Monday 23 February
We have contested the red card Matic as given at the weekend. The FA only deal in black and white and we are Chelsea so the verdict is guilty before you’ve opened your mouth.
As if to confirm their prejudice they announced no action against Ashley Barnes after, bizarrely insisting that the referee saw the incident so they will not be re-refereeing the incident. The footage clearly shows that the referee cannot see the point of impact and therefore the ferocity of the challenge. Leaving us to the conclusion that the FA have decided to hang Chelsea out to dry whatever the evidence.
There are rumours that the match delegate on Saturday, Steve Greaves, agreed with Martin Atkinson’s every decision.
The whole of football, most who usually slate us, have risen with one voice to say that Matic was punished unfairly and the FA and refereeing community have circled their wagons and will not listen to sense.
Meanwhile, amid the hullabaloo: Thorgan Hazard has agreed to join Borussia Mönchengladbach at the end of the season. Eden’s brother probably wants to be out from his brother’s shadow and having impressed on loan is keen to develop in North Rhine-Westphalia.
We have a buy back clause if the next few seasons go well.
Our FA Youth Cup semi-final will be against Spurs with the first leg away live on ITV4 on Thursday 5 March.
Tuesday 24 February
Nemanja Matic will only serve a two-game ban after the FA independent regulatory commission tried to jump through every hoop at once. The panel; “rejected the mitigation advanced by Nemanja Matic in respect of the provocation and tackle he received which led to his act of violent conduct”. Er, if that is so then reducing the ban would appear illogical but they pressed on, Matic will serve two games instead of three because they accepted mitigation as to the level of force and type of contact he made with Barnes.
Meanwhile in the slave driving state of Qatar it has been announced that the Fifa committee looking into the absurdity of holding the World Cup in a corrupt, slave owning, sexist, homophobic, alcohol intolerant, blast furnace announce the tournament should be moved. Not from the repellent rat-hole hosting but from summer to winter, with the final in December.
That European leagues would have to start early break in October to return in January and run through the next summer, with the players involved unable to rest until the following summer hasn’t crossed the mind of the geniuses at Fifa.
The only sane solution is to re-run the bidding and hold the World Cup in a country without insurmountable problems.
Wednesday 25 February
Lewis Baker will finish this season at Milton Keynes after impressing with a recent loan at Sheffield Wednesday.
Seven people have given themselves up to the fuzz after an appeal for information about the St Pancras chanting incident. The police
Baker is one of our hottest properties and Franchise FC are challenging for promotion from League One, it seems a good fit.
Meanwhile, it was good to see Arsène Wenger get the chance to play one of his old teams as Monaco visited him in his cavernous Emirates home and left with a 1-3 win.
Unpleasant little Fifa wonk, Jerome Valcke, appeared to suggest that Fifa inhabit such an exalted plane of existence that the rest of football doesn’t exist. He announced with callous indifference to clubs in world football’s major market that there would be no compensation for European clubs for the catastrophic disruption to their season caused by a winter World Cup and he didn’t see the need for an apology for the abject farce. Venal, arrogant, corrupt, rapacious, disdaining, abusive – at least there is a word for everything Fifa do.
Thursday 26 February
Yokohama Rubber Company Ltd are to add their name to a list that includes Gulf Air, Bai Lin Tea, Amiga, Autoglass and Emirates as they become our latest shirt sponsor.
The deal is for a hefty whack as well, £40m a year for five years. So, ok United get £51m but they have to put up with that crappy Chevrolet logo for the next ten years.
The deal alongside the new TV money announced last week should keep us neck and neck with the Real Jones’.
Saturday 28 February
Chelsea U18 2:1 Tottenham Hotspur U18
Finishing the regional element of the season in style with a comeback win over Spurs – couldn’t be an omen could it? Ryan Loft put Spurs ahead from the penalty spot in the first-half (surely he is destined to start in a midfield alongside Ruben Loftus-Cheek)
Second-half goals from Jeremie Boga and Ike Ugbo saw us finish the section in style.
Sunday 1 March
Capital One Cup Final
Chelsea 2:0 Tottenham Hotspur
Brilliant – brilliant sunshine early doors; brilliant that Man City had already lost to Liverpool; brilliant watching Spurs pile into Wembley for another dose of pain; brilliant to see the organisers persisting with fireworks during the day; brilliant to see Kurt Zouma in midfield; brilliant start as Spurs couldn’t get near the ball; brilliant to see Eriksen’s free-kick whip back off the bar; brilliant as Spurs lined up to defend a free-kick in one long line and John Terry stood on the very spot to volley the ball in, brilliant, 1-0; brilliant we almost added another in the minute before the break.
Fábregas started the second period by bicycle kicking an effort from a corner that Lloris scrambled away. We didn’t have long to wait as Fábregas, coming more into the game, found Costa in space on the edge of the area. Costa swapped feet and belted the ball in off the defender. 2-0.
We controlled the rest of the match. Eden Hazard wriggled into the box and flashed his chance just wide of the post. Spurs huffed and puffed, the rain pelted, the referee seemed even-handed and the threat from north London dwindled. This was not going to be Harry Kane’s cup final; the 5-3 on New Year’s Day was an unlucky blip; poor old Tottenham.
The clock ran down extremely slowly but then it does when there is a trophy at the end.
At the end Spurs fans walked out as one and left us with a stadium to party in, Didier Drogba took the role next to John Terry to lift the cup. Jose Mourinho fell over in the celebrations that followed and everything was brilliant.