Monday 1 June
Carlo Ancelotti is the new Chelsea manager, he must have had a quick phone call from Madrid last night telling him he wasn’t wanted because London became certain early this morning. The 49-year old Italian has signed a three year contract and will officially start work on July the first. Real Madrid appointed Manuel Pellegrini formerly of Villarreal.
The official statement on Ancelotti said that he was the outstanding candidate for the job and that: “he has proved over a long period his ability to build teams that challenged for, and have been successful in, major domestic and European competitions”.
The many Chelsea fans who expressed reservations don’t think that is true. Taking over from Fabio Capello, he built one side that was successful in Europe but won only one Scuddetto, over the last three years the AC Milan side under Ancelotti has aged and drifted. In short the feeling on the message boards is that Carlo is a manager with an impressive past but one who shows little promise for the future. News that thirty-year-old Andrea Pirlo is his first choice from his old club suggests the age profile is going in the wrong direction already.
Many wrote off Claudio Ranieri after two games in charge and were made to wait three unsuccessful years before he was replaced. We hope Ancelotti is made of better stuff.Tuesday 2 June
Ancelotti’s preferred coach Filippo Galli could be following his master as AC indicated that Mauro Tassotti will be staying with the club, which kind of suggests that Galli can leave. Galli apparently learnt his English with Gianluca Vialli at Watford in what feels like a long eight years ago.
France lost to Nigeria 0-1 in St Etienne, of our potential starters only Anelka played.
Wednesday 3 June
We’d started having a good laugh at Real Madrid and their intention of repeating the failed galácticos experiment, when Chelsea allegedly offer £73.5m for Kaka. It represents strange business because if you don’t get him you look like mugs (as Man City did in January) and if you do he can never be that valuable to the team so you look like mugs.
Roman should sort out his spending priorities, he splurges and then purges; he hasn’t spent £20m on a player since Shevchenko, allowing the squad to wither, now he is putting a whole Siberian oilfield on one player. A steady investment over the last three-years would have improved the squad far more effectively.
Chelsea, for their part said and we quote: “we have never made an offer to AC Milan for Kaka and therefore not one at this extraordinary level. As a consequence we have not discussed a salary with the player either. Any reports to the contrary are totally untrue”, which is either reassuring or not.
Ricardo Carvalho is not happy: “I have had four extraordinary years at Chelsea until this year, which has not been very good – indeed it was the worst of my career … I am available for a club who wishes to have me”. Which sound desperately morose considering Carvalho is only 31, and had a difficult time with injuries last season. Chin up lad, new manager, new prospects. As Ricardo contemplates a move Didier is ready to sign a new three-year contact.
In an early hint that Brendan Rodgers had got the Reading job, Chelsea announced that we will play a friendly against them on Saturday 1 August. Ticket details from the usual source, and be thankful you don’t have to fly to China to watch a pre-season game.
Thursday 4 June
Brendan Rodgers has moved on already, from our reserves at the start of last season Brendan was snapped up by Watford, now Reading, his home town club, have signed him up.
Neither Kaka or Pato are in the mood to join Chelsea this summer according to reports.
Meanwhile the manager many wanted to be appointed, Frank Rijkaard will squander a year as technical director of Galatasaray. No, it is not a complete waste of talent. Plenty of other people don’t have any kind of job.
Fabio Capello was ‘surely’ and uncommunicative when he was in charge of AC Milan in the 90s according to our new boss. Carlo Ancelotti said Capello read games brilliantly but; “he was surly, he didn’t have a dialogue with the players, above all he didn’t like to talk to us about technical issues”. It seems a strange fight to pick given the contact he will have in his new job at Chelsea with the England manager, especially as his captain is England’s captain.
In his biography Ancelotti then has so far: disclosed Roman’s negotiations and mentioned that we lack personality; unnecessarily attacked the current England manager… can it get any worse?
Friday 5 June
France pulled their socks up and beat Turkey with Anelka winning a penalty in Lyon and Malouda starting an international for the first time in a while.
Saturday 6 June
Kazakhstan 0:4 England
A routine afternoon for England against willing but limited opposition provided a win for Terry Cole and Lampard with their penultimate game of a busy season. That is not to say they didn’t cause trouble, John Terry had to block a shot within 20 seconds and we were lucky the linesman saw Sergey Ostapenko offside from a free-kick he headed in comfortably.
Barry, Heskey Rooney and a Frank Lampard penalty made the difference.
Elsewhere, Miroslav Stoch goes from strength to strength, he scored his first goal for Slovakia as they humped San Marino 7-0. Deco, Jose Bosingwa and Ricardo Carvalho all played as Portugal struggled to a late win against Albania in Tirana. Branislav Ivanovic played for Serbia in a 1-0 over the Austrians.
Sunday 7 June
Michael Essien created both goals in Ghana’s win over Mali, neither Chelsea boys score for the Ivory Coast but they still beat Guinea, Obi John didn’t play for Nigeria as they thumped Kenya 3-0.