If you should go skating on the thin ice of modern life while “dragging behind you the silent reproach of a million tear-stained eyes,” Roger Waters once warned, “don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice appears under your feet.”
I’m not sure if Maurizio Sarri is a Pink Floyd fan — who isn’t? — but hopefully he either was or had the common sense to know what he was getting into as Chelsea head coach. This may not be the “modern life” that they talk about on The Wall, but that just means that ice is that much thinner and the waters beneath it that much colder.
For now, Sarri continues to stay dry, but the cracks are becoming visible. They’re certainly audible. After Sunday, he can apparently no longer afford another defeat or another “act of mutiny” (regardless of whether it was actual mutiny or just built up to be one by the subsequent reactions of all those involved and also those observing). Not that he really could before either, but the Board, by way of the Telegraph, have reportedly granted a “stay of execution” after Sunday’s draw and shootout loss against Manchester City in the League Cup final. It’s possibly a very short stay — with Steve Holland (and John Terry?) perhaps already waiting in the wings to take over if needed. No monthly discounts here at Extended Stay Stamford Bridge!
If Law’s flies on the dressing room wall are to be believed, the Chelsea squad are about as split over the Kepa vs. Sarri incident as the fanbase — or perhaps more 50-50. Willy C was “annoyed” (isn’t there supposed to be a goalkeepers’ fraternity?). Eden Hazard was “dismayed”. Somebody surely shook his head disapprovingly. Maybe a few eyes rolling, a few sighs expelling. Azpilicueta is firmly Team Kepa. David Luiz is Team Sarri. “Some” think Kepa was wrong, “some” think Sarri overreacted, “others” were just annoyed that we behaved like 5-year-olds.
Is it time for palpable discord yet?
There’s nothing wrong with dissenting opinions as long as we can continue working together of course. We don’t all have to agree all the time. In a clear the air meeting on Monday, Kepa apparently explained that he was simply trying to waste a bit of time but that instead snowballed into something well out of his control since it made everyone believe that he was injured. Maybe Kepa was just inspired by the Academy Awards happening later that day, and did his acting a bit too convincingly. The road to disaster is paved with good intentions, after all.
If Wednesday’s game against spurs wasn’t a must-win already, it sure is now, as we claw at the thin ice, hoping that we’re not out of our depth, and out of our mind.