Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham backing Callum Hudson-Odoi to continue fine form for Blues | Football | Sport
Right now for Tammy Abraham, playing for Chelsea is a bit like having a kickaround with his mates.
In the Chelsea side which edged a tight, tough game against Newcastle on Saturday and saw them move into the top four of the Premier League for the first time this season alongside Abraham, were fellow academy graduates Callum Hudson-Odoi, Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori and Reece James.
On the bench was another in Marc Geuhi. All of them have played together since they were, in two cases, only six years old – and they know each other’s games inside out.
Now, given their chance by manager Frank Lampard, they are taking that unity into the Chelsea first team – and, after five wins in a row, it is paying off.
Mind you, it was one of the old heads, in full-back Marcos Alonso, who fired in the goal that won this game – but it was from a Hudson-Odoi assist.
Abraham, who came closest to adding to his eight goals already this season but for once had a blank day, saw his friend Hudson-Odoi continue his comeback from his ruptured Achilles tendon injury with his third start of the season and a man of the match performance and said: “When I play with Callum, I just enjoy watching him.
“I just stand still sometimes. It’s nice to have him back. He’s still getting that match fitness back and he’s looking sharp. Give him a couple of games to settle in and he’ll be flying again.
“I don’t think it has hit us all really. It’s dream for us. We have all dreamed as kids about playing for the Chelsea first team, and we are making it happen.
“Not only that, we are also getting results. It is a bit like playing with your mates.”
Abraham though is not afraid to learn from the old heads – especially 33-year-old France World Cup-winning striker Olivier Giroud, who he is currently keeping out of the team.
He added: “I look at Ollie like an older brother. I’m always learning from him on the training pitch. I’ve grown up watching him.
“He’s always supporting me. When someone’s doing well and scoring goals you have to support them and that’s what he is doing for me.
“I like to watch him. Ollie is obviously not the fastest striker in the world, but his one touch play, hold up play, his one touch finishing, are unbelievable. You have to take those little things you see in training and add them to your game.”
This was another learning experience for Lampard’s young side – ahead of one more in the Champions League at Ajax on Wednesday – as Newcastle sat deep, defended stoutly, and tried to strike on the break.
Chances were few and far between, as Willian nodded wide and Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dubravka saved from Mount – but Joelinton could have made Chelsea pay as he headed wide. Lampard though changed his system after half time, pushing Mount further forward – and his side took charge.
Abraham hit the bar with a header and then missed narrowly – and then Dubravka brilliantly denied substitute Christian Pulisic.
The breakthrough finally came when Hudson Odoi set up Alonso, who drilled his shot low into the corner. Abraham would have had another but for a brilliant clearance by DeAndre Yedlin. But Newcastle, apart from Ciaran Clark’s late header, never looked like saving it.