February 24, 2024

 

With the whirlwind that the last week has been at Everton, it could be easy to forget how impressive they performed in the recent derby despite the result.

Sean Dyche had set his team up to be resolute and hard to beat, and for 73 minutes that’s exactly what they were.

 

Limiting Liverpool to few clear-cut chances despite their clear domination of the ball, it seemed a plan set to be executed to perfection, even with the red card, until one moment of true madness gifted the hosts the opener.

 

As the Reds pushed to break the deadlock, a driven cross struck the inexplicably outstretched arm of Michael Keane, conceding a penalty that Mohamed Salah would convert. It marked just one of many gaffes that the former Burnley man has made since moving to Goodison Park, as a player so reliant on confidence, but seldom possessing it.

 

Liverpool FC v Everton FC – Premier League

Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

As such, despite only coming on as a substitute, his cameo proved decisive for all the wrong reasons, and could provide the final nail in his coffin on Merseyside.

 

How much did Everton pay for Michael Keane?

Whilst few have ever claimed that the 30-year-old was a particularly skilled defender, few would fault him for his efforts over the years were it not for the huge price tag attached to the defender.

 

Acquired as part of Ronald Koeman’s crazy 2017 summer, in which he broke the bank for so many players, it could be argued that Keane presents a microcosm of a period that has ultimately kickstarted their downward spiral.

 

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After all, the £30m paid marks a truly terrible piece of business, with the £80k-per-week man never really making the cut.

 

In fact, just last year saw journalist Connor O’Neill outline another ‘awful’ moment from the floundering dud, during a campaign in which he made one error directly leading to a shot and conceded two penalties despite making just ten league starts, via Sofascore.

 

Everton Training Session

Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

There has seldom been a period where Keane has shone, with another pundit in talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan noting following their 4-0 loss to Aston Villa: ‘You’ve got central defenders in there that can’t defend. Michael Keane can’t defend. And as much as he may be an honest pro, you’ve got to call things for what they are.’

 

Dyche must surely remove his biases on this occasion, and expel his former player at Turf Moor for the last time. He cannot keep losing the football club points. Not when they are so precious, with deductions now potentially looming.

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