The vast majority of football fans appear to be in agreement that Kepa Arrizabalaga crossed a line with his refusal to leave the pitch during extra-time of Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.
Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri wanted to sub Kepa off because he believed the Spanish goalkeeper was injured.
Kepa, however, point-blank refused to leave the pitch, much to Sarri’s fury.
The under-fire Chelsea boss walked off towards the Wembley tunnel at one point, clearly outraged that one of his players had shown such disrespect, before returning to the dugout moments later.
It was an incident that appeared to back up recent newspaper reports that Sarri has lost control of the dressing room.
Speaking hours after the Manchester City’s victory in the Carabao Cup final, former Premier League striker-turned-pundit Alan Shearer tore into Kepa for his refusal to listen to Sarri.
Writing in his latest column for The Sun, Shearer reckons Kepa’s act of defiance is likely to lead to Sarri losing his job at Stamford Bridge.
“Maurizio Sarri had every right to go into the Chelsea dressing room and absolutely hammer Kepa Arrizabalaga,” Shearer wrote.
“I actually liked what Sarri was planning on doing because Willy Caballero would have known the majority of the City players — and that could have given Chelsea an advantage in the shootout.
“And after Kepa refused to come off, my God, Sarri had every right to go for him.
“It’s about respect and Kepa made a fool of his manager in front of millions of people.
“This when Sarri was already under huge pressure and on the brink of losing his job at the Bridge.
“The astonishing incident could and probably will end up costing Sarri his job.
“What does the manager do now?
“How on earth does Sarri claw that back?”
Shearer was also heavily critical of Kepa on Match of the Day 2 and believes Sarri’s post-match comments were simply an answer to try and make the incident less of an issue with the media.
“I think it tells the story the way the manager reacted,” Shearer added. “The way he went on the touchline, he’s going absolutely berserk. I don’t think that’s a misunderstanding. He wants [Kepa] off for a specific reason and he’s disobeyed him and undermined him and that’s why he’s gone berserk.
“Watch what also happens, when they go to the team-talk for the penalties, he only joins his players without about 10 seconds to go. His players are already in a huddle because he’s practically walking down the tunnel.”
Sarri is currently the firm favourite with the bookies to become the next Premier League manager to lose his job after Claude Puel was sacked by Leicester City on Sunday.
Steve Holland, Zinedine Zidane, Gianfranco Zola, Frank Lampard and Laurent Blanc will all be in the frame if Sarri is sacked this week.News Now - Sport News