Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Chelsea hierarchy is unhappy with Lampard’s recent decision.


Frank Lampard has been well received by both Chelsea fans and players but it seems that the board might not be too pleased with a few decisions taken by the Englishman.

When Kepa Arrizabalaga joined Chelsea, he did turn a few eyebrows. After a season and a half in the Premier League, the Bilbao lad is doing the same now for the wrong reasons. And he might have stirred the pot containing a problem which threatens to disrupt the Lampard-Chelsea love story.

Board worried about Kepa’s value dropping

According to reports, the Chelsea board are worried about how the Lampard-Kepa dynamic. The former England international decided to axe the ‘Most expensive Goalkeeper’ when his side face Leicester. Kepa has been under the pump this season for his below-average performances. This decision by Lampard has apparently concerned a few club officials.

Kepa Arrizabalaga’s performances in recent games have certainly pushed Lampard into making a decision which, apparently, hasn’t sat well with the Board.
Image: The SportsRush

The men in charge at Stamford Bridge are concerned that the Spaniard might not be in Lampard’s plans for the next season. The Blues had to part with £72m to bring Kepa from Athletic Club Bilbao. And the more Lampard benches him, the more his value drops. This means that the London based club might have to take a massive financial blow if they plan to ship the 25-year-old out.

Lampard’s take on the Kepa situation

“You make decisions every week and every day in this job. No decision is easy,” Lampard said.“When it comes to a goalkeeper you probably do give it a little bit more thought and a bit more time, especially if someone seems to be the designated number one.”

Frank Lampard and Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Image: Evening Standard

“That can’t be the end of the story. We have to be competitive. “Willy trains well, he acts well and he played well against Hull last week. I decided to stick with him.”

Author’s Take

Honestly, blaming Kepa for the situation he is in is a bit unwarranted. The Spaniard was always considered as a ‘league average’ goalkeeper during his time at Bilbao.

During the 2017-18 La Liga season, Kepa faced 126 shots and conceded 37 goals. The Expected Goals (xG) metric suggests that only 31.35 should have found the back of the net. Some might argue that he was brought in to build the play up from the back for Sarri. The graph below clearly shows how involved in buildup Kepa has been in comparison to Liverpool’s Alisson.

Source: Understat

Advanced metric, as per Statsbomb, also reveal how his pass completion drops by 18.7% points when under pressure while the league average stands at 10.5% points.

Considering everything, it is not Kepa who is underperforming. It is Chelsea who are paying the price for panicking and throwing obscene money hoping for a solution.


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