Tuesday 4 March
Petr Cech is Czech player of the year for a sixth year in a row. Last year he passed the previous record holder and he looks like setting a new mark every year. He has won the Czech golden ball (voted on by sports journalists) eight times.
New boy Kurt Zouma captained France U21 and scored the winner as they beat Belarus by a solitary goal. Kurt stayed with St Etienne on loan for the rest of the season.
Wednesday 5 March
England 1:0 Denmark
Yawn. Roy Hodgson put out a better team for once and was rewarded with some penetration but too little to suggest that we are going to anything other than spat out in Brazil this summer. The gaps were absurd. The space between the defence and the midfield was so wide the defenders could barely find a pass and when they could the cover was anticipating. Enlightened England were still trying to hit the long ball into the channels despite the smothering defence.
The Danes had little ambition but to break and they were not very good at that.
Mourinho would mould this lot into a challenging side, poor old Roy cannot seem to make them function on their own pitch in a friendly.
Daniel Sturridge scored the late winner despite an out of form Rooney getting in his way most of the night.
Elsewhere: all of our Brazilians got something of the game as the summer’s hosts beat a poor South Africa 0-5, Oscar scored the first with a chip over the advancing ’keeper; Branislav Ivanovic and Nemanja Matic both played as Serbia came from behind to beat the Republic in Dublin; Belgium and the Ivory Coast played out a 2-2 draw with an old man called Didier Drogba scoring one. Hazard and Lukaku both came on late in the game with Courtois playing the whole match in goal; Cesar Azpilicueta played at right-back for Spain as they eventually beat Italy 1-0.
Of the U21s out on international duty it was Lewis Baker who cemented his growing reputation with a goal against Turkey in a 3-0 England U19 win with three Chelsea colleagues in the side.
In FA competence news the one rule for the rich and feck all the rest system is working perfectly as Charlie Adam is banned for three matches for stamping on Oliver Giroud. Yaya Toure recently was let off scot-free for taking a clear kick at an opponent. Just to recap the defence for Adam was that his was an accident; that of Toure was that he didn’t think the referee was looking and his club are richer and more important than Stoke.
Thursday 6 March
QPR have announced Champions League losses on a Championship income. Our near neighbours lost a staggering £65.4m last season raising their total indebtedness to £177m. They will do almost anything to keep a smile on everyone’s face.
The size of the farce in W12 can be measured in the simple fact that they paid their relegated strugglers 25% more than Borussia Dortmund paid their European Cup and Bundesliga runners-up.
Friday 7 March
Chelsea U18 0:3 Fulham U18
With other priorities for the youth team the league matches are being used to blood schoolboys and they are finding their feet. League leaders Fulham might have won but a very young Chelsea side was never outclassed.
Daniel Pappoe has joined Kingstonian for a month on loan. Daniel has suffered a series of injury problems and needs games under his belt if he is to press on. The deal means we have 31 players out on loan.
Saturday 8 March
Chelsea 4:0 Tottenham Hotspur
A big thank you goes to the entire Tottenham team for allowing us such a comfortable afternoon and a seven point lead at the top of the table. Samuel Eto’o reactions and finishing had a lot to do with it as well. His goal celebration will live longer than the result.
We started in glittering fashion as a through ball found Eto’o, a late replacement for the injured Torres, clear. He was bundled over on the edge of the box by Hugo Lloris and surely the ’keeper had to go after only a minute … but wait, the linesman has his flag up. Spurs were saved by a linesman deciding it was too early in the game, so he incorrectly flagged Eto’o offside.
A minute or so later and Hazard was played in but off balance and slipping wide his finish just missed the post.
Spurs came into the game more after those early chances but for all the possession they managed Cech had the easiest afternoon of everyone on the pitch.
The second-half was where the fireworks lay. It smouldered for fifteen minutes and then a slip from Jan Vertonghen set us free. To compound his unfortunate slip, Vertonghen tried to play the ball away from Hazard only to find Eto’o on the edge of the box. The Cameroonian took aim and slid the ball under the advancing Lloris and in. 1-0. His celebration, using the corner flag as a walking stick in an old man pose, should earn him a two-year deal.
It was Eto’o again a minute or so later running on to Hazard’s pass who was clattered by Younes Kaboul, Hazard finished the penalty as the Spurs man walked for denying a clear goal-scoring opportunity. 2-0.
We had to wait for the comedy’s final act. Demba Ba replaced the old man on 76-minutes and scored first through a slip in the box by Sandro, 3-0, and then a awful header from Kyle Walker that flew straight to Ba, 4-0.
We could have had a few more as Oscar and Hazard wasted good chances but you can’t be greedy when Spurs are delivering presents like they did today.
Jose was adamant afterwards that Manchester City are still in the driving seat because they will go top if they win each of their games in hand.
Chelsea U21 1:0 Middlesbrough U21
We are up to third in the table after this win. Played in glorious sunshine, Isak Ssewankambo scored the goal that maintains momentum for the group.
Sunday 9 March
Oh dear, Manchester City are free to concentrate on the league after Wigan Athletic beat them 1-2 at the Etihad to book an FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal.
It was as much Wigan getting their tactics right as City’s play being a bit flat but it has shown that they are vulnerable.