Dwight McNeil was “extremely irate” after becoming the victim of a hard foul in Everton’s 5-1 friendly victory against Australia on Wednesday, according to Joe Thomas.
The Toffees improved substantially from their goalless draw with Celtic to overcome Western Sydney Wanderers thanks to a hat-trick from Anthony Gordon and goals from Neal Maupay and Tom Cannon.
However, one of the few drawbacks from a strong performance was a lunge by Gabriel Cleur, a summer recruit from Burnley.
On Twitter, Liverpool Echo reporter Thomas wrote, “Dwight McNeil clearly enraged as Gabriel Cleur rushes at him, full on.” Cleur receives a booking, which isn’t ideal.
“McNeil had to be dragged away from it when he became enraged.”
Players are never pleased when they are fouled, especially in a friendly encounter, and with Everton far up and cruising in the second half, McNeil was right in being unhappy.
The 22-year-old has struggled to make the impression he would have hoped since joining the club in the summer, despite scoring in two victories in 15 outings.
However, he has yet to establish himself as a regular starter, thus an injury at this stage would most certainly jeopardise the remainder of his first season at Goodison Park.
The six-week World Cup break has offered Frank Lampard the chance to work with his players to improve the situation at the club, having gone into the break in poor form.
He’ll be hoping that the friendly run outs on the other side of the planet will instil some confidence in his attackers, who have struggled recently.
Despite being chastised for negative tactics in the draw with Celtic, the 5-1 triumph on Wednesday is more of what supporters would have hoped for, and a Gordon hat-trick may well signal that the young star will be back in form when the Premier League resumes.