Chelsea’s penchant for defensive shambles and underplaying injuries continued at breakneck pace on Saturday, gifting two calamitous goals to Southampton and confirming that Mendy’s hopeful prognosis of a short-term injury was a bit too optimistic.
Speaking after the match, a frustrated and disappointed head coach relayed the bad news about our good (or at least we think and hope) goalkeeper’s hamstring problem. It’s kept him out for almost two weeks, and is likely to keep him out for at least one more, but probably even more than that.
“Mendy is at the minute injured and probably will be fit in the next week or two weeks and then that will be the decision for me to make about who plays.”
Chelsea play twice more in the next seven days, at home to Sevilla in the Champions League and away at Manchester United in the league next weekend. Not having Mendy for one or both of those will likely mean more playing time for Kepa, who had a big hand (or lack of hand, as it were) in the comical second goal that we conceded, but actually did make a couple decent saves.
Lampard’s hoping that by concentrating on that positive, we can avoid further calamities, which seems unlikely but hey, hope dies last.
“I was talking about Kepa before and he makes a couple of really good saves in the match. But of course peoples’ eyes will be drawn to the second goal and I understand that because it wasn’t just Kepa who was involved in that goal. That is the unfortunate world of a goalkeeper.”
“We know that all eyes are on him; [as] a goalkeeper, you know all eyes are on you. Kepa has to deal with that and also feel the support of me and the team-mates. It is unfortunate because he did make a couple of good saves today. When you are a goalkeeper, people will judge you on other moments as well. He has to keep working and there’s only one way of getting through those periods and it is to work and to feel support around him.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
That Kepa was called into action repeatedly only underlines the fragility of Chelsea’s defense, which gave up plenty of chances even if it took a couple absolute gifts for Southampton to begin scoring. But it’s a symbiotic relationship, and one that seems to be lacking confidence on both sides.
So, good luck to us, I guess.