Monday 17 June
Tahiti scored against Nigeria and the nation indeed most of the pacific started to celebrate. Nigeria scored just six in reply. Nigeria might regret only getting six because goal difference against the Polynesians could decide the group. Kenneth Omeruo and Obi John played against surprisingly adventurous opposition.
Tuesday 18 June
Spain won the U21 European Championship beating Italy 2-4 in the final. Fabio Borini scored a late consolation for the Azzurri.
Meanwhile, Newcastle United have been out of the big top for so long they thought they’d fuc… er… foul everything up before the fixtures are even released by appointing Joe Kinnear as director of football. Joe has an unfortunate habit of being calm and communicative with all sectors of the media at all times, as he was earlier this week when he announced his new post and the club refused to confirm.
Many a Magpie fan is holding their heads and wondering: “why, oh why, oh why, oh …”
Wednesday 19 June
Welcoming back Jose Mourinho to the Premiership are Hull City at home on the opening day. We follow that with a trip to Old Trafford and the unknown in David Moyes’ United.
In fact the away start is tricky with our first four away ties being Manchester United, Bayern München, Everton and Tottenham. Win those four and Mourinho will be back in style.
Boxing day we are home to Swansea with Arsenal just before and we finish at home to Norwich City and then away to Cardiff.
“… why, oh why, oh”, Derek Llambias resigned from Newcastle’s board less than twenty-four hours after Joe Kinnear was appointed. To quote the Doctor: “never ignore a coincidence, unless you are busy then always ignore a coincidence.”
Stuart Pearce will not be offered a renewal when his U21 contract runs out at the start of July. Tactical master and arch strategist Gareth Southgate is favourite for the role because, well, because we never learn. The FA do not understand the need for tactical sophistication and so are happy to allow any former pro to fulfil the role of leading our young footballers into the wilderness.
Out in Brazil, as the tear gas from the latest police attack clears, the hosts beat Mexico but their central American opponents looked the better side for much of the match but couldn’t finish any of their chances. David Luiz was everywhere again but Oscar looked tired and was subbed.
In the evening’s other game Japan and Italy shared seven goals as the Azzurri triumphed 4-3. The ref had a stinker, awarding a penalty for both sides when both were utterly incorrect decisions.
Thursday 20 June
Spain scored the first 10-0 we have ever witnessed as poor Tahiti remained willing but limited – they won a corner – Fernando Torres scored four and Juan Mata added another as Chelsea hit five.
Later in the evening Nigeria put up a spirited but unlucky performance against Uruguay who won 2-1 with a thunderous and unstoppable shot their winner.
Obi John Mikel showed that the force is still strong in this one by hitting the leveller but it was again Kenneth Omeruo who caught the eye defending against Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani. We have been linked to Cavani for about £45m but the beanpole pin-up is having a shocking tournament.
David Luiz will have surgery on his broken nose after the Confederations Cup is over. Not realising perhaps that a broken nose adds to his hard man image he has opted for the knife. With a conk like his it is only a matter of time before another forward’s elbow undoes the surgeon’s work.
Friday 21 June
We will be dressed by Adidas for the next ten years as Chelsea and our kit manufacturer announce a deal for around £30m a year. That is substantially more than Samsung paid for the front of the shirt at £18m. All those fans out in the far east and the United States can take the credit for making the jersey so valuable.
Adidas have been slightly better than Umbro over the last seven years. It would be nice if they put a bit of effort into the away kit.
Saturday 22 June
Thibaut Courtois has won a further year at Atlético. He signed for us in 2011 on a five year deal but has spent all of his time in Spain, last year he was awarded the Zamora trophy for best ’keeper as Madrid’s other club won the Copa Del Rey and qualified for the Champions League.
Brazil and Italy served up another corking match in the Confederations Cup. A match rather poorly refereed in which the first and last Brazil strikes were offside, while the free-kick that provided Neymar with his goal was comical diving – he will fit right in at Barcelona. The hosts will romp to the trophy with refereeing help like this next summer. David Luiz was withdrawn after a series of heavy challenges left him with a dead leg but Oscar soldiered on.
Mexico beat Japan in the wooden spoon match.
Sunday 23 June
Spain with Torres, a second-half sub and goalscorer, beat Nigeria to top the group and set up a semi-final against Italy. Uruguay beat the whipping boys Tahiti 8-0 and will play Brazil.
John Obi Mikel did his best to contain Spain but the ammunition Nigeria managed o generate for their forwards was not taken or used otherwise this young African team might have beaten the world champions. Kenneth Omeruo limped out of the action early and will be assessed. Rumours are that the young man has done enough to earn himself a first-team shirt at Chelsea next season.
Brighton was a well run club with ambition. Now they are closer to a farce. The idiots who suspended Gus Poyet after two of Brighton’s best ever seasons, actually released a statement that he was sacked whilst he was on air giving his thoughts on Spain and Nigeria. BBC staff read the news to him during the first-half.