You know the saying “it’s better to be silent and thought a fool then to open your mouth and remove all doubt?” Well around Chelsea that saying is pretty much “it’s better to be silent and let everyone think you’ve quit on your manager than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
Yesterday in the Carrabao Cup final, Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga opened his mouth and removed all doubt.
By rule, Kepa didn’t actually do anything wrong here. There’s no rule that says a substituted player has to leave the field. The manager has no power to bring him off, and surprisingly, neither does the referee. The referee could give you a yellow card for time wasting, but can’t actually make you leave the field.
In the grand scheme of things, this is an awful look from Kepa. You can’t stand your manager up like that, no matter how much you dislike him. Now the entire world knows exactly how Chelsea feel about Maurizio Sarri.
Why was Sarri taking trying to take Kepa off anyway? There are two thoughts at play here:
- Right before this happened, Kepa appeared to get injured. Sarri wanted to make a change so he had a healthy goalkeeper in their for the penalty shootout.
- Willy Caballero is a superior goalkeeper when it comes to stopping penalties and this was Sarri’s plan all along.
If number one is the case, then that’s a communication job between Chelsea and their goalkeeper. If number two is the case, and not only is it possible but it would makes sense if it was, then shouldn’t Kepa have known this was the plan all along?
Instead Kepa took matters into his own hands. He refused to get off the pitch and said I’ll handle the penalty shootout.
That’s the kind of confidence you’d like to see from your goalkeeper but if you’re going to do that you better stop everything and certainly not make any mistakes in the shootout.