Gabby Agbonlahor insists it’s normal for players to clash in training after reports of Antonio Rudiger’s bust-up with Kepa Arrizabalaga on Sunday.
Rudiger was ordered to leave the training session after clashing with Kepa, a day after the two were unused substitutes in Chelsea’s 5-2 defeat to West Brom at Stamford Bridge.
Agbonlahor revealed that players’ tempers regularly boil over in training and the Aston Villa legend recalled one particular incident at Villa which inspired a hilarious Roy Keane line.
“I was sent in from training for a couple of bad tackles, as you do! You feel like the naughty kid outside the headmaster’s office waiting for the gaffer to come in, you have to apologise,” Agbonlahor said on talkSPORT.
😡 “When players don’t start on the Saturday, they train on the Sunday & no one’s happy.”
👊 “I remember Bacuna & Richardson were swinging it out!”
😂 “Roy Keane said they needed boxing lessons after that!”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) April 5, 2021
“Tempers do go in the air. I remember Leandro Bacuna and Kieran Richardson training on a Sunday and they were swinging it out – no one connected, it was 0-0!
“But after it finished, Roy Keane was like ‘well, you both need boxing lessons for starters, no one connected, we call that a bore draw!'”
Rudiger reportedly apologised to Kepa for the altercation at Cobham which, according to Agbonlahor, was likely sparked by the teammates’ frustration at their lack of game time rather than any serious issue between the two.
“Once or twice a week, it’s normal. Especially every Sunday,” Agbonlahor said when asked how often there were rows in training.
“When players aren’t in the starting line-up on a Saturday, normally you train on a Sunday and no one’s happy. No one’s happy to be in on a Sunday, no one’s happy that they’re not playing.
“Sometimes players are going to be angry, shoving each other and it happens a lot.”
Next up for Chelsea is a Champions League clash against Porto on Wednesday, when Blues boss Thomas Tuchel will hope to return to winning ways.