Monday 9 June
Dermot Drummy has been shunted from the U21s to become international head coach – no, we hadn’t heard of the post either – he’ll be co-ordinating our global coaching which has grown into a network of connected clubs in Asia and the US.
It is hard to know from the press statement if Dermot has been pushed or is relishing a new opportunity. Under him the U21 won their league last season and the sustained level of achievement has been very high from the academy sides.
Adi Viveash steps up to U21 and Joe Edwards takes over U18.
Tuesday 10 June
Ghana and Christian Atsu ambled through a 4-0 win over South Korea. Christian came of the bench for the Black Stars in the second-half with his side already three to the good. It was their last warm-up before the big one.
The World Cup means no world tour for Chelsea this year so they have announced a mini European tour starting in Austria and taking in Slovenia, the Netherlands and Germany.
In late July and early August we will play Wolfsberger AC, NK Olimpija Ljubljana, Vitesse Arnhem and Werder Bremen in that order.
Talking of friendlies it seems we owe one to East Stirlingshire. The Scottish giants from Falkirk sold us Eddie McCreadie in 1962. Part of the deal involved home and away friendlies. We played up their at Firs Park in 1963 and they would now like to play the away leg.
Chelsea have said they’ll look into it. Personally we’d relish a home friendly before the big kick-off in August. Call it a chance to shake the summer’s sand out of your shorts and get serious again.
Wednesday 11 June
Tomas Kalas has joined FC Köln on loan for the whole of next season. Tomas was hugely impressive in his full debut at Anfield but even with the departure of David Luiz we have defenders coming out of ears with Omeruo and Zouma to fit in somehow. Cologne won the German second division last season and will be a good testing ground for our 21-year-old Czech.
Thursday 12 June
Cesc Fábregas signed from Barcelona for an undisclosed fee thought to be around €30m. Ten days after Frank Lampard stepped aside we have a new midfielder who can dominate. He has a string of other advantages not least being already used to the Premier League and qualifying as association trained.
There is an issue about one of his former club’s: Arsenal didn’t bid for his services and frankly, if Jose Mourinho and Fábregas can overcome the personal animosity they have shown over recent years then perhaps we in the stands should give our new number 4 a fair chance.
Brazil 3:1 Croatia
An obscure tin pot competition started in Sao Paulo in Brazil and left a bad taste in the mouth. Shots of protesters being pepper sprayed at point-blank range before the opening ceremony were distressing. The hosts diving to win an absurd penalty seemed to underline that this World Cup belongs to Fifa and Brazil; everyone else can go hang.
Croatia played surprisingly well, Brazil were hesitant and nervous. But fates and the referee conspired and Croatia’s opener was equalised by Neymar, who should have been sent off for measuring his elbow into Luca Modric’s face.
Oscar provided the relief for the crowd as his break and poked finish provided security right at the death. The substitute Ramires had won the ball to enable the break and Willian stayed on the bench.
Friday 13 June
David Luiz is officially a PSG player. The dots and crosses were completed today.
Mexico 1:0 Cameroon
Samuel Eto’o and Cameroon were strangely subdued against a well-organised Mexico. With Brazil in their group winning this would be a big step to second place and the Mexicans seemed to realise it. They had already twice been denied legitimate goals by erroneous offside flags when Peralta shot them ahead.
Spain 1:5 Netherlands
All the talk of Spain’s dynasty coming to an end was summed up in one match as the Dutch took a full measure of revenge for the final four years ago.
Diego Costa started in Salvador with menace and stretched the Dutch defence eventually winning a penalty for falling over near a defender. Back in the studio they were all convinced, again, that treading on a defender amounts to a penalty offence not a free-kick for the treadee…
The Netherlands were not overly bothered as they’d fashioned the better chances and Robin Van Persie headed them level before the break.
Second-half goals from Arjen Robben (two), Stefan De Vrij and another from Van Persie made this a classic World Cup encounter. It had everything including the relief of everyone who grew bored of tika-taka.
Chile 2:1 Australia
Another cracking match, it looked for all the world that we’d have another pasting as the hapless Aussies fell to behind in a matter of minutes early in the first period. Tim Cahill pulled one back and at times it seemed Australia would earn a draw but in reality they now face a whitewash and an early flight.
Saturday 14 June
Columbia 3:0 Greece
A predictable match at last as Columbia stretch their legs in Belo Horizonte. Greece were awful from the start and Columbia will progress.
Uruguay 1:3 Costa Rica
Everything was going to plan for Uruguay as they took the lead through another dodgy penalty but Costa Rica have more about them and Joel Campbell scored one and made another in Fortaleza before a late break by Marco Urena made it three. Uruguay looked to be stuck in second gear and barely threatened.
England 1:2 Italy
A predictable result but one, frustratingly, that seems to have secured Roy Hodgson more support not less.
He picked the useless midfield of Henderson and Gerrard and inexplicably added Danny Welbeck. In a side designed to break quickly Welbeck’s ability to stand still seem an irrelevance when a competent and quick-witted alternative in Adam Lallana on the bench.
Wayne Rooney made it clear that he doesn’t want to do any of the work for England, again, as the fat lump refused to tackle back and cover Leighton Baines.
Glenn Johnson didn’t play although he did stand on the pitch for much of the night.
Daniel Sturridge and Raheem Sterling were the only bright sparks in a jade team. Their first goal came from an absurd corner where both were back defending leaving Marchisio unmarked and free to power home a shot.
Hodgson, you’ll remember, had set up his team to hit on the break but had both of his quickest assets back defending at corners.
Sturridge did score from a Rooney cross to level things up but Glenn Johnson wandered off in the second-half leaving our defence again exposed and Balotelli headed in a simple winner.
The clamour for the antiquated England manager to be sacked should start here but we are collectively too stupid to realise what our football team needs.
The BBC panel were purring with delight about Sterling but unable to notice the flaws in the rest of the team. Jose Mourinho would not have lost this game. Roy Hodgson was unable to influence it.
Sunday 15 June
Jose Mourinho speaking at a charity event in the Ivory Coast has confirmed that he wants Diego Costa and that Thibaut Courtois will be at Stamford Bridge next season. There is a feeling that we were stung by the injustice of having him in goal against us in the semi-final.
Cote d’Ivoire 2:1 Japan
Top marks for the dedicated few who stayed up after the beeriness of the England game to watch as our old boys Drogba and Kalou play as the Elephants earned a first win.
Switzerland 2:1 Ecuador
This World Cup just keeps demanding attention. This time a routine draw in Group E looked a dull certainty for much of the second period only for an injury-time goal-saving tackle at one end to result in a winning goal at the other. Haris Seferovic scored the dramatic goal – we are just guessing that his parents were not cockney.
France 3:0 Honduras
Ah, goalline technology is finally with us. Karim Benzema’s second goal got the nod after a quick check on the computer screen after replays in the stadium showed the ball being scooped out by the Honduran ’keeper.
Honduras brought the rough and well, just rough treatment they’d served up in the England friendly and were lucky to have only the one red-card.
Argentina 2:1 Bosnia and Herzegovina
The Maracana made its debut in this tournament somehow they’ve managed to make it look bland and corporate.
Bosnia surprised many by looking the better side for long periods but an early own-goal stumble and Lionel Messi’s first goal in eight years meant they earned nothing but friends.