By Declan Walsh

15th Sep, 2021 | 11:10am

Michael Ball raves about Seamus Coleman involvement in Everton flashpoint v Burnley

Michael Ball was thrilled to see Seamus Coleman standing up for Richarlison when the Everton forward was clattered by James Tarkowski on Monday night.

As the Blues beat Burnley 3-1 at Goodison Park, Richarlison was on the rough end of a number of tackles and one challenge by Tarkowski over-stepped the line of what can be deemed as a reckless and unsafe attempt to win the ball.

Amazingly, referee Martin Atkinson failed to punish Tarkowski, leading to Coleman stepping in and having a go at the Burnley defender himself.

Sky Sports’ cameras caught the flashpoint while there was a break in play and Ball was delighted to see it.

“[Richarlison] does get kicked and it’s great to see Seamus Coleman protecting him, being the leader. All the players started gathering together after the first challenge,” the pundit wrote on the Liverpool Echo website.

“Richarlison is massively key for us and I’m surprised at the referee Martin Atkinson (well, I’m not surprised) that there wasn’t even a word or a whisper to Tarkowski, no ‘watch yourself’, no booking.

“The players around Richarlison need to get in the referee’s ear because he’s not getting the protection from referees that’s needed and Rafa will come out in the media to protect Richy too.

“If Richy hadn’t touched the ball that could have been a horror tackle and we don’t want to be seeing that. He’s gone in, lost control of his body and he’s very lucky.”


Coleman is a player who’s had a couple of serious injuries in his career so he knows that what Burnley were doing on Monday was dangerous.

If Tarkowski had caught Richarlison’s ankles while the Brazilian’s feet were grounded, it could have been game over for the Toffees star.

It’s simply unacceptable and Sean Dyche needs to be spoken to by someone at the Premier League or PGMOL about his team’s rough approach to matches.

Or, better yet, referees like Atkinson should do their job properly and actually protect the safety of players.

Tarkowski could have been sent off more than once on Monday night. His lunge on Richarlison at the touchline was nasty and seemed intent to hurt the Brazilian.

If your aim is to injure or endanger an opponent then it’s a red card and a three-match ban. There’s no way Tarkowski would do that again this season if Atkinson gave him a proper punishment.

We just hope that a player isn’t seriously injured by Tarkowski or one of Dyche’s other players in the coming weeks.

If they do, Burnley, the PGMOL and the Premier League have a lot to answer for.

In other Everton news, Gary Lineker and Chris Sutton were floored by what this Blues player did against Burnley.

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