It’s all about the 1st Of July

The countdown is on as Chelsea fans await the 1st of July. That’s the day the Adidas kit manufacturing deal comes to an end and Nike take over with a brand new kit. 

It is also believed that the club are waiting for that day to unveil new signings. Makes sense as you don’t want to parade a new signing in a kit he will never wear. Rumours of both the new kits and signings have been evident on social media and it kind of makes you feel like a kid at Christmas as the date grows ever closer. However, rather than opening presents we will all be clued to the internet waiting for the big launch and notification of who will be appearing in those kits come August.

This kit has been spotted onsale in America recently and also at JD Sports in the UK. It remains to be seen if it was put out earlier than it should have.

As for new signings – Rumours are rife that Monaco’s French international Tiemoue Bakayoko is due to put pen to paper and make a £35m move to Stamford Bridge. Also Brazilian Alex Sandro could make a £60m move from Juventus.

It remains to be seen, but I really can’t wait for the day to arrive.

Chelsea Transfer Policy – Will they regret Traore Sale?

Courtesy: Olympique Lyonais twitter

As youth football goes Chelsea have an extremely successful set up when it comes to winning trophies. In recent years the young blues have tasted plenty of success in the FA Youth Cup and won the youth champions league in back to back to season’s. They are the current youth league Champions as well, having completed a treble last season.

When will we see these talented youngsters given a fair crack of first team football. Things have improved a tiny bit in recent years with a number of youngsters getting a number of games, but the last star to come through remains John Terry.

Now, Bertrand Traore isn’t a youth product in the same guise as the likes of Nathaniel Cholabah or Ruben Loftus Cheek, but he did originally go into the set up when arriving as a triallist at the age of 17.

The young African then went on loan to Vittesse Arnhem before coming back and joining the first team squad.

During the 2015/16 season he was given a chance amid unrest at Stamford Bridge and showed what a star he might become.

A fabulous long range effort against Stoke and a neat header against Manchester City were the highlights and it was highly thought the Sierra Lione striker had plenty to offer.

The ever changing managerial merry-go-round at Chelsea can’t help and although you can in no way fault Antonio Conte, it is obvious the difference of opinion from manager to manager does appear to effect the chances youngsters get at the bridge.

Traore found himself out on loan again. This time at Ajax. His performances in Amsterdam did seem to divide opinion with reporting problems with the Dutch clubs management. He did hit score 13 goals though, most notably 2 in the first leg of their Europa league semi final against Lyon.

Yesterday it was announced he was on the move away again. This time a permanent move to Lyon. The fee of €10m (£8.8m) does seem a snip for a 21 year old who has shown so much potential.

The Chelsea policy of buying potential and then loaning out is without doubt a winner. The clubs net spend has been low in recent seasons and 2 league titles in 3 years shows it works. It is frustrating when young talent leaves, but football is very much a business these days.

Will Chelsea regret it? Only time will tell, but you do have to look at where he stood in the pecking order in South West London. Michy Batshuayi is ahead of him and doesn’t get a look in. In addition you have youngsters such as Abraham and further down the list there’s Ugbo. Not forgetting the constant links with top strikers to replace the departing Diego Costa.

I certainly hope Chelsea won’t regret it and wish Bertrand Traore the best of luck in his career.

UEFA U21 Championship – Poland v England

Tonight sees the conclusion of group A as both countries hope to qualify for the semi finals. 

Fate is very much in England’s hands at the Kielce Stadium as they currently top the group with 4 points after an opening game draw with Sweden was followed by a 2nd half come back to win 2-1 against Slovakia. The hosts on the other hand may have to rely on other results, but nonetheless they are still in with a chance of advancing after a late equalizer salvaged a point against Sweden.

Aidy Boothroyd has a big decision to make on whether to play Jacob Murphy or  Mason Holgate at right back after the Norwich youngster impressed against Slovakia. They are expected to otherwise remain unchanged.

The White Eagles may well keep the same line up after making changes following defeat to Slovakia.
Sweden and Slovakia kick off at the same time (7.45pm GMT) and with all 4 countries vying for a Semi Final spot…. It is set to be a night of high drama.

Confirmed Line Ups 

UEFA Twitter

On This Day…. The Hand Of God

31 years ago the unthinkable happened. The quarter finals of the World Cup in Mexico saw England take on Argentina. Argentine talisman Diego Maradona was one of, if not THE best player in the world at the time. His sublime skills and ability were a joy to watch. However, one moment of cheating will never be forgotten and for those of us in England it is what sums him up.

He scored another goal that day. A goal that was one of the best solo goals you’ll ever likely to see. But it’s the ‘HAND OF GOD’ that will always define him for me and many other Englishmen. He coined the phrase himself by claiming ‘it was a little with the head and a little with the hand of God’ He also desperately wanted his team mates to celebrate with him for fear of the goal being disallowed. 

The referee and linesman have gone on record as saying they were waiting for each other to respond. 

Argentina went on to lift the trophy after beating Belgium in the semi finals, before the crowning glory with victory in the final against West Germany. 

The infamous moment is now well and truly in the past, but a huge moment that will never be forgotten.

 
https://youtu.be/-ccNkksrfls

LINE UPS CONFIRMED Sweden v England U21 European Championships 


At 5pm at the Kielce City Stadion in Poland. It’s the opening game of the tournament. The group A clash sees Sweden holders take on a hopeful England. It’s set up to be a close encounter. 

Confirmed Line ups…

Sweden U21

  • 12Cajtoft
  • 2Wahlqvist
  • 3Une Larsson
  • 14Dagerstal
  • 5Lundqvist
  • 16Hallberg
  • 6Tibbling
  • 7Fransson
  • 8Olsson
  • 11Engvall
  • 18Cibicki

Substitutes

  • 1Erlandsson
  • 4Nilsson
  • 9Tankovic
  • 10Strandberg
  • 13Ssewankambo
  • 15Brorsson
  • 17Mrabti
  • 19Eliasson
  • 20Binaku
  • 22Affane
  • 23Dahlberg

England U21

  • 1Pickford
  • 2Holgate
  • 23Mawson
  • 5Chambers
  • 3Chilwell
  • 8Ward-Prowse
  • 4Chalobah
  • 10Baker
  • 11Redmond
  • 9Abraham
  • 14Ja Murphy

Substitutes

  • 6Stephens
  • 7Gray
  • 12Targett
  • 13Gunn
  • 15Swift
  • 16Holding
  • 17Hause
  • 18Iorfa
  • 19Hughes
  • 20Grealish
  • 21Mitchell
  • 22Woodrow

Referee:
Tobias Stieler

BBC SPORT 

2017 Under 21 UEFA  Championship 

Today sees the start of the under 21 European Championship. Hosted by Poland there are 12 teams in the competition that have been split into 3 groups of 4 teams. The top team and the best 2nd placed team will qualify for the Semi finals. The final takes place at the end of the month on Saturday the 30th in Krakow.

Group Stage Fixtures

Group A 

16/6: Sweden v England 5pm (GMT) Poland v Slovakia 7.45pm (GMT)

19/6: Slovakia v England 5pm, Poland v Sweden 7.45pm

22/6: Sweden v Slovakia 7.45pm, Poland v England 7.45pm

Group B

17/6:  Portugal v Serbia 5pm, Spain v Macedonia 7.45pm

20/6: Serbia v Macedonia 5pm, Spain v Portugal 7.45pm

23/6: Macedonia v Portugal 7.45pm, Serbia V Spain 7.45pm

Group C

18/6: Germany c Czech Rep 5pm, Denmark v Italy 7.45pm

21/6: Czech Rep v Italy 5pm, Denmark v Germany 7.45pm

24/6: Italy v Germany 7.45pm, Denmark v Czech Rep 7.45pm

The Semi finals will be played 27th of June with the final on 30th of June.

21 Years Ago Today – Gazza Stole The Show


Yes, it was 21 years today that England and Scotland clashed at Wembley in a group game during Euro 96. I honestly can’t believe it was that long ago. I’m sure like me you all now feel a tiny bit older knowing that.
England had drawn their opening game 1-1 with Switzerland, and Scotland had the same fate with a 0-0 draw against Holland. The Dutch had then beaten the Swiss 2-0 and so it was time for these two rivals to face off.

See Wikipedia for line up’s