Rafael Benitez responded to Everton fans booing his decision to replace Richarlison in Everton’s defeat at Crystal Palace, citing a “calf problem”.
With Everton trailing 1-0 at Selhurst Park, away fans made their frustrations known to their manager when Benitez made a double substitution just before the hour, putting in Salomon Rondon and Anthony Gordon to replace Fabian Delph and Richarlison. The Toffees lost the match 3-1, although Rondon scored from the bench.
Richarlison, who scored in the 2-1 win over Arsenal in Everton’s previous game, looked extremely frustrated at being knocked out when he did.
Benitez put his arm around the striker and tried to comfort him on the wing, although that didn’t improve Richarlison’s mood as he walked sulkily to the bench.
Explaining the decision to replace him, Benitez cited a calf problem and said the player knew there was a strong chance at half-time that he would be replaced to protect him before an intense bout of play.
“Richarlison has a calf problem, we knew it at half-time,” said Benitez Sky Sports.
“We were thinking about changing him but we didn’t because we gave him five minutes to see how he was doing. We didn’t want him to get injured with so many games and he wasn’t affecting the game so do the substitution as you know what’s going on.
“But you can’t always explain that. I’m disappointed that people don’t realize you make substitutions and they’re fine, as Rondon was a key player for us with the way he held the ball. Richarlison wasn’t helping. when he moved his arms, when he knew we’d give him five minutes at half time to see how he was doing.
“He said at half-time, ‘give me five minutes and we’ll see how I feel’ – I can’t explain to all the fans what’s going on.”
Former Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew expressed his opinion in Sky Sports study, adding: “I felt he should have stayed on because of his performance on Monday night. He hadn’t made a great performance in this game because he was playing as the only striker, and that’s not really his role.
“I can understand why he was a little perplexed when he walked in. With my manager’s hat on his head I don’t want that reaction from him, he doesn’t want to see himself, but in his defense, Monday night was lively and has that element of danger.”
Souness: Everton was so bad
Sky Sports’ Graeme Souness criticized Everton’s mostly lethargic performance at Selhurst Park and wondered why they didn’t capitalize on the win over Arsenal last time around.
He said: “What I am perplexed about is that the mood after Monday’s win against Arsenal against Everton would have been optimistic. Those first 45 minutes here, almost an hour, were so negative and so passive.
“I’m not sure how you prepare a team, after such a high of the last 30 minutes against Arsenal, and you say: ‘Well, the way we will play against Palace, who have lost three games and have no confidence, we will play negative , we will put Fabian Delph in front of the four defenders, we will try to steal the game. ‘
“I think it’s a difficult sale from a manager. They were the shadow of a team in the first half.
“We know that Rafa’s approach to football is quite unique and different from many coaches, we have seen that at Newcastle he likes to play on the counterattack and tries to steal matches.
“I don’t think Everton will accept that. The idea was to take Everton to the next level, and that didn’t happen. They should have faced this game with the front foot. They were so negative.”
In praise of Vieira for Gallagher
One of the Crystal Palace’s standout performers was Conor Gallagher, who scored two superb goals to win the game for the hosts.
Manager Patrick Vieira was full of praise for the 21-year-old, saying Sky Sports: “There is still a lot to come from him. He will have to manage his forces and find the best way to manage his energy. He is a fantastic player to have. He has given everything to the team and can score goals. To have a midfielder who can score 10-15 goals is important.
“The extraordinary thing is that we were talking about the 90th minute in which he ran everywhere, to find the energy to score. That goal took a long time.
“We do not think about what will happen in the future. We have had him for a year and we are happy to work with him. It is a win for everyone. We will see what happens at the end of the season.”
Pardew was also impressed by the midfielder, who made his full England debut last month.
🎙️ “The ultimate goal: that feeling is incredible.”
🎙️ “I love it. The fact that they chant my name right now is a great feeling for me. They give me confidence, which is great for a player.”
– Sky Sport Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 12, 2021
“He did everything in the game, he was great,” he said. “There isn’t one thing I could criticize him about, he even almost scored with a header! He’s doing forward runs, he has that dynamic way about him, he wants to be involved all the time.
“Gareth [Southgate] he was in Burnley today, he was supposed to go home to Palace and see Gallagher. He is knocking on England’s door. “
But is Gallagher ready for Chelsea’s move to the first team when he returns this summer? Souness believes he needs a little more time to develop, adding: “There isn’t now. There are 21-year-olds who look like the finished article, I think he’s a 21-year-old who has a little to fill from. do.
“He has all the technique you need, he has a fabulous attitude, stick to that, avoid injuries and you will be a star.”