Jordan Pickford went “absolutely ballistic” at James Tarkowski as he raged at what Jeff Stelling called “unbelievable” Everton defending against Bournemouth.
The Toffees lost by three goals at the Vitality for the second time this week, with the keeper’s mistake gifting Marcus Tavernier an early opener, before referee Craig Pawson bafflingly allowed Kieffer Moore’s second to stand despite a head injury to the ex-Burnley centre back.
But when Jaidon Anthony wandered off Tarkowski and Alex Iwobi to easily nod a third home in the second half Pickford was furious, and Jeff Stelling couldn’t believe what he was seeing from the Everton defence.
Speaking live on Sky Sports Soccer Saturday Sue Smith described the goal (12 November, 4.33pm), saying: “Awful defending from Everton. How many times have I said that? Brilliant from Bournemouth and it’s 3-0 to them.”
Stelling then reacted: “Jordan Pickford is making it clear to James Tarkowski what he thinks about that defending. He’s going absolutely ballistic.
“Bournemouth beat Everton 4-1 in the cup in midweek, it’s just as bad today, every bit as bad. They trail by three goals to nil and Everton are plummeting towards the relegation places as things stand.
“Literally nobody picks Jaidon Anthony up inside that box. He has absolutely got the freedom of the parish, the defending is unbelievable.”
There was next to nothing for Frank Lampard to take from the latest defeat in a positive sense, and it was particularly galling that the defence was so poor.
Since Tarkowski was joined by Conor Coady this season things have improved at the back markedly from last season, but it felt like one of those dark days in the previous campaign for much of the game on the south coast on Saturday.
The travelling fans were even more furious than Pickford following the final whistle, and in many ways it is not surprising considering how quickly things have taken a downward turn.
All three goals wouldn’t have been conceded if the visitors and the referee were up to scratch, since Pickford’s fumble directly led to the opener, Pawson should have disallowed the second, and a complete meltdown in defence handed the Cherries their third.
The way Anthony was given the freedom of the area betrayed an Everton side who looked like they thought the game was lost long before the final whistle.
One minor silver lining is that there won’t be any more games for a few weeks during the World Cup, so the coaching staff has an opportunity to stop the rot, which they will need to do in a big way after the bad tempered scenes between Toffees fans and players at the end.