Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has insisted that his decision to drop Kepa Arrizabalaga against Tottenham sends a ‘message to my group’.
The Spanish goalkeeper caused controversy on Sunday after seemingly refusing to come off during the defeat to Manchester City in the Carabao Cup Final at Wembley.
Both Sarri and Kepa insisted after the game that it was a misunderstanding and miscommunication which led to the confusing scenes and furious reaction from the Chelsea boss, although the shot-stopper was fined as a result.
Further, he was left on the bench in favour of Willy Caballero for the 2-0 win over Tottenham at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, and the Italian tactician believes that the decision sends a message to the rest of the squad, perhaps in terms of reestablishing his authority with them.
“It’s a choice. It’s a message to my group – that we are a group and not 25 players. It’s my choice,” he is quoted as saying by The Sun.
It remains to be seen if Kepa now returns to the starting line-up to face Fulham on Sunday, or if his punishment continues after appearing to ignore Sarri’s decision last weekend.
It sounds as though the former Napoli believes that he may well have made his point now, and he’ll certainly be hoping that there are no repeats of what was seen at Wembley as it undoubtedly piled further and unnecessary pressure on his shoulders.