By Tim Harrison
Anyone who watches Chelsea Women play at Kingsmeadow knows what to expect, but newcomers are in for an ear-piercing shock.
With the men on international break, women’s football hits the big time at Stamford Bridge, where 40,000 fans will generate the kind of high-pitched screeches usually confined to bat populations.
It’s Chelsea v Spurs on Sunday lunchtime, on the opening weekend of the Women’s Super League, where the average age of supporters is about 12 and the game has an altogether more family-friendly feel.
Swearing is frowned on, racism doesn’t exist, and the chanting is clean. It’s a parallel universe where the spite, aggression and venom that still clings to parts of the men’s game have been erased.
But what about the football? Newly promoted Tottenham are the underdogs, but both sides will display high-quality passing and striking.
That was lacking in the second half of Chelsea men’s 2-2 draw with Sheffield United - a game in which the Blues again faded towards the end, allowing the Blades to snatch a point.
All the goals were at the Shed End in an ultimately frustrating afternoon for Frank Lampard, who hasn’t had the rub of the green in his embryonic Premier League managerial career.
Tammy Abraham netted another brace. But weaknesses abound, and opponents can easily exploit them. That must be addressed before hostilities resume at Molineux on the 14th.
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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