Monday 12 October
Salomon Kalou joins the slew of players signing new deals recently. Salomon’s will be worth a modest £3m, or so, a year. Salomon has had a mixed time since signing from Feyenoord, he sparked our Champions’ League semi-final win over Liverpool two season’s ago, hence the best song around here for years. Many have been frustrated by his finishing, he has scored 31 in 159, many of those as sub and most playing supporting another striker. He will be with us for another three years.
Meanwhile Didier displayed all of his humility when commenting on the Elephants’ qualification for the World Cup: “I hope that we will be the team that is going to go to the final and win the competition”. Typical Drogba, only just qualified and is talking about winning it already, you can’t fault the guy’s nerve.
Tuesday 13 October
Alex has signed a new deal and started training again after groin trouble dogged his start to the term. The four-year deal will keep him at the Bridge until he is 31. Alex said he was a few weeks away from full fitness.
Wednesday 14 October
England 3:0 Belarus
A bit of a slog tonight as a solid Belarus side kept England honest for long periods as our wingers floundered and forwards ran into cul-de-sacs.
Ashley Cole had a rest with Bridge coming in, Wayne Rooney and Gerrard were both also missing so England lined up 4-4-2, with Wright-Philips and Lennon wide. The tactic seemed designed to test the defensive stability of the team and Belarus found plenty of bodies in the middle with only Frank and Gareth Barry, working like beavers, to stem the tide.
That said it was a comfortable win, of one that might take the wind out of our sails. The lunk Crouch scored after three minutes from Gabriel Agbonlahor’s cross before Beckham played a short corner to Wright-Phillips nearly an hour later. Crouch score again, from a rebound from, old boy, Carlton Cole’s shot. Milner and Beckham both hit the post toward the end. It was Belarus’ heaviest defeat of qualifying.
David Beckham had a bet with someone before hand that he wouldn’t wear a comedy beard, his good sportsmanship won him man-of the match. Either that or the award was an aimed kick in the teeth for Peter Crouch and the rest of the team.
Miroslav Stoch will be in South Africa next summer so the lad with more international caps than appearances for Chelsea will be ‘in the shop window’, as they say. His Slovakian team mates qualified without him; he was suspended from the game but played and scored for the U21s.
Portugal are breathing sighs of relief as out three fit Portuguese players all lasted the 90-minutes of a 4-0 home humping of Malta means they won a play-off place.
Michael Ballack risked pissing of the club by playing the first-half of Germany’s meaningless game against Finland. If he comes back injured he’ll be in trouble.
Malouda played for France in a 3-1 win over Austira but Nicolas had a rest. Zhirkov missed Russia’s stalemate with Azerbaijan.
Friday 16 October
Chelsea announced their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over the transfer ban and have asked for the proceedings to be fast-tracked. We should have the answer by Christmas.
Saturday 17 October
Aston Villa 2:1 Chelsea
Oh, for god sake, learn to defend corners. After an international break to come back with this shit was unforgivable, we handed the game to Villa on a plate and the league leadership to Manchester United with a ribbon all because we didn’t defend simple corners.
If Ancelotti cannot sort it out soon then we are watching an exact rerun of last season, he’ll be sacked after Russia’s play-off for South Africa.
Villa didn’t need to really try. They created nothing of note in the entire game but were gifted free headers from corners either side if half-time. Chelsea’s response was spirited in part but lacked a cutting edge.
Frankly we are so disgusted that we can barely bring ourselves to describe it.
Drogba scored from 30-yards with a ball that dipped and bounced over Friedel who should have stopped it. Villa had a nailed on penalty just before but all referees are bottling these decisions since Eduardo’s effort from the low board in the Arsenal-Celtic game in August.
The equaliser came from a simple corner slung in the middle, Richard Dunne shrugged Carvalho off and nobody else reacted, Dunne’s header beat Cech and Ashley Cole on the line.
1-1 at the break wasn’t so bad but sleepwalking onto another identical goal at the start of the second was criminal. Everyone watching knew what was coming James Collins was completely unmarked to head in at the far post. John Terry was right to react by swearing and jumping around in a fit. It was criminal, absurd, an insult to everyone who paid to watch and exactly as inept as they had been at Wigan.
Deco and Malouda both had chances to equalise but both poked lamely at Friedel. Anelka missed a similar chance a little later. By then the changes Ancelotti had made with Ivanovic coming on for Bosingwa and Cole for Deco had somehow robbed the team of any shape or coherence and Villa saw out the limited injury time easily enough.
In an eerie echo of Scolari, Carlo said afterwards “Aston Villa were very able on the set plays. We want to do better for sure. We need more concentration”, which is, of course, rubbish we need to change the system away and stop allowing teams to walk through us. Ultimately it is down to the manager and we’ll see at the end of the month whether Bolton Wanderers are allowed to take the piss in our next away game.
Manchester United obtained a lucky win (own goal, handful of decisions) to go top, pointing and laughing as they passed.
Chelsea youth 3:0 Carlton Athletic youth
The academy team enjoy playing at home, this was their forth win in four, if only they could sort out the away form. Goals today came from Marko Mitrovic, as usual, before half-time and Billy Knott, continuing his streak, three in three before Mitrovic wrapped things up. Gokhan Tore deserves to be mentioned in dispatches for setting up the first and generally playing very well. Charlton had their odd moments but the big German between the posts, Niclas Heimann, dealt with everything comfortably.