Tuesday 3 January
The new recruits for the women’s roster keeps on apace: 24-year-old Crystal Dunn signs from Washington Spirit. Dunn is a quick and versatile forward and escapes just before Trump pulls down the shutters and isolates the US altogether.
Marco Van Ginkel tiptoed out of the club again over the holidays. He rejoined PSV until the end of the season after signing a new deal with Chelsea that keeps him a Blue until 2019. We haven’t seen much of Marco yet after knee problems and loans have delayed much of an impression since he joined from Arnhem in 2008
The four Chelsea fans in court for refusing to allow a black man onto a train in Paris and racial chanting were all found guilty today. All were handed one-year suspended sentences. Hopefully that is the end of racist wankers at Chelsea. A team built on so many different skin colours and nationalities over the years really doesn’t need racist fans and the rest of us don’t want them here.
Wednesday 4 January
Tottenham Hotspur 2:0 Chelsea
Well, it was always going to come to an end sooner or later and there is a reason why winning 14 straight games has been beyond any English team. The only real pity is that it had to happen at White Hart Lane in front of the gloating Spurts fans.
We looked jaded and unimaginative and all the talk after we’d allowed two free headers from Dele Alli was of Conte’s mistake in not picking Fabregas. Cesc would have controlled our possession in midfield and allowed better forward momentum. For all that we could, perhaps should, have equalised when Hazard headed wide and apart from their goals we defended solidly throughout. It was just one game too many.
Thursday 5 January
Swansea City U18 0:5 Chelsea U18
Tariq Uwakwe with two, Charlie Brown, Reece James and George McEachran all enjoyed themselves away at Swansea as the U18s pulled seven points clear at the top of the section table.
Meanwhile, Africa Cup of Nations news and Christian Atsu, Baba Rahman are travelling with the Ghana squad and Bertrand Traore with Burkina Faso, and Victorien Angban with the Ivory Coast as preparation begins in Gabon for the three-week tournament.
Friday 6 January
Tottenham Hotspur U23 2:2 Chelsea U23
We twice took the lead, through Mason Mount’s cracking free-kick and a second from Dominic Solanke but settled for a point from our London neighbours.
Obi John Mikel is a Chelsea player no longer. Obi takes his boots to China and Tianjin TEDA. The Nigerian midfielder seems to have been a near ever-present in our last decade of success and leaves with at least one of everything you can win.
Sign in controversial circumstances in 2006 from Lyn Oslo – it later turned out that some documents from Lyn Oslo had been forged as Manchester United put in a claim to have signed him.
John Mikel Obi’s name has always been jumbled and this diarist has usually stuck to the Star Wars themed Obi John Kenobi. We wish him well.
Izzy Brown has been recalled from a loan at Rotherham and sent instead to Huddersfield Town for the rest of the campaign. Rotherham have been struggling and the Terriers will offer a better class of football – Kasey Palmer is already there to help Izzy settle in.
Sunday 8 January
Chelsea 4:1 Peterborough United
Well, John Terry got himself a red-card to overshadow a thrilling and entertaining afternoon.
This was a lot of fun as Kurt Zouma, Nathaniel Chalobah, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Batshuayi all lined up. And they all gelled quickly as we battered in 20 decent chances in the first-half. Pedro opened the afternoon with another well taken curling finish. Batshuayi got his reward just before the break and Willian added a third.
The real fun happened on the hour as the referee mistook John Terry’s perfectly understandable desire to have a little lie down, at his age a quick snooze really recharges the batteries, as a foul on the Posh striker. The red card means John can recover properly by missing the Leicester game.
Pedro restored the three goal lead after they’d all had a good cheer in pulling one back but we haven’t stumbled at this stage of the cup for twenty-years or so.
We are in the hat for Monday’s draw.
Earlier Nathan Ake was recalled from his loan to Bournemouth – having just forced his way into the side and scored three goals, the recall may be a mixed blessing for Nathan but will be worth it if he gets game time in the back three.