Cream-crackered

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But is he a Kepa? Chelsea's goalie is here for the long term. PICTURE: GETTY IMAGES

Tim Harrison
Tim Harrison

By Tim Harrison

If they awarded points for first-half nippiness, Chelsea would have had all three from last weekend’s ultimately frustrating draw with Leicester.

The Blues’ pace is impressive, especially with those little quickfire triangle passes they’ve been working on, but after the previous week’s draining extra time in Istanbul, it’s no wonder they look cream-crackered.

New gaffer Frank Lampard doesn’t want to blame tired legs, but a clear week would have been nice before facing former Stamford Bridge staffer Brendan Rodgers and his fresher players.

“We used a lot of energy this week,” was N’Golo Kante’s verdict on the fade towards the end of the match, with the Foxes coming close to nicking all three points.

Now Chelsea travel to Norwich, in search of Lamps’ first win, with club and supporters still fully behind him, and sharing his admiration of young Mason Mount.

The only murmurings in the crowd are about the reliability of the world’s most expensive goalie. A year into his seven-year contract, few fans would put hand on heart and say Kepa’s more dependable than, say, David de Gea, Alisson, Ederson or even Kasper Schmeichel.

If the defenders can’t relax, knowing the man behind them is in full command, they can’t be at their best.

Though a gifted shot-stopper, his decision making can be vexing and wayward. The Canaries will be aiming to exploit that. 

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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