Former Chelsea striker Chris Sutton has blasted Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga after the shot-stopper refused to be substituted during the League Cup final against Manchester City on Sunday.
Just prior to the penalty shoot-out, Blues manager Maurizio Sarri had been hoping to substitute Kepa and replace him with second choice shot-stopper Willy Caballero. The Italian tactician had certainly been justified in wanting to replace Kepa with Caballero. Kepa had received treatment for a cramp during the game and obviously would not have been at 100% during the shoot-out.
Caballero is also a very experienced keeper at the highest level and is renowned for good penalty saving abilities. Caballero was on the touchline waiting to come on, but in the end, the substitution never happened as Kepa remonstrated and refused to walk off the field.
The incident clearly shows that players within the Blues camp do not respect the orders of Sarri. It also shows that the 24-year-old clearly has attitude issues which need to be resolved. Some disgusted fans of the club have even called for them to never start him in goal this season. Sutton also feels this way and as quoted by Goal, he said:
“Kepa should never play for Chelsea again. He’s a disgrace.
“He’s undermined his manager. It’s disgusting. Never seen anything like it. If I was Sarri I would walk.”
What Kepa did is certainly immature and the club should take action against him to ensure that it never happens again. It would have not only been a humiliation for Sarri but it also would have been a bad reflection on the club. However, he is still a fairly young player at 24-years-old and should be forgiven. He has the ability to develop into one of the world’s best keepers if he maintains a dignified attitude. Young players especially are prone to making errors.