THERE was one moment during Chelsea’s match against Southampton last Saturday that genuinely made me feel this could be the final time that Kepa Arrizabalaga plays for the Blues.
The Spanish international came out of his goal and should have won a tackle that he was 95 per cent in favour of winning, but inexplicably, he missed the ball entirely and Southampton scored.
This I believe was the final straw for Frank Lampard, and his remaining 10 per cent trust that he had in Kepa instantly dissolved to zero.
Every player makes errors, but Kepa’s mistakes have been far too regular, and Lampard has decided to make a drastic change.
This week, shock horror, 38-year old retired goalkeeper turned technical director, Petr Cech, was called out of retirement by Chelsea and added to their 25-man squad for the season.
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Chelsea have claimed that the extraordinary decision was made due to the 'unprecedented conditions', and Cech was added as 'emergency goalkeeper cover’.
Whilst it was a wise move due to the possibility of one, two, or all three of their current goalkeepers getting the virus and being out of action, I’m not convinced this is the real reason.
I mean, we have one of the best academies in the world, surely we can use a keeper from there as a fourth-choice emergency?
No, I believe the reason is much deeper than that.
Lampard, and the whole Chelsea fan base, were desperate to get Edouard Mendy back playing in goal against Sevilla this week, despite the initial expectation that he would miss the game through injury.
This is due to Lampard, 42, running out of patience and trust with Kepa after giving him chance after chance for the last 16 months.
Cech has been re-introduced because Lampard is worried about his other options.
For me, bringing Cech back in is more about shoring up his backup choices, rather than bringing him in as an emergency fourth choice goalkeeper.
I genuinely believe he is now our second-best goalkeeper.
He is one year younger than Caballero, and he has still been training hard and keeping himself fit. Not only that, he has been regularly involved in Chelsea goalkeeper training recently.
Regardless of how Chelsea dress it up, this is a big smack in the face for Kepa, and surely signals the end of his Chelsea career. I can't see him playing another game for Chelsea and he will be off in January.
Cech is one of Chelsea's best ever goalkeepers, if not the best. In his playing days, his style of goalkeeping is everything that Lampard wants from his stopper.
He leads from the back, dominates his box, reads the game well, is an excellent shot stopper, and he is intelligent on the ball.
Lampard sees Cech in training every day, and he will see that he has still got what it takes to be a better goalkeeper than Kepa is right now.
Mendy will be the only one keeping Cech out this season. Watch out Kurt Zouma and Andreas Christensen, John Terry is watching closely!
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