By George Overhill

2nd Mar, 2023 | 11:10am

Sky Sports pundit: Sean Dyche takes decisive action on unacceptable Idrissa Gueye mistake for Everton at Arsenal

Idrissa Gana Gueye’s mistake that put Everton 2-0 at Arsenal was “unacceptable” and his withdrawal was a direct reaction, according to Jay Bothroyd.

The experienced midfielder made an amateur error in first-half stoppage time when, after stealing the ball of Martin Odegaard, he was promptly dispossessed himself just outside his own area by Bukayo Saka, allowing Gabriel Martinelli who was just behind the ball to slot in and end the contest.

The summer signing back from PSG seemed to have no awareness that opponents were anywhere near him and the fact that he didn’t come out of the second half was specifically because of that says Bothroyd.

Speaking on Sky Sports News on Wednesday night (1 March), as per the Sky Sports live blog update at 8.33pm the pundit said: “Will Gueye’s substitution be a reaction to his mistake for the second goal? Of course it will be.

“Those kinds of mistakes in a relegation fight are unacceptable.”


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The only explanation for Gueye getting caught like that is that he thought he had fouled Odegaard and the referee would blow for a foul.

But even in that situation, every person who has played football in a semi-organised fashion in their entire life has heard the mantra to play to the whistle, and he clearly didn’t do that.

Saka and Martinelli did, and with 40 minutes of resolute defensive work undone minutes earlier with the English forward’s opener the quick-fire second broke the resistance.

It would be unfair to park all the responsibility for the Everton failings this year at Gueye’s door, but he hasn’t been the reassuring presence in midfield that was hoped for when the long process to bring him back from Paris in the summer was completed.

Too often this season he has been caught in possession leading to opponents scoring, and while it had been some weeks since it last happened Wednesday night’s was the most glaring example.

It was a miserable evening in North London which had promised so much more through the first 40 minutes, and Dyche bringing on Mason Holgate in defensive midfield for his first league appearance since August showed just what he thought of Gueye’s part in it.