February 24, 2024

Andy Gray has joked that he may have less sympathy for Nottingham Forest after Ivan Toney’s controversial goal, depending on whether Everton survive relegation or not.

In addition to Everton’s 10-point deduction, Forest and the Toffees have both suffered greatly from Profit and Sustainability violations. Both teams face the possibility of additional sanctions.

After serving an eight-month ban, Toney was observed moving the ball from the intended free-kick marker and scoring Brentford’s first goal of the season by putting it past Forest’s wall.

Video: Ivan Toney moves referee's foam before scoring with free-kick

Speaking on beIN Sports via X, Gray expressed some sympathy for the defense, but he also acknowledged that may alter according on how Everton performs this season. The Forest players would have seen him moving the ball if they had been paying attention, to put it simply.

“They would have shuffled across to their proper position, where they should have been. And had they done that, he [Toney] wouldn’t have been able to do what he did.

When asked by Richard Keys whether he has any sympathy for Forest at all, he caused a barrel of laughs, replying: “A little, yes. But it depends if Everton go down or not.”

Every little counts

With so much riding on this current season, every minute event could impact Everton’s season in some way or other, which is an incredibly scary thought.

Even if the Toffees have lost more points as a result of the most recent punishment announcement, they still have a great deal of control over the campaign’s conclusion. They demonstrated this by winning four straight games against Forest, Newcastle United, Chelsea, and Burnley following the original 10-point deduction.

But lately, the team has struggled to get points, losing to Wolves, Manchester City, and Tottenham Hotspur in quick succession before drawing deadlock with Aston Villa.

Everton are still outside the relegation zone but are separated by just a single point. After an up-turn in form, Luton Town are scratching at the escape hatch and could replace Everton in the bid for survival.

Sean Dyche has worked miracles before, though. He will know that his squad are more than capable of surviving whatever punishment is thrown their way. But that challenge is becoming harder and harder by the day.

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