A Change Has Gotta Come

Mike Green 28/11/2016  77 Comments  [Jump to last]
In June 2014, Ronald Koeman was appointed to manage Southampton. He inherited a team that had just come 8th in the League under an up and coming, talented manager who had been prized away to bigger things, as had some key players in Lallana, Lovren and Lambert. They were a team who were sailing on the crest of a wave, only to have what may have felt like the rug pulled out from beneath them.

Probably more down to their recruitment structure than Koeman, Southampton brought in Pelle and Bertrand in July, Forster and Long in August and Mane and Alderweireld in September, restoring defensive stability, creativity and goals. When Alderweireld’s loan from Athletico Madrid didn’t translate into a permanent move they brought in Virgil Van Dijk, now one of the top centre halves in the League.

Southampton were able to get goals from all over the pitch (Pelle, Long, Mane, Tadic, Schneiderlin, Fonte and more all contributing) and combined this with a steely resilience at the back. In Pochettino’s final season, Southampton's goals F/A tally was 54/46. Koemans next two were 54/33, then 59/41, finishing 7th and 6th in the League respectively and getting Southampton into European competition for the first time in 12 years. They had, without doubt, improved on the heady heights that the club, and Pochettino, had achieved in 2014.

How much of this was down to Koeman's expertise, or the structure of a modest, progressive football club is up for debate but the truth is it was probably a good mix of both.

Koeman was lured to Everton in June 2016 by a huge salary and promises of an ambitious project but arrives to find a team in crisis. The club had recently sacked its manager, something it hadn’t done for fourteen years, with direction and morale on the floor. He is promised funds and adds to the squad with Williams, Bolasie, Gueye, Stekelenburg and Valencia, but only essentially spends the transfer money received for the outgoing starlet, John Stones, much to the disappointment of many fans.

Koeman was clearly trying to shore up areas where we were lacking defensively and in the short term appeared to be successful. In Bolasie he also tried to add a supply route to our only attacking threat, which has also been fairly fruitful but has not been enough. Fans were crying out for a playmaker in the shape of Juan Mata, and another option up front but it didn’t materialise.

Many were left disappointed by the lack of transfer activity, given that a billionaire was essentially now at the helm, we’d just received the second largest fee for a defender in history and Steve Walsh – a scout with a heady reputation – had joined the fold at the end of July.

The team has since lurched form solid performances at the start of the season against teams they would expect to beat, to a humiliation at Chelsea and performances against Swansea and Southampton where the whole team appear to have gone AWOL. Add in a home defeat to Norwich reserves in the League Cup and the team appear to have reverted to type and are now performing at the levels that saw Roberto Martinez sacked.

My take on this is Ronald Koeman isn’t particularly adaptable. As a player he had a very no-nonsense, single-minded approach which worked, and I think he’s probably exactly the same as a manager. He’ll know what sort of players he wants and how he wants to play. He’ll have a way of putting that across to the players, and frankly, I imagine his attitude is if they don’t like it they can go elsewhere.

This has probably caused massive uncertainty, and strife, on the training pitch and in the dressing room and this is being translated onto the pitch. This may also have been what caused his failure at Valencia and AZ. Clubs and players probably click with him, or they don’t, there probably is no half way house and where you have a cosseted group like ours who have cruised along unthreatened for years it has probably rubbed most of them up the wrong way. I sincerely believe that uncertainty on their own personal futures is what is causing the lack of cohesion and fight on the pitch – instead of fighting to be part of the future they are just seeing how the chips fall. Which, to be frank, has been the culture at Everton for over 20 years.

So, all speculative... but something has to change at Everton, big time, to get us out of this rut. This change has to start at the top. We need investment in the team and in a new dockside ground to put the Everton back on the map again. We need wholesale changes to the playing staff – from outside and promotion from within the youth set-up – and we need players who are not just going to buy into Ronald Koeman as a manger but can also get themselves up for a game and go out and win as a team.

We simply don’t have the players to do that. They have proven over the last three years if nothing else they simply don’t have the mental strength or team spirit to step up and put in performances that we can be proud of – instead we’ve had ritual derby drubbings, cup humiliations and virtually nothing of note against the darlings of Sky (unless they too are going through a period of crisis to level the playing field for us).

And we also need Koeman to commit to us – no more talk of Barcelona or talk of Everton not being good enough for some of the clubs players. And no more talk in terms of three-year timescales – we need to see action now, not a miracle just a clear statement of intent that we mean business and that starts on the pitch next weekend, and more importantly, in our transfer dealings in January which need to be significant.

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Kurt Knight
1 Posted 28/11/2016 at 14:55:10
Nice article – thanks for doing it. Lukaku is increasingly isolated... I don't know enough of the game to say whether that is solved by putting two up top or bringing in a real #10.
Raymond Fox
2 Posted 28/11/2016 at 15:20:31
The squad for at least 3 years has been crying out for a top-class ball-playing midfielder. Have we got one? No.

The writing has been on the wall about Barkleys ability, he's not going to be the star he promised to be.

The reason we are where we are is the trasfer market, when have the directors reached in their pockets and actually spent over and above the income of the club, almost never.

Expecting the squad to finish above the usual top 6 is a big ask on what we spend each year; if we don't start spending big, we will never get out of this rut.

Our young players always seem to achieve top results in their respective leagues, but few make it into the starting 11.

Alasdair Mackay
3 Posted 28/11/2016 at 15:20:57
I don't think we are anywhere near the depths of the performances at the end of the Martinez era – I will never get over last season's Anfield derby as long as I live – Mignolet got a n/a rating in the following day's papers, because he hadn't touched the ball. That being said, Koeman needs to step up now!

In my opinion, we are yet to play well over 90 minutes under him. Even the games we have won were due to 45 very good minutes to counter 45 very poor ones, West Ham being a perfect example.

We have the talent to beat most teams in the Premier League and compete against everyone. At the moment, they look low on confidence and they are hesitating in possession as a result.

We as fans need to get behind them with some positive re-enforcement from the stands, but Koeman needs to do the rest. I remain unconvinced.

Patrick Murphy
4 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:00:29
Alasdair (#3),

I fully agree with you when you say that we as fans have to get behind the team with positivity but it's a two-way street. The players need to show that they too want to be positive and play with a lot more passion and pride in the Everton shirt.

At the moment we look exactly like Kevin Tully said on another thread a bunch of individuals who just happen to be wearing the same colour shirts, with no semblance of a team ethic or pattern of play and each and every player doing their own thing.

If the manager has ruffled feathers then he has to also try and extract some reaction other than the "we don't like our manager and we'll do what we want attitude that seems to pervade the current crop."

If Koeman is unable to get his team to produce any kind of decent level of performance in the coming weeks, then why would/should Moshiri give him more money in January or in the Summer?

Unfortunately, if the performances regardless of results remain the same as they have done in the last couple of months the manager has to be replaced, which isn't the ideal solution because we'll be back to square one and well out of pocket.

I don't know which type of manager this group of players will react well to, if any, but, as the OP says, it can't be allowed to continue without some sort of action being taken by somebody in a position of power at the club.


Colin Glassar
5 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:26:32
Good article, Mike. I didn't read all of it but I read the bit about Southampton's recruitment policy.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, it was Les Reed who identified the players they bought and he's the one we should've brought over with Koeman.

I don't know too much about Walsh but apparently his record is a bit hit and miss.

Raymond Fox
6 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:29:08
By some miracle, we are still in 7th position.
Its only because we couldn't have had an easier fixture list up to now though.

Alastair (#3) – the players haven't shown the talent to be sure of beating anyone in the League for some time now, just who would you fancy them to beat!

We will do well to win any of our next 6 matches, maybe more.

Looking below us, its a good jobthose teams look very average too!

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:33:22
Mike, as you admit yourself, your "take" on Koeman is speculative... but his presumed my-way-or-the-highway approach is pretty common to top managers – Mou, Pep, Conte and Klopp all project exactly the same attitude, much to the discomfiture of veteran star players they don't fancy. Ask Hart, Rooney and Terry about that.

I think Koeman actually had a pretty active summer transfer window – he brought in four new starters and went after a lot of other players who turned out to be uninterested in a non-Champions League side. I'm confident he'll be plenty active in January.

What needs doing now is addition by subtraction – Jags, Barkley and Barry to the bench, and a gritted-teeth effort to regain our trademark intensity on the pitch.

Tony Cheek
8 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:41:25
Good post, Alasdair. Well, it was until you wrote "We have the talent to beat most teams in the Premier League and compete against everyone."

That is exactly what we don't have. Not defending Koeman here, but he is trying to get blood out of a stone. Our central midfield (otherwise known as the engine room) is well, to be quite honest... crap! Probably the weakest in the Premier League.

If we don't shop wisely and with real intent at the next transfer window, I can actually see us fighting at the bottom. Then the question is who the hell will want to play for us!

Gary Edwards
9 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:52:22
Nice piece of work, Mike.

a cosseted group like ours who have cruised along unthreatened for years. – hits the nail on the head for me – and it disgusts me.

It's not difficult to imagine Jagielka, as self-appointed spokesman for the 'senior pros', running off to Ma Kenwright at the end of a training session to complain about Koeman.

The 'senior pros' are the one common denominator in the troubles and strife the club has experienced in the past 2 to 3 seasons. They are no more than spoilt, vastly overpaid, massively overrated prima donnas living on perceived, former glories..

They have no pride, passion and humility and seem hell-bent on humiliating this once great club... and I highly doubt that Koeman has the talent or the ways to resolve the problems.

Soni Samuel
10 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:57:23
Spot on about the "We simply don’t have the players to do that...".

I haven't (in a long long time if I can add) seen anyone in this team who even if they lack in ability show up with their "heart & desire" for this club of ours. Is that too much to ask? No-one presses the opposition, they just wait for the opposition to come and attack, guys like McCarthy cant pass, can't shoot.

Our so-called "wingers" don't have the guile or sense to gallop forward and deliver a cross!! Corners are not whipped in where we can press the opposition. Its just damn too easy. Forget about free kicks!!

After all this we got a couple of selfies like Mirallas, Barkley who just don't wanna pass and pass wen it is time to pass but would rather try a gimmick and loose the ball!! And then comes Our Beast, is he that out of shape that he can do nothing but stand in the other half?? I think Niasse would at least run back and help (at least to prove a point to Koeman) if he is given a chance!!!

Sad to say, I have come to a stage where I switch off watching 15-20 mins into the game as one can sense the direction the game is going. We are just goddamn awful. Are we scared of sacking players? Are we scared of giving the young ones a run?

YES A DRASTIC CHANGE HAS TO HAPPEN!!!

Chris Williams
11 Posted 28/11/2016 at 16:58:16
I came away from the Swansea game dispirited and down. I couldn't summon up any anger. I said at the time I couldn't see how this group of players could actually manage anything different or better.

So I wasn't surprised at the display yesterday. I wasn't even dispirited, just resigned to it.

Why would the same serial wasters in the same basic formation deliver anything different?

There are a number there who let us down under Martinez, some under Moyes. Those from the Moyes era who were mainstays are now several years older or diminished by injuries, and not at the same level sadly.

The impact of the duff transfer window is there now for all to see. A constant perm any eleven from 16 or whatever, in a 4-2-3-1, every week. I think the only time the formation changed was against Chelsea and maybe against Man City away.

I think we may have seen something a bit different in Koeman's reaction yesterday after the match and I really hope his patience with several of the serial 'underachievers' has finally ended at last and, as Sam Cook sang, 'A change is gonna come'.

We cannot persist with this constant regurgitated mix until we get to the next window – 7 or 8 games away.

We may see some change next home game and I truly hope so because this fucking soul-destroying.

Gerard Carey
12 Posted 28/11/2016 at 17:00:12
As we were in the last two years of Martinez's tenure, we still need a top class goalkeeper, a top class centre half, a top class playmaker, and a top class striker.

Will we get any of the above in the January window? Doubtful, I think. Will we have money to spend? It took the money from the Stones's transfer to kick start our own transfers in the summer.

We will also lose Gana and Bolasie in January. Tough times ahead I fear. Things might get worse before they get better.

You get the feeling that there is no connect between the manager and the players.

Brent Stephens
13 Posted 28/11/2016 at 17:05:44
Mike Gaynes (#7) – a very reasonable take on things, as I see it.
Jon Withey
14 Posted 28/11/2016 at 17:24:12
"We have the talent to beat most teams in the Premier League and compete against everyone."

This is the strange sort of opinion that has been floating around the England team for years too.

Surely, the proof is in the pudding and we haven't been able to compete. The peak appeared to be Martinez's first season until he got found out and I see no reason why this current squad should do better than that now.

Ian McDowell
15 Posted 28/11/2016 at 17:35:35
So maybe Martinez wasn't underachieving last season after all. New manager same problems.
John Davies
16 Posted 28/11/2016 at 17:44:00
Gary (#9),

To be honest, I find it very difficult to imagine Jagielka running to Kenwright to tell tales.

To me, Jags has been a great servant to the club and an old-style get-on-with-it centre-half. A throwback to the years when all centre-halves were men.

I think you do him a disservice there.

Dave Abrahams
17 Posted 28/11/2016 at 17:47:22
Mike Gaynes (#7), I feel the same way as yourself, I think the manager has still to prove he can make Everton into a top class team, but it is patently obvious he isn't being helped by the lethargic performances of the players.

Fans will say it is he's job to get them pulling their weight but it is impossible if the players are past their best or even worse don't want to play for Koeman.

Most of us know now, if we didn't know before, that Koeman has inherited a limited squad, some will say a very limited squad, but the very least they can do is to do their best, some are not.

It's no use expecting a positive reaction on Sunday, we've been waiting for one the last few weeks it hasn't materialised, so something has definitely got to change, it just cannot carry on like this.

James Hughes
18 Posted 28/11/2016 at 17:58:15
We are poor at present and there is no point in even trying to pretend otherwise. The team seems to lack cohesion and leadership on the pitch and a clear understanding of what they are trying to achieve and their set-up.

Lukaku always plays better when he has support, as in two upfront. Leave him on his own and... well we know that.

Barkley, well who knows where to play him but IMO he did go looking for the ball and didn't hide.

Barry & Jags are both senior players but not leaders on he pitch.The rest of them, well we all have our opinions.

I believe we are still in Limbo and Koeman needs more time (here we go again) I will support this by quoting Osman's recent appearance on Sky. To paraphrase:

"Under Moyes we were set up not to concede and to always keep a clean sheet."

"Roberto wanted to keep the ball and score, so defence didn't matter. If the opponents don't have the ball they can't score. We had Moyes's base for the first season and it went wrong at the end of that first season."

Koeman has introduced another style but 90% of the squad are the same as three years ago and obviously struggling with new demands. We need to support the new regime (again) and give him a bit more time. We do not need to act like some people on the live forum who, regardless of manager are constantly calling for his head. Some even seem to take great delight in us losing just so they can crow – "I Told You So!"


Denis Richardson
19 Posted 28/11/2016 at 18:17:57
Rome wasn't built in a day and I think too many of us underestimate(d) the rebuild job needed. We still have a load of first teamers from the Moyes era and he left well over 3 years ago.

Williams, Gueye and Stekelenburg were brought in to shore up a very leaky defence and have worked to an extent. None of these are bad players and Gueye is quality (but can't do everything in the middle himself). We desperately need a decent central midfielder who can pick a pass and get box to box and chip in with goals and I honestly don't think we have one in the whole squad. Barkley has been given so many chances but I fear he's just not the answer.

A massive clear out is needed still. Jags and Barry have been great servants but need replacing. They should not be first team regulars and we certainly need a new captain (have done for a long time.)
Likewise Kone and Niasse need shifting. The likes of Cleverley and Lennon were underwhelming signings to begin with and are not more than bench warmers. I personally never rated McCarthy and Besic is either injured or suspended most of the time, and the less said about Gibson the better.

So that's 9 senior members of the squad that really need to be replaced now or in the very near future. That in itself is a big task. And that's before we get to the likes of Baines, Oviedo and Mirallas who are all playing far below where we would expect and the enigmas that are Barkley and Deulofeu. The whole squad is unbalanced and has been for a while. We need at least another 3-4 first teamers to give the first XI some bite and energy.

Koeman could and should be doing more imo, like trying different formations and using the youth (why is Holgate not in the team?) however people should not be too quick to judge until he's had more time to shift players out and bring new ones in. EFC have always been very poor at getting rid of players at the right time. We permanently seem to have a dozen or so senior squad members who add very little and just collect millions in wages.

Fingers crossed we can scrape a win here and there to stay top half until January, when we'll hopefully shift out a couple and bring in a couple. Until the all we can be is patient. I for one would not however have either Martinez or Moyes back.

'Transitional times' at Goodison Park.

Soni Samuel
20 Posted 28/11/2016 at 18:28:55
Dennis (#19),

Agree. But the onus is on Koeman to gradually replace the "seniors" with the ones we have from the youth setup. At the very least give them game time. Or are they also not good (or ready) enough according to the boss-man?

Yes, Koeman has inherited a "spineless" team and slowly but surely he is finding that out. Here is hoping Walsh and Koeman just find us some "gems" with fire and passion rather than the "so-called" big ones that we seem to be linked with every other day.

Honestly I don't see any big signings happening in January due to the Financial Fair Play restrictions, but the Blue in me is just hoping against all odds that I may be proved wrong.

Mike Gaynes
22 Posted 28/11/2016 at 18:49:34
Gary (#9), I add my voice to John Davies in telling you that your comment about Jags is about as far out of line as it's possible to get.

I cannot think of a player who has given more for the club and complained less, even to the referees when justified. Jags may be fading as a player, but he is pure class as a man, and for you to label him a whiner is a load of dung in my opinion.

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:02:38
Denis (#19), I agree with everything you write except Lennon. I can recall a 6-7 game stretch last season when he was our best player, bar none. In a team that lacks work rate, he's a shining exception and a valuable sub, if not a starter.

I think Barkley is well beyond the enigma phase. All you really need to see is how much our play improves when he is subbed out of the game.

Brent Stephens
24 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:18:18
James (#18), "We do not need to act like some people on the live forum who, regardless of manager are constantly calling for his head. Some even seem to take great delight in us losing just so they can crow – I Told You So".

Totally agree, James. There's one on the live forum and other threads continually giving one-line negative comments on everything associated with Everton. Never, ever offers a single complimentary word. And never has the wit to offer a constructive suggestion as to what to do about things. It's one way to get your kicks maybe.

Micheal Lynch
25 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:32:40
Take Coleman, for example. He is in fine form for Ireland but seems dead under Koeman.

I question Koeman and have done since his treatment of Niasse. It's a managers job to make players feel confident. I have a feeling that he ain't much of a player's type of manager.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:34:24
Very good article, Mike, loads of sense spoken, especially about Ronald Koeman needing to commit to us, because actions speak louder than words, which is what it looks like the players are telling him right now?

Change players, change the system, and definitely change the mindset, before it's too late, Ronald.

Denis Richardson
27 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:41:11
Mike (#23), I know the 6-7 game run you're talking about. Wasn't it when he was on loan and playing for a permanent contract?

Since getting a permanent move he's reverted back to norm and has been pretty underwhelming/shit. At the time I said I thought it was a waste of £6m, would much rather have taken a punt on someone hungry from the Championship. I take no pleasure in seeing that prediction come true.

We basically needed a whole new team when Koeman arrived, with most of the Moyes and Martinez players shifted out. We've only actually managed to get rid of Howard, Osman, Hibbert and Stones since last season and three of those were through simple inertia with contracts expiring. Hardly anyone wants our players because most are bang average or shite and on inflated contracts.

The more cynical side of me would say there was something very odd with how poor we are shifting players. That undercover investigation into dodginess in football said there were many examples of players getting over-inflated contracts with the deal being the players would give the manager/and or someone else at the club a kick back of x grand a month. Not saying that necessarily happens at Everton but it would explain some of the very odd contracts players have been given in the recent past (Howard, Osman, Hibbert, Gibson to name a few...)

Also, I just remembered we still have McGeady on the books!

Beginning to wonder whether Koeman did his homework before accepting the offer from Goodison Park!

Dave Williams
28 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:46:59
Jags has been a marvellous servant and a great example to any young kid as to how to conduct yourself. He is now looking jaded, flustered and sluggish but that is due to age and injuries and it is up to Koeman to ease him out with dignity.

Ron has given more than ample opportunity to the seasoned players and they have let him down time and again. How can a team start a game so lacking in energy and desire – again time after time? As most say above, it now HAS to change and whilst he can't throw half a dozen youngsters in there are surely a couple who can be given a chance with a couple more on the bench. Davies has looked good in most of his appearances as has Holgate and Calvert-Lewin can't be any worse than any of our other strikers if he is given some game time.

I have also become less agitated by poor performances which worries me having lived through the dire days of Tommy Casey in the early seventies.

Please, Ron, take action... now!!!!!

Dick Fearon
29 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:47:11
Koeman says expecting big changes will take up to three years yet something he can do right now is coach professional footballers on how to take decent free kicks and corners.

If they are genuine pros and not Fancy Dans, that shouldn't be too hard... Hey, they are genuine pros, aren't they?

Phil Sammon
30 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:55:10
Gerard 12

"We will also lose Gana and Bolassie in January."

There's plenty to complain about without making up total bollocks like this, Gerard.

Patrick Murphy
31 Posted 28/11/2016 at 20:02:34
Wed 04/01/17 FRI Cameroon
-
Congo DR

African Cup of Nations, Phil – it starts in January and Bolassie and Gueye will be involved for their respective nations.

Mon 16/01/17 ACO Congo DR 19 : 00
Morocco

Fri 20/01/17 ACO Côte d'Ivoire 16 : 00
Congo DR

Tue 24/01/17 ACO Togo 19 : 00
Congo DR

Joe McMahon
32 Posted 28/11/2016 at 20:12:48
We also need another option at left back. What exactly has Baines done in the last 2- 3 years? Very good in his day, but players are kept at Everton way too long, such as Hibbert et al. I can still see Baines's pathetic attempt against Raul Meireles at you know where in 2011.

As an aside, I see Rotherham are in the creek after a nightmare spell from Alan Stubbs. Jacket has resigned already.

Laurie Hartley
33 Posted 28/11/2016 at 21:29:21
Good article, Mike.

In my view, the biggest problem that Everton FC has is that the board think they have a £75m striker. It's the monkey with its hand in the jar holding a biscuit problem. I would sell him and Mirallas asap for what they cost us.

I would put Barkley up front with Deulofeu in a 4-4-2. I would put Barry and Jagielka on the bench and replace them with Davies and Holgate. Coleman, Stekelenburg, and Baines are OK.

So the team to go out would look like this:

Stekelenburg
Coleman, Holgate, Williams, Baines
Lennon, Gueye, Davies, Bolasie (on the left)
Deulofeu, Barkley.

That group can revert to 4-3-3 or 4-5-1.

If your gonna have a change - bite the bullet and go for broke. Death by a thousand cuts is not the way to go.

Mike Corcoran
34 Posted 28/11/2016 at 21:41:38
Team full of Nyarkos when all we want are narks.
Gerard Carey
35 Posted 28/11/2016 at 21:42:13
Okay, Phil, we will see in January. My point was that we really can't do without them. Gana has been very good for us, and Bolasie has done some good things too. Anything that weakens the squad can't be good, that's all.
Martin Nicholls
36 Posted 28/11/2016 at 21:47:12
Gerard (#12) – I see you're still waiting for an apology from Phil (#30) after Patrick (#31) enlightened him about what I thought we all knew!
Thomas Rigby
38 Posted 28/11/2016 at 22:27:29
It is clear that Koeman now realises how bad this team is the but the real worry is how the club are going to start building from the present state of affairs. As so many people have pointed out there are serious problems throughout the whole team whether defence, midfield or attack. More worryingly there are questions about the attitude of the team. At times they look as if they don't care... so much so that team spirit seems non-existent.

Everyone is waiting for the transfer window to open in January, but I am very concerned that things could get worse. Will we make signings who are going to make a difference? Anyone signed now must be someone capable of helping us to reach a top four level. With that in mind I would ask how on earth Sissoko would have met this requirement? Today, Pochettino is openly stating that he has a bad attitude in training.

Many Everton fans did not want him because they had witnessed his disgraceful performance at Newcastle. So why did we want him and be prepared to pay £30M for him?

We had better do better than that in January!

James Doran
39 Posted 28/11/2016 at 22:37:06
Laurie @ 31,

IMO, if we were to sell Lukaku, we'd have to replace him with another natural goal-scorer who was strong, would provide an aerial presence and would hold the ball up well whilst we counter-attack. Neither Barkley nor Deulofeu fulfils, or would fulfil, that description.

I think Lukaku and Deulofeu 'up top' would work.

Danny Broderick
40 Posted 28/11/2016 at 23:15:34
Even our formation seems stale! A change has indeed gotta come!
Oliver Molloy
41 Posted 28/11/2016 at 23:23:31
Apparently Everton are interested in Van Dijk and are not afraid of paying Southampton's £40 million asking price!

How's that going to happen, I wonder...

Mike Gaynes
42 Posted 28/11/2016 at 23:27:48
James (#39) and Laurie (#33), unfortunately Deulofeu can neither shoot nor head the ball, so I'd say he's an unlikely forward.

Laurie, I couldn't disagree more on Lukaku. He scores goals, which nobody else in our side can do... and he scores them without an intelligent Number 10 to feed him or consistent crosses from the wings.

We're one of the few teams in the Premier League with no playmaker. Every other top striker in the league has one.

I say don't judge Lukaku until we see how he does with decent service. Hopefully that's Koeman's and Walsh's top priority for January.

Derek Thomas
43 Posted 29/11/2016 at 01:07:51
Fair enough piece, Mike; Change is needed. If Koeman won't change or and I don't know which is worse, CAN'T change – can't change the system, can't see the need, can't motivate the players; Though true motivation has to come from within...

But, If you've been told in a blunt Dutch manner that – 'You're gone sunshine as soon as I can get a replacement', (instead of maybe being soft soaped with the old "you're playing for your place, you'll have to earn the right not to be replaced") well there is no incentive for the players to put an effort in.

Koeman's the Boss, but he too has a Boss and Bosses have to kick arses and wave the big stick sometimes – over to you, Moshiri, if you can get your head out of the plans for Bramley-Moore Dock.

For other solutions/causes etc. copy and paste 90% of the comments from any of a score or more of threads...or is it "Everybody's out of step but Ron... and Roberto... and David."

The next team sheet will be worth a read.

Nicholas Ryan
44 Posted 29/11/2016 at 01:28:39
A boxing analogy:

Sugar Ray Leonard was once asked about his rivalry with Roberto Duran. He said: "The difference between us, is that I only fight in a Las Vegas Hotel, for $5 million, with a worldwide TV deal in place... Duran will fight you, me, and our trainers, in a phone booth, for nothing!"

Everton need a bit less Ray Leonard, and a bit more Roberto Duran!!

Phil Sammon
45 Posted 29/11/2016 at 03:22:24
Martin & Patrick,

I took Gerard's comment to mean that he thought Bolasie and Gueye would be leaving the club in the January transfer window. Judging by Gerard's reply, I think I read it right.

If he meant that they will be on International duty, then he's right and I apologise.

Incidentally... can we all go back to calling it 'The African Nations Cup'? You know, because it actually makes sense.

Derek Thomas
46 Posted 29/11/2016 at 05:06:37
Nicholas @44; Leonard was a boxer who could...if needs be, fight and fight very well too. Duran was a fighter who could... if needs be, box very well too.

We actually need 2, 3, 4 of them. They are call 'Winners'; they used to be called Halfbacks and Inside Forwards... latterly the general cover all of 'Mid Field' was applied.

What ever you call them – winners, halfbacks, Inside forwards, mid fielders; we need some. Not a soon-to-be 36-year-old player. Nor any of our 3 can't be arsed wingers. Not any of our 2, sometimes 3 sick notes. We then might be able to 'carry' and see bloom that young lad with all the instinctive skill.

Nah, that's a dream too far... He'll be off eventually, to mix with the Huddlestones of this world... The big lad who could play a bit, but wouldn't pull you out of bed as is said.

Laurie Hartley
47 Posted 29/11/2016 at 05:09:16
Mike (#34) – I saw what you did there – very good! I agree we could do with one or two (narks that is).
Mike (#42) - Deulofeu can't shoot?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzjAlwNI_nU

Perhaps it was a fluke?
Maybe he could take the free kicks then:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swEH_Zb1a-s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNRmDT6H-Mc

As far as Lukaku's ability is concerned, that question has been done to death on TW as has the problem of his attitude. It is the attitude that I am concerned with.

My experience has been that, when you are managing a team (any kind of team), each member has to “fit”. I don't think he does and I don't think Mirallas does either .

In my (not very important) opinion, when they go Koeman has a chance to effect real change. As long as they stay there will be no change.

My January solution would be to ask Arsene if he wants to loan us Giroud for the rest of the season.

And you know what it would do Lukaku the world of good to be put in a new dressing room where he isn't the king bee.

Derek (#43) – I would put a big sign outside Moshiri's office – DO NOT DISTURB.

Laurie Hartley
48 Posted 29/11/2016 at 06:04:57
Looks like the Deulofeu links are not working - one more attempt.

Link
Link

Mike Dolan
49 Posted 29/11/2016 at 06:28:39
Koeman did not inherit anything too wonderful at Everton –let's be very clear about that. Even the reliable senior players that you might be forgiven in thinking that you might get just one more good season out of have just got old all of a sudden while players like Barkley and Duelofeu who do have great talent have yet to become team players.

Barkley takes a lot of the blame maybe because he is learning to play a style that he is just not good at. I must confess there are moments when he can be absolutely exquisite but more often he is slow of thought and frankly a bit of a chicken when it comes to physical contact, but you can see he is trying.

Lukaku is going to find himself surrounded by defenders until Everton find another creditable consistent goal scorer. Surely he has to asked before the game if he would mind running around a bit while he's all alone up front because nothing is coming through the middle.

In January we should get our number ten and that will free things up a bit. In the meantime, the only genuine experienced attacking midfielder we have on our books is oft injured Darren Gibson. Why not play him and Davies? You never know the odd forward pass might work wonders.

Keep the faith.

Gareth Clark
50 Posted 29/11/2016 at 06:57:48
Some people have zero patience & zero understanding.

Let's go back to when Martinez took over from Moyes... That first season, went quite well didn't it?
Maybe because Moyes tactics and structures (especially defensively) were still with the players.

Does anyone remember the second and third season under Martinez? When he could get his own tactics & structures & playing style embedded into the players...

Now Koeman has a big job, he has to undo all the piss poor characteristics that Martinez has left - not an easy job!

Give Koeman a year, to allow him to fix what he can, and bring in his own players.

Look at the redshite even, Klopp didn't have a major effect until he had been in charge for a year, once he'd bought in a few of the players he wanted & got the players playing his style, rather than Rodgers style.

Have some patience & stop being so fucking pessimistic... Koeman is the best possible manager we can have at the moment, let him do what he needs to do... This season is the platform for the next - he is still finding what he has, what he doesn't have & what he needs to get.

In Koeman I trust!

COYB

Chris Leyland
51 Posted 29/11/2016 at 07:49:32
Gareth Clark – exactly right there. Koeman has taken over a shambles. A team with 25 wins in their previous 81 league games. A team with little or no leadership or discipline.

The manager needs more than 13 games to turnround the 2+ years of Martinez failings.

Tony Abrahams
52 Posted 29/11/2016 at 08:01:58
It brought a smile to my face that eulogy, Nicholas, especially because Duran is my all time favourite fighter, but I would love a team full of Sugar Ray Leanards though, a man who could really turn it on whenever he wanted to!

I think people can see that we seem to have problems between the players and the manager once again, which is very alarming considering the new man has been here less than 6 months.

Alan J Thompson
53 Posted 29/11/2016 at 08:03:54
Given the criticism Moyes used to get over pre-season signings not given enough time to settle in, what exactly are we expecting if several new signings arrive in January?
Phil Walling
54 Posted 29/11/2016 at 14:52:31
Tony, although I agree with you that there does seem to be a disconnect betwixt this manager and players, Martinez must be pleased to see how well 'his' players are adhering to the creed.

There has been as much meaningless passing by our lads in the last two games as at any time during Roberto's reign! The Great Philosopher sure taught them well !


Eric Myles
55 Posted 29/11/2016 at 15:21:44
Phil (#54), given that Moyes's training and tactics is oft lauded as the reason why we did so well in Martinez's first season, couldn't it be equally applicable that there's a hangover from the Martinez era?
Steve Brown
57 Posted 29/11/2016 at 15:29:49
If Davies, Holgate and Funes Mori don't feature on Saturday then the players letting us down will know there is no consequence for failure.
Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 29/11/2016 at 15:35:05
I agree. Phil, as I said the other day, if the first pass doesn't go backwards, then the second pass definitely will...

Phil, you hated Martinez from the start, and judging by his pay off, the snake oil salesman, was a very good call, but it looked like he had an affinity for Everton which Koeman doesn't seem to have.

People say a manager, doesn't necessarily have to have an affinity for the club he manages? I've never disagreed with something as much, because only when you really care about something will you give it your best shot.

These players have proved over time that they are not really winners, and don't have much heart for the fight, so let's see the manager react accordingly, because if things don't get any better, it will be easy for him to say that after what he inherited it wasn't really his fault.

I also said on another thread that the players actions are speaking much louder than words, but I'm not looking at the players for once, I'm just waiting to see how Ronald Koeman responds. Maybe he's just missing Sammy Lee!

Mike Doyle
59 Posted 29/11/2016 at 15:35:59
Steve (57). I suspect they – or at least most of them – already know there isn't.
Patrick Murphy
60 Posted 29/11/2016 at 16:56:11
Phil (#45),

It might make sense to some but the official title is the African Cup of Nations. I wasn't being rude or trying to make you look foolish I was only trying to enlighten you, I'm sorry I bothered to be frank.

I still don't believe that Gerard meant the players would be joining other clubs either but I suppose it depends on how stuff is interpreted.

Mike Gaynes
61 Posted 29/11/2016 at 17:39:43
Laurie (#48), thanks for the links. You've inadvertently made my point about Deulofeu very nicely. The best you can find is free kicks from a long ago practice?

Fact is, the kid cannot shoot. At all. In his time with us he's had exactly one good shot from open play, the quick 10-yard snap at Arsenal two years ago. Other than that, he scuffs wide even from in close, and he's never come close to scoring from outside the 18. Even as a Barca kid he got his goals by dribbling into the area and slotting it in.

Sure, let him take some free kicks. Maybe even try him at #10 in place of the hapless Barkley. We have nothing to lose. But do not try to make a striker out of him. He ain't.

Mike Gaynes
62 Posted 29/11/2016 at 17:42:19
Steve (#57), Holgate and Funes Mori? You want to sit both Williams and Jags and go with an entirely new central defense combo that has never played together before?

Really? No thanks.

I agree on Davies and Funes Mori, but Williams keeps his place for me.

Denis Richardson
63 Posted 29/11/2016 at 18:25:02
We could play 3-5-2, Mike.

Holgate, Williams, Funes Mori.

Dean Adams
64 Posted 29/11/2016 at 18:50:18
Patrick (#60),

Do bother. I saw it as you did first time. I went back and re-read it and am convinced that Gerard meant what you thought he did, suggesting Phil was just attempting to cover up for his simple mistake.

It is all pedantic though coz EFC are just what we have been for 30 years, just plainly not good enough. Our hopes are based on them across the park not on our continual failure.

Phil Walling
65 Posted 29/11/2016 at 19:25:21
I'm still hoping Koeman can make something of this mess.

If he gets Van Dyjk and a couple of others for £60M to get us seventhish, I'll say he's done well; if he can do it with this rabble, I'll say he's a bloody miracle worker.

Eddie Dunn
66 Posted 29/11/2016 at 19:45:58
Colin (#5). "I don't know much about Walsh, but apparently his record is a bit hit and miss".

What kind of comment is this? If you don't know much about Walsh, then why pass comment? Have you looked at his record?

Walsh and Koeman have just started at our club. Regardless of who has taken over, there is surely a huge amount of work to be done on everything, from discipline, training practices, tactics and set plays, as well as learning about their players, and settling in the new recruits.

Things are far from perfect, but before the season started, most of us on here were saying that if we finished 10th we would be happy, after the dross of the last 18 months of Martinez. Criticise Koeman over his selections and formations, but base criticism on facts.

Managers don't have a magic wand, which is probably what is needed with a bunch of individuals, many of whom must be thinking of where they may be playing their football in the New Year.

Phil Walling
67 Posted 29/11/2016 at 20:30:14
I can't see there being much of a market for our casts-off in January, Eddie, and we can only reasonably expect two or three new faces.

I don't think too many of us will settle for 'top half' but as I say above, seventhish would be acceptable (because it means 'best of the rest!).

That's where we are now, the hard part will be staying there!

Soni Samuel
68 Posted 29/11/2016 at 20:36:45
Advocating for a "change" in the starting 11, I for one feel that Koeman is sticking with a bunch of players and not willing to budge in trying out from the bench or the youth setup (for e.g. Davies, Galloway, etc.).

Is it because he is not convinced they are not yet on the level he wants them to be, or are they just not good enough for him, etc. etc. Only Koeman knows. Granted we need to give him time and that I believe we will, but for God's sake he needs to bring in something different tactically, formation-wise, lineup-wise. Yes, I admit that its easy to sit on our side of the fence and shell out opinions, but every blue in the house would readily admit this bunch is just not gelling together on any level.

Which brings me to the upcoming African Nations Cup (ANC). Come mid-December, we will be without the services of Gueye (severely missed), Bolaise (to some extend), Kone (no difference) & Niasse (an enigma surely and the jury is still out)!!

They would surely miss the below games,

- December: Leicester City (A), Hull City (A),

- January: Southampton (H), Man City (H), Crystal Palace (A)

- February Stoke City (A) & Bournemouth (H)

This would be a time for Koeman to try out our so called "fringe" players. Will he or won't he is the question that awaits an answer. Hoping he does...

Barry Thompson
70 Posted 29/11/2016 at 21:18:49
Only the Wizard of Oz can give this current side what it is severely lacking.
Kevin Tully
71 Posted 29/11/2016 at 21:36:35
I think Steve B just about nails it @ 56. Our problems are deep-rooted, and won't be solved by just changing either the manager or a few players.
Tom Bowers
72 Posted 29/11/2016 at 22:50:00
I think that many fans could be of a mind right now of a change of manager soon if these dismal performances (never mind results) continue. They could easily be on a four match losing skid save for the injury time point saver by Seamus against the Swans. And in those games they have shown very, very poor quality for a squad with so much talent.

The fact that Koeman hasn't been able to get them motivated nor seemingly have a very good strategy does not bode well for his management. It would seem for each game coming up he expects, like we hope, that things will change and the question is how long will he or the top brass be willing to wait.

The axe has to swing sometime on someone surely and, even if they somehow get a result against Man Utd, one cannot be too hopeful over the next few weeks. Nobody expected this from Koeman so soon; even Martinez in the beginning gave us new life.

The jury is deliberating.

Martin O'Connor
73 Posted 30/11/2016 at 04:09:58
Good article with some good points.

On summer transfers, Walsh came in too late for summer. Hopefully his influence will show in January and summer, also Koeman seemed to busy having his holidays in the summer instead if getting down to work, now he knows the task in front of him.

The defence is too old; Williams is okay as a stop-gap but it needs fully rejigging. Jags is gone, we need a new goalkeeper. Baines is on the wane and now gets injured too much, get Galloway back asp. Get Holgate in the team and hopefully Browning can come back strong. Get Connolly around the team as well.

Coleman for me is on his last chance as he is still good going forward, although his final ball is still rubbish while defensively he needs to up his game big time.

We need a new centre-half and, if what Van Dylk was saying about Koeman last week was true, then let's go and try and get him.

Midfield we need as we all know a play maker and Barkley is in the last chance saloon looking like he ain't gonna be the player he promised to be. Please get rid of Gibson and many more. Promote Davis and Walsh to the first team now. Also, go and get Kisse from Atalanta, a box-to-box player who is great, scores goals and is still only 19.

Up front, Rom needs some help or will just sulk and down tools. Mirallas, Deulofeu, and Lennon have had their time... go for Belotti at Torino and Balde at Lazio and promote Calvert-Lewin. At least that will be a start.

Lev Vellene
74 Posted 30/11/2016 at 21:18:46
Basically, we need an experienced back-line (with Holgate inserted somewhere...).

Then we should keep about half the rest of the team, and let some of our youngsters get a shot regularly. That might wake up to lazy old sods well before the half-time whistle the next time they get the usual/expected nod to disinterestedly gaze at their own particular area of the field!

Laurie Hartley
75 Posted 30/11/2016 at 21:53:31
Mike - How about this one?

Link

He can score from outside the box 2:05 in

Link

I do have to agree with you he is not an out and out striker but in my opinion he would make a good foil for any striker. If you look at some of his assists he can pick a pass through the middle of the park.

Martin # 73 - now that is what I would call "sweeping" change.

Tom Bowers
76 Posted 30/11/2016 at 22:12:18
There are obviously many things wrong as well as quite a few players underachieving. If they continue to play in this lethargic state, it will be hard to expect them to beat any team home or away much less Manure this coming Sunday.

The gaffer doesn't seem to have what it takes to turn things around although most of us still believe he needs more time and the question is how long. He has shown that some players are not in his plans and they probably will be released in January.

He seems to have great faith in Rom and Bolasie still becoming a potent force but they may need greater support from the midfield. Gana has faded somewhat after a bright start and Barkley as we all know has his head in the clouds far too often. There has been very little potent offence from the rest of the midfielders/wingbacks like Mirallas, Deulofeu, Lennon and Cleverley.

Surely, in the event of another lacklustre showing against Man Utd will signal some major changes but I doubt Koeman is yet ready to try the eager youngsters. It would be really nice to enjoy Christmas for a change.

Mike Gaynes
77 Posted 01/12/2016 at 00:59:06
Laurie (#75), yep, as I said, he's worth a prayer in the #10 slot – he can make passes that Barkley couldn't spot with a telescope. And given our dismal results on free kicks this season, I'd definitely give him a try there too.

But if Rom needs a partner up top, Geri ain't it. Aside from the shooting, he also can't head a ball or hold it up. He'd be a mosquito for most Premier League center-backs to brush off.

We'll see what kind of shot Koeman decides to give him.

Mick Davies
78 Posted 01/12/2016 at 00:59:25
Our fate rests with a man who was desperate to pay £30m for Sissoko, who refuses to drop players in terrible form, and who didn't know who Josh Sims was, although the lad was 19 when Koeman left Southampton!

Not looking very good... is it?

Colin Glassar
79 Posted 01/12/2016 at 12:01:28
Slightly off-topic but the title of this thread is apt – A Change Has Gotta Come. Why is TW a bit slow to catch up with developing (?) news?

The other day it was reported that the Chang shirt deal was ending and we were looking for a big new sponsorship deal. Not a peep (as far as I can see) on TW.

Today, Ronald Koeman was forced to change his Christmas tree due to a twitter storm – the tree was basically decorated in red and white. Nothing on here.

Everton have been linked again with that useless, disrespectful, overrated shithouse, Sissoko. Nothing on TW to discuss and show our outrage.

Big letters over Goodison but not a word.

Lots of Everton related news to comment and speculate on but not reported. Is it up to us, the people, to take charge?

Mike Allen
80 Posted 01/12/2016 at 16:05:31
Yes, most of us thought it was a major coup getting Koeman and perhaps most still do; however, what we are watching is a team without any kind of direction.

Yes, the players he inherited where / are over hyped as well as over rated to say the least. His answer so far has been to rotate the same tried and trusted failures who are out of their depth in this division.

Waiting for the January transfer window to open will only get us second rate mercenaries. He must blood one or two Academy players now and get some direction and enthusiasm back in the side.

Off-days, we can handle... lack of effort is unforgivable.

Lev Vellene
81 Posted 02/12/2016 at 19:12:18
In a normal situation (these days), I'd say the manager needs to see which of his players have proven best at doing the particular job he needs them to do, and then pick them for his first eleven.

As our first-half performances have proven for half of the last few games, what he actually needs to see right now is who really, really wants to try his best during the first half (to oust an old first-team player), and then accept being subbed if he fails.

Our experienced players have proven to be so unreliable that there is really no reason for Koeman to NOT rile them up by using (say) two U23 players as starters every game.

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