Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard apparently “remains keen” on recruiting goalkeeper coach Shay Given from Derby County, with whom he worked last season alongside Jody Morris and Chris Jones. As we know, former Chelsea coaches Morris and Jones followed Lampard from Derby back to Chelsea, but Given, the former long-time Newcastle United goalkeeper, stayed behind and joined new Derby head coach Phillip Cocu’s staff.
The Mail frame this story with an “amid concerns over Kepa Arrizabalaga’s form”, but that line stinks of Twitter-level attention-seeking. Considering that Lampard already wanted Given to join in the summer, it’s entirely unsurprising that he’d continue to want the last part of his main coaching quadrumvirate to join at the next available opportunity (probably next summer?), especially if he does have the extra “internal bargaining power” after his good start at Chelsea, as the Mail proclaim.
That said, such moves don’t happen in a vacuum. Chelsea do have a goalkeeping coach, and it’s none other than Hilário, who stepped into that role at the start of the season after several years as assistant to the likes Christophe Lollichon, Gianluca Spinelli, and Massimo Nenci. (Incidentally, Lollichon is still around, coaching the U23s and reserves/loanees.) But Chelsea did not name an assistant officially to Hilário, so it’s entirely conceivable that he’s been short-staffed all this time.
Or perhaps Lampard is in fact displeased with some aspect of the work. Or maybe he just thinks Given can help out in some way. There are many ways this story could be spun that’s not detrimental to either Kepa or Hilário. But that wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. At the end of the day, we have no visibility into this or ability to even judge the work done on the training ground, so we’re left with speculation.
But, the more the merrier, so come on down, Shay “I’d rather eat Sunday roast than be impressed by a goal Chelsea conceded” Given!