Jose Mourinho claims he is ‘saddened’ by the state of affairs at Chelsea after goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted in Sunday’s League Cup final.
The Spanish ‘keeper appeared to be in pain with cramp during the clash with Man City and with penalties looming large, Maurizio Sarri took the decision to replace him with Willy Caballero.
Should Kepa be dropped? Five key things to know…
- Kepa joined Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao in 2018 for £71.6m, a world record fee for a goalkeeper.
- The Spain international has kept 11 Premier League clean sheets so far.
- However, he refused to be substituted during Chelsea’s League Cup final defeat to Man City on Sunday.
- Sarri was visibly enraged on the sidelines, while many fans and pundits claim he should be dropped.
- However, after the match Sarri was asked about the incident and stated that it was simply a misunderstanding between player and manager
Kepa, however, had other ideas and refused to be substituted in an incredible show of ill-discipline.
And despite showing some admiration for Kepa’s desire to play on, Mourinho admitted the 24-year-old left everyone at Chelsea in a ‘complicated situation’.
“On one hand, he’s showing personality and confidence by wanting to play, I like that,” Mourinho told DAZN. “But by not leaving he left his manager, staff and a teammate in a complicated situation. It saddens me for them.”
Former Chelsea captain, John Terry, who won three Premier League titles under Mourinho’s management, was working as a pundit in the Sky Sports studio and condemned Kepa’s actions as ‘disrespectful’.
“Once your number goes up you have to come off and show a bit of respect,” he said. “Deal with that after. That’s the last thing the players want.
“It’s certainly not the end of it, it’s clouded a good performance. It’s taken the shine off a good performance, it’s disappointing. We’ll see what happens.”
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“Kepa should never play for Chelsea again”
Kepa’s actions have certainly raised eyebrows and in some sections, drawn a lot of anger.
Few have been riled more than former Chelsea forward, Chris Sutton, who has gone as far as claiming the former Athletic Bilbao man should ‘never play for the club again’.
“Kepa should never play for Chelsea again, that should be his last performance in a Chelsea shirt,” he told the BBC. “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.”
Chelsea’s penalty shoot-out defeat to City means the Blues have lost seven of their last 17 games in all competitions, although their performance on Sunday was much-improved.
Sarri’s side face Spurs on Wednesday.