THE antics of goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in Sunday's cup final were proof of a major problem in the national sport.

Player power has now tipped so far in the wrong direction managers have lost overall control, and the sport is being damaged.

For those that missed it, the Chelsea goalkeeper defied manager Maurizio Sarri's by refusing to be substituted in the Carabao Cup final on Sunday. The refusal, which came at the end of extra time and moments before a penalty shootout, led to Sarri becoming furious as he lost out to the player in the battle of wills.

Although the Spanish goalkeeper saved a penalty in the shootout he made an error with another, and Manchester City went on to win.

Sarri later said the incident had come about over confusion surrounding whether the keeper was injured, after being treated by medical staff. And on Monday, Arrizabalaga said it was a misunderstanding, with the 24-year-old apologising for his actions.

All of that was damage limitation by player and manager, and shouldn't distract from the bigger issue - Arrizabalaga knew what he was doing by refusing to come off. It was a move totally disrespectful to his teammate, goalkeeper Willy Caballero, his manager and the fans. It was also part of Chelsea players attempts to force out yet another manager they don't like, a move likely to succeed.

This problem is not unique to Chelsea, players are now regularly trying to get rid of unpopular managers across the country. That should be not allowed to continue - quite simply it is making a mockery of the nation's most popular sport.

The sight of the goalkeeper refusing to leave the pitch looked more like a spoiled brat throwing his toys out of the pram, as he was not getting his own way.

What message is that sending to the millions of children who watched it? Footballers are role models, and that is a terrible lesson for them.

Predictably Arrizabalaga's punishment was pathetic. Yes a week's wage sounds a lot - but the loss of £195,000 to a millionaire footballer is small change.

If those antics happened in any other workplace you would see people suspended or even sacked, but Chelsea were never going to do that to a golden boy, the world's most expensive goalkeeper.

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