Penalty petulance from some of Chelsea’s players suggests a degree of resentment towards golden boy tag for Cole Palmer

If you were going into an FA Cup semi-final against seemingly omnipotent Manchester City, then a thumping 6-0 win days before would, under normal conditions, be ideal preparation.

But this is Chelsea, and the rules just don’t seem to apply to them.

Having cruised to a 4-0 lead over Everton, granted lowly opposition on Monday night, the Blues, when faced with a penalty to make it 5-0 opted to show what is bubbling underneath the surface – jealousy, immaturity and a bit more jealousy.

The debacle over who should take the spot kick after Nicolas Jackson was upended highlighted some deep-rooted issues that must also manifest themselves on the Cobham training pitches on a daily basis – this was not some spontaneous outburst.

The unedifying spectacle of Noni Madueke and Jackson both wanting to take the spot-kick, while nominated penalty-taker Cole Palmer, inset, looked on before being given the ball by skipper Connor Gallagher, was bad enough.

But when Gallagher snatched the ball off Madueke to give it to Palmer, that triggered something else, suggesting not all is well in the changing room. This was almost a physical attack. Add some pushing and shoving into the mix and you have a recipe for one messy pie.

They all knew who is the club’s penalty taker after Raheem Sterling was stripped of the job earlier in the season by head coach Mauricio Pochettino. It is Palmer – and he’s done a perfect job since.

These are young players, but they are also elite athletes who haven’t just swapped their school shorts for football ones.

There is a growing feeling among Chelsea watchers that some of the players are getting a bit miffed that Palmer has become the golden boy of Stamford Bridge this season.

With just a couple of appearances for Manchester City – no goals in 19 outings, before a £44million move to the Bridge in September, Palmer was expected to be one of the background players who would need to work hard to become a regular. The limelight was expected to shine on Jackson and Madueke. It hasn’t worked out that way.

Injuries and excellent performances has given Palmer the opportunity to shine in a team of talented individuals but many of whom were woefully inconsistent in their performances.

He has shown consistency in a side that, as a team, lacks it in spades.

As a consequence, Palmer has hit the top of the Premier League goal-scoring charts, he has made his full England debut and he has exceeded all of the club’s expectations. Now he is facing the backlash from some team-mates.

How will he and the team perform tomorrow at Wembley? This is Chelsea, in truth no one knows anymore.

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