I don’t know about you, but do I want my best midfielder to go up to the goalkeeper and give him an earful when he makes a mistake. And similarly, when the most experienced player on the pitch makes a grievous error, I want that same star goalie to give him an earful even if he’s a dozen years younger than that forward. Players need to be accountable to each other, it’s called teamwork.
And in all honesty, that has been a big issue at Everton this season, with players not holding each other accountable, with both veterans and youngsters going about their merry ways willy-nilly and none of the managers or players showing any discipline or rigor.
So when Sky Sports analyst, born and raised Blue, and former Liverpool player Jamie Carragher decided he wanted to make an issue of the supposed spat between Jordan Pickford and Idrissa Gueye, manager Sam Allardyce was forced to intervene during his pre-match press conference yesterday and clarify that there was no mystery row simmering.
“It’s not nice when it’s on the field of play. But everybody today, in our politically correct world, think that then there is a real problem and escalate that into a problem.
“That isn’t a problem, that is someone airing their frustration in the right way, as long as it doesn’t go beyond that as a short, sharp burst.”
This is another of those rare times where I agree with Allardyce - players should be angry when they concede a goal and then get over it and get back to the game. When players don’t care about giving up goals or what is going on in the game, then they don’t belong out on the pitch and certainly not in the royal blue.
In fact, just a few days ago in an interview with evertonfc.com, Pickford had lauded Gueye’s abilities, so quite clearly there’s no fermenting issue at hand.
“When Gana plays like that, you know you have got every chance as a team.
“You know he is going to be working hard for you and getting on the ball, as he did against Watford.
“He started quite a few of the attacks off, playing through the thirds, and he was there regenerating the ball, winning it back as well.
“When he plays like that, you’ve got every chance and if we can keep him playing that for the rest of the season then we can win a lot more games.”
Carragher’s exact comments on Monday Night Football were -
“For him to run 20 or 30 yards to remonstrate with a goalkeeper, that’s not a one-off. There must be something going on behind the scenes between the two of them – something in the dressing room.
“If someone ran 20 yards to have a go at me I’d have them by the throat. Jordan Pickford just lets it happen.”
Well Jamie, if you had made a schoolboy error and got called out for it, then you violently fought back, that would make you an idiot. But it would be an accurate reflection of his mentality that he chose to try to deflect the blame when culpable for a mistake, after all, it was a mark of Carra’s 17-season career.