In a report released by the Mirror, Michael Keane says that he really struggled with the failure of the Koeman regime in his first season at Everton. As one of the major signings of that summer, Keane says he felt guilty for the manager being sacked.
There were a few months when things were going really badly and I did not really want to go and do things out of the house,’ said Keane. ‘It is really sad when managers get sacked and they talk to you for the last time and you see how upset they are. That gets to you and makes you feel guilty and want to make sure it does not happen again.
Keane has certainly done his part to make sure Marco Silva’s reign is a successful one, as the defender is in excellent form and has earned both an England call up and near universal plaudits for his play. He was certainly not responsible for how Koeman’s tenure ended up- the Dutchman refused to play men in their best positions, mistreated players like Oumar Niasse, and generally overestimated his own abilities straight out of a job.
However, it is always good to see what results mean to our more talented players. While we want everyone involved in the club- including the fans- to keep football in perspective, in any negative situation it is the people who take the situation to heart who are most motivated to turn things around for the better.
Possibly the best piece of information in the article, though, was Keane pointing out the support he received from the club, specifically from Bill Kenwright:
He [Kenwright] called me two or three times at the low points when people were saying what they were saying about me.. Bill told me how much he believed in me and to keep working hard and that he had faith that I could become one of the greats at the club.
That a struggling player can receive that kind of encouragement is to me one of the definitive things about Everton football club. From the top down, as much as possible, this club is a family. From these comments by Keane we can be proud not only of the resiliency of our player but also the behavior of our leadership. Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, indeed.