By Tim Harrison
Back in the day, in a parallel universe, you’d get to Chelsea games an hour and a half before kick-off, just to get in. If it was Man U, Liverpool or Spurs, you’d allow two hours.
You’d push through a rusty turnstile, watched by a miserable old man with cap and fag, buy a styrofoam cup of Bovril from a hut that looked like a DIY sentry box, then position yourself in the Shed, crushed and having to watch the match sideways.
It was noisy, edgy and chatty. Expect similar at the Shed end this weekend.
Sheffield United, with the loudest fans in the Premier League, will doubtless mock the muted cheers, chants and shouts from a home crowd which prefers an occasional Oooh and Ahhh to full-throated, raucous support.
But there was noise aplenty at Carrow Road last weekend as Frankie Lampard gained his first win, lifting an understandable early-season nervousness.
It heralded the coming of age of Tammy Abraham who, if he beefs himself up a bit and finds his confidence, could be a mobile and potent striking force for Chelsea for years to come.
Lampard has a wise old head on those slightly stooped shoulders. He and deputy Jody Morris know when to praise, when to encourage and when to scold their young stars. Another win would bring a smile to the face of any miserable old bloke in a cap.
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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