When Rafa Benitez was first announced as Everton manager, it sparked controversy among supporters at Goodison Park.
Her frustration was perfectly justified, too. They lost Carlo Ancelotti and brought in a coach who has such a great affinity for Liverpool and Anfield.
Those bad vibes were quickly eradicated, however, as the Spaniard scored seven points out of a possible nine at the start of the season.
On the blackboard
Benitez’s new signings have worked extremely well, with Demarai Gray making two appearances.
However, the toffees struggle in one area of the pitch; defensive.
Ben Godfrey and Yerry Mina went missing at the start of the campaign, which meant a center-back pairing of Mason Holgate and Michael Keane.
Unfortunately it didn’t go well. Everton have only cleared once in all competitions this season, the last time against Brighton.
Should Keane play on Monday?
On that occasion, Keane was actually in good shape. The Englishman won 100% of his defensive duels and was also successful with 92% of his passes.
That was a seldom good performance by the central defender, who was actually a burden in 2021/22.
The £ 69,000-a-week earner failed to pick up his husband for the goal Everton conceded in the Carabao Cup against Huddersfield, and was also to blame for the draw against Leeds.
Keane spun slowly and couldn’t intercept the ball, leaving Patrick Bamford in possession of the ball and bringing in Mateusz Klich, who hit the net.
He has drawn widespread criticism for the term, particularly from sports witness journalist Sean Lunt. When he spoke about his incapacity last month, the reporter said commented: “Another sloppy goal for Everton and it’s Michael Keane again. He has regressed terribly once again, Everton would do well to sell at this point.
The 28-year-old’s sale could go too far, but Benitez would be wise to remove him from his starting XI if they take on his former team Burnley.
They face the Clarets next Monday and could be bolstered by the return of Mina and Godfrey, who both now appear to be fit again.
Despite his productive performance against Brighton, Keane is still incredibly difficult to trust completely. He should be taken out of the line of fire.
AND in other news, signed for $ 28 million