Mirallas ended up missing the penalty, and he came under severe criticism for taking the ball away from usual taker Leighton Baines, and was then substituted at half-time for his showing. The game ended in a draw, and placed further pressure on Everton head coach Roberto Martinez, who has been enduring a torrid second season in charge at Goodison Park.
With all the links that the Belgian international winger could be heading away from Everton in the coming months - with the Mirror reporting on a potential transfer to Tottenham Hotspur - there are suggestions that Mirallas wanted to take the penalty to show his worth to the team to be deserving of a more fruitful contract with the Toffees. However, the miss only went to show his teammate’s dissatisfaction with him, and the 27-year-old’s greed and large ego did little to warrant praise.
One man who has addressed the situation is West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, who, although he is not as critical of Mirallas’s actions as some, felt that not scoring was the real problem with him wanting to take the penalty kick.
Writing in the Standard, Allardyce opined: “Kevin Mirallas’s penalty miss at Everton on Monday night provoked a fair bit of reaction from various people but I was not as critical as some.
“I had a similar thing happen to me, where a player other than the regular penalty taker took it upon themselves to grab the ball and put it on the spot. If that happens, though, he has to make sure he scores!”
Mark Noble is the designated penalty taker for the Hammers, and is considered as one of the best from the spot in all of European football. Allardyce is confident that Noble would never allow another player to take the penalties at the Boleyn Ground, with team success valued higher than personal ego.
He added: “All I would say on the Mirallas situation is that, if it happened here at West Ham, Mark Noble wouldn’t allow another player to do it. He would say, “I’m the one who takes the chuffing penalties, so go away” — or words to that effect.”