Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack has blamed the Chelsea players for not intervening in the Kepa Arrizabalaga case as the Chelsea goalkeeper defied the manager’s order.
Chelsea lost to Manchester City on penalties in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday at the Wembley Stadium.
The game ended in a stalemate even after extra time, and a bizarre incident happened towards the end of extra time.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri tried to sub off goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for second-choice goalie Willy Caballero, but Kepa refused to leave the pitch much to the frustration of Sarri who kept raging on the touchline and almost walked out of the pitch in anger.
Michael Ballack has come to Sarri’s defence and thinks Kepa was wrong to disobey the manager. Ballack also blamed the rest of the team for not trying to take Kepa off the pitch.
“I’ve never seen something like it. If your number is shown on the board, it’s time to leave the pitch,” Ballack told talkSPORT.
“If the coach has decided something, you should follow that process. I was surprised by the reaction of the team.
“Normally a team-mate is frustrated for a certain reason, but this was important to make a quick sub before the penalties.
“Normally you go and speak to him to speed up the situation. It’s not a nice situation, but they have to sort it out with the club.
“The board have to say something because it’s really important that the players respect the coach, respect each other, because something shouldn’t happen like that.”
David Luiz revealed after the game that he told Kepa to leave the pitch but the Spaniard refused. Speaking on the incident, former Chelsea skipper John Terry revealed that Kepa should have obeyed his manager no matter what.
“Once your number goes up you have to come off and show a bit of respect,” former Chelsea captain Terry said on Sky Sports. “Deal with that after. That’s the last thing the players want.
“It’s certainly not the end of it it’s clouded a good performance. It’s taken the shine off a good performance, it’s disappointing. We’ll see what happens.”
However, the cloud over the matter has since died as Kepa apologised after the game, with Sarri also saying that there was a misunderstanding between the two of them.