t mention what the situation would be if standing area formed a large part of any new development.
Saturday 3 March
West Bromwich Albion 1:0 Chelsea
What can you say about this debacle? AVB picked the same side that did enough to beat Bolton last week with both Daniel Sturridge and Didier Drogba available but they didn’t gel.
Twice Sturridge was released only to fluff his lines. In the first-half Drogba played a great ball for Daniel to run onto but the youngster’s control deserted him and he eventually hit an effort wide. In the second Juan Mata curled the ball into his math but somehow he just let it sail past him and the chance disappeared.
Our defence wasn’t functioning. West Brom have been on a good run but Chelsea’s players were not tracking runs or closing down. Almost as if they weren’t trying. It could be that relations between players and manager have become so bad the team has gone on strike.
The late goal was a familiar kick in the teeth. A cross was not dealt with and fell to Gareth McAuley who scored. 1-0.
Frank Lampard had enough time to poke a respectable chance wide but this afternoon was another exercise in misery and an equaliser was not really deserved.
Chelsea youth 2:2 Tottenham Hotspur youth
Another exercise in dragging ourselves back from two down. The youth team might twig that a stronger defence from the start might mean they had a more relaxed game. Goals from Lewis Baker and Ismail Seremba in the second-half rescued the point for a youth team stripped of most of the reserve regulars.
Sunday 4 March
Andre Villas-Boas has been sacked. A terse statement revealed that the club had lost patience with poor results and performances that show no sign of improvement.
Roberto Di Matteo will take temporary charge until the end of the season. Don’t expect too much. Rumours around the camp are that Roberto is as unpopular with the squad as AVB was and we shouldn’t forget that he was sacked at West Brom despite getting them back up into the Premiership because of his inability to organise a defence.