Monday 6 August
Chelsea U18 3:1 Millwall U18
Another comfortable match for the U18s. A couple of free-kick goals stood out ahead of the trip to the Manchester tournament.
Friday 10 August
Romelu Lukaku has moved to West Bromwich Albion for the rest of the season. The big Belgian unit will have been hoping for more games now that Drogba has moved on and it will do his confidence little good that with only Torres and Sturridge around we deem him surplus
Saturday 11 August
Kingstonian 0:1 Chelsea U21
Lovely weather for a sharpener as the season for the U21 squad draws nearer. Billy Clifford biffed on in from 30-yards for our only goal but this was again a fitness exercise.
Oscar won a silver in the Olympic football as Mexico beat Brazil in the Wembley final. Team of great individuals against, well, at team.
Sunday 12 August
Chelsea 2:3 Manchester City
Not a very encouraging end to the pre-season with a vibrant City playing three at the back. Their subsequent domination of midfield was simply unshakeable with out isolated striker and ineffective wide players.
City by contrast enjoyed two strikers and plenty of the ball. The three they played at the back in a 3-4-3 almost all played as sweepers meaning we simply could not feed Torres without the immediate attention of a defender.
Torres did give us the lead after a rare first-half break – played in by Ramires – Torres finish was smart and unanswerable.
Ivanovich was sent off almost immediately. The Serb slid into a tackle that up ended a City player but it was hardly with excessive force, it was clearly an attempt to win the ball and the ref had just loked the other way when City’s Savic had chopped Torres in half.
We barely saw the ball again and three quick goals after the interval handed the trophy to the blue half of Manchester.
Our options were so limited we had to rely on Bertrand coming of the bench to nab a late consolation.
It is hard to read anything into a game played with ten-men but this performance was of a kind with last week in Brighton or a few of the games in the States. Torres is isolated our wide attackers look too easily controlled and our defence is vulnerable. Don’t expect any improvement on last season’s position.
Wigan also play 3-4-1-2.
Up in Manchester for the U18 tournament between Manchester United, Rottenham Hotspurts, Arsenal and Aston Villa and a young group did very well. They drew with Arsenal and Villa 1-1, lost to ahem, Spurs in a six-goal-thriller and finished the weekend by beating United from a goal down 1-2. Many of Adi Viveash’s more experienced players were with the U21 or on international duty so the odd slip is to be expected.
The U18s start their new look league programme at home to Manchester City next Saturday.