Monday 23 May
John Swift played the whole game and Nat Chalobah and Kasey Palmer made sub appearances as England U21 thrashed Guinea 7-1. It was a very one-sided affair so individual judgements will have to wait until the group decider against Paraguay on Wednesday.
Manchester United confirmed van Gaal’s departure and the sticking point on appointing Mourinho is that Chelsea own his image rights.
We bought his name back when he was first here in 2004/5 and have owned him ever since.
Wednesday 25 May
Chelsea 2:1 Sunderland
It was important for the women to bounce back after a hard week – losing the Cup final and at home to their nearest title rivals.
The points were secured in the first-half of a slightly nervy display by headed goals from Fran Kirby and Katie Chapman.
Katie Chapman though along with Eni Aluko miss out on the England squad for the upcoming Euro qualifiers. Gilly Flaherty, Karen Carney, Gemma Davidson and Fran Kirby do all make the squad.
Over in Toulon and all five of Chelsea’s players appeared for all or some part of the 4-0 win over Paraguay U20. It really was men against boys as our U21 squad demolished our nearest rivals with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Lewis Baker scoring three of the four strikes.
The final is on Sunday and to get there we need only draw with Japan or lose by fewer than 9 goals.
Thursday 26 May
In a surprise move Jose Mourinho is announced as Manchester United boss. Who saw that coming?
Jose will always be loved around these parts but he did describe United as a giant club the implication being that Chelsea are small fry.
Friday 27 May
England 2:1 Australia
This was another embarrassment. Most international managers use the warm up games for tournaments to hone their finished team – Roy Hodgson uses them to see how badly dysfunctional a side can be with players played out of position.
We failed to control midfield against a limited Australian XI by persisting with the midfield diamond. Hodgson recently said that systems didn’t win matches, a statement that should disqualify him from the job he holds.
England U21 secured a final place against France with a 1-0 win over Japan.
Saturday 28 May
Hull Tigers have been promoted back to the Premier League. It was the one result from the four play-off contenders that we didn’t want but then football matches rarely turn out the way you want – re: the preening, self-regarding smear of excrement that is Christiano Ronaldo scored the winning penalty as Real beat city rivals Atletico. It couldn’t happen to a more dislikeable bunch of fascist glory hunters.
Belgium with Courtois and Hazard in the side managed to beat a ten-man Swiss side 2-1.
Sunday 29 May
France U21 1:2 England U21
Our young players are used to winning domestic and European trophies and now they have a taste of International cup wins.
Lewis Baker, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, John Swift and Kasey Palmer all played their part in our first victory in this competition since you were in short trousers – 22 years.
Loftus-Cheek and Baker scored England’s goals.
Barnsley beat Millwall to return to the Championship and leave Wembley stewards and police with the task of battling the Millwall mob back to the station.