The takes are flying after Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa's act of defiance

Yahoo Sports
<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/soccer/teams/chelsea/" data-ylk="slk:Chelsea">Chelsea</a> goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted, and the soccer world refused to be quiet about it. (Getty)
Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted, and the soccer world refused to be quiet about it. (Getty)

The League Cup is hardly the most famous tournament in the world, but Kepa Arrizabalaga sure raised its profile on Sunday.

The Chelsea goalkeeper refused to be substituted by manager Maurizio Sarri late in his side’s loss to Manchester City in the final, which prompted responses and criticism from all over the soccer landscape.

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The harshest words came from former Blues striker Chris Sutton, who called Kepa a “disgrace.”

Kepa should never play for Chelsea again. That should be his last performance in a Chelsea shirt. He’s a disgrace.


I’ve never seen anything like it. If I was Sarri I would walk. You cannot be undermined. Why weren’t the players dragging Kepa off anyway?


… I still cannot believe what I have just seen. How can Kepa play for Chelsea again? How can he play for Sarri again? Something has to give. He has to go.

One of Chelsea’s legends, John Terry, didn’t go that far but registered his surprise to Sky Sports.

I’m surprised (Sarri) didn’t come on and force him to come off. … It puts a big cloud over a really good performance. If your number goes up you have to come off.


Where does that leave the rest of the Premier League players in the future? Do players start refusing to come off?


… It’s a difficult one for the players to go over and force him off, is it their duty and responsibility? Probably not. It’s the player’s responsibility to go off and accept it and deal with it tomorrow.

Longtime City defender Vincent Kompany, who played plenty of big games against Terry, made light of the incident.

I wish I could do it every now and then when I don’t want to get subbed off,” he told the media.

Media members didn’t waste any time expressing their disaffection, either. Times Sport writer Henry Winter called the act “mutinous” in a tweet:

Veteran media members Ian Darke and Phil McNulty also offered their views:

Daily Mirror luminary John Cross provided a more positive spin on how Chelsea handled the situation involving the world’s most expensive goalkeeper:

But perhaps well-traveled writer Richard Jolly gave us the signature summation of Chelsea’s current makeup:

Joey Gulino is the editor of Yahoo Soccer and moonlights as a writer. Follow him on Twitter at @JGulinoYahoo.

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