Monday 18 July
We have added a Sunday 7 August date with Werder Bremen at the Westerstadion.
Papy Djilobodji scored the late goal that ensured Werder’s Bundesliga survival last May and Claudio Pizarro is still in their squad. Claudio is almost as old as we are.
In Germany with the England U19 squad and Izzy Brown was on target again as we saw off Croatia 2-1 and secured a semi-final against Italy on Thursday.
In training today Kurt Zouma made his first tentative steps back from cruciate injury and Michy Batshuayi graced the squad for the first time after a short break following his involvement in the Euros with Belgium.
Wednesday 20 July
Wolfsberger AC 0:3 Chelsea
That was better. We did the suppositories jokes last year about RZ ‘arse’ Pellets but this time it was a first team friendly. Better shape and fitness from the game at the weekend against Rapid.
This time Willian and Moses kept chalk on their boot throughout and we created a few more chances,
Bertrand Traore scored the opener on the break, Ruben Lotus-Cheek headed in unopposed near the death but the pick came from Nat Chalobah who has been watching Messi videos all summer and sidestepped a couple of challenges before finishing across the ’keeper.
Michael Hector and Michy Batshuayi both came on in the second half with our new striker looking lively.
Never satisfied with a system the FA have ripped up the relatively new U21 league and replaced it with the grandiosely titled Premier League 2. Like most sequels it is unlikely to be a patch on the original.
Out goes the age limit as U21 rises to U23 with three over aged players allowed. Whether that means a return to the days when old lags who couldn’t get a first-team game took it out on nippy youngsters remains to be seen.
Alex Kiwomya will spend the first half of next term with Crew Alexandra. League Two football doesn’t sound hard enough for our mercurial 20-year-old winger but a good stint could get him a better loan for the rest of the campaign.
Late news: the FA have appointed Sam Allardyce to the post of England manager, confirming that this country wants to win nothing on the international stage – ever. Fancy a flutter on England’s World Cup qualification? If you do why not bet on sports and receive a bonus whilst you are at it?
It is the most myopic and idiotic decision since the FA failed to sack Hodgson after the debacle in Brazil.
Rumour that the FA is being run by vindictive Scottish infiltrators cannot be ruled out.
It is absurd and ridiculous to appoint a tactically one-dimensional caricature of Mike Bassett but we honestly believe that Ricky Tomlinson would make a better manager of the England team than Sam Allardyce.
Sam Allardyce, you will remember, has never won anything in his managerial career. Not only that but he has never come close to winning anything.
Fans of clubs he manages turn on him quickly, condemning the basic, ineffectual, agricultural football his sides produce.
Big Sam bleats that his sides are tactically more sophisticated than his critics will admit but the evidence is on the park each week. At both of his two previous clubs the next man through the door improved results using the same players Sam had failed.
That Allardyce is completely unqualified, tactically illiterate and bound to fail isn’t the whole problem – the FA stuffed shirts that appointed him have no understanding of football, no plan for the development of the game nationally or internationally, no understanding of why England sides fail, no capacity to analyse the structural inadequacies of the England set up or of the FA itself.
They can barely tie their own shoelaces but when Allardyce fails at the next World Cup and fails to qualify for the next Euros we will have endured four more futile, wasted years of staggering incompetence and stupidity, at the end of which the FA will think that Steve McClaren is a sensible replacement or enquire if Graham Taylor is still available.
Thursday 21 July
England U19 have been enjoying their time in Germany but were beaten by Italy in a scrappy 2-1 game. Fikayo Tomori tripped an Italian in the box to give away a penalty and it didn’t get much better from there as, for all of our size and power advantage England didn’t have a plan to break down a well organised Italian side.
But then England teams are determined to try to win without systems or tactics – Aidy Boothroyd is in charge at this level.
Chelsea XI 8:0 Atus Ferlach
Picking on a fourth division side would seem like bullying but Conte wanted to give some minutes to Loic Remy and Michy Batshuayi – he is going to be called Batman so quickly it will make your head spin – both scored a few Remy a hat-trick and a brace from Batshuayi.
Friday 22 July
RC Lens 0:0 Chelsea U23
No goals but the U23 side were just having a warm up and had the better chances.
Antonio Conte will not work alone as the club announce Angelo Alesso, Steve Holland and Gianluca Conte will be assistant coaches.
There are also a slew of new fitness caches, analysts and assistants. Most noticeably Gianluca Spinelli joins as goalkeeper coach leaving Lollichon out in the cold.
Granada will be the team to support in Spain as Victorien Angbang joined Jeremie Boga on loan for the season.
Saturday 23 July
Chelsea U18 2:1 Milton Keynes U18
Martell Taylor-Crossdale has had a very good pre-season so far and netted another brace here as the franchise were put to the sword.
Sunday 24 July
Chelsea 4:0 Doncaster Belles
That will feel better as we got back to winning with two goals Aluko and one each from Ji So-Yun and Bethany England keep the women’s team in touch at the top. Manchester City and Arsenal both won their games.
Stad Reims U23 1:1 Chelsea U23
The France leg of the academy preseason finished in another draw. The squad will now fly back to England before heading for the Netherlands next weekend. Isaac Christie-Davies with the goal.
The first-team squad headed for America today as well. Their game against Liverpool is on Thursday.