Tuesday February 26 2019
Sarri: I could drop Kepa

Maurizio Sarri has confirmed that he could drop Kepa Arrizabalaga for Chelsea’s Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday.

Kepa was fined a week’s wages by Chelsea after the goalkeeper refused to be substituted during a cup final on Sunday, and Sarri admitted ‘I need to send a message to my group’ ahead of the London derby against Tottenham.

“Sunday we did a wonderful match,” said the former Napoli boss at a Press conference.

“It is difficult to not concede anything in the defensive phase. I am the Coach so I have to focus on the performance. I spoke to Kepa, I spoke to everyone.

“He said sorry to the technical staff, but it was not enough. He said sorry to the players and the club. We don’t want to kill him.

“I don’t know [if he will play], I have to decide yes or no. I think so [he is fit], he only had a recovery yesterday but I think so. It will be the decision of the group, of all the players. 

“It was really a very unusual situation so the players were very shocked. It was impossible to react immediately.

“It was the club’s [decision to fine him], he has to accept the decision. It was a big misunderstanding, I have to value the performance. They played with a great level of application.

“I didn’t want a goalkeeper with cramp for the penalties. Caballero knows very well the other players at Manchester.

“I thought it was better with a goalkeeper with very good condition to go to the penalties. I don’t think anything because penalties are a lottery.

“Will he start? I need to send a message to my group, whether Kepa is on the pitch or off it. I have to decide what is better for my group.

“He has to be [mentally read]. He made a mistake, there are some consequences. If it is to play he has to be ready, if it is on the bench then he has to be ready. 

“After Sunday for me it is over. I am not under pressure, you have to ask the club. I don’t know why you ask me. I want to win every match.

“[I went down the tunnel because] I needed a minute to compose myself.”

Finally, the 60-year-old was asked if he was still in charge of the Blues’ dressing room.

“Did you see the match on Sunday? So you know the answer. I think better, yes,” he concluded.

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