‘Total disrespect’: How former players reacted to Kepa’s non-substitution

Former Chelsea captain John Terry said Kepa Arrizabalaga showed manager Maurizio Sarri a lack of respect when he appeared to refuse to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final.

With Willy Caballero stripped and ready on the sidelines and the substitution announced in the dying moments of extra time against Manchester City at Wembley, Kepa appeared to refuse to leave the pitch, with Sarri left looking furious on the sidelines.

City went on to win the subsequent penalty shootout 4-3.

The Chelsea boss denied there was any issue afterwards, saying the whole incident was a misunderstanding about whether or not Kepa was suffering from cramp.

But many former professionals watching were unconvinced.

Terry told Sky Sports: “Once your number goes up you have to come off and show a bit of respect. Deal with that after. That’s the last thing the players want.”

Terry said that the incident had “clouded a good performance” and added of Sarri: “I’m surprised he didn’t come on and force him off.

“I would expect the manager to deal with it immediately.”

Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker described the situation as “extraordinary”, saying he’d never seen anything like it before.

Another former England striker, Ian Wright, pointed out that the keeper had put himself under immense pressure in the shootout.

Watford keeper Ben Foster said he would need to save all five penalties to save himself from Sarri’s ire.

Craig Burley, who begun his professional career at Chelsea, questioned Sarri for allowing Kepa to stay on.

Republic of Ireland international David Meyler accused Kepa of displaying “total disrespect” to both Sarri and Caballero.

Former Stoke defender Danny Higginbotham pointed out the lack of support the manager was receiving from his players.

That point was echoed by former United States defender Alexi Lalas.

Elsewhere in the world of sport, former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan said Sarri should have “walked on and dragged him off”.

Broadcaster and Chelsea fan Jeremy Vine said Kepa should “never play for Chelsea again”.

Arsenal fan Piers Morgan described Sarri as “pathetically weak” for failing to put his foot down.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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