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Iwobi and Everton defending abysmal in Brentford draw - Birtles

4:30 PM GMT 28/08/2022
Alex Iwobi Everton 2022-23
The ex-Three Lion blames poor defending for the Bees' equalising goal against the Toffees in the top-flight

Former England forward Garry Birtles has put the blame on Alex Iwobi for the defending that led to Brentford's equalising goal against Everton in a Premier League fixture on Saturday.

The 26-year-old Nigeria international was handed his fourth straight start in this campaign and it was the Toffees who took a deserved lead in the first half when Anthony Gordon drilled home past David Raya.

However, with six minutes left to the final whistle, Vitaly Janelt, who was unmarked, found enough space to slot the ball past Jordan Pickford and hand the Bees a deserved point and deny the Toffees their first win of the season.

“I tell you what, that defending was abysmal, absolutely abysmal," the 66-year-old Birtles, who is best known for his time at Nottingham Forest, during which he won the 1979 and 1980 European Cup finals, told world feed match commentary as quoted by Goodison News.

Birtles particularly pointed a finger at the Super Eagle by stating: "Look at this, how many blue shirts are there? There’s the flick, who’s picking up [who]? Look at Iwobi, stood there not looking. This is scandalous defending.

“It looked offside there but Iwobi, he’s just stood there look, what’s he doing!? How many blue shirts can you see there? Four in a line with no red and white shirts there. One man in there scores a goal, that is shocking.

“Pickford’s going mad, and rightly so.”

He went on: “Pickford’s still going absolutely berserk at his defenders… Iwobi was just looking at nothing but there were four teammates also doing similar. Nobody picked anybody up, all of them were like statues, and it was just a simple tap in.

“It’s a flick on, then somebody else picks up. Nobody was watching what was going on whatsoever, and I think that’s what’s annoyed Pickford so much.”

Iwobi has so far featured in all Everton's matches and he will hope to keep his starting role when they host Leeds United at Goodison Park on Wednesday.