Monday 27 July
Dundalk SL 1:3 Chelsea
The schoolboys are over at the Milk Cup again this year and started with a win. Yet the websites covering the event are so infuriating it is difficult to get team news, match reports or scorers. It appears Dundalk opened the scoring before we pulled away in the second-half.
The first team arrived back in England from Dallas and will be sleepy by tea-time or is it the other way around?Tuesday 28 July
Chelsea 4:3 Maccabi Haifa
John Swift and George Bowerman with two each. We play Watford in the quarter-final tomorrow.
Wednesday 29 July
Chelsea 0:1 Watford
Lost in the quarter-final as we dominated possession and missed a penalty on the way to defeat.
Meanwhile, back at Cobham Michael Ballack was fit again to train with the rest of the boys after they had a deserved day off yesterday to recover from jet lag.
Thursday 30 July
Chelsea 2:2 Hull City
Chelsea won 7-6 on Pens
Sneaked through the start of the play off system
Brian Mears has died at the age of 78. Brian was chairman, succeeding his father Joe, from 1969 until 1981 when Ken Bates took over. Brian was a young chairman when he started and the side quickly rewarded his showbiz friends and contacts with the FA Cup and Cup Winners’ Cup. Sadly his tenure will be more remembered for the development of the east stand which financially hobbled the club and led to years of struggle and to the lies Ken Bates told about the sale of the freehold of the Bridge to property developers leading to the decade long fight. Bates was, of course, offered to freehold at a reasonable rate and turned it down thinking he could squeeze the price down. The first gamble Bates played with Chelsea’s future and lost.
Bobby Robson died last night after a long illness, he was 76. We don’t often mention non-Chelsea people in this diary but Bobby Robson was special to all of us, a truly great manager both of Ipswich if you are old enough to remember Arnold Mühren and Frans Thijssen, of England where he was unlucky in two World Cups, he even got Newcastle into the Champions League. Jose Mourinho learnt his trade as Bobby’s translator at Barcelona. Bobby Robson contributed an enormous amount to everyone’s enjoyment of the game and will be sadly missed.
Friday 31 July
Rusden and Diamonds 1:2 Chelsea youth
We fell behind just before the break but goals from Bobby Devyne and Milan Lalkovic gave us the win.
Co Down 0:2 Chelsea
This win means fifth place for the schoolboy blues in the Milk Cup. A far better achievement than last season when we came second last.
Adrian Mutu lost his appeal over his coke ban fine and will have to pay us the £14.65m originally awarded.
Saturday 1 August
Reading 2:2 Chelsea
2-0 down at half-time a rather careless Chelsea forced a late draw with two dramatic late strikes. Ancelotti played a strong team from the start and while we created chances Reading scored. Chelsea started with Cech; Ivanovic, Carvalho, Terry (c), A Cole; Mikel, Essien, Deco, Lampard; Anelka, Drogba the diamond was still in evidence as Chelsea tippy tapped toward the Reading goal. Drogba and Anelka both had shots but didn’t work as a pair, as Anelka dropped deep looking for the ball as Lampard looked to get beyond him and then Reading scored. Ashley Cole’s control mis-controlled and Kebe profited from a foot or so off-side. The second Reading goal followed some intense Chelsea pressure a break led to a free-kick on the edge of the box and Davies slotted the ball passed Cech’s late dive.
Bosingwa, Alex and Malouda all came on at half-time but it wasn’t until the hour when Sturridge and Kalou came on that chances started to come. Kalou scored a fine breakaway goal picking up a fine ball from Obi John and calmly slotting under the ‘keeper. At that stage we only had a minute of normal time remaining and we used it, Malouda’s free-kick was headed on by Alex only for Alex Pearce to bundle into his own net.
Aldershot Town 4:1 Chelsea XI
A young reserve side wilted in the face of a Shots side who start their league campaign next week. Fabio Borini equalised their opener on the half hour but they were too strong for tiring Chelsea legs at the end of the second-half.
Meanwhile Andrea Pirlo will be staying with AC until we find a better deal. We offered under £7m and Pizarro as a package and Adriano Galliani, the Milan Chief Exec. Said: “At this price Pirlo is not for sale.”