By Tim Harrison
Chelsea like to boast of being a family of teams with shared values. But on current form, the men and women are on different trajectories.
The men are stuttering. After dominating proceedings at St James’ Park, they lost to an injury-time goal from Newcastle and returned to London empty-handed.
The women also headed to the frozen north (well, Borehamwood) where they comprehensively mugged Arsenal; the 4-1 scoreline barely beginning to tell the tale of how good they were, in all departments.
The Blues’ men and women have parallels. Both have outgrown their stadiums (Stamford Bridge, at 42,000, looks inadequate alongside Arsenal, Spurs and West Ham), while Kingsmeadow, the women’s home, is nearly full to bursting.
Both can boast young rising superstars, and both are building to a brighter future. But it’s Chelsea Women, under Emma Hayes, who have the edge and are making real strides.
Frank Lampard knows he cannot totally rely on Tammy Abraham for goals, and will have to beef up his squad before the transfer window closes.
The frustration of Newcastle, written all over the manager’s face at the final whistle, was almost unbearable. Creating chances is half the task. Converting is every bit as vital.
Chelsea Women, meanwhile, march on. Arsenal hadn’t tasted home defeat for a year (their last conquerors were Chelsea), and Emma Hayes’ army is advancing. Sam Kerr scored her first goal for the club, and all looks rosy.
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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