Former Chelsea star Michael Ballack feels that the Chelsea players should have supported their manager Maurizio Sarri and forced goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga to leave the field of play during Sunday’s Carabao Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Kepa appeared to blatantly disobey his manager by refusing to be substituted during extra time, though there are now claims of a misunderstanding between the keeper and the bench over his fitness to continue.
Kepa had twice gone down with cramp and with a penalty shoot-out looming Sarri took the decision to make the substitution, however, the Spaniard appeared to simply refuse to depart in chaotic scenes.
Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Ballack said
“It was surprise, I’ve never seen anything like that before,” the German said on Monday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
“When your number is shown, you must respect the manager’s decision.
“I was a bit surprised by the reaction of the team. Normally if a team-mate is not leaving the pitch and is frustrated for a certain reason, and obviously this was a really important reason to make a quick sub just before the penalties, you go over and you try to speak with him to get him to follow the instructions.
“It was a not a good picture for Chelsea.
“The board has to say something because it’s really, really important the players respect the coach and respect each other and something shouldn’t happen like that.
“It was a shame, because they played a good game against a really strong team and they deserved something, but now we’re all talking about something like this.”
It should be noted that captain David Luiz did speak to Kepa but the 24-year old was having none of it.