Former Premier League midfielder and controversial pundit Joey Barton has defended Everton centre-back Michael Keane, insisting that he is still a “quality” defender.
The Toffees were beaten 4-1 in the Premier League by Southampton on Sunday afternoon and lost 5-1 at home to Atalanta in the Europa League on Thursday.
The club now have the worst defensive record in the Premier League, with 28 goals conceded.
Barton took to social media to express his views on the club’s defensive issues.
He is. If you think it’s all on Keane, you’re deluded.
That back 6 as a unit is a catastrophe at the minute.
What they’re doing on the training ground is beyond me. https://t.co/Mq310BTG7A
— Joey Barton (@Joey7Barton) November 26, 2017
Barton also slammed the club’s caretaker manager David Unsworth with a series of Tweets after the defeat at St Mary’s Stadium and questioned his credentials as a manager.
However, the former Premier League midfielder did stick up for Keane, insisting that the entire back-six is to blame for the club’s defensive problems and not just him.
Keane joined Everton from Premier League rivals Burnley on a five-year deal over the summer for a club record-equalling fee of £30m at the time.
However, things have not gone as planned for the 24-year-old at Goodison Park.
The England international has made 11 Premier League appearances for the Toffees this season, but has only kept one clean sheet.
The 4-1 loss to Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium leaves the Toffees 16th in the Premier League table, just two points above the relegation zone.
In other Everton news, this is what Barton had to say about caretaker boss Unsworth after the club’s latest defeat.