Monday 26 May
Romelu Lukaku is making hay. He netted a hat-trick in Belgium’s 5-1 win against Luxembourg. Kevin De Bruyne scored a late penalty.
England’s U21 got a taste of Brazil in the Toulon tournament but it ended in a 2-1 defeat for Nathanial Chalobah’s side. In an act of international diplomacy we handed Brazil the opening goal. Lucas Piazon came on for Brazil in the second-half.
At U19 England beat Scotland 2-1 thanks to two goals from Lewis Baker. Ola Aina, Rubens Loftus-Cheek and John Swift are also with the squad.
In New York, we kid not, Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic both played as Serbia beat Jamaica 2-1.
In Brazil protesters nearly stopped the national team coach reaching their training ground. Thousands of people demonstrated against the tournament and it seems they will continue.
Tuesday 27 May
Tottenham Hot Spurts started the summer’s managerial merry-go-round by pinching Southampton’s boss Mario Pochettino. Southampton will then steal someone else’s boss and so on and so on.
Chelsea old boy Deco has been cleared of doping offences after his samples were retested in Switzerland. He has retired since the one-year ban was imposed after a positive test for a masking agent. It seems the Brazilian laboratory that did the original test was at fault.
Wednesday 28 May
Stan Crowther, a wing half from the days the term meant something, has died at the age of 78. Stan was an FA Cup winning Villan before joining us as we moved from the 50s to the 60s. He made 58 appearances. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
In the Toulon tournament England threw away a win to secure a dreadful draw with South Korea. Nat Chalobah played the full match but couldn’t shake the team out of the lethargy of an early goal to go on and get more. The game finished one each.
Marko van Ginkel and Nathan Ake both played as the Netherlands thrashed Scotland 6-1 at U21 level. Van Ginkel is looking stronger every week after knee surgery early last season.
Talking of Scotland, Victor Moses played a part as Nigeria fought back for a 2-2 draw against a surprisingly good Scottish first-team at Craven Cottage.
Talking of Nigeria, Ken Omeruo signed a new deal with the club. The strapping defender who spent the end of the last campaign at Middlesbrough, won the African championship with his country in last January and is expected to star at the World Cup. The new contract keeps him a Blue until 2018
Thursday 29 May
England U19 with the Chelsea quartet of, Loftus-Cheek, Baker, Swift and Aina were beaten by an injury time own-goal to lose 0-1 to Ukraine and so miss out on the age-group Euros later in the summer.
Former Manchester United owner Malcolm Glazer died aged 85. His family had shuffled him to the back due to ill health a few years ago and he might go down in history as the first and only owner of a football club who never set foot inside their home ground. As our parents always said, if you can’t say anything nice …
Friday 30 May
England 3:0 Peru
A warm-up is always just that as England beat Peru B by a goal more than we deserved. Gary Cahill will not mind having headed in a corner for his second international strike. Daniel Sturridge lit up the night with a brilliant curled opener and Cahill’s defensive partner Phil Jagielka poked in the third.
The Manchester United spare part Danny Welbeck played the whole match while Frank Lampard was an unused sub.
England U17 paraded their European trophy around Wembley before kick-off and very deserving they were too. Especially in view of the form of the U20s…
Josh McEachran and Nat Chalobah played bit parts in England U20 reaching the 3rd/4th place play-off in Toulon after a shaggy 1-1 draw with Columbia. Many of the first picks for the side are not available but that does not excuse the worsening performances of the group.
McEachran limped out of the action early after looking off the pace.
In Spain Torres and Azpilicueta both played commendably as the host overcame Bolivia. Torres score the first, a penalty, in a 2-0 win.
Saturday 31 May
Long list, so, deep breath and we’ll begin: Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for Egypt in Santiago but Chile won the match 3-2.
Patrick Van Aanholt missed the cut for the Dutch squad as Van Gaal trimmed down to his Word Cup 23. The announcement followed a 1-0 win over Christian Atsu’s Ghana.
Both Fernando Torres and Cesar Azpilicueta made the cut for holders Spain.
Meanwhile captain Ivanovic scored Serbia’s goal in a 1-1 friendly draw with Panama in Chicago. Nemanja Matic played on the left of a three-man midfield. Serbia play Brazil in Sao Paulo on Friday.
Sunday 1 June
Revelations that Qatar bribed its was to securing the World Cup 2022 shock no one. A country that is constructing its stadiums on the bones of migrant slave workers really couldn’t give a damn what the rest of the world thinks of it.
A campaign to strip them of the tournament is needed, now.
On a lighter note Cameroon and Germany played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Mönchengladbach.
Samuel Eto’o opened the scoring and Andre Schürrle came off the bench to put Germany ahead before Cameroon’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting equalised with the shot of the night.
Eden Hazard and Romelu Lukaku were not to be out shone as both scored to give Belgium a comfortable 0-2 win in Sweden.
Gareth Southgate’s experiment with the Toulon Tournament finished with another sluggish performance in defeat to Portugal. Nat Chalobah came out of the exercise with great credit but there was little else positive to say about a floundering England team.
Honestly they all looked like they’d rather be on holiday.
The tournament was much better for Lucas Piazon as Brazil took apart France 5-2 in the final. Lucas was an unused sub in the final but made his mark during the tournament when allowed.