Monday 3 September
Ashley Cole has pulled out of Friday’s game with an ankle injury. He will be assessed to see if he has recovered in time for Tuesday’s game against the Ukraine. John Terry’s neck strain will not hamper him.
Meanwhile, Raul Meireles has joined Fenerbahce. Apparently the Turkish transfer window stays open a bit longer than ours. Given the players we’ve lost or loaned this summer letting both Essien and Meireles leave without bringing in cover seems a little bit rash. Raul only signed for us on deadline day last summer for around £12m the proposed move to Turkey would be for around £8m.
In other transfer news – what is the point in having a window if it is open in some places and closed in others – our friend Hulk has signed for Zenit St Petersburg for the £32m-ish that we were quoted as having offered. The deal seemed almost complete, as we really needed cover for our striker, as it is we are now a hamstring and a calf away from experimental formations without a forward.
Tuesday 4 September
Chelsea U18 2:0 Brighton & Hove Albion U18
More of a schoolboy match with under 15s and 16s getting plenty of the game: Goals from Walter Figueira and Charly Musonda.
Ryan Bertrand signed a new contract. He signed one last summer too but this is supposed to reflect his new status at the club.
Meanwhile Malouda and Hilario have both been left out of the Champions League squad. Whether either could find a new club at this stage is debateable but it doesn’t seem that either is wanted.
Wednesday 5 September
Florent Malouda has posted a tweet saying that he’ll be training with the U21 squad for the last year of his contract. It is hardly edifying to have a senior pro demoted like this to the doghouse of what was the reserves. How will it make the U21 feel to realise that they are still the place to dump contract rebels?
It is clear that the club wanted Malouda to leave in the summer but deals in France and Brazil fell through. What is really strange is that he was named in the Premier League squad list.
Friday 7 September
Moldova 0:5 England
John Terry twisted an ankle and will probably miss the next match against the Ukraine at Wembley and our away trip to QPR – on second thoughts that could be a blessing. With twenty minutes to go England had used all their substitutes so the man of steel stayed on the pitch until right before the end with the game finished.
Frank Lampard renewed his midfield partnership with Steven Gerrard and scored the first two goals in a comfortable stroll. The second was a well-taken header from a Glen Johnson cross. Over all it was difficult to judge if we are progressing because the opposition was so poor.
Roy Hodgson is so far back in the brilliantine he said JT had ‘pooh-poohed’ that opportunity to come off with injury and leave England with ten. Many of the younger journalists scratched their heads and looked up the phrase. In modern football nobody has poo-pooed anything since Vinnie Jones and Dennis Wise used to welcome newcomer’s kit bags to Plough Lane.
Courtois, Hazard and Lukaku all played a part in bringing down Wales 0-2 but the game was marred by a sending off before the half hour mark as Wales were reduced to ten.
Samsung have struck a deal to extend their shirt sponsorship until 2015 at about £18m per season. Manchester United recently secured a £30m a season ten-year deal to have Chevrolet on their shirt and City have the Etihad deal worth trillions. If Uefa is serious about financial fair play both those deals will be annulled or the sides banned from Europe for trying to cheat the system. We’ll see.
Chelsea U21 2:3 Charlton Athletic U21
A behind closed doors friendly arranged to whet the fitness of several squad members including Cesar Azpilicueta. By all accounts a good performance by the new boy who was deemed solid at the back with a few flashes of attacking talent.
Saturday 8 September
Chelsea U18 8:3 Southampton U18
The youth team must have been expecting a fight but Jeremie Boga scored an impressive first half hat-trick and Dabo, Houghton, Musonda Ssewankambo and Traore score the others. We missed a penalty as well.
News is so thrilling during the international break that Ashley Cole missing Tuesday’s match through injury is real news. JT is still being assessed.
Branislav Ivanovic captained Serbia in Glasgow and his side had the better of a dire 0-0. Petr Cech also drew on international duty this time with Denmark.
Sunday 9 September
John Terry has returned to Chelsea for treatment on the ankle that will keep him out of Tuesday’s game against the Ukraine and might keep him out of next week’s match against QPR.