Kevin Mirallas penalty miss: is it anarchy at Everton or no big deal?

The Belgian winger was denounced as ‘despicable’ for disobeying team orders, but what else does it say about the club and his manager Roberto Martínez?
• Manager plays down penalty controversy

Kevin Mirallas might as well have pogoed up to the ball while wearing bondage trousers and a safety pin through his nose, so loudly did his insistence on taking a penalty against West Bromwich Albion on Monday night scream “Anarchy in EFC!”. At least that is one interpretation of the Belgian’s decision to gob in the face of the established order by refusing to cede the ball to the designated spot kick taker, Leighton Baines.

Gary Neville denounced it as “a despicable breach of team spirit” while Roberto Martínez, a specialist in sifting through the rubble of bad performances in search of tattered positives, could find nothing more encouraging to say than it was “no big issue”. Failure to win at home to West Bromwich Albion last night was always going to increase unease at Goodison Park but Mirallas’ penalty miss raised even more questions about Everton’s ability to pull away from the derelict end of the table.

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