Monday 5 October
Arsenal reserves 2:0 Chelsea reserves
Well, at least captain Joe Cole got 90 minutes under his belt but like the rest of the team looked off the pace as Arsenal ran the Blues ragged and could have won by more.
The highlight of the match for Chelsea was probably Jeffery Bruma’s first-half free-kick which rocketed over the wall but smacked the outside of the post.
Nemanja Matic also played after recovering from a metatarsal injury
Ross Turnbull had another forgettable night. He made some fine saves but his indecision cost the first goal and he looked slow to close when attackers broke the back line.
Tuesday 6 October
Tottenham fans have protested over a You Tube video showing Chelsea chanting en masse at the Britannia Stadium. Sadly it is the usual racist crap. The club have reported the matter to the police and the few faces that can be recognised can expect three-year bans.
It is very sad that this shit has reared its ugly head. If you are unlucky enough to be a racist, please remember to keep your meatheadedness away from our football, we are ashamed of you, the club have publicly said that they are ashamed of you. Those who consider it all harmless laddish fun should consider growing up.
Avram Grant has finally found gainful employment, his mum is obviously less stern than ours, a year after he left Chelsea he rejoins Portsmouth in his old role as director of football.
The next England U21 international will be broadcast exclusively on Chelsea TV, at the risk of pissing off England fans even more as we all have to pay extra to watch the Ukraine game, Chelsea TV is an inappropriate place for an international. Viewing figures will be interesting. Oh, and you can only get Chelsea TV if you already have Sky or Tiscali, Freeview feckers like us can only get the game through, you guessed, a website. This time the FA is streaming it free
Thursday 8 October
The football league decided to be undecided on Ken Bates, QPR and Notts County. They have written to all three asking for more information.
Friday 9 October
England U21 6:3 Macedonia U21
Michael Mancienne played the whole game in England’s shaky defence as Macedonia, embarrassingly, came back from 2-0 and then 3-2 down. Daniel Sturridge is having a frustrating season. He was an unused substitute in this one.
Saturday 10 October
Ukraine 1:0 England
The fireworks were the most entertaining show of the night as a nation huddled round their laptops to watch tiny, grainy figures lose away for the first time since anyone can remember. Only to find out that the BBC has a highlights package but had been sworn to secrecy in case nobody chose to fork out for the fecking feck internet package. Too bloody right an all we’d have saved a fiver and stayed up late.
All those who laughed when Chelsea lost after their ’keeper was sent off now seem to understand that such decisions can influence outcomes. Robert Green was sent off, Shevchenko missed the penalty but then Ashley Cole appeared to lose the ball and then deflect the subsequent shot by a stranded David James. Down to ten-men exposed the absurdity of continuing with Emile Heskey when he offers so little to the side. The ball simply bounces off him, occasionally to a colleague but more often not. Given that we are already through blooding Carlton Cole or Darren Bent would have been more constructive.
But then we are not a highly paid Italian, master tactician. Let’s hope Emile picks up an injury in May and cannot join the squad.
Elsewhere, Didier Drogba lashed one in for Ivory Coast to equalise against Malawi at 1-1 and seal the group win which means the Salomon Kalou goes though too. Michael Ballack’s Germany won 0-1 in Moscow leaving Guus Hiddink’s side to face the play-offs. Ballack played through an ankle injury and will probably miss the dead rubber against Finland on Wednesday.
Ivanovic’s Serbia finished top of group 7, ahead of Nicolas Anelka and Florent Malouda’s France who go into a play-off.
Petr Cech will be resting next summer as Slovenia beat Slovakia leaving the Czech’s in third unless there is a miracle. Ricardo, Deco and Paulo’s Portugal will also be in the play-off pot as Denmark beat Sweden to win group 1.
Southampton Youth 4:3 Chelsea youth
International calls severely weakened the front line but still we managed to snatch the lead three times only for Saints to pull us back and eventually finish us off. Southampton’s first two were scored by Jordace Holder-Spooner; we know, he has a name like a firm of solicitors but we were trying to rise above such obvious titillation.
Bobby Devyne deputised up front and got himself a tap in early on after their equaliser Josh McEachran sent a free-kick over the wall and in. Billy Knott added a penalty at the start of the second-half.
Meanwhile, in the Ken Bates personal nightmare, Leeds City Council have delayed the agreed purchase of the club’s Thorp Arch training ground until Ken admits who the owners are. The council are acting under the 2007 money laundering regulations. Is Ken Bates a money launderer as well as a pirate, we’ll not know until he tells us who owns Leeds United.
The piece we ran on Ken’s troubles last week was based on David Conn’s work in the Guardian, this was Bates’ considered response in his programme notes: “David the Conn prints his views in the usual disjointed piece in an irrelevant marginal tabloid. No surprise that it is rumoured to be losing £75,000 per day. Mr Conn identified himself to me at the High Court some four months ago. An insignificant little man, I dismissed him with some comment accusing him of bias whereupon he protested that he always tried to present a balanced view. My loud laughter in response nearly resulted in my being spoken to by court officials”.
The deadline for Leeds to buy back Thorp Arch was, er, today.
Sunday 11 October
Obi John couldn’t play but Nigeria won by an injury time goal against Mozambique. There is still only a slim chance of qualifying as group leaders Tunisia would need to implode against Mozambique while Nigeria win away to Kenya.
Ghana had already qualified so Michael Essien will not mind losing 0-1 to Benin