Kepa: Changes, contrasts and fast starts

Kepa Arrizabalaga believes our start to the season has set the tone for the rest of the campaign, and he says the Blues are now only going to get better and better.

The goalkeeper has yet to taste defeat since joining Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao in the summer, a feat made all the more impressive by the fact we are under new management. Ahead of another big test of our credentials against Manchester United today, Kepa has analysed the first couple of months of the season from an individual and collective perspective.

‘I am really, really happy with how things have gone,’ the 24-year-old said.

‘There have been a lot of changes for me, a change of country, a change of team and a change of city where I live, but they have all been for the positive.

‘It’s been a really good start from a football point of view, both for myself and more importantly for the team. It’s particularly key we have not been dropping many points.

‘The start you get in a season is always very important, even more so when there have been changes at a club. A lot of the players have been getting to know each other in that time, so to be performing like we have been bodes well.

Maurizio Sarri has introduced a clear philosophy with the focus on ball possession, and Kepa’s passing range is an important facet of that. The Spaniard, who represented his country in their victory over Wales in the recent international break, has noted a contrast in playing styles between us and Man United, our opponents this lunchtime.

‘We tend to be more comfortable with the ball, taking the game to the opposition,’ Kepa said.

‘Maybe Manchester United’s tactics would be more about sitting back waiting for teams to come on to them, and then hitting them on the counter where they can very dangerous.

‘We are aware of how they play, and we have looked at that in more detail as the game has approached. We will hopefully be able to get in areas where we can create problems for them and hurt them.’