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24 Feb, 2019 20:10

‘He should never play for Chelsea again’: Kepa slammed after refusing to be subbed by manager Sarri

‘He should never play for Chelsea again’: Kepa slammed after refusing to be subbed by manager Sarri

Pundits and social media users have poured scorn on Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after he refused to be substituted by manager Maurizio Sarri during the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.

With the teams deadlocked at 0-0 approaching the end of extra time, Sarri had signaled for Kepa, 24, to be replaced by veteran goalie Willy Caballero - apparently believing the Spanish youngster was struggling with cramp.  

But Kepa refused to leave the pitch, signaling to his Italian boss that he wanted to stay put, despite remonstrations from teammates.

Also on rt.com Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa REFUSES to be substituted, sending manager Sarri into meltdown

Sarri eventually backed down, but flew into a rage and reportedly had to be separated from Kepa once the final whistle had gone.

To make matters worse, Kepa was unable to prevent City taking the title on penalties, saving just one spot-kick as Jorginho and David Luiz both missed the mark for the Blues.


But after the defeat, most of the talk among the pundits and fans on social media was on the astonishing show of insubordination from Kepa towards Sarri, who was already under-fire amid accusations that the players lacked motivation.

Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton, now a BBC pundit, fumed: “Kepa should never play for Chelsea again. that should be his last performance in a Chelsea shirt. He's a disgrace. I've never seen anything like it.

“If I was Sarri I would walk. You cannot be undermined. Why weren't the players dragging Kepa off anyway?

“Kepa should be sacked, not Sarri.”

Many fellow football fans agreed with Sutton, branding the goalie a “disgrace.”

Others picked up on an apparent wink the Chelsea ‘keeper had given the camera after extra time and just before the shootout.

Some, meanwhile, mocked the notion that the young Spaniard, who signed for Chelsea for £71 million in the summer, was now in effect the Chelsea manager.

Sarri himself moved to defuse the tensions after the game, saying that he had believed Kepa was struggling from cramp, and asserting that he would speak to his goalkeeper. 

But nonetheless the astonishing bust-up marred what had been a much-improved performance from Chelsea, and will ultimately fuel talk that Sarri is on borrowed time as the Blues' boss.