Chelsea suffered a most frustrating, disappointing, shocking 5-2 defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion yesterday, and those sorts of emotions are not easy to ignore and squash — nor should they be.
And while neither Antonio Rüdiger nor Kepa Arrizabalaga played in said defeat, perhaps it still played a part in their reported “bust-up” on the training ground earlier today. The “news” was broken by the Telegraph’s Matt Law, and later picked up by just about every media outlet.
The consensus story is that towards the very end of the session, with the players involved in one of those intra-squad game drills, Rüdiger went in late on Kepa, which led to a “heated argument”, which then devolved into a shoving match. Sweep the leg, Johnny!
Antonio Rudiger sent in early from Chelsea training today after a bust-up with Kepa Arrizabalaga - Thomas Tuchel had warned his players not to lose their heads after the 5-2 defeat to WBA #cfc https://t.co/4O0ahDQEaQ— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) April 4, 2021
These sorts of incidents always lead to breathless reporting and blaring headlines — DISMISSED from training! — but they are far more common than they’d have us believe in such a heightened competitive setting as professional sports. The key is dealing with them properly, and it sounds like Tuchel did exactly that and in quick order.
The head coach reportedly sent Rüdiger in for an early shower (all of five minutes early, but still early), after which the center back apologized to the goalkeeper, and we all lived happily ever after.