Chelsea boss Frank Lampard does not believe his decision to bench goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga will put him at loggerheads with the club’s board as they look to secure Champions League qualification.
Lampard defended Arrizabalaga, who cost a world record 80 million euros, earlier this season when the Spaniard was guilty of making critical errors but has benched him in recent matches in favour of 38-year-old Willy Caballero.
Chelsea have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last four league matches and their spot in the top four is now under threat, with Saturday’s opponents Tottenham Hotspur a point behind ahead of the match at Stamford Bridge.
“I’m absolutely together with all the club and the board, because we all want the best and I’m paid to make decisions,” Lampard told reporters on Friday. “So with form I have to consider the goalkeeper position."
“Recently it’s just changed, but that’s nothing final. All Kepa needs to do is train and show a great attitude, as I demand from all the players. Things can obviously change but all I want is the best for the team.”
Lampard will be up against former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who said Spurs are in crisis with their top scorers Harry Kane and Son Heung-min both sidelined with long term injuries.
However, Lampard said Mourinho was exaggerating and that the north London club had the players to replace them.
“He (Mourinho) has got attacking players, let’s get it right,” Lampard said. “Dele Alli was up there during his best season at Spurs. Lucas Moura scored a hat-trick in a Champions League semi-final. Kane and Son are a miss, but they are in good form. They have players who can fill in. They have players with quality and they are a threat. It’s a London derby.”
Lampard confirmed that midfielder N’Golo Kante and winger Christian Pulisic would not be available due to injury.
Kante is expected to be sidelined for three weeks with an adductor injury which will see him miss the Champions League last-16 clash against Bayern Munich.
Striker Tammy Abraham is in contention after training the past two days while defender Andreas Christensen, who broke his nose against Manchester United earlier this week, could play with a mask.
Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.
Updated Date: Feb 21, 2020 22:38:15 IST