Saturday 1 July
The new kit is finally out and, although we have always loathed Nike, their kits, their company ethos, their utter disregard for club’s history, we have to admit that this 70s throwback kit looks the part. The real drawback is the astronomical cost – want your favourite player’s name and number on your back of your shirt, that’ll be one hundred and two of your English pounds. A blank one is ninety quid. It seems Nike think they have a blank cheque to rip off fans. Last season Adidas only wanted £75.
Nike will have to print some new ’keeper jerseys with Caballero on the back. Willy Caballero signed on a free after being released by Man City. Caballero played 26 times last season and takes up Asmir Begovic’s gloves.
Sunday 2 July
John Terry signed for Villa marking the end of his 22-year Chelsea career and a new start for our 36-year-old captain. We wish him well in his West Midlands adventure. What were you doing in 1995?
Germany won the Confederations Cup. We haven’t reported much on the running farce that is Fifa and their decision that the feral, gangster state Russia should host the World Cup. With corruption that blatant it is hard to know how to respond. Obviously every country should boycott the event but then it is a world cup after all. So everyone is going to go and look the other way on human rights and illegal wars. Fittingly the football has been extremely dull.
The trial of the video assistant referee was another joke as, after watching his little pitch-side monitor the ref failed to issue a red for a deliberate elbow. It didn’t change the result of the match but showed just how pompous the breed that referees can be. The system would work if the VAR was just watching the playback we see and communicating with officials through a mike. Giving the ref an option to check his own monitor slows the game down and giving the referee the decision about which incidents are referred to the VAR keeps the jumped up little Hitler on his pedestal.
Giving that it has taken 400-years to get Fifa to consider using replays when we have all been able to see incidents in superslomo it is possible they invented a system that is clumsy and unworkable deliberately. Passive aggression from the game’s governing body. Who’d have guessed that could happen.
Monday 3 July
JT is confirmed as a villain and to judge by the Villa fan’s reaction it is the best signing they’ve ever made.
Jay Dasilva captained England U19 at their European championship opener in Georgia, Trevor Chalobah, Dujon Sterling and Mason Mount joined him in the starting line up to face Bulgaria. Mount scored from a Sterling cross mere minutes into the match and Ryan Sessegnon extended the lead in the second period.
Jacob Maddox came on at the death to make it five Chelsea lads on the field and a sixth, Reece James, was on the bench.
Next match is on Thursday against the Netherlands.
Tuesday 4 July
Tammy Abraham signed a new deal and headed out on loan to Swansea City in the hope of first-team goals. Abraham has been the talk of the town since his loan to Bristol lit a few fireworks and he carried on the good work helping England U21 to a semi-final place at their Euros. He will blossom with enough game time.
Casey Palmer is to return to Huddersfield next season as the Terriers prepare for life in the top flight. Palmer, who also signed a new Chelsea contract, played 27 times and scored 5 goals for Huddersfield and will impress in the Premier League.
Meanwhile in Europe: Glasgow Rangers that proud protestant institution in the heart of the shipbuilding capital of west Scotland, managed to capitulate to Luxembourg’s Progres Niederkorn. Losing 2-1 on aggregate to a village side where the population doesn’t get much above 3,000. Celtic will just have to shoulder the mantle of representing Glasgow in Europe next season.
Wednesday 5 July
Todd Kane will play for Groningen for the whole of the next campaign. He will give the boys at Vitesse an extra edge to their matches. Todd is now 23 but his progress has been hampered by injuries and he’ll be looking to stay well and make a mark after last season on loan with NEC Nijmegen.
Trevoh Chalobah is 18 today, Happy Birthday Trev. The lanky defender is currently away with England U19 in Georgia. We don’t normally mark player’s birthdays but this recognition is, in part, an apology for consistently mis-spelling his first name.
Thursday 6 July
The sound of fences being mended with Diego Costa rang around the Bridge this morning as Romelu Lukaku emerged as a £75m target for Manchester United.
The deal isn’t sealed just yet but that is serious money for the 24-year-old as Everton appear to have called Chelsea’s bluff – watch this space.
Meanwhile in Arnhem, Charlie Colkett will join Fankaty Dabo on loan with Vitesse. Charlie is progressing very well and played well last tern at Bristol Rovers and Swindon and should progress well at the Gelre Dome.
The first three Sky match moves have been announced: the away games against Spurts will now take place on the Sunday as has Arsenal’s visit to the Bridge. BT Sport have taken the Man City game and that moves to a 5.30 kick-off.
Friday 7 July
Antonio Conte thought Chelsea were serious about keeping him and replicating last season’s success. He now knows that Romelu Lukaku will be a Manchester United player and all his plans over the summer, all the recruitment designed to complement Lukaku, all the tactical discussions he had with the young Belgian are all for nothing.
It is almost as if Jose Mourinho did that deliberately to stymie Chelsea’s plans.
Pre-season starts on Monday morning and Conte will be banging some heads together. Jose faced a similar summer after he won the league in ’15. He didn’t think the club were serious about maintaining or building on success and we finished in tenth. After winning the league in 2010 Carlo Ancelotti waited all summer for recruits and none came.
It is a question of momentum, or rather the lack of it. The hierarchy don’t seem to grasp when urgent effort is needed, there is even a rumour that we delayed signings until the Nike deal was through so they could be pictured in the new shirts … it now appears the real stumbling block towards progress is either Michael Emenalo or Marina Granovskaia or possibly both.
Bradley Lowery died today. The five-year-old Sunderland fan managed to stir everyone with his love of the game and enthusiasm for life.
Bradley Collins will spend a hard season of toil and graft at Forest Green Rovers in League Two this term. Nailsworth in Gloucestershire is the smallest village ever to have a professional team in the leagues so Collins will have to adjust from life in London.
Sunday 9 July
England U19, with five Chelsea players involved, reached the semi-final of their Euros by thrashing Germany 4-1. Sadly Trevoh Chalobah was stretchered away in the early stages with what looked an ankle problem. Mason Mount set up the goals and generally ran the show.
There is another Antonio in the house as Antonio Rüdiger signs from Roma. Rüdiger (pronounced Roo-dig-er) started life at VfB Stuttgart and has 17 international caps for Germany playing in the Confederations Cup final a few days ago. He is a big imposing defender and cost about £29m, to start with, and signed a five-year deal.
The new defender does have a hard tackling reputation and a habit of picking up cards… Conte should coach that out of him.
Monday 10 July
Back in training and more bad news in the gossip columns – after flummoxing Chelsea on Lukaku United are trying to gazump us on Tiemoue Bakayoko from Monaco as well.
Training with the group today were a host of players who spent last season on loan: Andreas Christensen, Kenneth Omeruo, Jeremie Boga amongst others. Not training with the group today were new boy Antonio Rüdiger who has a few days off after the confederations cup and Diego Costa who has a few days off.
Antonio Rudiger will wear the number 2 shirt while Willy Caballero will wear 1. Charly Musonda picks up 17 and has been granted permission to be known as Musonda Junior because his father also played professionally.
Tuesday 11 July
Ruben Loftus-Cheek will spend next season with Crystal Palace under Frank de Boer. Ruben was born in Lewisham so he knows the club well.
Meanwhile, Florent Malouda is in trouble for representing French Guiana in a Gold Cup match against Honduras. Florent was born in French Guiana but made over 80 appearances for France. While French Guiana isn’t a Fifa member so the rules about representing more than one country do not apply to other competitions, Concacaf have adopted the rules for the Gold Cup so Malouda’s appearance could lead to a null result and Honduras being awarded a 3-0.
There are rumours that Tiemoue Bakayoko’s move could have been held up because an injury prevented him from completing a medical. The keyhole knee surgery means he will miss the start of the new season in any case.
The unheralded Danilo Pantic has returned to his homeland and will play for Partizan Belgrade on loan for the next season.
Wednesday 11 July
England U19 with four Chelsea boys on duty made their final after a last gasp 1-0 win over the Czech Republic. Jay Dasilva continued as captain and Reece James came in for the injured Trevoh Chalobah. Mason Mount and Jacob Maddox played in midfield.
The goal came in the third of three injury-time minutes as Lucas Nmecha backheeled a neat finish moments after heading a better chance over the bar.
The Checkatrade Trophy draw matched us with Exeter City, Plymouth Argyle and Yeovil… so the development squad will be back and forth to the West Country in the Autumn.
Thursday 12 July
We have started to hand out the family silver as Nathaniel Chalobah goes to Watford for an undisclosed fee. And we don’t imagine for an instant that undisclosed is enough for one of the brightest talents we have ever produced. A five-year deal with the Hornets should see Nat blossom and we’ll end up buying him back for undisclosed x8.
You can probably tell we are a little disappointed that Chalobah is leaving, he made 10 appearances in our title winning side, looked like he was born to fill the defensive midfield role and will be harder to replace than the club seem to appreciate – £40m for Bakayoko when you already had Chalobah? The guy better be worth it.
Friday 13 July
Lucas Piazon will continue his loan at Fulham for another season. Lucas played really well in 33 mostly substitute appearances and scored six times. Meanwhile, Jake Clarke-Salter signed a new four-year contract.
Saturday 15 July
Chelsea 8:2 Fulham
A run out behind closed doors to shake some rust from the limbs and minds. Willian seemed to enjoy himself the most with a hat-trick. Michy Batshuayi scored two to make it five at the break. Loic Remy bashed in two in the second-half and Cesar Azpilicueta scored a penalty.
The most important thing was that the new kit looked really cool.
The performance was watched by Tiemoue Bakayoko who put pen to paper on a four-year contract and a £39m move from Monaco in the morning. Tiemoue is a really exciting midfield prospect and at just shy of £40m something of a bargain.
Crawley Town 1:1 Chelsea XI
A mixed bag of development squad players a couple back from loan made heavy weather of Crawley. Kenneth Omeruo and Michael Hector both started but it was substitute Charlie Brown who handed us the lead. Old Boys Kaby Djalo and Billy Clifford turned out for Crawley in the second-half and they equalised with a couple of minutes to go through Joe McNerney.
England U19 2:1 Portugal U19
Mason Mount put in another commanding display as England won a third age-group title of the summer. Jay Dasilva captained and Dujon Sterling also played. Jacob Maddox and Reece James didn’t get off the bench in the final but played their part in the tournament and special mention should go to Trevoh Chalobah who was injured and returned home earlier in the competition.
Magdalena Eriksson joins the women’s team from Linkopings. The 23-year-old Swedish international defender is currently away with her national squad at the Euros in the Netherlands.
Sunday 16 July
Marco van Ginkel signed and extended contract us and then signed an extended loan to PSV Eindhoven where he has loads of appearances and goals from tow previous loans.
Monday 17 July
Ericsson will be providing Wi-Fi at the Bridge for the next few years, just in case you wanted to post those shots of your friends celebrating a goal with the world instantly. We are far too old fashioned to understand these new fangled things but it is what the youth demand.