Frank Lampard has aimed a thinly-veiled dig in the direction of under-fire goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga when asked about the concerning number of goals conceded by Chelsea this season.
Kepa has once again come under fierce criticism following another howler during the west London side’s 3-3 draw with Southampton this weekend, his hesitancy leading to a costly mistake and handing the visitors an equaliser at Stamford Bridge.
The Spaniard has struggled badly for form and was only recalled to the side following an injury to summer signing Edouard Mendy, his latest mistake meaning he has now made three errors directly leading to goals in just three appearances so far this season.
Lampard now faces a decision on whether to stick by the world’s most expensive goalkeeper or drop Kepa once more in favour of veteran deputy Willy Caballero, as Chelsea begin their Champions League campaign with a home clash against Sevilla tomorrow.
Chelsea’s defensive issues have once again been questioned after conceding nine goals in their first five league fixtures and Lampard admits he is well aware of the statistics, but pointed to the relatively low number of shots conceded as evidence he knows where his side must improve.
“I keep talking about the need for work and how things can take time. We’re playing with new players and it’s understandable to have moments where I talk about game management,” Lampard told a pre-match press conference.
“It has to be worked on with time. It’s a lesson to be learnt in time.
“I’m aware of the stats and the other stat is we’ve conceded the second least shots. It helps to narrow down the issue. It’s something we’re aware with recruitment and on the pitch with the players to make sure we set up well.
“We want to concede less, as do all teams at the moment.”
Chelsea host Sevilla tomorrow with both sides confident of progressing from a group containing debutants in Krasnodar and Rennes, the Spanish visitors possessing pedigree in continental competition after winning a record-extending sixth Europa League title last season.
Thiago Silva is expected to return for Chelsea after being rested for the weekend draw with Southampton, whilst Reece James could start after only being utilised as a late substitute at Stamford Bridge.