Former Everton left-back Michael Ball was "dismayed" by Kevin Mirallas and Morgan Schneiderlin's dismissal from training on Saturday (4 November) and has called on the Toffees stars to show they are willing to fight for the cause as they look to pull themselves away from the relegation zone.
Schneiderlin and Mirallas were reportedly banished from first-team training on Saturday by Duncan Ferguson, who was infuriated by the pair's approach to the session. The sorry episode at Finch Farm occurred the day before David Unsworth's secured a hard-fought three points in their 3-2 win over Watford, a victory that could kickstart the season at Goodison Park.
Everton are still not out of the woods yet, though, and Ball, who was involved in a number of relegation scraps during his five-year spell with his boyhood club, has challenged the likes of Schneiderlin and Mirallas to buck their ideas up and learn a thing or two from young full-back Jonjoe Kenny, who has broken into the first-team this season.
"I read of the training ground incident involving Kevin Mirallas and Morgan Schneiderlin with some dismay," Ball wrote in his column for the Liverpool Echo. "I don't know what went on.
"I've not had any personal insight into the situation, but clearly David Unsworth needs players who are prepared to show 100 per cent commitment in training and in matches if he is to continue climbing the table.
"Senior players have to take responsibility for their own actions. I was pleased to see Jonjoe Kenny geeing up the crowd during the match on Sunday, but equally I would have liked to have seen that kind of attitude come from some of the more senior players too."
The news of Schneiderlin and Mirallas' dismissal from Finch Farm was well documented on Monday, but the Frenchman and Belgian have moved to release brief statements about what happened over the weekend.
Schneiderlin, who has been sent off twice already this season, stressed that he was not sent away from Everton's training complex, but Mirallas, a rather peripheral figure this season, seemed to touch upon a moment of frustration as he vented on social media.
"I have seen press stories today about me 'being sent away from training'. The stories are not true<" Schneiderlin wrote on Twitter. "I am fully committed to Everton and will continue to work hard for the club and the fans in training and on the pitch."
Schneiderlin's statement was eventually followed by one from Mirallas, who wrote on Instagram: "I have to restore the truth after some articles in the medias.
"I was not excluded of the squad due to a lack of commitment during training this was a manager decision and I was frustrated as I am fully committed in Everton since arriving in 2012 and I can't accept our actual ranking....I apologise to the president and owner, my team mates and the manager for not being able to cope at that moment with my frustration."