One of the decisions Frank Lampard has to make for Monday’s game against Manchester United is who will start between the posts.
In our last outing, at Leicester a fortnight ago, Willy Caballero was chosen to keep goal. It was the first league game he has started since a home win over Tottenham almost 12 months ago, and came following a run of indifferent form for Kepa, the recognised number one.
‘The reaction from Kepa has been good as I’d expect, training hard, head down,’ Lampard said this afternoon.
‘I haven’t had lots of conversations with him this week and it’ll be a decision for me to make. I’ve decided but you’ll have to wait to find out.
‘It doesn’t matter how you came to the club, what age you are, what part of your career you’re at. If it did, then I’d have to pick the whole team on how much they cost and it can’t be that way. All the players know that.
‘It’s all about how you train every day and how you play on match day. I have to have that competition within the squad.’
The goalkeeping position has always been somewhat unusual in that only one can ever start a game, and the chances of coming off the bench are very slim. The decision to replace Kepa at Leicester was not one to take lightly, therefore, and Lampard considered if it had served as a wake-up call for the Spaniard.
‘I wouldn’t say that and I wasn’t looking for that necessarily. I spoke around the Leicester game and said I have to pick the game as I see it on form in every position. It was just a selection decision on that day.
‘I know with goalkeepers there’s a bit more to it than that and we know that it’s a slightly different role to everybody else. He came out the team and I know how that will feel for him. It’s part and parcel of being a footballer and you have to show character in those little moments. I’m pleased with the reaction.’