Tuesday 12 July
Chelsea 3-0 Wycombe Wanderers
The first game under a new coach and the bones will be picked over endlessly, the team lined up in a 4-3-3 with Torres in the first-half and Didier in the second. Benayoun played through the middle , in a glimpse of what Luka Modric might offer, and scored goal of the season when he controlled a dropping ball with two flicks before a sort of back-heel-chip over the floundering ‘keeper. Fernando Torres and Slobodan Rajkovic completed to scoring.
Thursday 14 July
Just to clear up the coaching structure below the first team Steve Holland has stepped up from the reserves and will work alongside Roberto Di Matteo, Jose Mario Rocha, Daniel Sousa, who at 26 is head of opposition scouting, and Christophe Lollichon.
Dermot Drummy has been promoted to the reserves and we expect beautiful flowing football from the stiffs from now on and Adi Viveash takes over the youth team. Joe Edwards then takes the U16s and Andy Myers will work with the U15s.
Friday 15 July
Josh McEachran and Ryan Bertrand have signed long term deals. Josh will be here for five years and Ryan for four. Baby Bentley salesmen beware.
Saturday 16 July
Portsmouth 0:1 Chelsea
Pah, not much on display here to trouble the scorers Tal Ben Haim scored the only goal, obviously forgetting which way he was supposed to be facing as he, almost gleefully, planted a header past his own goalkeeper.
The rest of the match was clearly a fitness exercise as the team was changed completely at half-time.
Crawley Town 6-1 Chelsea reserves
Against the Man City of league 2 the stiffs took a bit of a walloping but it all good experience and they were without many of last season’s squad who are either on loan or moving up to the first team. Sam Hutchinson played 45-minutes but it is unlikely that he was doing more than lending a hand. He remains retired.
Monday 18 July
Thibaut Courtois joins from Racing Genk after we made, “by far the largest bid” they have ever received for a player. Courtois is 19 and has forced his way into the national squad already. He will probably go on loan at least for the whole of next season.
Thursday 21 July
Malaysian XI 0:1 Chelsea
Oh dear, we’ll be generous and call it early teething trouble but those who watched halting and patchy live streams from dodgy internet sites will have seen a halting and patchy performance from Andre Villas-Boas’s new Chelsea, in front of an impressive crowd of 89,980.
First-half saw some good chances with Torres denied in the opening seconds as the team lined up: Hilário; Bosingwa, Ivanovic, Rajkovic, Bertrand (Van Aanholt, 38); Lampard, McEachran, Malouda; Benayoun, Torres, Kalou.
Second-half had a few moments too as Daniel Sturridge surged around creating havoc but no goals for this XI: Turnbull; Ferreira, Chalobah, Terry, Cole; Clifford, Mikel, Zhirkov; Sturridge, Drogba, Anelka
Eventually Didier Drogba lashed a free-kick against a post and the linesman said it had trickled back in off the goalkeeper. Hawkeye is not being used in this series.
Friday 22 July
Just to catch up with the Luka Modric saga, Harry Redknapp has said that £35m will not be enough to sign him. We are still sniffing around after offers of £22m and £27m were turned down but barely a day goes by without Harry offering the opinion that he [Modric] is not for sale at any price.
Our new goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois, has been loaned to Atletico Madrid for the season.
Saturday 23 July
AVB has conformed that we have agreed terms with Barcelona for Oriol Romeu. The 19-year-old is away with Spain at the U20 World Cup in Columbia so we’ll all be scrambling for the late night EuroSport HD button.
Oriol is a defensive midfielder of great promise and Michael Essien’s injury was mentioned. We will be paying about £4.5m for the young Spaniard and no we haven’t thought of an Oreos joke yet.
Sunday 24 July
Thailand All Stars 0:4 Chelsea
A bit more like it, Chelsea stopped and started and had to wait for a Frank Lampard pile driver from outside the area to break their duck. 0-1. Thereafter the Thai side fell away with their goalkeeper flapping horribly as Jose Bosingwa’s cross sailed in. 0-2.
Pick of the goals followed when Ivanovic came over all Cruyff and dashed the length of the field, fed by McEachran’s astute pass the big Serbian defender finished like a natural. 0-3. Florent Malouda’s finish was sharp but a bit more expected. 0-4.
That wasn’t quite the whole story as Torres struggled, doesn’t he ever, but there were a few heart in mouth moments when both Ivanovic and Bosingwa got stranded and had Hilario to thank for a couple of high class saves.
A little sloppy in possession but getting fitter and finally scoring our own goals.
Chelsea reserves 2:2 1860 Munich
The culmination of the reserve and youth team’s bonding trip to Austria where they have been larking about as well as training saw goals from Milan Lalkovic and Adam Phillip give us a 2-1 lead before a late equaliser stole a draw for the Germans. Everyone had a good time. Sam Hutchinson started again, his retirement is starting to seem premature.
Wednesday 27 July
Kicthee 0:4 Chelsea
Starting to find a rhythm, Chelsea have worked steadily through this arduous tour to peak at the right time. The Blues will play Aston Villa on Saturday after the Villans beat a muscular Blackburn Rovers 1-0 in the earlier game.
This started with a bright midfield with Benayoun bouncing around and providing the ammunition. It was the Israeli’s run into the box that resulted in Frank Lampard opening the scoring. 0-1.
It was into the second-half when Drogba’s presence was enough o unnerve a defender enough for him to slice past his own ‘keeper. 0-2.
Didier got his own goal just before being substituted when he dived in bravely to head home a Malouda cross. 0-3.
The cup was provided by Daniel Sturridge, who would, it seems, be happier taking on sides all on his own, when he controlled a difficult ball and smashed home. 0-4.
AVB was beaming afterwards happy with the work and spreading the fitness work around. Less happy about more questions about a certain striker. To be fair to the champions of Hong Kong they had to rest a good number of players with an World Cup qualifier tomorrow against Laos.
Chelsea also confirmed that they believe Yossi Benayoun was subject to racist abuse during the game in Malaysia. The Malaysian FA have apologised.
Saturday 30 July
Chelsea 2:0 Aston Villa
Torres will once again steal the headlines, scoring with his first touch as he side-footed in Malouda’s wild shot, but the overall dominance caught the eye.
Chelsea have been in Asia for two-weeks now and looked better acclimatised than a stodgy Villa. Josh McEachran opened things up as both Anelka and Malouda were brilliantly denied by Shay Given Josh was on the spot to lift the ball in after only a handful of seconds. 1-0.
Obi John then stabbed in from offside, his luck may never change. The manager will have been most pleased that his new smothering style prevented Villa from mounting a credible attack in the whole game.
Torres’ goal came literally seconds after he came on to play as a two up front with Drogba. 2-0. The Spaniard’s tail was definitely up after that but for all the show-boating there were no more goals.
The team accepted the trophy a flew straight home.
Hampton & Richmond Borough 0:3 Chelsea reserves
Things are starting to gel for the reserves as goals from Adam Phillip and Philipp Prosenik sealed a comfortable win. Sam Hutchinson started again, he seems to be getting a taste for this. Could it be that he is planning a comeback?
Tuesday 2 August
The team were back at Cobham just in time to watch the youth team, well the first year scholars anyway beaten 0-4 by a strong Nottingham Forest youth team. David Luiz returned as well after his exploits in the Copa America, well, er, warming the bench anyway. Full steam ahead for Rangers.
Thursday 4 August
Oriol Romeu Vidal is finally ours, the brightest defensive midfielder in Spain has cost £4.3m from Barcelona and the Catalan club have inserted a by-back clause in the contract which would reap a £6m profit if the European Champions suffer injuries to Mascerano et al.
His opportunities were limited by the signing of Mascerano and a torn meniscus but Martí Perarnau, told The Guardian: “Oriol is solidario. He never abandons his team-mates. He reaches every corner and covers every gap. He gives balance in the middle, allowing the rest to construct with freedom, and he goes into challenges strongly and decisively. He enjoys winning the ball back and pressuring the opposition. Sometimes, though, he is hasty in the transition of the ball.” After watching Obi John’s struggles in the position he sounds like a breath of fresh air.
Friday 5 August
Sam Willemese has left us at the age of 86. On of the boys of 1955, Sam played left-back, having joined from Brighton and Hove Albion in 1949. Sam didn’t have a quiet early life; fighting with the Royal Marine commandoes in the war before his football career. Stan was with Roy Bentley presenting the Premiership trophy to John Terry in 05 and finally receiving a lap of honour for their own title win 50 years earlier. Three of that side have bowed out this year; we miss them all.
Saturday 6 August
Glasgow Rangers 1:3 Chelsea
Not the strongest Gers line-up but two weeks into their own season and already out of Europe you can forgive them taking this one lightly.
They stirred long enough to dent the clean sheet record that we’d maintained throughout pre-season, with Steven Naismith’s cross headed in by Nikica Jelavic even before many fans had digested their deep-fried prawn sandwich. 1-0
We shook ourselves awake and let Daniel Sturridge do all the work himself. First he hustled in to the box to meet Torres’ deflect cross. 1-1. Then without drawing breath, he robbed the left back and drove into the box to tip over the advancing goalkeeper. 1-2, this shit is easy when you know how.
The real worry for AVB came with Obi John’s ankle injury which apparently happened in training, he played with pain killers. It might give an early chance to Oriol Romeu.
Drogba lashed a second-half chance just wide before fining Malouda’s run and header. 1-3.
Frank Lampard then missed a penalty. Anelka flopped a few into the ‘keeper’s midriff before a few late tired chances went begging.
The club also announced an agreement with RSC Anderlecht to finally sign Romelu Lukaku. The deal is worth an initial £11m with add ons up to £18m, which oddly was the reported bid the Belgian club turned down last month. The deal probably went through because the 18-year old is a staunch Chelsea fan and worships Didier Drogba.
On his way out is Yuri Zhirkov who will spend his time with newly-minted Anzhi Makhachkala in Dagestan. We know, difficult to keep up with the spread of petrodollars. The deal is rumoured to be £13m.
Yuri certainly had his moment, especially toward the end of the double season when he filled in for either Ashley Cole or Florent Malouda and won his fair share of penalties but he was clearly frustrated by a lack of first team games.
His departure opens an important place in the squad for another senior foreign player … we Modricingly couldn’t say who that might be.