Tammy Abraham may be only 21, but he has not shied away from the Chelsea spotlight. He took the “cursed” No.9 shirt, he’s not ran away from the ball, and he stepped up to take the fifth penalty against Liverpool in the Super Cup. These are all situations with tremendous pressure and tremendous scope for failure.
But that’s just who he is. He’s a young man who puts pressure on himself to perform, and so far in his career, be that at youth or senior level, has, more often than not, delivered in spectacular style and quantity. We just need to have a little faith in him to do so for the Chelsea first-team as well — just like a certain Frank Lampard does.
“I think Tammy is always desperate to score. That’s what I love about him. He is hungry and he wants to score in training, five-a-side and shooting practice.
“He needs to be relaxed [about the first goal]. What he does do is that he gets in positions to score regularly. That’s what you want to see and that again is an indication of his character. He is not hiding, he gets in there. I think when that goal comes, as it did at Aston Villa and when he was on loan at Bristol City, I think they will come regularly.
“He shouldn’t put too much pressure on himself. He is a young striker with his qualities and attributes. I think he is going to be a really good striker for this club. Now it is his time to show that. There is not pressure. I was just working with him and doing extra shooting with him today. We will do it everyday if he wants and it will take as long as it takes. I believe if you do that work and you have his qualities, then you come good.”
Abraham started the first game of the season and was denied by the goalpost, and was caught on his heels with a tap-in just waiting to be scored. He came on as a sub on Wednesday and won the penalty for the equalizer in extra-time, but missed a fairly easy chance to score and then had his penalty in the shootout saved. These are all fine margins that are affecting the overall narrative, but if he keeps doing what has gotten him this far, and keeps learning new things from the coaching staff, he will undoubtedly do just fine.
He does however need our support, especially in the face of the vile racist abuse he’s been subjected to since Wednesday. Lampard, like many others, is calling on something to be done by those with the power to do so (i.e. Twitter and the other social media platforms).
“I am particularly disgusted by a so-called Chelsea fan. I think to see the different spectrums of the evening: Tammy asked me to take the fifth penalty as he wanted to take it and wanted to stand up and be brave on a night when the whole world is watching. And then at the same time within a moment or hours after someone sitting behind a keyboard or a phone has said the most disgusting things possible you can say.
“I don’t know on these platforms how it’s allowed and it’s so easy to be done. Something needs to be done and people changing their mindsets completely, that might not be easy with everybody. I’m so angry for Tammy and so angry for us as a club as that’s not what we’re about. The club does a lot of work against discrimination at all levels and it’s a setback when these things happen.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
Chelsea supporters have floated the idea in the last couple days for a 9th-minute Tammy song during Sunday’s game.
And that’s great and all, but I’d say we shouldn’t need a mass event to show our support for the young man. So sing in the 9th, the 19th, the 99th, whenever and wherever, all the time and everywhere.