April 13, 2024

Richard Keys chastised Everton for what he called a “negative” performance in their 3-0 loss to Manchester United, even in the face of boisterous fan protests.

 

After the final whistle on November 26, the beIN Sports anchor responded in real time to the broadcaster’s coverage of the game by asking why, in such an environment, the players hadn’t performed better.

 

In response Andy Gray suggested that manager Sean Dyche may have deliberately tempered the emotion as he

Keys said after the final whistle: “[With] those cards demonstrating their displeasure at the Premier League if they had been more front-footish, if you see what I mean, more, ‘Well we’re in this now together and we are [up for it]’.

“You could just sense it was negative.”

Gray replied: “The performance? I don’t know, you could tell the atmosphere was up and the fans were up. There was an intensity about them.

“I’m guessing in a lot of ways Sean might have been a tad worried that the players got wrapped up in that and came out and were reckless.”

 

Keys continued: “Yeah just, ‘We’re after you’, anything to say, ‘We are as one’.”

 

“He would have been conscious, Richard,” Gray responded, “You can’t play with ill-discipline, you can’t just go out there and run about, chase everywhere.”

 

watching a different game

If the Toffees players had played a lacklustre game in front of supporters who were cheering them on and booing the Premier League for their 10-point deduction, Keys’ criticism might not have been justified.

 

Even after Alejandro Garnacho’s incredible goal in the third minute, which under different circumstances might have put a dampener on everything from the start, the home team led by far for the majority of the first half.

 

Everton, led by Dominic Calvert-Lewin up front, dominated the first half and were only kept from scoring multiple goals in response by Andre Onana and some poor finishing.

 

Everton

Gray’s argument also falls down when the fight that was actually shown was in fact undercut by Ashley Young’s recklessness, as he followed up a rash challenge that saw him booked in the first half by conceding a penalty after the break to arguably secure the points.

He was probably lucky not to be shown a second yellow for the foul, which initially was ruled a dive before a VAR review, or his attempts to remonstrate with referee John Brooks.

 

It was a disappointing performance in yet another important game at Liverpool, where they were sent off for two lunges in the first half.

 

Even though the final scoreline and quality were undoubtedly low, a memorable goal, a careless penalty given away, and a breakaway goal scored while trailing the game all contributed to the pleasing outcome.

 

Although Young’s carelessness marred what was otherwise a pretty strong performance, Dyche’s cautions were obviously ineffective.

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