Kepa Arrizabalaga’s blatant show of disrespect towards his manager during the last minute of extra time in the Carabao Cup Final has showcased what is probably Chelsea’s biggest letdown right now.
In refusing to be subbed, he publicly humiliated his manager and the club, which will no doubt leave the fans absolutely fuming, especially given that they lost soon afterwards.
As much as we fans hate to see it, this one problem that has dogged Chelsea for years has been allowed by the board to fester. Since the days of Jose Mourinho’s first spell in charge, it is something that we have seen time and time again coming from the dressing room at Stamford Bridge.
Although the club isn’t the only culprit, with Mourinho’s exit from United coming in similar circumstances, it is one that continually seems to be the story behind while manager’s face the exit. Many on Twitter were calling for Kepa to be sacked soon after he made his showcase, but the likelihood is that his boss, who was left screaming at his bench for answers, will be the one facing the chop sooner rather than later.
Mourinho was subject to claims he had lost the dressing room both times he was at the helm which led to him leaving the club. Antonio Conte just last season was also sent packing with claims that the players had forced his exit.
Many have been wondering just why “Sarriball” hasn’t been working as planned this season, as Sarri arrived with such a fanfare and glittering recommendations from the top managers in the game. This is the most clear sign yet of one reason that may be true – the players have not bought into his ideas.
Sarri would have been helped by the signings of Jorginho and Gonzalo Higuain, both of whom have played under the Italian and know what to expect, but unless everybody gets behind the program, it is doomed to fail quickly in football.
One wonders whether being gifted the title of “the world’s most expensive goalkeeper” may have gone to Kepa’s head a little bit; the lad is still young of course, and it is good to see the confidence he has in himself as a goalkeeper.
This, however, was the completely wrong way of going about making his point. He should’ve taken the decision, then after the game let his manager know exactly what he thought of it. This, though, caused the match to descend into a farce and made it more of a soap opera than a football game, with pretty much everybody coming out as a loser, not least the fans themselves.
In just around ten minutes, they went from being level in a cup final at Wembley to watching their team pretty much implode and then lose the resulting shootout, no doubt increasing the fans’ anger at their keeper.
Kepa is young and will have many more chances to add trophies to his CV. Sarri, however, may be running out of losses to keep the upper echelons (A.K.A., the all-powerful Mr. Abramovich) happy.
This brings us to, however, a very interesting question. Will the Chelsea board stick by their manager and punish the man they spent £72million on in the summer, or will they turn around and push the blame onto the man who now makes for an easy scapegoat? Many fans seemed to join in with the chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” during the visit of United last Monday.
If their track record is anything to go by, it could be ta-ta Maurizio before they know it.