Garth Crooks has slammed Jarrad Branthwaite following the 2-0 Everton defeat against Manchester City at The Etihad, claiming he cost Sean Dyche’s team the game.
The BBC Sport pundit suggested that Branthwaite, alongside James Tarkowski, was at fault for the eventual loss despite putting in impressive performances for most of the game.
It was Erling Haaland who made the difference in the end, making the most of a momentary lapse in concentration from the Everton defender to seal the game at 2-0, but it is harsh to criticise Branthwaite for it.
“Everton made Manchester City work for the points, wrote Crooks in his BBC Team of the Week column [12 February], “Yet it was mistakes by arguably their two best defenders on the day, James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite, that cost them the game.”
Was Jarrad Branthwaite at fault for Everton?
Blaming Branthwaite and Tarkowski for the defeat in Manchester is harsh, as ultimately the result came from two excellent moments from the best striker in the division rather than from defensive errors.
The young centre-back has routinely been one of the best defenders at Goodison Park, if not in the Premier League this season, earning high praise for his displays, but typically he makes one mistake and is blamed for the defeat.
Everton’s problems lay at the other end of the pitch, instead of blaming the 21-year-old defender who has stepped up when others haven’t this season, perhaps fingers should be pointed at the England international up front who has failed to find the net in 18 games.
Alan Shearer offered his advice to Dominic Calvert-Lewin on how to overcome his dip in goalscoring form, but he seems to have otherwise been exempt from criticism since his return from injury, at a time when Dyche needs him most.
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