Monday 24 May
Copa Amsterdam final
Chelsea youth 0:0 Sevilla youth
(Chelsea win 7-6 on penalties)
After a whole week without silverware Chelsea football finished for the 09/10 season with a record fifth trophy. After sinking in the Dallas tournament the youth team scrapped and fought their way to the final in this one by beating Chivas 2-0, Botafogo 1-0 with a goal from a guest player who proudly bears the moniker Aleksander Trajkovski (hotfoot, presumably, from presenting metaphysical films to the Cannes jury), before rotating the squad in the final group game against AZ Alkmar which they lost 0-1.
Back to full strength for the semi against Ajax in their old home the Olympisch Stadion and Billy Clifford scored to put us in the final against Sevilla which was a tight and nervous affair settled, finally, after thirteen straight penalty shootout successes when the big lad between the sticks, Sam Walker saved.
Walker was duly awarded ’keeper of the tournament and the fast improving Rohan Ince was named player of the tournament. The trophy itself will probably stay in Amsterdam being too big and heavy for anyone in the squad to lift alone.
England 3:1 Mexico
None of the Chelsea boys played so this was a disjointed England performance. The positives from a sketchy night was the form of Glen Johnson who looked solid in defence as well as his usual self going forward. Nobody else really shone but it was good to see Adam Johnson get his first cap and make an immediate impression. The goals came from Ledley King, Peter Crouch (offside, handball, whatever) and a cracker from Glen Johnson.
Elsewhere: all of Chelsea’s Portuguese players featured in an uninspiring 0-0 with the mighty Cape Verde Islands. Carvalho played his first football since Portsmouth away and Ferreira played left-back for just over an hour and Deco played about the same.
Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda have both made the cut as France chose their 23-man squad.
Wednesday 26 May
France stumbled over beating Costa Rica 2-1 but both Blues played. Bryan Ruiz, Stoch’s team mate all that time at Twente played for Costa Rica.
Petr Cech played for the Czech Republic as they stormed to a 4-2 win over the USA. But anyone getting their hopes up this was a USA side of bit parts and spares as they think about finalising their squad.
Thursday 27 May
Jose Mourinho will take over at Real Madrid after Inter and the Spanish juggernaut came to an agreement over compensation. Jose dropped big hints about wanting Lampard and Ashley Cole. The papers are divided on whether they will stay or go but with Joe Cole’s contract talks apparently stalled we could be seeing the break up of a great side.
Uefa’s financial fair play rules have been approved. We know the basics; clubs will have to spend only what they generate in order to qualify for Uefa competitions. There will be a two-year lead in and three years with allowed losses after that. The effect of this can only be guessed at but it seems to entrench the power of the biggest cubs in each league.
Michael Essien will be watching the World Cup on television with the rest of us. A joint medical statement from Ghana and Chelsea ruled him out until the end of July. Although every date we’ve been given for Michael has been overly optimistic.
Nathaniel Chalobah and Josh McEachran both played as England U17 progressed to their European cup final by beating France 2-1 with some spirited defending needed at the close. England face Spain in the final.
Friday 28 May
Algeria looked a bit out of sorts losing 3-0 to the Republic at the RDS in Dublin. Straws may need to be clutched soon might include the form of our group opponents.
Saturday 29 May
League one welcomes back Millwall after the Lions’ 1-0 win over Swindon Town. Half our local went, either as Millwall supporters or for the day out, and were astonished by Millwall supporters ability to fight among themselves, even after they had won the game.
Miroslav Stoch set up Slovakia’s opener in their 1-1 with Cameroon.
Sunday 30 May
Japan 1:2 England
So, it seems Japan are better than we had given them credit. England were appalling from the first minute to the last. Joe Cole came on late in the game to set up the equaliser and look a class above the rest of the team, which makes rumours that he is out on a free to Tottenham all the more alarming.
Frank Lampard missed a penalty; two in a row now for the formerly reliable spot man. Rooney could have been sent off (yes, in a friendly), ultimately it was two own goals that pulled our bacon from the fire.
Spain U17 1:2 England U17
Josh McEachran and Nathan Chalobah picked up another couple of medals for the Chelsea silverware collection as England overcame talented but tippy-tappy Spain to win England’s first cup since 1993. Which is, oddly, the year this lot were born. Except, that is Nathan Chalobah who is only 15, Trevor Brooking said: “Nat is still only 15-and-a-half and he was playing against players that are nearly two whole years older than him. He was excellent,”
Dagenham and Redbridge secured promotion to the first division beating Rotherham 3:2 in another thriller at Wembley.
Didier Drogba scored in a 2-2 draw for the Ivorians with Paraguay while France included the Chelsea boys in a laboured 1-1 in Tunisia.