What Kepa Arrizabalaga did against Manchester City was something no one ever thought football would ever see. It was the first time we ever saw it and probably isn’t the last time we will see it- looking at where the game is heading to.
It probably just defines the direction the game is going to. Players having the power to do anything they want. Players having the power to make everything about themselves. Players being bigger than the club and being bigger than the manager.
Kepa’s Wikipedia page makes for funny yet shameful reading. Instead of saying that he’s a goalkeeper, it is mentioned that he is a manager. And the Spaniard might have shot his Chelsea career himself.
The outrage on social media has been crazy. People have been calling the act a disgrace, saying that Kepa should be ashamed of himself for disobeying his manager. And rightly so, the Spaniard shouldn’t be proud of it.
More than Kepa, it is Chelsea and football that will suffer.
Let alone Kepa, Chelsea had 10 other players on the pitch. None of the players seemed to favor Sarri’s decision to take Kepa off. They were happy to watch the soap opera unfold and no one had the desire to accept the manager’s decision. Even the captain- Cesar Azpilicueta was busy watching it unfold.
It now seems fair that Sarri indeed can’t motivate the players to listen to him. And the players, who are a bunch of expensive stars who earn a lot of money, couldn’t care less. They hardly seemed bothered.
They did come up with a commendable performance. But it portrays Chelsea Football Club in a bad light during a time when it is already not being seen in the best light at all. Keeping the light on Kepa just defines why the player is more important than the club these days.
And it shows that football isn’t getting better. How it was ten or fifteen years ago seems a century ago. Players knew their place. They knew who the boss was. They knew that the manager’s decision will always be respected, no matter who they are. They have the say, not the player.
Judging by what has been happening of late, players have been revolting against managers and that has been leading to clash of egos. Its what happened when Paul Pogba went against Jose Mourinho and ended up on the bench. What he had done isn’t something football or Manchester United should be proud of.
The money that players earn today doesn’t help. Some earn more than the manager himself and that makes them feel in an elevated position, as compared to the ‘boss’.
One can look at the situation from Kepa’s perspective and realise that he showed passion to play on. Or the fact that Sarri thought he was injured when he actually wasn’t. It doesn’t change the fact that he disobeyed the manager that he should be a pupil to.
If Sarri wants Kepa to go off, he should go off. Nothing more to it.