Updated: Jan 21
The Blues boss did not want to pile pressure on Kepa Arrizabalaga: 'I’m sensitive to the fact that goalkeepers are under the microscope.'
Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has given his backing to Kepa Arrizabalaga after the shotstopper's mistake handed the west London side a 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United.
The Spaniard, who sealed a move to Stamford Bridge from LaLiga club Athletic Bilbao in August 2018 in a £72million deal, couldn't prevent a stoppage-time header from Isaac Hayden despite touching the ball before it went into the net at St James’ Park on Saturday.
It was the Blues' eighth Premier League defeat of the 2019-20 campaign, however, Lampard says he 'will always defend all the players' even 'if there are individual errors.'
“I will always defend all the players and if there are individual errors then players are the first ones to put their hands up and goalkeepers should be as well,” said Lampard as Chelseafc.com quoted.
“It is an isolated and difficult job because the spotlight is on you individually. At times he has made good saves for us this season and at times he’ll say he wants to do better.
“He is still relatively young as a goalkeeper, he wants to improve, as he should do. He can improve as much as all the team and we can improve.”
Lampard wants the 25-year-old to keep his head down, be humble and work hard.
“I didn’t have a direct conversation with him after the game at all,” he added. “I’m sensitive to the fact that goalkeepers are under the microscope and that can be tough. He’s like any player, like a striker when it’s not going for him.
“The only thing to do when it’s not going your way is to keep your head down and be humble and work. That’s what I push everybody here to do.
“That doesn’t change position to position. He’s a good goalkeeper, we know that, and there have been times this season when he’s saved us points.
“You look at the clean sheets and you’re happy. And sometimes we go, ‘is that an individual error or a team error?’ and the goalkeeper takes the brunt because we haven’t defended right as a team.
“There’s lot of different circumstances. I don’t want to dwell on it as a negative, it’s a reality, we have to be honest, there’s a pool of us here and if it doesn’t go right we have to be better.”