Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri has said that he does not wish to punish Kepa Arrizabalaga too severely following the League Cup final debacle, but added that the goalkeeper has to take responsibility for his actions.
As everyone knows by now, the Spaniard refused to be substituted after appearing at first to be suffering from cramp in the dying stages of the match at Wembley, causing consternation and anger on the Chelsea bench.
The Blues would go on to lose on penalties to Manchester City, but the fallout from the saga overshadowed the disappointment of missing out on silverware for the London side.
All eyes are now on the Italian manager and whether or not he chooses to pick Kepa in the aftermath of the incident, but it is clear he wants to draw a line under it without mentally damaging the 24-year-old.
“I have to decide [if he will play], maybe yes, maybe not,” Sarri told a pre-match press conference.
“He made a really big mistake. For me it’s finished.
“I spoke with Kepa. Then we spoke altogether, because he said sorry to the technical staff, but it was not enough.
“Then he said sorry to his team-mates, to the club. I think he made a big mistake, but we need to be [bigger]. We don’t want to kill him.”
“It will be a decision for the [good of the] group. For all the players.”
Sarri did not confirm if Kepa would play against Spurs on Wednesday night, but insisted the ‘keeper had to be prepared no matter what decision is made.
“He [Kepa] has to [be mentally ready to play]. He made a mistake. A big mistake. There are some consequences. If the consequence is to play, he has to be ready to play. If the consequence is the bench, he has to be ready to go to the bench.”