The Belgian backs the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
Maurizio Sarri’s tactical masterclass was undermined by the shameful actions of Chelsea’s record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga, who refused to leave the pitch in the closing minutes of extra time in order to be substituted.
Sarri was left furious and had to be held back by Antonio Rudiger after the match, such was his anger. The result of the saga was seen on Wednesday when Sarri dropped Kepa and selected Willy Caballero. Willy had nothing to do as Chelsea defeated Spurs 2-0. Following the match Eden Hazard sent a message to Kepa after receiving axe from Sarri.
Eden Hazard says Kepa can be ‘one of the world’s best’. Eden Hazard has sent a message of support to Kepa Arrizabalaga and has backed the Chelsea goalkeeper to bounce back from his substitution row and subsequent axe. The Spaniard – who is the most expensive keeper in history and Chelsea’s record signing – was demoted to the bench against Tottenham on Wednesday night after refusing to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final. Although both manager and player claimed it was a ‘misunderstanding’, Kepa was fined a week’s wages and left out of the starting XI for the 2-0 win over Spurs. Afterwards, Maurizio Sarri insisted that Kepa was still Chelsea’s No.1 goalkeeper and Hazard echoed those sentiments, considering the matter now closed. “He has the potential to become one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” Hazard told RMC Sport after the match.
Hazard said: “He explained himself to the club, to the players, to the coach, and to Willy Caballero too. He knows very well that he made a mistake and we’ll get over it.” After playing 120 minutes in the Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City, Hazard was withdrawn after an hour against Spurs.
He added: ‘I was not good. I still felt the 120 minutes against City in my legs. And I had some pain in my thigh. I almost didn’t play, but the pain hasn’t aggravated. I’m fine.’ Following the game Maurizio Sarri revealed Kepa Arrizabalaga is still Chelsea’s number one despite Tottenham demotion. Sarri also claimed he is ready to put the incident to bed, now that the Spaniard has paid a sufficient price to his team-mates.
Kepa should haved obeyed whatever Sarri is saying. It was rightful of Sarri to drop Kepa to make him realize how harsh and disrespectful his actions were to his manager, club and fans. However Hazard just like the rest of squad has made sure Kepa isn’t discouraged. Given Kepa’s young age the senior players should make him feel friendly and teach him on how to behave on pitch and to obey the boss.