Frank Lampard urges Kepa to ‘go back to basics’ amid recent criticism

Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga

Kepa Arrizabalaga has attracted criticism in recent weeks and Chelsea boss Frank Lampard admitted the goalkeeper “needs to improve”.

Frank Lampard has urged Kepa Arrizabalaga to “go back to basics” and has assured the under-fire goalkeeper Chelsea are not looking to bring in a replacement this month.

Kepa was criticised for his slow reactions in the 1-0 loss to Newcastle United and 2-2 draw with Arsenal, the Gunners scoring twice from their only two shots on target.

The Spain international has the lowest save percentage of any goalkeeper in the Premier League and Lampard admitted the 25-year-old has to sharpen up.

“He will have to deal with the pressure. That is what football is,” Lampard said a news conference previewing Chelsea’s FA Cup fourth-round tie at Hull City. “Every player, no matter great you are in your career, the best, the absolute best of all time, will get criticised and you have to deal with it.

“There is maybe slightly more spotlight on goalkeepers, but it is a similar thing, really. I think the important thing for that is not to get too embroiled in what is said on the outside and look at your own game.

 

“It is always the basics, how hard can I work. This is not just Kepa, any player. If you feel in a lack of form, fight to get it back. Go back to basics.

“I think with Kepa he knows – he’ll be honest that there have been some mistakes that have cost us goals. It is the nature of it, so that needs to improve.”

Willy Caballero has started all three domestic cup games for Chelsea this season and will return against Hull.

Burnley’s Nick Pope has been strongly linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, but Lampard is not looking to bring in another keeper in the closing stages of the window.

“I am not looking at it now. I am not affected by criticism from the outside as much,” he said. “I am aware of it, not affected by it.”

Chelsea beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 in round three of the FA Cup and face another Championship side in Hull this weekend.

Lampard won the competition four times as a player and is targeting another run in his debut managerial campaign at Stamford Bridge.

“We just want to win it. We respect the FA Cup. I do, the players do and this club has been fortunate to win it a number of times in the modern era,” he said.

“I don’t think we evaluate it like what’s the best chance of us with top four and is it more important than the FA Cup.

“People will argue that but I don’t need to get into that battle. We are professionals so can we win the game and get to the next round.”

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