Wednesday 14 July
Absolutely piddling nothing. The papers would have you believe otherwise. So far this week: we are waiting for Fernando Torres’ latest injury to be cleared up before launching a £50m bid. Hmm, another transfer record, injury prone striker. Altogether now – number one, is Robert Fleck…
Ashley Cole is a £30 target for Real Madrid. This rumour has been around for a while and is being sold on the idea that Cole wants to move for a quieter time from the papers. He obviously cannot read Spanish because he’ll get precious little peace from AS or Marca. Fábio Coentrão (or Fábio Alexandre da Silva Coentrão when he is being ordered to clean his room) the Portuguese left back keeps cropping up in the gossip columns as a replacement.
We are in the market for one of either Sami Khedira or Mesut Ozil, take your pick and we have joined in the unseemly scramble for Mario Balotelli from Inter. Confusing because Carlo Ancelotti said just yesterday that Manchester United would be an ideal destination for the stroppy Italian kid.
Thursday 15 July
Mmm, lovely new orange and black away kit. Adidas will eventually learn that referees play in black and Chelsea away should be yellow.
Juliano Belletti’s papers have been signed with Fluminense, so hit that You tube clip one more time in his honour.
The reserve fixture structure has been rejigged with Chelsea in a southern section with two northern divisions. The basic idea is that you play the teams in your section home and away but you play the teams in the north as well, on a home or away basis. So we will have regular league clashes with the Manchester clubs and Liverpool for he first time. There is still no news about the venue.
Friday 16 July
Former reserve coach Brendan Rodgers has been appointed Swansea City boss on a twelve-month rolling contract. We wish him well.
Saturday 17 July
Crystal Palace 0:1 Chelsea
At last, after a week watching golf and cycling, Chelsea are back. Well Michael Essien is back, his return filled up the headlines for this match first he whacked the ball into the face of a Palace fan in the warm-up. The kid will need stitches. Then he appeared to be injured midway through the first-half before scoring the winner with a delicate left-foot shimmy and shot after McEachran’s layoff. Joshua was his usual self probing and tricking his way through the game and he must start playing league games this season. Liam Bridcutt came on for Palace toward the end and made an impact, we hope he gets a spot. 21,345 turned up to swell the Selhurst coffers. Were they grateful?
Afterwards there was time for Carlo to deny that Ashley Cole is on his way or that Fernando Torres is on his: “I don’t think we need other strikers – nothing has changed because in the next days come back Drogba, Anelka and Kalou and we have Sturridge.”
Sunday 18 July
U19 action in France, where Gaël Kakuta scored the opener in a 4-1 demolition of Holland. Jacob Mellis got on as a sub as England beat Austria 3-2 with two-goals from ex-Blue Frank Nouble.
Fabio Borini and Jacopo Sala both played for Italy but were whopped by Portugal. Matej Delac was in goal for Serbia’s 2-1 loss to Spain.