Kevin Mirallas has been speaking of his disappointment at missing out on the World Cup and his difficulties last season with Sam Allardyce.
The Belgian, currently on loan with Fiorentina, looked to have found himself mired in no-man's land this past summer after a much-vaunted return to Olympiacos fell flat and he ended up being sent back to Everton before the end of his six-month loan term.
Mirallas had fallen out of favour with interim Blues boss, Allardyce, and over the course of the 2017-18 season, he would start just two games in the Premier League. Indeed, the last match in which he was named in an Everton starting XI was for the Europa League dead rubber in Cyprus against Apollon Limassol.
He tells SportFoot in Belgium that Allardyce, who missed the trip for health reasons, barely spoke with the players, many of them youngsters, who featured in that game upon their return
“For his first training session, he spends five minutes looking at the guys who didn't play the game the day before,” the 30-year-old says of Allardyce. “Then, he basically only plays English players.
“A few times, he picks me for the first-team before sending me to the stands on game day, which almost never happens in England.
“Sometimes, I found myself playing left-back in training. In December, Allardyce calls the six players to the U18s and tells us that we would all go to Cyprus to play the final Europa League game, which counted for nothing. Seriously? Six pros with U18s for an official game?”
Ultimately, his lack of game time cost him a place in Roberto Martinez's Belgium squad for Russia but he says he genuinely believed he would still be selected as there were other players he felt who had had less playing time than he did.
“I was sure 1000% to go there (to the World Cup),” he explains. “Firstly, in relation to my relationship and my discussions with Roberto Martinez, secondly because he continued to take me back even when I was not [in] good [form]…
“[T]hree weeks before the announcement of the [squad] list, Martinez phoned me to ask me to follow a program to stay in shape. On the day of selection, I was at the beach with my wife. In my head, I was relaxed as I know the coach.
“I tell myself that he would have already phoned me if he did not [want to take me]. But when my phone rings, I have a bad feeling.
“He talked about my complicated season and the fact that he has to do without one or two forwards to make up the number of defenders. But it was useless for him to explain a thousand things to me. It was complicated for 3-4 days; the time to understand that I would never play in the World Cup [again] in my life.
“[After the season I had], I did not deserve to go there. What I have a hard time understanding is that Martinez picks up guys who have not played a lot [either].”
Mirallas is contracted to remain in Serie A with Fiorentina until the end of this season when he hopes he will have done enough to earn a permanent contract. So far, he has made six appearances for La Viola but has yet to score.
If he doesn't stay in Italy, he will still have a year left on his Everton deal after he was curiously offered new terms last year.
“Seeing my son happy at school, my wife's joy and how good I felt led me to sign,”he explained. “The club warned, using Ross Barkley as an example, they'd sign new players if we didn't sign new contracts.
“I could have easily turned down the new deal and earned more money elsewhere, but I didn't want to leave Everton like a thief after all they'd given me.
“The priority was to replace Romelu Lukaku. The manager bought, bought and bought and we had six catastrophic months. When I arrived, the club felt like a family. When I left, I felt it became a business.”
Some quotes provided by Sport Witness
Reader Comments (81)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:25:22
2 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:29:01
3 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:34:45
4 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:38:31
Pity the Belgian didn't show full commitment to the cause on far too many occasions, now that's what I call stealing a living.
5 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:45:36
"It's never your fault" etc
Still not getting it, eh, Kev?
6 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:46:16
7 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:50:52
If he thought Martinez would offer him a place in squad for the World Cup, he should first have looked in the mirror at his own performances.
8 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:53:14
I was surprised to see he actually got into double figures for goals scored back in 2014-15, when he seemed to benefit from partnering with Lukaku.
Never really scaled the heights with us, we're well rid.
9 Posted 31/10/2018 at 18:59:26
10 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:04:25
11 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:12:14
12 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:12:20
13 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:16:53
14 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:24:49
It's so frustrating as the kind of money these players are on for not even a full-time job, you think they would put a little effort in.
15 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:28:05
He needs a reality check. He never was going to be in the first 11 last season. His ability has diminished since the 2014-15 season. Even then, his attitude was questionable but a lot of people let it slide because he was one of our most creative players. Albeit an inconsistent one.
He's now a shadow of his former self and we have much better players. He needs to get his head down and try and get some kind of form because I'm sceptical that Fiorentina will want to keep him beyond next summer.
16 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:33:56
I for one am grateful for Sam's time here. Yeah, the football was dire but he done a good job.
17 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:37:30
Allardyce and Mirallas? Pleased they will not be seen anywhere in the vicinity of L4 again. We move on and are better for it.
18 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:55:00
Allardyce's attitude, Keane's foot, plus all the other stuff we didn't hear about. A toxic lack of proper leadership...are all clubs like this behind the sences to some extent.? Or is it just ours?
19 Posted 31/10/2018 at 19:57:44
20 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:16:51
He scored some great and important goals for us but his ego ultimately let him down and now he is trying to look for excuses.
21 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:20:28
Move on, lad... we are. COYB.
22 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:20:57
23 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:28:31
24 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:29:38
The lad had all the talent but not the desire it would seem apart from wanting to kick that cheating diving racist tosser, we should at least praise him for that!
25 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:43:06
Won't last of course but nice to give the old trumpet a little air!
26 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:44:53
So I'm incredibly sorry Kevin never set the world on fire at Goodison, but you can only imagine that Fat Sam wasn't in the least bit interested in anyone who had passion. Meanwhile, £6m later...
27 Posted 31/10/2018 at 20:58:00
28 Posted 31/10/2018 at 21:10:11
29 Posted 31/10/2018 at 21:22:30
Would I have him back? Probably not as the game has moved on and he is knocking on a bit now.
I think Bernard could be a Kev Mirralas (flashes of brilliance but very frustrating). I don't think Lookman will be with us for long enough to find out.
I hope Silva has plans to have a more fluid attack the likes of Man City, Spurs and dare I mention them the RS. If so then Theo and Cenk's days are numbered.
30 Posted 31/10/2018 at 21:36:53
31 Posted 31/10/2018 at 22:01:22
32 Posted 31/10/2018 at 22:11:52
I kind of admired Sam when he was at Bolton and his tactics how to beat Arsenal, at the time I thought was genius in a way as Arsenal were pretty much invincible at the time.
Don't get me wrong, Sam is a dinosaur of the modern game and we were under no illusion when he arrived here as to what to expect.
33 Posted 31/10/2018 at 22:26:12
34 Posted 31/10/2018 at 22:33:39
35 Posted 31/10/2018 at 22:44:00
Mirallas was a very good player in his first three seasons with us.
36 Posted 31/10/2018 at 22:56:55
Sam DID do a good job for us.
His remit was to keep us up and he did. Job done.
For me, we looked crap before he came and relegation was a genuine possibility. He steadied the ship and banished talk of relegation.
As for Mirallas, he should tell his grandkids, sincerely, ‘I could have been somebody' cos he really could have.
Such a waste of talent.
37 Posted 31/10/2018 at 23:29:59
Please correct me if I'm wrong but Unsworth's Premier League record was W2 L2 D1. It was the heavy defeats in the Europa League that done him in especially the one after the Saints defeat. There was every chance we'd have been comfortable if Moshiri had not have panicked.
Allardyce's alleged defensive qualities saw us beaten by half time in games against Man City, Arsenal and Tottenham and saw some of the most woeful football I've seen and an atmosphere that ranged between complete apathy and the most toxic since the lowest days of Johnson's reign .
Finishing 8th with 49 points will take some doing again and is more to do with the dearth of quality in the Premier League than anything Allardyce did. We finished 14th with a similar tally under Walter Smith.
38 Posted 31/10/2018 at 23:33:04
Although you may have felt relegation was a genuine possibility, Unsworth had pulled us out of the relegation zone & Allardyce's subsequent performance was almost identical to that of the caretaker manager he succeeded.
39 Posted 31/10/2018 at 23:34:04
Including Coleman, who was still recovering from injury last November, seven of the starting eleven in our last two matches were not playing with us twelve months ago. That Allardyce managed to get us to 49 points and 8th in the table with such a bunch of misfits was a minor miracle.
It will be interesting to see if the money spent on improving the squad and the playing style is reflected in points and league position this season.
40 Posted 31/10/2018 at 23:37:42
He didn't save our club, he fucking robbed millions off us... By the way, I believe Mirallas is just as big a robber.
41 Posted 31/10/2018 at 23:43:49
Unsworth took 7 points from the 5 League matches he was in charge of. At the same rate over the subsequent 24 League matches Allardyce would have been in line to get 33.6 points – he actually got 34. A miraculous improvement indeed... of 0.016 points per match.
Mind you, Allardyce did have more time to work with the players & a transfer window to improve the squad, so I suppose a small improvement is perhaps slightly short of a miracle.
42 Posted 31/10/2018 at 23:51:56
I honestly think you are wrong there. We were heading the wrong way under Unsy and I think the players got the message, with the new boss watching (and talking to them before the game). It could well have been a goodwill send off to Unsy, but it begs the question why they left it too late to save him.
We will never know what might have happened but, despite the standard of the football, and the whole Allardyce ego trip, I was mighty relieved that we came through it with our Premier League status intact.
It may have been a year wasted, but it could have been a lot worse.
43 Posted 01/11/2018 at 00:08:57
Talked about a move away any time he was in any sort of form, wanted sympathy any time it wasn't going right.
Lazy and over rated is my verdict.
44 Posted 01/11/2018 at 01:55:32
45 Posted 01/11/2018 at 02:20:26
All things being hypothetical now, but if the whole point of last season was to ‘not get relegated, I still reckon Unsworth would have achieved that at a much lower economical cost to Mr Allardyce. Dont think anyone argues David was a long term option, just a far cheaper stop gap.
I mean, where there any other ‘highlights last season beyond the West Ham game?
Even thinking about last season is enough to consider wondering who owes me a refund. I know people have complaints about the current campaign but up to last season. For the money spent, even Big Sam got what £50million there abouts, it made Walter look competent and exciting.
46 Posted 01/11/2018 at 04:16:57
47 Posted 01/11/2018 at 04:29:14
In that scenario Sam would have paid for most of his wages in a higher league placing. Of course that's conjecture and my opinion and we don't where Unsworth would have finished for sure, but I saw enough after the thrashing away at Southampton to think bringing someone in was the right call.
After the rollercoaster ride of a season 8th was a very good finish. Big Sam did a good job on paper and did what he was paid to do. But let's not pretend that the football was enjoyable at any time. It was the worst I've ever seen. It makes me appreciate what Silva's trying to do. We're now playing good football again and seem to be forging an identity. Something that was lost in recent seasons.
48 Posted 01/11/2018 at 06:41:20
49 Posted 01/11/2018 at 06:47:37
One was a disappointment; the other should never have been hired.
50 Posted 01/11/2018 at 06:52:32
I'm glad he's gone, I don't think he or Mirallas were/are the future for our club but, at a point in time, they were what we needed.
51 Posted 01/11/2018 at 07:08:30
52 Posted 01/11/2018 at 08:17:54
53 Posted 01/11/2018 at 10:09:32
Shame really, he should've been an important creative force for us. As for his recent travails... you can't run away from yourself, Kev!
54 Posted 01/11/2018 at 10:55:23
55 Posted 01/11/2018 at 10:58:59
In hindsight, he was never as good as he thought he was but to be successful you need confidence and a strong mentality and he still has that going for him but ultimately he's no longer good enough for us.
After Moyes, our club has been pooped upon and his attitude and performances have suffered more than most. I'm surprised he's still at the club but thought Silva may have been able to get the best out of him.
Clearly Silva didn't fancy him or he had demanded Richarlison be brought in and Mirallas moved on.
56 Posted 01/11/2018 at 11:12:50
57 Posted 01/11/2018 at 11:33:40
Maybe the players were relieved to be getting rid of Unsworth and Ferguson, but as bad as the hammers, were on the night, Everton were on their knees before this game.
We all have our own opinions, Ive read people saying Allardyce turned Rooney, into a midfielder, but was this because he picked the team and watched Wayne, score a hat-trick, or because Unsworth had suddenly decided to give Rooney another try in a different position?
58 Posted 01/11/2018 at 11:48:06
Clearly this coming from a professional who himself is a bad fucking bellend with a stinking attitude and work rate problem.
People in glass houses etc...
59 Posted 01/11/2018 at 12:29:13
60 Posted 01/11/2018 at 13:46:01
61 Posted 01/11/2018 at 15:44:42
62 Posted 01/11/2018 at 16:49:11
63 Posted 01/11/2018 at 17:26:42
You have to laugh at the audacity of these 2, Mirallas claiming the club is no longer a family more of a business. This is how it should have been run from the beginning not a comfortable bolt hole to earn millions for doing very little. He doesnt mention why Olympiacos cut short his loan spell no doubt that was Evertons fault as well.
Now the self confessed cocaine addict is saying how badly he was treated at Everton and having a go at Phil Neville, saying he didn't know how he played so many games for Man Utd and England. Because unlike you he made the most of what he had and always gave 100% again something that was alien to you.
64 Posted 01/11/2018 at 17:38:05
65 Posted 01/11/2018 at 18:49:01
66 Posted 01/11/2018 at 19:04:59
67 Posted 01/11/2018 at 20:16:24
68 Posted 01/11/2018 at 20:27:06
69 Posted 01/11/2018 at 22:38:38
70 Posted 02/11/2018 at 00:51:47
Oh but wait, Mirallas had his contract extended pre M&M didn't he? Pure Kenwright that.
71 Posted 02/11/2018 at 01:01:17
So one loss in an U18 derby is enough for you to go well and truly off the rails is it?
I dont think Drenthe or Atsu were ever described as ‘star signings. In fact, both were loans that had great potential. Drenthe was a worthwhile acquisition and was a player who could get you off your seat at a time when flair was badly lacking at the club. Ultimately he proved too much of a loose cannon.
Atsu was completely different. Martinez just couldnt find space for him and I didnt see enough of him to agree or disagree with that decision.
Neither deal was particularly costly to the club. I dont know why youd cite them as an issue. Theres plenty of reasons to have a go at Kenwright and I think youve missed the lot of them.
72 Posted 02/11/2018 at 01:54:02
73 Posted 02/11/2018 at 03:41:55
74 Posted 02/11/2018 at 04:32:26
You neglected to mention, Januzaj, Nacer Chadli, Carrasco. I think those are the players he was thinking of, dont you?
75 Posted 02/11/2018 at 07:47:29
His really improved since his world cup stint for Belgium and has been in great form for Frankfurt in Germany, definitely worth brands having a look at him but I expect other big clubs are watching his devolopment.
76 Posted 02/11/2018 at 18:48:11
Kev, youve taken is for a ride for far too long. I hope you enjoy the millions you swindled us for.
77 Posted 02/11/2018 at 19:47:25
How anyone can be grateful for luddite Sam's time here is beyond me.
We were never going down & panicked. We somehow finished 8th in a shockingly poor league playing shockingly poor football.
We'd have done that with or without Sam.
He's gone now breathe calmly move on again .pretend it never happened.
78 Posted 02/11/2018 at 22:07:14
79 Posted 02/11/2018 at 23:03:42
As for missing the mark with that tosser Kenwright I simply didn't want to here repeat, again, the litany of complaint against him that I've previously many times spelt out, together with loads of other contributors.
I just thought signing dross like those three justified condemnation of the cheque-signer at the time, and any bent bastard who he'd invited to guide his hand, that's all.
80 Posted 04/11/2018 at 09:36:24
Quite a good finisher on his day; I would have liked to have seen him play more games as striker in that period. But, for me, he will always be remembered for possibly the worst tackle I've seen in Premier League history (and probably the best tackle in Premier League history) when he pole-axed Saurez in that derby. At least he got that right!
81 Posted 04/11/2018 at 19:17:37
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.