A day rarely goes by at the moment where the press or media don’t publish something that could be described as derogatory towards Chelsea and the new season.
The summer transfer window began with very little positive movement from the blues and we were instead fed a daily dose of speculation. Being linked with nearly every top supposedly available player on the planet certainly opens up your eyes to an exciting season ahead. However, frustration was felt as players, particularly promising youngsters were shipped out on loan or the case of Nathan Ake and Nathaniel Chalobah… Sold!
Willy Caballero was signed on a free but simply as a replacement for the departing Asmir Begovic who was sold to Bournemouth.
We also of course had the realisation that the legend that is John Terry departing to pastures new.
Eventually the window started to bear fruit as Antonio Rudiger and the well drawn out move for Tiemoue Bakayoko were completed.
The summer then took on a few twists and turns as the supposed top target Romelu Lukaku snubbed us for Manchester United. But was he really a top target?
Of course shortly after we signed Alvaro Morata who had been hugely linked with a move to Old Trafford. Social media was awash with banter from both sides claiming to have signed the other clubs top target.
Since then things have slowed down somewhat and fans have become increasingly frustrated and many feel our rivals have stolen a march on us. Links to Mendy and Walker saw the pair form part of Manchester City’s huge fullback overhaul.
Comparisons have been drawn with the summer of 2015. A worrying thought, but are things really that bad? In a nutshell… No! That summer saw frustration as what were seen as 2nd rate signings were being made. Papy Djilobodj was hardly a signing to whet the appetite of any Chelsea fan.
The clubs pre-season campaign has hardly been a success. However it is what it says on the tin…. PRE-SEASON! You win nothing meaningful this time of year and it’s all about fitness and preparation.
Transfer speculation has continued as big names such as Alex Sandro are continually linked but to no avail. Frustration from fans continues, but we still have a few weeks of the transfer window to go you know.
So why panic? Well I can understand as the window draws to a close it is worrying to see how thin the squad looks in terms of quality of numbers. It must be remembered that we currently have a few injuries which makes it look worse, but does further expose the fact the squad needs reinforcements.
What some fans need to realise is when improving the squad you can’t always sign the world’s best and actually don’t require a squad consisting of 25 top players who all expect to start every week. It could in fact have an adverse effect due to that very reason.
Danny Drinkwater is one name being linked heavily right now as is Serge Aurier. Many fans are not happy particularly with the prospect of the former becoming a blue. Short memories springs to mind as the midfielder formed a great partnership with N’Golo Kante as Leicester City clinched the most unlikely of titles in 2016. He’s also a perfect fit for the home grown quota. Aurier is also a talent and comes at a hugely lower fee than Alex Sandro.
For now the press and media will continue to press the panic button as experts and former players working in the media speculate about Antonio Conte’s future.
He signed a new contract only few weeks ago and we still have plenty of time to improve the squad.
I personally will not pass any judgement until the window closes. Simply let Antonio work his magic as he did last season, sit back and enjoy the fabulous dramatic life of being a Chelsea fan.
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.
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.
On This Day 48 years ago Newcastle United beat Ujpesti Dozsa 3-2 in Hungary to clinch European glory. The toon lifted the Inter Cities Fairs Cup 6-2 on aggregate after a 3-0 victory a week earlier in the first leg at St James Park.
Sky Sports News HQ understands United will pay the Portuguese club £30.7m to sign the Sweden international. Lindelof is yet to agree personal terms, with his proposed move to Old Trafford also subject to a medical and international clearance.
West Ham are interested in Chelsea striker Bertrand Traore – The Sun
Manchester United to bid £70m for Belotti – Tuttosport
MANCHESTER UNITED are closing in on a £70million deal for Torino striker Andrea Belotti. – The Sun
Tottenham interested in Liverpool defender Sakho – The Sun
Another date in years past highlighting football memories. I must note that being at the end of May…. A lot of playoff games feature and there have been more that have taken place on this date. The games covered are those that were the most entertaining/dramatic.
1969 – Inter Cities Fairs Cup Final 1st leg
Newcastle United built up a 1st leg cushion winning 3-0 at St James Park against Ujpesti Dozsa. All the goals were in the 2nd half with Moncur netting twice and Scott adding a 3rd. The Magpies went on to win the away leg 3-2 and therefore clinch their one and only European trophy.
1993 – Scottish Cup Final
Murray and Hateley scored Rangers goals as they clinched the Scottish Cup for a 26th time. Richardson replied late on for Aberdeen.
2000 – First Division Playoff Final
Ipswich Town gained promotion back to the premier league after an eventful afternoon at Wembley. Barnsley had taken the lead after an unlucky own goal by Richard Wright. However Mowbray equalized and the teams went in level at the break. The 2nd half started with the blues on top and goals from Naylor and Stewart put them a step closer to the top flight. However, a Hignett penalty for the tykes with 12 minutes remaining made it a nervous finale. But Ipswich weren’t to be denied and as Reuser sealed premier league football for the tractor boys in the 90th minute.
2005 – League One Playoff Final
Favourites Sheffield Wednesday took the lead on the stroke of half time as they looked to seal a return to the Championship. Drama insued as the monkey hangers equalized through Williams early after the break and then with 19 minutes remaining took the lead thanks to a goal from Daly. With time ticking by MacLean leveled from the spot for Wednesday and the game was headed for extra time. The Yorkshire club took the lead in the 94th minute through Whelan and Talbot added a last gasp 4th to seal promotion for Wednesday after a 4-2 victory.
2011 – League One Playoff Final
Peterborough United were the victors at Old Trafford after a 3-0 victory over Huddersfield Town. All the goals came within the final 12 minutes from Rowe, Mackail-Smith and McCann as the Posh made an immediate return to the Championship.
Please share your memories in the comments below. Maybe you were at one of these games?