'I will never understand': Carragher can't believe 27-year-old might start for Chelsea in the League Cup final
Jamie Carragher has explained he can’t believe Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga might get a chance of playing the League Cup final.
Chelsea are currently preparing on the training pitches ahead of this Sunday’s Carabao Cup final against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium.
Blues manager Thomas Tuchel, who will speak in a pre-match press conference later today, is likely to be quizzed about his goalkeeper situation.
Kepa, 27, has played well in all five of his side’s matches en route to the final.
In addition, the Spanish shot-stopper is reportedly confident that Tuchel will recall him to the starting line-up on the weekend.
However, the recent Club World Cup final saw Kepa dropped for regular number one Edouard Mendy, despite him impressing in the semi final of the competition.
Carragher has delivered a rant on clubs using their second-choice goalkeepers when they play in big finals with a trophy on the line. He’s fairly adamant that the Blues should stick with 29-year-old Mendy in-between the sticks, something he wants from Liverpool as well with their goalkeeper Alisson Becker. The pundit suggests both team’s managers will go the other way, though.
“I will never understand the theory behind selecting a second-choice goalkeeper in a major final. Liverpool will play Caoimhin Kelleher ahead of Alisson Becker. Chelsea will do likewise if – as expected – Kepa Arrizabalaga starts ahead of Edouard Mendy,” Carragher wrote for The Telegraph.
“It is nothing against those players. The Spanish keeper is a world-record signing for a No 1 and Kelleher has done well when called upon, playing a big part in Liverpool getting to Wembley. It is more the principle of leaving a world-class keeper on the bench I struggle with, especially in a final where small details make all the difference. This cup final logic only seems to apply to keepers.”
Chelsea backline will be grilled
For certain, Kepa’s performances when given the opportunity this season shows he’s in a much better place than a year ago.
He’s playing with confidence and quality now, so rewarding him with a start at Wembley must be tempting.
In fairness, Liverpool are likely to ask plenty of questions of Chelsea’s backline given the attacking firepower at their disposal. For example, they’ve got arguably the world’s most in-form forward right now in Mohamed Salah.
The fact another trophy is up for grabs could mean using number one Mendy is the more sensible decision.