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Aldo: Everton boss Ronald Koeman clearly learned nothing from Seamus Coleman injury

SoccerBy John Aldridge
Ross Barkley received a yellow card for this challenge on Dejan Lovren during Saturday's Merseyside derby
Ross Barkley received a yellow card for this challenge on Dejan Lovren during Saturday's Merseyside derby

Everton manag­er Ronald Koeman claimed his players were entitled to inflict appalling tackles on Liverpool players in Saturday's Merseyside derby because 'this is a man's game' - but he should have known better after the horror leg break recently suffered by Seamus Coleman.

Ross Barkley de­served to be sent off twice in the Merseyside derby after disgraceful tackles that could easily have broken the legs of Liverpool players.

Then we saw Wales defender Ashley Williams plough into Emre Can with a challenge that should have been another straight red.

Referee Anthony Taylor is not good enough to officiate in the Premier League in my opinion.

But that debate is for another day now as Koeman succeeded in drawing all the attention to himself with his strange post-match interview.

We witnessed some pretty bizarre antics from Koeman last week as he has indulged in a child­ish sparring match with Ireland manager Martin O'Neill over the injury James McCarthy picked up on international duty.

I have no idea when Koeman and O'Neill have decided to conduct their row over McCarthy through the media, with the snipes from both camps becoming a little embarrassing.

Koeman has every right to be an­noyed with McCarthy as he should not have been playing for Ireland with an injury, but someone needs to pick up a phone and mediate between the Everton and Ireland camps because the only winners in the tit-for-tat row we have seen in recent days has been the media.

I'm not sure who could make that call and, while I would like to see Roy Keane and Koeman get together for 12 rounds in the ring, I suspect it will need to be someone at the FAI or Everton to reach out the hand of friendship.

Koeman seems to be a guy who does and says what he wants and O'Neill is similar, so this clash may have been inevitable after McCarthy aggravated his hamstring in the warm-up to the Wales game.

Koeman or O'Neill now need to take the moral high ground and bring their argument to an end but the Everton boss has not been used to keeping his mouth shut down the years, and we have seen plenty of evidence of that in recent days.

Now we have him claiming he was 'proud' of Everton's performance in their 3-1 defeat at Anfield and sug­gesting his players had every right to go in with high, dangerous challenges on Liverpool players because 'this is a man's game'.

I played the game at the same time as Koeman and the challenges we saw from Barkley and Williams may have been viewed as yellow card offences back in my time as a player.

You got away with a lot more when Koeman and I were playing but this is 2017, and the challenges we saw were unacceptable.

Who are you kidding, Koeman?

When you look back at those tack­les, you should come out and admit you got it wrong to say they were within the laws of the game.

Emre Can was so lucky to escape without a serious injury as Williams clattered into his knee with a chal­lenge that reminded me of the clash between his Welsh teammate Neil Taylor and Ireland captain Coleman in Dublin on March 24.

Williams was a few feet away from Coleman when he had his leg broken in two in that horrific clash, and he should have had that incident in his mind as he lunged into an attempt to win the ball.

As for Barkley, how the hell was he still on the field after his as­sault on Dejan Lovren just before half-time?

That was a red card challenge and everyone around me at Anfield on Saturday didn't need to see it again to confirm as much.

In the end, those two challenges did not prove costly for Liverpool as Everton left Anfield with their tails between their legs after a limp display that ended their faint hopes of a push for a top-four finish.

Liverpool just had too much pace and power for Everton.

The concern for me was the sight of Sadio Mane collapsing on the touchline with a knee injury - it wouldn't surprise me if that is the last we see of him this season.

Mane is the only player who can open the door against sides that try to frustrate Liverpool.

Beating Everton put Liverpool in great shape for a top-four finish but if the win came at the cost of losing Mane of the rest of the season, it could be a savage blow.