From world’s most expensive goalkeeper to backing up the Premier League’s oldest player, Kepa Arrizabalaga’s downfall has been swift and shockingly (or at least seemingly) quite decisive. Father Time Caballero has started Chelsea’s last six in a row in all competitions. The 38-year-old hasn’t done that in almost six years, since his final season at Málaga. And while he’s had his moments, he certainly hasn’t been prime Čech either.
With rumors of Kepa’s time at Chelsea practically over, the biggest question these days seem to be how Chelsea can mitigate our (financial) loss on the 25-year-old, even if that is still quite young especially for a goalkeeper. (At 25, Caballero was toiling in the Spanish second division with Elche, for example.)
But Lampard, who claims to have the full backing of the Chelsea Board over this whole situation, isn’t willing to admit anything that drastic. In fact, he seems to be hinting that what happens next is entirely up to Kepa.
“Yep, [Kepa’s in the frame for tonight]. He’s been professional as expected, he’s trained well, kept his head down, supported the team, and the group. I say the same every week, I get asked this every week, he’s been good.”
“Every player is in control of their destiny in how they train and how they play.
“This is Chelsea and we’re trying to close the gap to the top, so there can be no one who is relaxed or loose, we have to push every day. And try to win the game in front of us, train well on the day in front of you. Of course we have to look at the group in the summer. But there are no decisions beyond the game tomorrow night as far as I’m concerned.”
-Frank Lampard; source: Football.London
You mean Kepa can literally ... save ... his own Chelsea career? Or not, as it were? I mean the jokes practically write themselves.
Of course, that’s Lampard’s rote response to practically all personnel questions: train hard, and you’ll play. And first part of this answer is a bit incongruous with the second part, in this instance — Kepa’s “trained well” and can control his destiny by training well, so he’s not playing because... ???
That said, perhaps Kepa, if he plays (surely he has to play?), will pull off a masterclass tonight against the league-leaders in the FA Cup, and then we’ll see how empty or not Lampard’s words in this case may be.