Well, just managed to catch up with this weeks events after being in deepest darkest Wales for the week.
Absolutely thrilled with all the results but especially the two cup wins for Nantes and Fluminense. Second Europa League title for the French side, having lost two finals since the last triumph the fans didn't think it was ever going to come! Seems like it was a very tight affair in which we managed to take our chances against a very good side filled with the best players in the world. To win that on top of last weeks title win is a sensational end to a very good season.
Fluminense confirm the title in the same week they secure the Copa Libertadores, does it get much better than that? My on off battle with Santos continues with another tense final that went right to the wire once again, following last seasons 6-5 defeat. To get the title back from such a top side is a magnificent achievement too, one that isn't taken for granted. The battle is sure to continue next season but there seems to be another side who will challenge us both for sure.
Charlton continue to do all they can to put pressure on Watfords relentless charge to the title. Will there be a slip? Unlikely but all we can do is win our games and hope for the best. That's all I can ask. Was also a sad week for Charlton fans this week too as the longest serving player at the club left to return to his homeland. Lucas Leiva has been an incredible servant for Charlton and it is disappointing for him to not be there if we ever manage to win a trophy. Lack of first team football and a desire to return home meant Lucas was more than happy to go and finish his career in Fluminense. It has already been agreed that he will return at some point in the close season for his testimonial having been at the club for 10 seasons (228 weeks). He goes back to the team that got promoted from League 2 and has been an integral part of the building of this side. His leadership and experience will be greatly missed in the changing room.
All clubs need to continue to develop though and as a lot of others, thoughts have already turned to reinforcing and improving the squads ready for the next challenges in season 30. Following on from the capture of Bernardo Silva last week, I am delighted to welcome the following players to these clubs, showing that feeder parent system is working well and as intended I hope:
Charlton - Ruben Neves
Nantes - Eder Militao, Gerson Santos, Arthur
Fluminense - Lucas Leiva, Renato Augusto, Malcom, Everton
Thanks Paul for another great week and congratulations to all the winners. Also pleased to see Brighton win a top trophy and hopefully be successful in the playoffs, will always have a soft spot for them, Tom Grealish doing a fantastic job there.