Tuesday 15 March
Chelsea U19 1:0 Ajax U19
A game we dominated and ultimately won against one of Europe’s most lionised academy teams. It is a mark of how far our academy set up has come and how dominant our youth setup looks.
We shouldn’t get carried away but the win takes us to the semi-final and final weekend over in Switzerland. Kyle Scott got the goal just before the break but the outstanding performance was the depth of defending and closing that stopped Ajax from attacking.
Alex Davey has joined a Norwegian side until the end of the season. He will fill a defensive role for Stabaek until July. We are informed that Stabaek are southern softies from the suburbs of Oslo but we couldn’t really comment. He’ll not be picking up the language from his coach as Billy McKinlay fills that role.
Filling most of the news today though, and we have been trying to ignore the rumour but what can you do, is that Antonio Conte confirmed that he will step down from his role as Italy coach after the Euros in the summer in favour of a club coaching role: wonder where that could be.
It seems we have a new manager and a new direction and we have helped Italian managers learn English before. We wait for the confirmation but it looks a done deal.
Over in the Champions League Marco van Ginkel scored his spot-kick for PSV but the Dutch champions succumbed to Atlético Madrid.
Thursday 17 March
Gary Cahill will, once again, be our only representative in the England squad. Lewis Baker, John Swift, Dominick Solanke and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are all in the U21 side for a qualifier against the Swiss. England are currently 11/1 with some betting sites. Why not get a free bet bonus here with a Ladbrokes promo code?
Friday 18 March
Blackburn Rovers U18 0:1 Chelsea U18
Blackburn must be sick of the sight of the preening southern softies dumping them out of the FA Youth Cup. Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, there is a second leg but Fikayo Tomori’s goal gives us a huge advantage.
Jamal Blackman has joined the Scandinavia exodus from the youth ranks and will keep goal for Ostersunds in Sweden. Ostersunds have only been going since the mid 90s and are another Scandi club with a British manager – Graham Potter. No, we’d never heard of him either.
Saturday 19 March
Chelsea 2:2 West Ham United
We look tired and distracted as if the strains of the season are done and we want a rest. Cesc Fábregas though really, really wanted to be West Ham.
They started as a team in good form with confidence and scored an early corker as we failed to close down Manuel Lanzini who popped the ball into the top corner. 0-1
They had chances against our still creaking rearguard but a free-kick just before the break gave Fábregas the chance. Having played second fiddle to Willian at free-kicks all season Cesc curled a perfect effort into the top right-hand corner. 1-1.
Andy Carroll is rarely sob… er, we mean, fit enough to trouble the scorers but he has an irritating habit of scoring against us.
It wasn’t enough for West Ham as Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s run was interrupted by a Hammer’s boot and Fábregas converted the penalty. Yes, it was outside the box but you’ll remember our season started with a challenge outside the box that led to a penalty and our keeper being sent off.
With the season winding down it was good to see Kenedy, Traore and Loftus-Cheek getting some more minutes. It might be an idea to play the whole of the youth team for the final game against Leicester.
Chelsea U18 2:2 West Ham United U18
The boys were barely off the bus coming back from Blackburn when they pitched battle with the ’appy ’ammers. Four U16s played for us and with the match yesterday it is probably not a surprise we could hold on to the lead given us by Ike Ugbo and Jacob Maddox.
Sunday 20 March
Doncaster Rovers 1:4 Chelsea
The women march on in the FA Cup they won at Wembley last season they came from behind with goals from Karen Carney, Ji So-Yun and Eni Aluko. Our equaliser was an own goal.
It was a dominant and confident start for the women after all the success they enjoyed last season it is clear they have progressed.
Oddly we’ll be back at the Keepmoat stadium for the opening WSL fixture on Thursday.