There was plenty to digest over the weekend in the world of football even if Brighton and Hove Albion weren’t in action in the Premier League.
The Seagulls’match against Chelsea had been postponed due to the Blues’ involvement in the League Cup Final.
The game went to extra-time and penalties and even in my lengthy time in the commentary box I have never seen anything quite like the mutiny at Wembley from goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga.
Whatever the whys and wherefores, the cramp, the recovery, the manager’s decision should be final.
He should have come off. From a wider point of view what I saw was another example of the increase in player power.
Ultimately we see players can oust managers out of their role, that has happened across the country but more and more we are seeing their influence on the pitch in terms of decision making.
The manager can only do so much once the game starts but tactics, formation and substitutions are still in the control of the dug-out. That may be changing.
Players argue about who will take penalties and Fulham have seen that disrupt their chances this season, Kepa won’t come off at Wembley despite the decision of the manager and Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock expressed frustration over Victor Camarasa after revealing the midfielder’s personal staff were telling the club whether he is fit.
It is the performances of the players that determine games but overall control is becoming more and more blurred.
This week Leicester City made a change after unrest over the form and style of play of Claude Puel.
There was player power in evidence again, with a bit of help from the fans and concern from the owners perhaps. There will always be big egos in dressing rooms and you need leaders, fighters and workers.
We must also remember that the faith in managers may also be diluted when they see how readily the man in the dug-out can leave on their own terms.
I’m sure the Celtic players will have been disappointed that Brendan Rodgers didn’t at least stay on until the summer before heading to Leicester.
He himself will have felt if he went now to the King Power Stadium the job was his, wait until May and there may be others on the market.
It is always healthy to have a dialogue between workers and management in any business and many people in positions of responsibility fail to listen to their staff before they make their decision but in the end it is their call, and it should be.
Normally people may say ‘’that’s what they get paid for’’ but of course in football the players get more than the manager.
Leicester paid around £6-8m for Rodgers if reports are to be believed, while midfielder Youri Tielemans cost over £20m.
Salaries are incomparable between the two. The tide may well be changing and we may see more scenes like on the touchline at Wembley in the future.
The intervention of other players like Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta may indicate Sarri’s fragile position at Chelsea but it was hugely disrespectful, and respect for others is something the game has desperately tried to promote but often fails to deliver.
Passion is a wonderful thing in football and in life but players, managers, fans and all of us in our daily lives should all try to treat others as we would hope to be treated by them.
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