Sunday 28 June
Luiz Felipe Scolari has been speaking out about the lack of respect he received from players: “The coach, at the vast majority of European clubs, has no strength to contradict them. It doesn’t matter what the coach says if they do not listen to him. Yet the people sacked are always the coaches. The main players already know this. That was my problem at Chelsea. Drogba, Ballack and Cech did not accept my training methods or my demands”.
Meanwhile the confederations cup bored its way to a conclusion with the USA storming into a 2-0 lead before, inevitably, losing 3-2 to Brazil. If the US can stretch them this easily we should have nothing to fear next summer but frostbite.
It is a task to summarise the papers today but here goes: Daniel Sturridge, Ross Turnbull and Yuri Zhirkov are all expected to move in this week. Deco and Ricardo Carvalho will rejoin Mourinho at Internazionale. Bayern Munich will bid for Jose Bosingwa. New contracts will be discussed with Ashley Cole, Michael Essien, Drogba and Joe Cole; only Joe Cole might be sold.
Monday 29 June
England U21 0:4 Germany U21
Michael Mancienne played a part in this humiliating drubbing but it will be a night he wants to forget. Germany were simply better all over the pitch.
Wednesday 1 July
Rumours that senior players and even directors are learning Italian in order to communicate with Ancelotti do not inspire confidence, especially as some may use it as an excuse to learn the language in order to join Mourinho at Inter mid-season if it all goes wrong.
Inter for their part have only offered £6m for Deco and Carvalho and have obviously mistaken Chelsea Football Club for a boot sale. Chelsea asked for £12m which for two players is reasonable. Nobody will be sad if Ricardo stays but Deco’s wages off the books would open up some options.
Roberto Di Matteo has been appointed to the West Bromwich Albion job. After just one year in management it is a great vote of confidence for someone who took the MK Dons to the brink of promotion against the odds.
Thursday 2 July
Manchester City faxed a bid for John Terry waiving 30m quid and Chelsea told them where to get off. City have been privately encouraged, so the gossip goes, with Terry wanting to talk about Sheikh Mansour’s project at Eastlands. Chelsea were emphatic enough: “It was made clear to City, for the second time following an approach last season, that we would not entertain any conversation on the subject. At that time John also reiterated his total commitment to Chelsea. We would like to make clear, and will not do so again, that John is not for sale.”
Chelsea’s hunt for galácticos starts here: Ross Turnbull signs on a free from Middlesbrough. The 24-year old keeper was clearly tired of the smog and out of contract and joins Cech and Hilario on the senior goalkeeping roster. Hilario signed a new two-year deal at the same time, which means he’ll be with us past his 35th birthday.
Two years ago Ross was on loan at Cardiff City and couldn’t hold down the first team spot after a string of mistakes, so far his career has been mostly lower division loans and struggle to keep his place in a relegated Boro team. He must think it is Christmas but we are assuming he is one for the future, not a direct threat to Petr’s place in the team.
Ken Bates is £50,000 lighter today after the high court decided he’d labelled someone a shyster once too often. Melvyn Levi was accused of blackmail and being unscrupulous and dishonourable, as well of course of his shysterdom. The high court found that Ken’s defence of fair comment had not been proved. Ken will have to pay all the lawyers as well – about £1.2 to £1.5m those lawyers can almost name their price in libel actions.
Speaking as someone personally attacked by Bates in his programme notes, this represents a small victory for everyone he bullied in the past – well done Melvyn.
Friday 3 July
Daniel Sturridge signed on the dotted on a four-year more-than-City-would-pay contract. He is 19 and has impressed at every level, scoring 4 last season in sporadic appearances. His belted opener in the FA youth cup final at Stamford Bridge the season before last announced him to many Blues.
Elsewhere – Karl-Heinz Rummenigge over in München still wants Bosingwa but in the absence of a serious replacement we’d be foolish to sell. Manchester United have taken a punt on Michael Owen’s knees, and we always thought there was an unwritten rule that Liverpool players would never play in that part of Salford, still Michael was pretty desperate and with everyone else signing for Real Madrid, United were getting desperate too.
Did anyone notice when Dynamo became Kyiv instead of Kiev? Anyway, they have offered Andriy Shevchenko a playing and coaching role for next season.
Sunday 5 July
Speculation surrounding JT is getting more and more heated, it all sounds a bit like this: Man City have offered to double his wages; they will bid £40m; Terry is interested in talking about the Eastlands project; he has failed to squash the rumours even thought he has returned from a family hoiliday; and, er, that is it…
Given the quality of our press it is hardly surprising he doesn’t want to talk to them – for example – doubling his wages at Chelsea would cost Man City £270,000 a week, not the £200,000 that has been widely reported but most jornos went with nearly double. They have all crawled over the rumour that JT at least wants to talk to City although it sounds like it comes from City and not Terry.
That Manchester City are serious about signing the England captain is clear, it is also apparent that Chelsea will sell only if John makes a formal transfer request and City agree to pay silly money.