By Anthony Onifade

16th Feb, 2023 | 6:55am

Everton defender Conor Coady has 'fallen off a cliff', he shouldn't be in the team - journalist

Liverpool ECHO journalist Tony Scott has blasted Conor Coady for his performance against Liverpool on Monday, claiming the on-loan Toffees defender has “fallen off a cliff” and that he should be picked again.

Sean Dyche’s reign as Everton manager got off to the perfect start with a win over league leaders Arsenal at Goodison Park, but was brought back down to earth following his side’s 2-0 defeat to Liverpool in the Merseyside derby at Anfield.

The Toffees were made to rue costly individual errors in their disappointing defeat from the likes of Vitaliy Mykolenko, Jordan Pickford and Coady.

Liverpool’s second goal came after Conor Coady failed to deal with Trent Alexander-Arnold’s cross, which Cody Gakpo converted.

Coady was brought into the Goodison Park fold on loan over the summer to help shore up Everton’s defence and bring some leadership to a Toffees side who were almost relegated last season under Frank Lampard.

And Scott criticised the defender for his performance on Monday. Speaking on the All Together Now podcast [14 February], he said: “Coady should’ve been aware of what was behind him when Gakpo scored. He just let it go, and you’re looking at it in terms of Coady at the moment – would you sign him on a permanent? The way his form’s [fallen] off a cliff? He shouldn’t be in the team.”

Best chance

Considering the lack of quality and experience in Sean Dyche’s squad, we totally disagree with Scott’s comments on the on-loan defender. The 29-year-old offers so much to the Toffees squad in terms of his leadership, communication and defensive quality which Dyche cannot live without.

It’s unclear whether Wolves will be willing to take him back next season, so the Toffees certainly take advantage of making the deal permanent this summer.

With Dyche favouring an organised, rigid and defensively sound style, Coady will remain crucial to those tactical plans, no matter what kind of form he’s in.

While Coady’s error against Liverpool – which effectively sealed all three points for the Reds – can’t be ignored as he let the ball roll past him, the fact that the Toffees have only conceded 30 goals this season is a testament to the impact he’s helped make alongside James Tarkowski.

That pairing remains the club’s best chance of securing survival this season, and it is a partnership that should not be overlooked. Coady remains a vital part of the side, and he certainly will be picked consistently by Dyche in the foreseeable future.