Straight Talk and Candour are Part of the Koeman Package

Alan Myers 18/11/2016  21 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Freelance broadcaster, former Director of Communications at Everton and die-hard Blue, Alan Myers, says that Ronald Koeman's recent proclamations should be welcomed as they send a message of intent that he is targeting success at Goodison Park.


Evertonians can be a demanding lot at times — I know that from experience — but those demands usually comes back to a few staple requirements: honesty, respect and empathy. They want you to be straight with them, tell them how it is and at the same time understand and feel the passion they have for their club.

Those two attributes are minimum requirements for any Everton manager. Most, if not all, Blues bosses down the years have had them. The key issue here, for me, is the message each individual has felt they need to preach. For some it has is been a self-preservation tool; for others an inability to be anything but passionate for the club; some have enjoyed legendary status because of that; others not so much.

The last of those managers, Ronald Koeman has, certainly recently, prompted much discussion amongst the fans as to which category he falls into.

For me it is as clear as the blue on the jersey — he is straight, aggressive in his belief and direction, and a top manager. Add to that a calm, collected and clever operator, he has used is recent proclamations to send a message, in my opinion, to his players, the fans and probably more importantly to Farhad Moshiri that he is serious about being successful. He has the determination to be up there with the best. The time has come for Everton to decide if they want to join him.

All the top managers work this way now which is probably why most stay at a club no longer than three years, for a number reasons but they do. I believe the days of a manager staying 20 to 25 years are pretty much gone, bar in the odd exception. If Everton want to be up there with the financially powerful, successful clubs then this is the style of manager they have to get used to.

If, as some believe, his comments were disrespectful towards the clubs history and supporters then, of course, I would be at the front of any queue to complain but I don't think that is the case, not for a second. I believe it is his way — maybe if a bit radical — to get people to sit up and listen to a man who wants to be at the top no matter what (or who with) that requires.

I am in no doubt that Koeman knows the possibilities and opportunities Everton can provide for him, his players and many others, and that Moshiri can provide the funds and support to realise them. I also have no doubt he knows the size of club he manages.

Koeman has enough to do already to make it happen so I, for one, will allow him his own approach in how to do it. We know if you doesn't deliver he will soon know about it!

So the question is: can Evertonians take some uneasy listening for a while or can they live only on a diet of memories and heroes, even if they are what makes us who we are? I love my club as much as anyone but I also want to get back to the classy football-playing, trophy-winning side it has been in the past.

As a footnote, however, I would add that if Koeman — or indeed any future Everton manager — doesn't give that history and passion its due consideration then beware the fume, as we say on Twitter!

Follow @AlanMyersMedia


Reader Comments (21)

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 18/11/2016 at 17:55:51
"Can Evertonians take some uneasy listening for a while?"

Former employer or not, if Koeman is telling you ANYTHING you didn't already know, you couldn't have been paying attention the past couple of decades.

Just for the record, before the usual suspects line up to fall in line with this message – again – can ANYBODY give me an example of this truth? Who will be the first to point out one of these blinding revelations?

Show me something he as said that we didn't already know?

Don't hold back now, not even for those who seemingly "can't take it".

Robert Workman
2 Posted 18/11/2016 at 18:00:28
Koeman comes across as someone who manages Everton. Moyes and Martinez came across as Everton managers.
Lyndon Lloyd
3 Posted 18/11/2016 at 18:07:34
Darren (1), in addition to being overly dismissive, you're missing the point. What Alan is addressing is not the fact that what Koeman is saying might not be anything particularly new but the reaction from some supporters to the fact that he is speaking in such candid terms.

You also have to remember that, like Farhad Moshiri using Jim White as his messenger, he is talking to the footballing world, not just Evertonians. He is talking about achieving success at a club long starved of it and fielding questions in the only way he knows how – with honesty and a welcome absence of bullshit.

Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 18/11/2016 at 18:24:01
Talking about straight talking or waffle, depending upon your world view, according to the 'Esk' on twitter and via other sources has said that the club CEO has advised them that the Club's accounts will be distributed in the next couple of weeks and that they are looking at dates and venues for the AGM. Some believe that technically the AGM doesn't have to be held until sometime in February.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 18/11/2016 at 18:28:31
I thought the Lukak, shout definitely came out the wrong way, but saying that he thinks Liverpool have been as good as anyone this season, and have a good chance of winning the league, is surely just talking about football?

What's he going to say next? Well if those twats have got a chance, then we need to start sorting ourselves out, because I'm sure, given time, I can produce a team who can do better than those bastards!?

Kevin Tully
6 Posted 18/11/2016 at 18:31:30
Darren, of course we all know where we have been going wrong for the past 20 years and how we've fallen behind clubs that were once our peers. Some younger fans maybe not as much.

The difference here with Koeman, is that the narrative the club has actively promoted over that 20 years is now starting to crumble – like Bill's old overcoat.

The press have always patted us on the head and agreed what a 'great club' we are who love nothing more than looking after the old dears at Chrimbo with a bit of bingo. We haven't been taken seriously since Sky invented footy.

I think some people (including myself) are happy to see us starting to admit those days were nothing more than a stagnant, backwards step for a big club such as ours. I may be wrong though?

Soni Samuel
7 Posted 18/11/2016 at 18:37:39
Alan, does have a point, IMO. We have so often in the past (and at least until now) have fallen back on past glories as our sole solace whenever we have had to suffer the utter under performance both on and off the field (read investment, Kenwright, etc, etc).

From what has happened with Martinez and his tiki-taka-defenseless approach over the past two years, Koeman's appointment was a refreshing change along with his straight talking. I am sure none of us grudge that even though his Lukaku stunt was a bitter pill to swallow. At most times during the Martinez era, his never ending optimism coupled with his load of bs was something we were just forced to hear when every blue across the globe knew it was a ton of crap. I still can't believe or digest that we had to pay him to get out of the door!!! Anyways that's good riddance and enough of the Martinez subject. Time to move on.

Koeman does come across as cold, straight talking, and just someone who doesn't care whom he ruffles. And in a way I think its a good thing as there are too many "baggages" we are carrying. Do we really need to? McGeady, Kone, Gibson, etc. The boss man and the club in general need to be ruthless and just let them go!!

Granted he does need a squad (at least in numbers) for their replacements, but they are not playing anyway and haven't in a very long time. Seriously, Barkley with all his talent needed a kick in his butt and he got it by being benched. Same for Deulofeu, talented but no stamina. Benched. Though I do have a bone to pick with Koeman and that is the Niasse, is he that bad, worse than Kone? But then the boss knows best and we can just hope for the best.

On a different note, I am just waiting for that Dockyard announcement to be made... That would be like getting into Champions League!!! :)

Chris Williams
8 Posted 18/11/2016 at 19:09:19
Of course we know what's been wrong with the club all these years. The difference now is that someone senior inside the club is actually saying these things for the first time in a long time.

As Kevin says above, the spin plays no part in his comments and Sky and the lazy sods in the national press now have a different narrative to report and not one spoonfed to them by Bill or his cronies.

Hopefully we will hear less and less from him and his dead hand will be less in evidence, starting with the next transfer window.

That's the honesty we're talking about and long may it continue .

Darren Hind
9 Posted 18/11/2016 at 19:27:26
Lyndon/ Kevin and indeed Alan.

I believe it's you guys who have missed the point. There is a marked difference between Honesty, Candour and crass tactless arrogance.

An awful lot of us have grown up in this city, we recognise candour. We've all been told we are dogshit at footy, we've all been told "Behave, she's well out of your league". We have all been reminded to "get the fuckin ale in". That's how we speak to each other, not just here, but in most towns/cities, but there are lines which you don't cross. You would never FOR EXAMPLE, say to a mate "fuck me, your kids are ugly", not even if they had lead roles in Corrie.

I would bet good money that if ToffeeWeb re-worded the latest poll asking 'Was it Ron's honesty which offended you, or his offensive lack of tact. the overwhelming majority of the 4 in 5 who expressed their displeasure will go for the latter.

Koeman comes across all macho and straight-talking when he states categorically that criticism is good and healthy (talking about Barkley) but he has trouble controlling his quivering bottom lip when it is suggested that he may have got his tactics wrong at Chelsea. Here's a bit of candour, Ron. You made a complete twat of yourself and us.

I can't be the only one hearing alarm bells?

Look, I've said too much on these pages in the past to try to make out I'm a patient, reasonable kind of guy... but our last manager walked away with £10m compo after sending us into free fall. We made the guy before him the richest failure in sport.

I have a deep and unhealthy mistrust of these "hired hands" who promise the earth – always providing we allow them to see out their contracts, of course

Koeman can shove his selective candour. I want evidence of improvement not a yet another version of "Well, you have to consider where we are/been"

Heard it... Heard it till it hurts me ears.

Lev Vellene
10 Posted 18/11/2016 at 19:48:11
I just love hearing Koeman speak as a professional manager of a (now?) professional club, and not just being a provider of the fog-talk that helped his predecessor avoid critical scrutiny.

I know he is here for this season, just like I know any player is basically here for the short term. I choose to believe him when he says it's the media that poises him for any exit for 'greater' managerial targets.

Like most fans, I only care about the final results this season! After that, stuff happens...

Lyndon Lloyd
11 Posted 18/11/2016 at 20:03:54
Darren (#9), that is all fair enough but in telling a manager to, essentially, "put up and shut up" by doing his talking on the pitch, you're basically asking him to go quiet for months which, given his media responsibilities and the need for him to perform them to increase Everton's profile, just isn't going to happen.

What Alan – and myself, here and in my own editorial – has tried to get across is that Ronald Koeman is our manager. He was hand-picked by Farhad Moshiri and is, all being well, our club's manager for the next three seasons.

He has a personality and style – both very Dutch – where he just speaks plainly and tells things how they are, or as he sees them which isn't arrogance, it's just plain speaking. As someone who yearns for more of that from all areas of life (politics, friends, family, football, you name it), I welcome it, particularly since the last manager had a propensity to piss on our collective leg and tell us it was raining.

Koeman is not going to stop talking and he's unlikely to change tack either so let's just let him get on with it. I'm realistic enough to know that Lukaku has his eyes on grander stages, that Liverpool appear to have got their act together and are genuine title contenders (even if it twists my gut just typing the words), and that Ronald won't be with us forever. So as long as we're improving and moving in the right direction, I'm at peace with it.

Brent Stephens
12 Posted 18/11/2016 at 20:08:18
Martinez, I believe, promised big things because he thought he could deliver (the Deluded One); but we now know he never could or would.

I suspect not only that Koeman believes he can deliver big things but that he is also better able to do so. I'll take the bullshit if he delivers.

Darren Hind
13 Posted 18/11/2016 at 20:42:42
Fair enough Lyndon.

As ever, you put forward a compelling case.

But I'm not at all comfortable with this *Kandid Koeman* lark.

If he'd have just accepted some of the blame for the Chelsea debacle...

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 18/11/2016 at 21:41:21
Maybe he thinks the players he inherited are too soft, Darren, maybe that's why he didn't want to take any of the blame!
Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 19/11/2016 at 09:02:51
Whilst I like Koeman's straight talking and I do think he will do a good job, I have to say that Darren Hind has a good point in that Koeman didn't personally seem to acknowledge his role in that game of shame at the 'Bridge. The tactics were wrong, and were not changed soon enough. The lack of fight in some quarters was worrying.

The selection for today's game and the effort shown by the team will be the proof of Koeman's ability. I want him to be ruthless in his changes if anyone is underperforming. It is a pivotal game after the debacle in London, a poor result will not give us much confidence for some tough fixtures ahead, but a good win will give us renewed hope for the Europa places.

Dave Ganley
17 Posted 19/11/2016 at 10:53:40
I don't really have a problem with Koeman's candid talk. I think it's refreshing and something the players need to hear after all the schmaltzy shite that we had to endure from Martinez. The players are not the superstars Martinez would have had us believe, they are lazy and need a lot of work putting in to make them consistently half-decent.

Where I disagree with Koeman was his assessment of Lukaku and dismissing Everton as a place where he wouldn't be able to realise his potential. The fact that Koeman has since come out to clarify that statement and backtrack on those comments suggest he realises he made a bit of a gaffe with those comments.

He really doesn't need to blow smoke up Lukaku's arse either. A good goalscorer he could also do with a bit of Koeman tough love. He is as lazy as the rest of them up front and is not a team player.

If you're going to single out players (justified imo given some of the substandard performances) then include everyone. Just because Lukaku is a so-called big name, he shouldn't be exempt from criticism.

Paul Tran
18 Posted 19/11/2016 at 14:22:21
I'm indifferent and bored with all this stuff.

These guys get microphones shoved in their faces every day, rarely say anything of interest, then people come on here dissecting it to suit their confirmation bias.

What matters is what happens on the pitch. Apart from Chelsea, we've been hard to beat and short of flair and creativity.

He can say what he likes; I'm only interested in him giving the team some shape, purpose and creativity.

I suspect he's unpleasantly surprised at what he's inherited, I still think he could be doing better with it.


Mark Andrews
19 Posted 19/11/2016 at 17:13:52
I think there's a case for lucky little Everton being blinded by the fact that we're lucky enough to have landed such a fabulous legend of the game. We're so lucky and grateful to have the brilliant Ronald managing us, we're forgetting to criticise his inept tactics.

Manage Barca? He'd be lucky to manage Bolton. The gloss has well and truly come of this Dutch Master.

Phil Walling
20 Posted 19/11/2016 at 17:29:03
Nothing, but nothing Ronald Koeman has said or done since he walked out on Southampton to take Moshiri's gold has convinced me he is anything but a very average manager in the mould of Walter Smith, Gordon Lee and Billy Bingham.

He doesn't annoy me as Martinez did with repetitive bullshit that no one bought into, or Moyes who was just here too long. But as for holding him up as 'an honest man' who only tells the truth you can tell that to the fairies.

Apparently, he's revered in the game as the greatest goalscoring centre-half in football history – perhaps he can teach Jags a trick or two- but that has little relevance to his VERY ordinary record as a manager. Give him the January window and another half dozen to follow it and we'll still be in 'no man's land'.

This is Everton, after all.

Alan J Thompson
21 Posted 20/11/2016 at 04:53:20
Being honest doesn't mean you have to be thoughtless.

Instead of saying Lukaku would not be fulfilling his potential if he finished his career at Everton, he could have said that he has a contract with Everton that he is expected to see out to the best of his ability. The reader/listener could then have read in that what he does at the end of that contract is mostly his business, and of course, his future employer.

And I'd have no problem with him saying that "those across the park" (if he has to be polite) are amongst the League leaders but the season has some way yet to go.

I don't really see anything dishonest in that but similarly, I don't expect him to publicly explain what he says to which players after each game and particularly not in the way he did with Niasse.

Peter Lee
22 Posted 21/11/2016 at 18:41:06
"I am attracted to playing three at the back but I did it first half against West Brom and we were crap so I changed it. We still had players to come back but I stuck with a back 4 until I thought we were strong enough to do it. That was the Chelsea game; we weren't good enough. My misjudgement."

I can take all the other plain speaking about others provided it is leavened with a bit of honesty about his own performance.

On Saturday, a bloke sitting next to me said that Koeman had no Plan B. I am yet to be convinced he has a Plan A. Do you think that his straight-talking approach might lead to him letting us in on it anytime soon?

On another perhaps unrelated matter, did anyone else think that Seamus Coleman's response to scoring was odd? He seemed a very angry man. With whom I wonder?

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