Former Chelsea captain John Terry said Kepa Arrizabalaga showed manager Maurizio Sarri a lack of respect when he appeared to refuse to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final.
With Willy Caballero stripped and ready on the sidelines and the substitution announced in the dying moments of extra time against Manchester City at Wembley, Kepa appeared to refuse to leave the pitch, with Sarri left looking furious on the sidelines.
City went on to win the subsequent penalty shootout 4-3.
😳 – Have you EVER seen anything like it!?— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) February 24, 2019
The Chelsea boss denied there was any issue afterwards, saying the whole incident was a misunderstanding about whether or not Kepa was suffering from cramp.
But many former professionals watching were unconvinced.
Terry told Sky Sports: “Once your number goes up you have to come off and show a bit of respect. Deal with that after. That’s the last thing the players want.”
Terry said that the incident had “clouded a good performance” and added of Sarri: “I’m surprised he didn’t come on and force him off.
“I would expect the manager to deal with it immediately.”
Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker described the situation as “extraordinary”, saying he’d never seen anything like it before.
Wow. This is bonkers. Not sure I’ve ever seen a player refuse to be subbed. Extraordinary.— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 24, 2019
Another former England striker, Ian Wright, pointed out that the keeper had put himself under immense pressure in the shootout.
Kepa has got to save EVERYTHING now!!!!— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) February 24, 2019
Watford keeper Ben Foster said he would need to save all five penalties to save himself from Sarri’s ire.
Gonna need 5 penalty saves from kepa in this shootout to save an ear bashing from sarri 🤣— Ben Foster (@BenFoster) February 24, 2019
Craig Burley, who begun his professional career at Chelsea, questioned Sarri for allowing Kepa to stay on.
Two sides to the Kepa incident for me. The keeper must take the instruction from the bench, clearly, plus Sarri should not allow the game to restart until he’s got his desired substitution. Looks weak.— Craig Burley (@CBurleyESPN) February 24, 2019
Republic of Ireland international David Meyler accused Kepa of displaying “total disrespect” to both Sarri and Caballero.
Can’t believe Kepa has done that. It’s total disrespect to the manager and your fellow goalie.— DM (@DavidMeyler) February 24, 2019
Former Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham pointed out the lack of support the manager was receiving from his players.
Big issue for Sarri as well is that no players seemed to be backing him up when he was trying to sub Arrizabalaga. That in itself paints a picture— Danny Higginbotham (@Higginbotham05) February 24, 2019
That point was echoed by former United States defender Alexi Lalas.
Problem for Sarri isn't that a player rebuffed him (that can happen)…it's that all the other players watched it, allowed it and didn't seem bothered.— Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas) February 24, 2019
Elsewhere in the world of sport, former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan said Sarri should have “walked on and dragged him off”.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has just set a new precedent for the power players have in Football ….. The boss should have walked on a dragged him off ….. #Fact— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) February 24, 2019
Broadcaster and Chelsea fan Jeremy Vine said Kepa should “never play for Chelsea again”.
Kepa should never play for Chelsea again. If players start refusing to be substituted, thereby humiliating the manager, they make the club look ridiculous too. Also v unfair on replacement keeper who got changed ready to play. Unsporting, big-headed, selfish. #ByeKepa#CFCvMCFC— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) February 24, 2019
Arsenal fan Piers Morgan described Sarri as “pathetically weak” for failing to put his foot down.
Disgraceful behaviour by Kepa.But pathetically weak of Sarri to just surrender & let him stay on. I'd have dragged him off by his cocky, stubborn little ears. https://t.co/mHhQfYqg8d— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) February 24, 2019
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