JUNE DIARY: WORLD CUP CHELSEA PLUS TELLY, TELLY
Thu June 1st Gwyn Williams leaves the club after 26-and-a-half years in which he's been youth development officer, youth team coach, reserve team coach, first team coach, assistant manager, head of youth, general manager, Academy manager, head of everything under the first team and chief scout. His last scoutings to have been signed were Lassana Diarra and John Obi Mikel. Well, Mikel still has to be confirmed, but it won't be long. The Lyon director of Sport is reported to confirm that Didier Drogba does not want to leave Chelsea for anyone, so they cannot sign him. That's the end of that summer speculation then. Jose Mourinho is on Portuguese TV confirming that he is interested in signing Roberto Carlos from Real Madrid. Asier Del Horno's injury just above the achilles is sufficiently bad for FIFA to allow Spain to replace him so, poor guy, he is out of the World Cup. Portuguese goalkeeper Hilario completes his contractual details and becomes Chelsea's latest custodian. Diarra is out of the European Under 21s Championships in the evening. France go two down to Holland in the first-half of the semi-final. Despite being Man of the Match last game out, he is only on the bench, comes off it at the interval and France get back to 2-2. But Holland win 3-2. There is no third-place play-off and so his season is over. Arjen Robben gets a rest as Holland warm-up for the World Cup with almost a shadow team against Mexico, and he is no shadow!
Fri June 2nd Andriy Shevchenko, who joined up with the Ukraine World Cup squad yesterday, is confirmed as Chelsea's Number 7 next season. That is his cherished number. Celtic announce they are playing us in pre-season, and this is true, even though there are still a few items to complete in preparation. If all is well tickets will go on sale on July 12th. Agreement is finally reached between Chelsea, Manchester United and Lyn Oslo on the future of Mikel. We will pay United £12m and Lyn £4m to free him to play again, and that will be for us! Germany beat Columbia 3-0 in their last warm-up game. Michael Ballack heads the opener, his 31st goal in 65 internationals. Robert Huth is fit but on the bench. Shevchenko sits out Ukraine's 0-0 draw with Italy, still not fit after injuring a knee at Parma on May 7th.
Sat June 3rd Mikel, finally, is announced as a Chelsea player. He is 19 years old and has grown remarkably since we last saw him. World Cup warm-up friendlies: England 6 Jamaica 0, Frank Lampard opens the scoring, John Terry goes off with a twisted knee, Wayne Bridge replaces injured Ashley Cole, Lampard goes off near the end, Joe Cole plays the entire game. Terry says afterwards his injury is not serious and if it had been an important game he could have carried on. Czech Republic beat Trinidad & Tobago 3-0, and Petr Cech has just one save of note to make. Portugal beat Luxembourg 3-0, Ricardo Carvalho plays all game but Paulo Ferreira looks like losing out to Miguel at right-back as he did at the European Championships. Maniche, who has left us from loan, plays the first 65 minutes, when the score is 1-0, and is replaced by Tiago who left us last summer.
Sun June 4th William Gallas is in the papers quoted again as saying he does not want to return to Chelsea, and wants to move to Italy. He is quoted talking of disrespect paid to him. He has one year left on his contract and Chelsea have said he will have to serve it out if he does not want to sign a new contract now. Drogba captains Ivory Coast as Bonaventure Kalou is only a substitute, scores two first-half goals, and they beat Uruguay 3-1 in France. He now has 23 goals in 33 internationals. Michael Essien makes the second goal and hammers the third in Ghana's 3-1 win over Saudi Arabia in Glasgow. It is his first international goal since Ghana's qualifying game. Robben and Holland suffer a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Australia.
Mon June 5th After last week's intense transfer activity, everything is quiet at Stamford Bridge. It finally feels like summer. Media reports claim Manchester United and Barcelona are in a battle to sign Eidur Gudjohnsen whom Chelsea have said is available. Real Madrid's vice-president makes it clear that no decision will be taken over Carlos' future until after the club's presidential elections on July 2nd. Shaun Wright-Phillips is quoted in the media as establishing he has no regrets about joining Chelsea despite missing out on England's World Cup squad. Terry sits out England's training session. Shevchenko sits out Ukraine's win over Libya but the coach says he will play in the final warm-up game on Thursday. In the evening Juan Sebastian Veron completes his transfer to Estudiantes, his original Argentine club. He has been on loan at Inter Milan for two years and has had another year's loan there to complete his Chelsea contract, but this closes the chapter on a sad story. He played all of 14 games for us, starting 11. Cech is named winner of the Czech Golden Ball, the equivalent of our Football Writers' Footballer of the Year. It is the second year running he has won it, and he is also in possession of the Player of the Year as voted by players and coaches.
Tue June 6th Terry trains but Ballack doesn't. He suffered a reaction to his calf after Friday's game, but says he will be fit for the World Cup opener on Friday. In the Newcastle Evening Chronicle Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd is quoted as saying the club does not want Robert Huth. Newcastle, Middlesbrough and Wigan have all been linked with him in the media. Our former youth team goalkeeper Danny Potter, who made his reserve team debut as an outfield player, is now 27 years old. He was released at the end of his apprenticeship. He moves on a free transfer from Canvey Island, where he has been for four years, to Stevenage.
Wed June 7th Ballack is still not training and Germany coach Jurgan Klinsmann announces he will not be fit for Friday's game. Chelsea and Middlesbrough agree a fee for Huth. Boro have just made Gareth Southgate manager ? although he has not got the coaching qualifications and so there is a question mark about his position ? and he does not intend to play much next season. Huth's agent is quoted in the media as saying a deal between player and club has been agreed, but there are also noises from Germany saying he will decide his future at the end of the World Cup. Chelsea confirm a pre-season game at Feyenoord the evening before the Celtic one at Stamford Bridge. France finish their World Cup preparations with an unconvincing 3-1 win over China. Gallas and Claude Makelele play all game. Gallas is set to be centre-back in the World Cup after being a full-back throughout the qualifiers.
Thu June 8th Lenny Pidgeley passes a medical at Millwall, Chelsea having agreed to his free transfer which includes a percentage of any sell-on clause. The Spanish media has Barcelona in for Lampard with Deco coming to Chelsea. Barcelona rubbish the story on their website. In the evening Shevchenko comes for the last half-hour for Ukraine in Luxembourg and scores his team's second goal, a tap-in, in a 3-0 win. He now has 29 goals in 64 internationals, and hopefully should be fit to captain his side in their first World Cup game.
Fri June 9th Ballack is quoted in De Bild saying he is fit to play Germany's first World Cup game this tournament. Argentina name their team for their first game tomorrow, and Hernan Crespo will play up front with Saviola. Pidgeley completes his move to Millwall. He is 22 years old and has been with us for 12 years. Good luck to him. Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce is quoted in the media as saying they tried to take Wright-Phillips back on loan both in January and recently, but doesn't see much chance of his returning. Celtic admit they are interested in Jiri Jarosik who has returned from his loan to Birmingham and is available. His agent says a move to Russia or staying in England are the most likely outcomes, but doesn't rule out Celtic. Ballack and Huth are next to each other on the bench as Germany open the World Cup with a 4-2 win over Costa Rica. Ballack is classified as injured by FIFA, but he and Klinsmann hug after the opening goal. There doesn't look much wrong there.
Sat June 10th England kick off with a 1-0 win over Paraguay in hot conditions. Terry, Lampard and Cole all play. Lampard wins FIFA's Man of the Match award. Cole moves off the left flank to support-striker ten minutes into the second-half and is substituted ten minutes from time. In the evening Argentina beat Ivory Coast 2-1 in the game of the tournament so far. Crespo opens the scoring with a poached stab. He is substituted just past the hour. Captain Drogba, who is in awesome form on Ivory Coast's World Cup debut, makes it 2-1 with ten minutes to go with a well-placed finish. Crespo has 30 goals in 55 internationals, Drogba 24 in 34.
Sun Jun 11th Huth announces at a Germany press conference that he will sign for Middlesbrough after the World Cup. He sends Chelsea fans thanks for all their support in his six years with us. Good luck, Huthy. No free-kicks against us, please. Coach Klinsmann says Ballack will definitely play next game. It's a day off for England after the warm-down, but Cole completes the signing of his new four year contract. He's Chelsea's until 2010. The afternoon game is Holland 1 Serbia & Montenegro 0. Robben scores and stars. His goal is a one on one with the keeper and a slotted finish. He wins FIFA's Man of the Match award. But Holland play like England, good first-half possession followed by a weary second-half in the heat. In the evening Portugal don't have heat excuses as they beat Angola 1-0. Carvalho and the defence look as tight as Terry and England's. Ferreira stays on the bench. Tiago starts and Maniche is only a substitute.
Mon June 12th Cole's new deal is announced. Cech has a quiet afternoon but needs the help of a post to keep a clean sheet as the Czech Republic wipes away the USA 3-0. Only Argentina have looked as impressive. In the evening, Essien is outstanding as Ghana stretch Italy before losing 2-0. His passing range is better than anything we have seen at Chelsea. And, of course, he's still only 23.
Tue June 13th Gudjohnsen is in at Stamford Bridge to try and finalise his departure. Chelsea give him permission to speak to Barcelona even though a deal is not yet finalised. Barca announce a deal is nearly done. Chelsea confirm publicly he is off for talks. France start their World Cup with a dull 0-0 against Switzerland. Gallas and Makelele look comfortable but no-one stands out. All the same, Maka wins FIFA's Man of the Match.
Wed June 14th Gudjohnsen passes his medical, Chelsea and Barcelona agree a fee and Eidur Gudjohnsen becomes the first player we have ever sold to Barcelona. Who would have thought three years ago when it was Champions League or bust that we would be selling someone who wanted more games to the European champions. Good luck, Eidur. True Blue! Ade Mafe leaves the club after ten years, firstly as first team fitness coach when Ruud Gullit introduced the post, and then as reserve team fitness coach. Good luck, Ade. Ukraine and Shevchenko make their World Cup debut but it's a disaster, a 4-0 defeat to Spain. Shevchenko suffers some dreadful Crespo-like offside decisions. Germany, with Ballack now leading but Huth still on the bench, labour to a last minute 1-0 win over Poland. Ballack gets booked and hits the bar late on, a strike from a rebound off the bar.
Thu June 15th The media has got us in for Germany left-back Lahm. Bayern Munich say he's not for sale. Ecuador beat Costa Rica, so Ballack and Huth qualify for the knockout rounds. England beat Trinidad & Tobago 2-0 so Terry, Bridge, Lampard and Cole join them. England play good football but finish atrociously. Lampard misses a few. Terry brilliantly clears one header off the line. Cole gets substituted with 15 minutes to go, and both goals come in the last ten minutes. Lampard suffers a booking.
Fri June 16th Our released reserve team right-back Dean Smith joins Aldershot. Good luck, Dean! He played 57 youth team games and 78 reserve team ones. Crespo and Argentina light up the World Cup with a uniquely brilliant 6-0 thrashing of Serbia & Montenegro. Crespo back-heels a pass for the second goal, an extraordinary goal of 24 passes ? his is the last ? and then scores the fourth himself to go to two goals for the tournament. Kezman is sent off at 3-0 for a two-footed tackle. Robben wins his second successive Man of the Match award as Holland put Drogba and the Ivory Coast out of the tournament. Robben sets up the second goal for van Nistelrooy. Drogba gets booked and will miss Ivory Coast's final game. His season is over. Holland win 2-1. Crespo and Robben are the latest knockout round qualifiers.
Sat June 17th Mourinho is featured in The Sun fearing the worst at Thursday's Premiership fixture list announcements. He goes over the misfortunes of the last two years, the away games after Champions League matches, the lack of rest days after internationals and during holiday fixtures, an away game for the last match. Carvalho and Portugal qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup as Portugal ease past Iran 2-0. But no-one from Chelsea joins him in the evening as Ghana pull off the surprise of the tournament, a 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic. It would be many more but for an outstanding performance by Cech. Essien wins the Man of the Match award with a second authoritative midfield display. The Czechs suddenly look a spent force.
Sun June 18th Another surprise! France, dominant, 1, South Korea, a good last ten minutes, 1. Gallas and the defence concede their first goal. Makelele and Gallas perform okay, but the rest of the defensive players look vulnerable and the attacking ones waste the opportunities they create. France are in danger of not qualifying again.
Mon June 19th Jaro?ik leaves Chelsea for good having come back from his year long loan to Birmingham. He is sold to Celtic. He won a Premiership medal and Carling Cup medal, so in 6+14 appearances he did alright by us. Good luck, Jiri. Shevchenko opens his World Cup account with a header for Ukraine, their third goal against Saudi Arabia in a 4-0 win. He makes the second. But he still doesn't look sharp following his injury. Ukraine still have a chance of qualifying for the knockouts.
Tue June 20th Former Blue Didier Deschamps confirms that another of his ex-clubs, Juventus, has asked him to manage them if they get relegated for illegal referee fixing. He says that he is happy to manage Juventus at any level. Reserve team winger Filipe Morais joins Millwall on a free transfer. So he joins Spackman and Pidgeley. For Chelsea he played 45 youth games and 29 reserve team ones. He was once an unused substitute on the first team bench. Good luck, Filipe. Huth is called into the Germany team, their only change, for their final group game in which they beat Ecuador 3-0 to win their Group. Ballack brilliantly sets up the second goal with a scoop. He wins Man of the Match. England win their Group with a less convincing 2-2 draw with Sweden. Cole is Man of the Match after sensationally volleying the first goal from 30 yards and setting up the second for Gerrard with a clever cross. Lampard plays all 90 minutes despite his yellow card from the last game ? injuries to Owen and Ferdinand dictate this ? and Terry also plays all game again.
Wed June 21st UEFA come to Stamford Bridge to plan next season's Champions League games here. The Premiership fixtures are announced tomorrow morning. The new season is getting underway. Portugal are already through but Carvalho keeps up his 100 per cent World Cup record although his side concede their first goal. Maniche opens the scoring in a 2-1 win over Mexico. Ferreira comes on in the last half hour for his first World Cup activity. In the evening Argentina rest Crespo and Holland leave out booked Robben as both sides pay each other respect at a distance and draw 0-0. Argentina win the Group. Ivory Coast without suspended Drogba come from two down to beat Searbia & Montenegro, without suspended Kezman, 3-2 in a dead tie.
Thu June 22nd It's the new season's fixtures. We can't complain. Manchester City at home to begin with, Everton at home to finish on. Arsenal is the last away fixture. We're at home after four of our six Champions League Group games, and one of the away ones is Tottenham. The other is Manchester United. Roll on the World Cup, then roll on the new campaign. Essien's World Cup continues, although it continues without him. He gets booked after five minutes as Ghana beat the USA 2-1 to qualify behind Italy for the second stage. He will be suspended when they play Brazil. Cech, however, is coming home. The Czech Republic's disappointing World Cup finishes with a 2-0 defeat to Italy and another game with ten men.
Fri June 23rd Stamford Bridge is just so summer quiet. In Germany, though, three more Chelsea players qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup. Shevchenko scores the penalty which takes Ukraine there in an unimpressive 1-0 win over Tunisia ? they haven't really impressed at all yet. France limp into second place in their Group with a 2-0 win over Togo. Gallas and Makelele do okay. Chelsea has 13 payers in the last 16: Ballack, Crespo, Terry, Bridge, Lampard, Joe Cole, Ferreira, Carvalho, Robben, Shevchenko, Essien, Gallas and Makelele. Not to mention Huth, Maniche and Tiago, all of whom deserve our warmth.
Sat June 24th World Cup knockouts time. Ballack is excellent as Germany beat Sweden 2-0. The referee is useless and sends off a Swede unnecessarily to ruin the game for the second-half. Argentina go behind to Mexico, and Crespo equalises with a goal that FIFA credit to him even though it seems to go in off a Mexican. Who cares, it's his 32nd goal in internationals. He is substituted before 90 minutes. Argentina win in extra time. Good game. It'll be Germany v Argentina in the quarter-finals.
Sun June 25th England beat Ecuador with Terry finishing as captain after Beckham has gone off. Terry wins Man of the Match, although by his Chelsea standards it's not a top performance. But England have kept three clean sheets in four games. That's a Terry standard. Lampard plays all 90 minutes, Cole goes off late in the second-half. Ecuador are okay, but there's too much feigning injury and claiming free-kicks. Portugal take the lead against Holland with another Maniche goal ? he looks fit and very talented as he moves the ball so quickly though midfield, something we didn't really see when he was with us ? and then all hell breaks loose. To be brutal, there's diving, feigning injury, constant cheating, and refereeing which is worse than any of these things. Both sides finish with nine men. The score stays the same. Robben is out, his season is over. Carvalho continues, and Ferreira too who again has been on the bench. England will play Portugal who will be without suspended Deco and Costinha, and possibly injured Ronaldo.
Mon Jun 26th Glen Johnson is out in Holland sorting out a possible loan, but it's with Feyenoord and he thinks he's gone to negotiate with PSV. Such are the intricacies of modern life. Cech has a shoulder operation to correct a problem which he has been carrying since the home game with Barcelona over a year ago, the 4-2 one. It's been on the cards this would be needed for several months, so although everyone wanted him to have a fabulous World Cup, the Czechs' early exit is no disaster for Chelsea. Our former youth and reserve team midfielder Muzzy Izzet announces he is retiring due to a knee injury. He is 31 years old and still at Birmingham. He was unlucky not to play for our first team, particularly in 1996 when he was a substitute and Eddie Newton broke his leg but Frank Sinclair was used in midfield instead. He is still our only youth team product to have played in a World Cup semi-final. But maybe Terry or Huth can add to that next week. Good luck, Muzzy. Tonight, Ukraine face Switzerland for the right to play Italy who have gone through after more abysmal refereeing and infuriating cheating in a win over Australia. There is nothing to recall about Ukraine's game. Shevchenko hardly gets a kick. It goes to a penalty shoot-out with Switzerland still not having conceded in the competition. Shevchenko has his not-great penalty saved, but Switzerland miss all theirs and Ukraine go through 3-0. In their first World Cup they are in the last eight.
Tue Jun 27th Brazil beat Ghana 3-0, the referee senselessly sends off a Ghanaian, and suspended Essien watches from the stand. Now his season is now over. But it's been a great tournament for the Ghanaians. France beat Spain 3-1 with 'honest' Henry disgracefully diving to win the free-kick for the second, crucial goal. Gallas and Makelele are ever present for the French. So it's Brazil v France now. Chelsea have 11 quarter-finalists, and some in every match: Ballack v Crespo; Italy v Shevchenko; Terry, Bridge, Lampard and Cole v Ferreira and Carvalho; and Brazil v Gallas and Makelele. It's a World Cup with great moments but it's a soiled World Cup.
Wed June 28th One of Real Madrid's presidential candidates is claiming in the papers that if he succeeds he'll take Robben to Madrid. Johnson settles for a year on loan at Portsmouth. Reserve team captain Danny Hollands, who was on loan at Torquay from January, and who has been courted by Millwall and Brentford, settles for Bournemouth which is near his Bognor home. He'll sign at the weekend. Like Morais, he'll be a free transfer with a percentage of any sell-on fee coming to Chelsea. Good luck, Danny. Chelsea put out an official denial over the possibility of a Robben move to Spain. An early day motion in the House of Commons criticises Chelsea over the ticket prices for our pre-season game with Celtic.
Thu June 29th Chelsea hits back at the House of Commons motion with an official statement, pointing out its inaccuracies and lack of understanding. This is the English champions against the Scottish champions! Reserve midfielder Joe Tillen is announced as on his way to MK Dons. He was told towards the end of the season that he would be released in the summer, but then broke his metatarsal and so extra time was provided for him to get fit and sort himself out. In fact, he's sorted himself out quickly. Good luck, Joe. So now the released players are mostly sorted: Tillen to MK Dons, Dean Smith to Aldershot, Furman to Rangers, and also Hollands to Bournemouth and Morais to Millwall. Former reserve and youth team striker Junior Mendes, now 29 years old, moves from Huddersfield to Notts County. Last season he went on two loans, to Northampton and Grimsby.
Fri June 30th Here we go. First Premiership game of the season, Chelsea v Manchester City, will be at 4pm on Sunday for broadcasting. Main game. Our third game on the second weekend, Blackburn v Chelsea, will be at 4pm on Sunday. Main game. Because of the Man City change, our Middlesbrough midweek date, the Tuesday, is put back to the Wednesday. It's a telly, telly world, but with 13 players in the last 16 of the World Cup, can anyone complain! The World Cup is heading for the semi-finals. Germany get there on a penalty shoot-out with Argentina. Crespo has a quiet night but when he is substituted Argentina are 1-0 up. Ballack is outstanding and successfully takes Germany's second penalty. So Crespo's season is over. So, too, is Shevchenko's. Spirited Ukraine lose 3-0 to Italy, and he has little chance to shine. Next time he kicks a ball in competition, fitness permitting, it will be for Chelsea.
by Neil Barnett