Date: 25th February 2019 at 12:59pm
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Watching Chelsea defy the pundits and put on a more than decent display to take Manchester City to the wire, in the Carabao Cup, yesterday, showed that there is hope for the future.

With Maurizio Sarri going against his normal convention and making changes to his starting eleven, as well as introducing substitutions that went against the norm, it’s fair to say that Chelsea could have won the tie with the best chance falling to N’Gola Kante who, latching on to a pass from Eden Hazard, after a marvellous run from the Belgian, couldn’t keep the ball down and it skewed over the bar.

But, in typical Chelsea style, the loss on penalties was overshadowed by an extraordinary turn of events that saw Kepa, after having gone down with cramp a second time, in the latter stages of extra-time, refuse to be substituted.

Now it was one of those events that you can either make a big deal of or simply put down to a misunderstanding, but, with it being Chelsea, you just knew the media would take the former view.

According to the media, Kepa is now public enemy #1 with the Spaniard having defied his manager in a manner that was inexplicable.

Our view, and it may contradict yours, is that Kepa was merely trying to convince those on the touchline that he was fit to continue.

Okay, Caballero may have an excellent record in penalty shoot-outs but if there was a pre-conceived plan to switch keepers late on, I’m pretty damn sure that Kepa would have, despite not being particularly pleased, play ball.

Perhaps the confusion got to Sarri who stomped his way down the Wembley tunnel, in an obvious rage.

But, once the dust had settled, Sarri, explaining the situation and as reported by the BBC,

“I misunderstood the problem and only realised the situation when the doctor arrived at the bench.

“He understood I asked for a change for his physical problem. He said: ‘I haven’t a physical problem.’
And he was right.”

Whereas Kepa, being portrayed by the media as the footballing equivalent of Judas, backed up those comments by commenting:

“It was misunderstood. In no moment was it my intention to disobey or anything like that with the boss.

“It was two or three minutes of confusion until the medics got to the bench and they explained everything well.

“He thought I couldn’t continue, and – fundamentally – I was trying to say that physically I was fine.”

Now I’m prepared to believe the above version of events but it seems, as is always the case, the media are intent on getting their pound of flesh out of our club.

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4 Replies to “The Kepa Incident Was, In All Honesty, Much Ado About Nothing”

  • I tend to disagree …. Kepa could have gone across & explained the matter since it was clear Sarri was continuing to call him off …. failing that, he should have gone off …. he disrespected his coach & his colleague waiting to come on …. As for the shootout, he let in a penalty he should have saved, though he saved a penalty that was struck well …. besides, i think the players would not have been 100% locked in & single mindedly focussed on the shootout with all the drama having just happened in front of their eyes

    • Kepa was wrong to stand is ground….. but the situation was blow out of proportion by Sarri.. the man is stubborn and short tempered…. how many times have we seen in football where a injured player gives a thumbs up and the player who is ready is asked to sit back in the bench… even if Sarri wanted to substitute him he sees the No.1 is telling he wants to say in the heat of the moment and clearly states he wants to play
      So as. a manager u calm down necks u are experienced and take Kepa to task the next day in the training.. not run around throwing a strop and getting angry… ur the fuckin manager not a short tempered kid .. he’ sees the situation going out of hand his no.1 is standing ground…. be pragmatic diplomatic and tell oki and diffuse the situation instead of having a power battle in the stadium … in front of camera and fans .. ur the manager ur experienced ur supposed to have. a cool head and not fight with adrenaline filled players in the heat of the moment… the man is stubborn and short tempered

  • The thing us we have the two central characters both singing the same song so I guess we should accept that as the official Chelsea stance on it, REGARDLESS of what actually happened.
    There are plenty of outsiders piling in and kicking us without the Blue Family turning on itself. Some of the comments from pundits and so called experts are frankly nauseating, none more so than those from the biggest waste of space I have ever seen in a Chelsea striker’s shirt, Chris Sutton. The idea that any player should take lessons about how to respect their manager from someone who publicly as good as told his international manager that he was wrong to only select him for the national B side, and he therefore wouldn’t be turning up but that, when the manager ‘came to his senses’ and selected him for the A side, he would of course be happy to play.

  • Who cares? This is the organic by-product of the club’s management and ownership. Stupid is, as stupid does, they say. So this fits the same line of logic. I personally like this keeper very much. It’s his first incident. Maybe it was a misunderstanding. It will either happen again, or it won’t. Time will tell. Just like it did with Courtois, and others.

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