Kepa Arrizabalaga of Chelsea

Hurrah for mutiny

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Chelsea goalie Kepa defies the fourth official’s illuminated board. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

The west London derby looms, and attention switches to Craven Cottage after a seismic fortnight for the earthquake-prone Blues.

Sometimes I drift off to sleep, dreaming of a calm, stable club where harmony reigns and results come and go in a gentle haze as rival fans link arms and sing Kumbaya along Fulham Road.

But where would be the fun in that? No, far better to support a club of absent oligarchs, goalkeeping mutinies, ever-changing managers and inbred paranoia.

It’s Fulham v the Blues on Sunday; an encounter with a century of neighbourly rivalry, ever since a 2-0 win for Chelsea at the Bridge was answered by a 1-0 victory to the Whites at the Cottage in the 1910-11 season.

It will be interesting to see who’s between the sticks for the boys in blue. Perhaps they’ll bring back 39-year-old Robert Green. Whoever gets to wear the jersey ought to be told that when your number is up, it’s up.

Kepa’s defiance of the fourth official’s illuminated board in the League Cup final – an unexpectedly close encounter in the end – remains baffling.

The club’s official line, that it was just one of those occasional misunderstandings, is about as convincing as claiming things are going smoothly in Brexit discussions.

If the Premier League really wants to safeguard managers’ well-being and sanity, it should relax the smoking bans at Stamford Bridge and Wembley immediately.

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.

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