Tuesday 31 March
Snubbed again by Carlo Ancelotti, who confirms he has had no contact with Chelsea and therefore nothing to snub but, seemingly, if you ask the same question over and over again, we get snubbed over and over again.
Deco played an hour and set up both goals form corners as Portugal finally won, 2-0 against South Africa.
Michael Mancienne played the whole game as England U21 lost (yes, under 21 sides can lose as well as win) against France.
We also had Ryan Bertrand and Scott Sinclair with the U20 team, and a host of others with U17 teams around the continent, their European championship starts in May.
The BBC website is busy trying to tell everyone that Alan Shearer is going to be the next Newcastle manager, but wait, what is the date tomorrow?
Wednesday 1 April
England 2:1 Ukraine
John Terry, in his captain marvel cape, swooped in the grab the win we sort of deserved and to rescue the game from under Andriy’s nose.
We started fairly well, Rooney nearly bicycle kicked us into the lead, making few chances but controlling the game, and eventually setting up Peter Crouch for a volley and another stupid dance celebration. Again JT was in the heart of the action, he headed down Frank Lampard’s ball in for Crouch to score.
Andriy Shevchenko picks his moments, Ukraine had created fewer chances than Slovakia did on Saturday when from a free-kick our loaner striker prodded the ball home.
John Terry’s intervention, probably from an offside position, came as an enormous relief, even Capello was fist pumping celebrations at the final whistle. Beckham’s free-kick ballooned over the box, Gerrard headed the ball back and JT scooped it into the net with his rusty left foot. He was given offside at the weekend from just that kind of ball but got away with it tonight.
Meanwhile Frank had a shot cleared and one wide, he doesn’t get involved enough from the deep position that Capello thinks is his best for England.
Ashley did extremely well, again, not to get booed. Although, he did lose the ball deep in his own half, his confidence seems to be returning. Solid.
Elsewhere, Bolivia thrashed Argentina 6-1, The Republic got a draw with ten-man Italy, Ballack scored another screamer as Germany brushed aside Wales. Guus’ Russia only managed a 1-0 win against the might of Liechtenstein. We can only assume his mind was elsewhere.
Petr Cech was a loser in the Czech-o-Slovakia derby but Miroslav Stoch, elevated from the U21 played the final fifteen-minutes to win his first cap in a competitive match and another feather in the cap of the academy.
Oh, and Newcastle confirm that far from an April fool they have appointed Alan Shearer until the end of the season.
Friday 3 April
Say what you like about the Shearer effect it has already blown one thing away – in the pre-match press conference Guus was not asked whether he is going to continue at the end of the season. Miracle.
Guus had a breakfast meeting with South Korea’s prime minister, gave him a Chelsea shirt and they relived old glories. Nobody mentioned offside goals and Italy but they were all having such fun it seemed wrong to spoil it.
Saturday 4 April
Newcastle United 0:2 Chelsea
Geordie messiahs come and go but the Chelsea machine marches on. The breathless expectation of the Geordie nation was that Alan Shearer would bring instant miracles and with 52,000 odd present he certainly brought out the punters. What he couldn’t do was create a coherent performance from the team.
Apart from one chance when Obafemi Martins prodded wide after Alex slipped, Newcastle only had the odd corner and a few heart-in-mouth moments as we waited for a blue shirt to clear. Throughout the first-half we had the clearer chances, Kalou’s headed chance was saved and Anelka, played through superbly by Frank, had his blocked.
The worst moment of the opening half was seeing Peter Lovenkrands stretchered off with an oxygen mask on. The challenge from Malouda that crippled him looked innocuous.
The second-half was easier for Chelsea to control, Newcastle simply weren’t organised or fit enough to live with our control and passing. Frank opened the scoring reacting fastest when Anelka’s shot came back off the bar. We know that Frank cherishes every goal he scores with his head.
The second was long ball tactics, Petr Cech thumped it long, Anelka on to Frank who found Malouda, who found the net. Those in black and white stripes had stopped singing after the first goal and apart from the odd chanted loyalty to the new messiah there wasn’t much left from fans or team. Until, they scored, well they didn’t but everyone seemed to think the ball had gone in but the ref. Michael Owen spooned a shot which took several deflections before Ashley whacked it away. It did look in but in the absence of cameras in the goal we’ll have to reassure the Geordies that it evens out over the course of the season.
Kalou had a great chance when sent clear from Ballack’s lofted pass but his chance was snuffed. Ballack, Franco di Santo and Franko di Lampard all had chances for 3-0 but it remains another solid and professional away win.
Liverpool beat Fulham with an injury time goal so they take over at the top from Manchester United who play tomorrow.
Sunday 5 April
Manchester United receive a massive shot in the arm when Villa let them back to win from 1-2 down. It is the kind of boost that will help them over the line to the title and real sickener for everyone watching and trying to remember when United had lost three in a row.