To say that things around Everton have been tense would be an understatement.
So when reports surfaced before the international break that Morgan Schneiderlin and Kevin Mirallas had voluntarily walked out of training after a dispute with Duncan Ferguson, it was seen as more evidence of growing cracks in the Toffees foundation.
Mirallas was already presumably rebuilding his relationships within the club following his deadline day Olympiakos-related tantrum and proceeding poor attitude, so to most this seemed like the final straw for a player whose on-field contributions were on the obvious decline.
Schneiderlin, on the other hand, only joined the Toffees in January, but with the man who brought him to Everton (and managed him at Southampton), Ronald Koeman, out the door, and Unsworth giving teenager Beni Bangingime a run of games upon assuming the managerial reigns, the outburst seemed an unfortunate, albeit all-too-predictable, next step in the crumbling of the Everton spirit.
At Friday’s press conference, David Unsworth shot down any claims that the Belgian and French players were lacking commitment and backed them to find their form.
“I have seen that particular story and there’s a lot that’s been written that was wrong, that was false.”
The Everton manager continued on:
“I’ve seen both players’ comments, which I fully support. It was something made of nothing. Both were given an option of finishing their training and that was absolutely fine. In this day and age, you can’t sneeze without someone finding out.
He went on.
“Absolutely not,” Unsworth added, when asked about whether he questioned the pair’s commitment to the Club. “I know they’re both fully committed. If they’re not in the team or squad, would they be disappointed? Absolutely - and you would want that. There’s nothing in it, honestly. I can assure all the Everton fans that both players are fully committed to this great Club.”
There is no story there.
Following the Toffees boss publicly backing him, Morgan Schneiderlin took to social media to repeat his frustration with the false reports:
Next time please people before writting shit.— Morgan Schneiderlin (@SchneiderlinMo4) November 17, 2017
Coyb lets win tomorow https://t.co/kbpBKyBRvy
In fact, he wasn’t the only one in his family to express their opinion on the topic as the French midfielder’s wife chimed in as well:
Hopefully with this situation behind them, both Schneiderlin and Mirallas can find form that will re-endear them to the Goodison faithful starting tomorrow at Crystal Palace.