2016-17 kicks off in a little over four weeks' time and it could offer the Belgian forward another fresh start after he appeared to lose his way and, consequently, his place in the team under former manager Roberto Martinez.
Now, with new boss Ronald Koeman in place, Mirallas says he is working hard in pre-season and that he and his team-mates are in optimistic mood about the coming campaign.
"The new manager is very determined and ambitious, the training sessions have been good and we're all looking forward to what is to come in the season," the 28-year-old told evertonfc.com.
“When a new manager comes in, everything is new so it's very exciting because you have new players, and young players in the group.
“We're all working as hard as we can in Austria. Every day I train hard for my family, for me, for the fans and I hope this season we will all be happy about what we are able to do on the pitch.” Regarding Koeman, Mirallas told the Liverpool Echo. "It's good, I know how good a footballer he is. All the time he likes to play football, good control, good position, good pass.
“For me it's good because I'm from Belgium, so it's very close, we speak the same. They have been very good sessions.”
Though Koeman has only brought in back-up goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg to date, the Dutchman is unlikely to be the last new face before the season starts and Everton are linked with new players every week.
As the only senior player for whom left midfield would be regarded as a natural role, Mirallas's position could be an area that the new managerial team looks to strengthen before the transfer window closes but the former Olympiakos man says he welcomes the competition.
“I know it could mean more players this season,” Mirallas continued. “All of the top teams buy new players and Everton is a big club, so it's normal to sign big players. “Some players like the transfer speculation and some players don't. For me, it's good because if you have big players in your team then your team is better.
“I like it too because when you have good players behind you when you play, you need to play well because after the game it's possible to change round. I think new players will come in and I hope this season we can do really well. We want to do well and we believe we can."
Much is expected of the Blues this season with Koeman at the helm after two seasons of what many feel was chronic under-performance under Martinez.
On a personal note, things could only get better for Mirallas who was himself frozen out of the side and then found it difficult regaining his place as his frustrations got the better of him with disciplinary problems on a couple of occasions when he was given an opportunity.
That meant he lost his place for Belgium, too, and missed out on the European Championships but while he was disappointed not to be selected, he is pragmatic enough to acknowledge that it means he will be fresh for the new Premier League season and he still has eyes on the 2018 World Cup Finals.
“Last season was frustrating for me and for the team, but we are upbeat about this coming season and that's what we are thinking about,” he explained. "I hoped to go to the Euros, but sometimes it's like that in football.
“But for me it's also better because I've had a good rest and now I am very hungry for the new season. [My] dream is to play a World Cup for my country and now we have the World Cup in Russia coming up so I hope to play in that.”
Reader Comments (63)
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1 Posted 15/07/2016 at 06:56:16
2 Posted 15/07/2016 at 07:40:56
He is one who always looks he 'has a goal in him', but so often disappoints. He must hold the club record (under two managers) for the number of times he has been substituted.
Perhaps just perhaps Koeman 'can flick his switch'.
3 Posted 15/07/2016 at 07:42:33
4 Posted 15/07/2016 at 07:55:16
Only time will tell.
5 Posted 15/07/2016 at 08:00:22
6 Posted 15/07/2016 at 08:07:46
7 Posted 15/07/2016 at 08:28:01
8 Posted 15/07/2016 at 08:33:59
9 Posted 15/07/2016 at 08:36:22
Obviously I hope we sign some high quality new players, but even if we didn't I'd still expect us to be a massive improvement on last season.
10 Posted 15/07/2016 at 08:40:40
11 Posted 15/07/2016 at 08:47:21
12 Posted 15/07/2016 at 09:06:02
He's got everything in his locker; it's great to hear that he's hungry and wants to take out the frustrations of the last two years out on the football pitch.
I expect him to start well, before injury or a sense of "I've done my bit" and a change of attitude takes over.
I hope I'm wrong, because a focused Mirallas, playing for the team, would be a major asset to Everton.
13 Posted 15/07/2016 at 09:22:32
14 Posted 15/07/2016 at 09:33:40
If Koeman can change his attitude, there is a very good player there. I hope he can but remain doubtful going on the four years he has been here.
15 Posted 15/07/2016 at 09:57:53
As usual, I'm in complete agreement with you. The amount of times I've been pissed off at him for taking a shot when there were obvious passes is 'phenomenal'.
16 Posted 15/07/2016 at 10:32:39
With him on one flank and Deulofeu or Lennon on the other, we should be shredding teams on the break.
17 Posted 15/07/2016 at 10:33:09
Dangerous when he's the mood, but is not a team player, and you can bet your house that is the reason Roberto didn't want him involved in the end.
18 Posted 15/07/2016 at 10:44:49
19 Posted 15/07/2016 at 10:46:17
Generally I get the impression he is a laid back family guy, would be good company socially, and he is probably the man most likely to be a turn-around success under the new managerial regime.
20 Posted 15/07/2016 at 11:52:52
Alongside Lukaku and Deulofeu, with Barkley pushing up behind, he forms a wonderfully marauding attacking foursome. Talk of him being 'arrogant' is fine by me too. Ronaldo is and he doesn't do too badly, does he? Time Everton had a bit more attitude on the pitch too.
And don't fool yourself that he doesn't track back and work hard (those so-called qualities so many Evertonians seem to espouse of late). In the derby game at Anfield last year, he did far more of that than his chief rival, the journeyman Lennon, including a fantastic Jagielka-like block on the edge of the box, when the rest of the team had hoisted the white flag.
Just look at his goals, most of which are never less than spectacular. This man is a winner and we need 10 more like him if we seek to emulate that as a team.
ps: Time we stopped regarding him as a 'winger' too. Although he can play out wide, he is surely more a free-ranging forward/striker, who could well be played up front in a two with Lukaku.
21 Posted 15/07/2016 at 12:13:59
I had a season ticket last year and can't remember hardly any impact he had on any games when he eventually did get on the pitch. It's time for him to go; however, there are 4 or 5 worse than him. So sell Oviedo, Kone and McGeady first and Cleverley and Niasse still have convincing to do.
If we want to be top 4 or higher, then we have to have top 4 players and those names including Mirallas wouldn't get in a top 4 side. So it's sell or the bench for Mirallas, in my opinion.
22 Posted 15/07/2016 at 12:39:54
He was wasted last season; he's one of only a few genuine goal threats at the club, and Koeman has to find a way to accommodate him within our team.
I genuinely believe that given the right roll, Kev would easily bag double figures and that's not easy to come by.
Also he's genuinely a hard working player; people never credit Kev with that but he works hard to cover his full back. 28 years old, in his prime, and hopefully rested and ready to take the Premier League by storm.
23 Posted 15/07/2016 at 13:05:00
There are a fair few 'wide' players who function like this, and Mane was a perfect example last season. His average positioning was very high up the pitch, and he generally reneged on defensive duties to support the attack. Mahrez is not a bad example too, as he was given complete freedom to attack once Leicester changed their set-up to accommodate his attacking play/lack of defensive.
Mirallas is another one of those. He is a bit of a luxury. We could work to change that, or we could accept it and play to his strengths (as Martinez failed to do).
The issue for this squad will be the number of luxury players. We have Mirallas, Deulofeu and Barkley (and who knows what Niasse will become). We can't play all of these, and personally, despite the Barkley love on here, I'd prioritise Deulofeu (who I think can be better than Barkley) and Mirallas because they can function in wide areas, whereas Barkley is poor in wide areas. I don't think Mirallas will start every game this season (just as Tadic and Mane did not), but he will be a great impact sub off the bench and an attacking option from the start.
One of the most impressive facets of Koeman's management last season was his willingness to swap out under performing/out of form players (Mane, Tadic and Pelle in particular). This will be benefit our squad because Mirallas, Barkley and Deulofeu are all form players, and we need to chop and change them at the right times. If we achieve this, then we will have an excellent trio of attacking players capable of winning games.
I just think that we need to supplement them with a central playmaker (Mata) who can bring consistency, class and experience. A deep-lying linker behind is a necessity as well, as I don't think that anyone in the squad is capable of playing that role at present. (Certainly not Barkley, who takes too long on the ball and makes poor decisions in dangerous areas, or McCarthy, who is an excellent tackler, but is poor, and will always be poor, going forward.)
24 Posted 15/07/2016 at 13:15:55
25 Posted 15/07/2016 at 13:36:41
26 Posted 15/07/2016 at 13:49:59
Excellent appraisal, and I agree 100%.
27 Posted 15/07/2016 at 14:06:51
And not many other clubs have anyone like him.
Get him back in our team. Let him know he has a vital role to play. And hey presto: another 15-plus goals a season...
28 Posted 15/07/2016 at 14:22:29
I was hoping under Koeman that we'd see an end to this trite meaningless flim flam and players just doing it on the pitch.
29 Posted 15/07/2016 at 14:48:06
That is exactly the type of player I want player for Everton. Fast, direct, exciting, skilful, and with an end product.
Yes, he is greedy at times, but his style of play fits the style I think most blues want. His style also suits the style of Barkley, Deulofeu, and Lukaku. With another striker added to that, that would give Mr Koeman 5 excellent forwards to pick from.
30 Posted 15/07/2016 at 15:07:16
31 Posted 15/07/2016 at 15:11:03
Kevin, if you're reading this, feel the love and give us some goals!
32 Posted 15/07/2016 at 15:54:31
A confident, aggressive, fast, direct Kevin Mirallas will scare the shit out of opposing defences.
Let's hope Koeman can bring that out of him.
33 Posted 15/07/2016 at 15:58:45
34 Posted 15/07/2016 at 16:13:14
35 Posted 15/07/2016 at 16:20:14
Have you watched that compilation yet.....?
You say "including Mirallas wouldn't get in a top 4 side"
Have you had a look at the Leicester side? How many of those would get in a top 4 side? Three? Four? Think about it....
36 Posted 15/07/2016 at 16:22:02
37 Posted 15/07/2016 at 16:35:40
Lost his way almost totally because of Martinez; with a guiding hand and quiet advice he will be one of our top players. The 'guiding hand' bit is the difficulty... BUT now we have Big Ron and he will know exactly how to help Kev and save a shit load of cash in one go.
On a personal note, I came on TW today to cheer myself up a bit; my close friend Bob passed away today after battling the evil that is cancer. A true blue, I will miss him and think about him every game.
Life is too short; tell your families you love them and enjoy the coming season.
38 Posted 15/07/2016 at 17:29:51
Hopefully Koeman can get him smiling again.
39 Posted 15/07/2016 at 17:46:36
If he can turn that around to three in four, he would be some player.
40 Posted 15/07/2016 at 18:14:55
41 Posted 15/07/2016 at 18:39:19
The guy's selfish and unreliable, I can't see him changing his spots now.
42 Posted 15/07/2016 at 18:46:56
43 Posted 15/07/2016 at 18:54:26
A YouTube video of his frustrating moments should be shown for fairness though. Editing is a clever skill if used correctly.
44 Posted 15/07/2016 at 22:49:03
A big part of his failure to progress is down to him. Fitness and discipline have been issues. But it's the manager's job to get the best out of him because the result will be well worth it.
Obviously Everton's bigger than any player but I'd love to see Kev succeed with us. I just like the guy.
45 Posted 15/07/2016 at 23:37:06
As David Booth has suggested I have always felt that he has been played out of position at Everton he is more of a second striker.
I am hoping he will see that working with Koeman as a chance to reignite his career. As for the perceived problem regarding his attitude, I have a feeling our new boss will be able to sort that out.
46 Posted 16/07/2016 at 07:40:22
Hopefully now Koeman can draw out his undoubted talent and we see the best of him; if so, it will be like a new signing. I still think fitness is our first priority and players must last more than 70 minutes.
47 Posted 16/07/2016 at 08:12:57
48 Posted 16/07/2016 at 12:23:06
49 Posted 16/07/2016 at 13:07:44
As an "outsider" to the game, the one thing through the years (decade or so) that has absolutely baffled me is the hesitancy to actually shoot the damn ball.
In the game of soccer there seems to be a prevailing cultural thought almost of cardinal regard to only shoot the ball from certain places on the pitch. Shots from "low angles" or shots from 25 yards seemingly are questioned often.
Having grown up playing hockey I've never, ever understood this and frankly never will. Shots on goal are how you actually score, ergo win. It's shots that cause chaos, shots that frighten keepers, shots that defensive players are intent on stopping... Shots are what we need more of if we're to actually win.
So if Kevin Mirallas wants to be a bit "greedy" that's fine by me.
And I'd argue he's not "greedy", but rather understands he has the capability to put the ball in the back of the net so he actually attempts to do that.
Opportunistic and aggressive yes. Greedy? No.
He does completely have an "effort issue" however that rears its ugly head now and again... but at least the kid will have a pop on net.
50 Posted 16/07/2016 at 13:58:24
51 Posted 16/07/2016 at 18:34:41
Congratulations for having the stainless steel nuts to walk against the brainwashing. I entirely agree that adventurous, speculative or unpredictable play unsettles the opposition defence.
Here in UK presentations (and often in the US versions which I catch), there is a completely tiresome and predictable catechism of narrowness. Brainwashed utter bullshit that there is one way and only one successful way to play "the beautiful game".
Well there isn't. There never ever was. If ever there was a single club who have repeatedly demonstrated that interpretation, innovation and imagination can improve and entertain, then it most certainly is Everton FC!
Being bland, moribund and relying upon strangling the life out of entertaining football was the stock in trade of our adorable neighbours. Interestingly, their capacity to finish atop of the English Leagues seems to have ceased when the freedom to pass the ball back to the 'keeper was eliminated.
52 Posted 16/07/2016 at 20:30:10
Bollocks to the attitude issues, he seems inspired by Koeman and I think an inspired Kev is one of the first names on the team-sheet.
I hope Barkley can be transformed into the box-to-box player he should be, Kev the floater and Gerry our deadly wide-man supplying Lukaku. If a combination of those four doesn't get you salivating then you need to watch another sport.
53 Posted 16/07/2016 at 21:13:25
My dad used to always say, "The goalie has to play."
And of course, as THE expert in this area. Wayne Gretzky said: “You miss 100% of the shots you dont take.”
Read here a couple of times that Koeman likes two up front. Don't know if that's true, but wouldn't mind seeing Kevin and Lukaku give it a go.
54 Posted 16/07/2016 at 21:32:32
I agree with you, I would like Mirallas to be given a chance up front; he did well in Greece playing as an out-and-out striker.
His record is not outstanding as a goalscoring winger at Everton, scoring 26 goals in 111 league games; in all, he has scored 35 goals in 136 games.
You say "Bollocks to his attitude," well that is the sort of attitude he seems to have. He'd be a lot better if he changed it, and Everton would also benefit if he did.
55 Posted 16/07/2016 at 22:01:54
He looks like he:
A) wants to be an asset to Everton (without the speculation he's only doing it to earn himself a move).
B) He genuinely wants to give the fans something to cheer about.
For a player whose attitude has been questioned in the past (myself included), he is making the right noises early on.
Let's face it though, not many are questioning our attacking potential, Niasse God love him aside, it's our defensive frailties that have caused concern.
56 Posted 16/07/2016 at 22:48:25
Kev, mate, it was a proper laff when we were just being lads. But, get all of your shit together, in one extremely well organized package. One.
I like you, lad. But shit me not. I fuckin' love Everton!!! Get your best clogs on, lad, you can, you know that, and I for fuckin certain do (you can rack that up as a top compliment, laddo... really you can). I see you as a permanent, "Player of the Season" contender. So, step up, laddo.
See you, kicking corner flags 'n' pouting? Tick Fucking Tock! Score 15+ league goals, just score 15+ ... It's not like you're fuckin' shy where ability is concerned, is it, Kev? So fuckin' apply it!
57 Posted 16/07/2016 at 22:49:44
Hopefully Niasse will not be as bad as most fans think he is. When he first came, he was derided by fans who had never seen him, the reports from Finch Farm were the start of these rumours, so these were coming from people who worked and trained at the training ground. Let's wait and see for ourselves, give him a run of games to see what he can do.
58 Posted 16/07/2016 at 23:33:30
He was treated abysmally by our previous manager. I bet the number of times he got 90 minutes under Martinz could easily be counted on the fingers of one hand. And he was going to destroy Liverpool in that derby game until Suarez put him out of the game just before half time.
And what attitude??? Just because he wanted to take a penalty really badly. Okay, he was wrong, but it is nice to see someone wanting to take one as far as I am concerned.
I sincerely hope Ronald Koeman is going to show some faith in him this season.
59 Posted 17/07/2016 at 01:10:56
But, I can't agree with much else other than him being culled by the fucking vampire in the derby.
He IS inconsistent. But perhaps he needs to be correctly managed (so he doesn't go off like a fuckin Catherine wheel or a damp squib).
As for "the penalty", since he intervened, Baines has had a stream of useless successors, hasn't he? Kev's pointless intervention cost us plenty of points subsequently.
Baines, like Rhino, just put them away. So no need to fiddle with the winning formula. None.
Hopefully Ron & Erwin will get him focussed on his true strengths and not on being a dickhead. If they do, then we have a terrific player fully equipped to rip the shit out of every defence in the EPL.
61 Posted 17/07/2016 at 15:31:36
I think Kevin either feels he has a point to prove or has increased his self-respect and is doing all he can to catch up on lost time...
62 Posted 17/07/2016 at 17:30:07
We're singing from the same hymn sheet.
I recently had a conversation with a couple of friends at the fields while one of my kids was playing - one Norwegian now living in America and two Englishmen living here as well. The point was brought up, as I explained my views on shooting the damn ball more often, that there are no boards behind the net in soccer. A solid point.
In hockey 90% of the time a wayward shot off the mark remains in play due to the boards / plexiglass keeping the puck inside the rink and play still "live" and ongoing. A wayward shot in soccer results (can result) in conceding possession and a subsequent goal kick to the opposition.
In soccer, despite the possibility that you shank your attempted shot and lose possession, you also can have a multitude of positive things occur. Deflected shots that wrong-foot the keeper and end up in the back of the net, "rebounds", chaos in front of goal, deflected shots that provide a corner for your team, longer range shots that pull out the opponents back line as they have to "respect the shot" and don't want it going on net, etc.
As James Flynn quoted the "Great One" Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.”
I've no problem whatsoever with any player Mirallas or otherwise having a go / pop. I never will.
There is of course bad shot selection in any sport. But teams and players willing to take more shots rarely "hurt" their teams.
Shoot away Super Kev, shoot away...
63 Posted 17/07/2016 at 18:17:08
Contrast this with Niasse, who we just can't seem to see past his (in my opinion, glaring) lack of quality.
Despite Kev's inconsistency, and Lukaku's misguided sense of self. It was Kev that was instrumental in Rom joining Everton.
Last season the talk was all about Jamie Vardy. Kev has all of Vardy's outstanding attributes and more. But. He needs to know that his manager believes in him.
I reckon that Ron & Erwin can have him banging 'em in next season. But then I believe that the whole squad will be like men reborn this coming season.
They haven't lost class or style, but they really had lost direction.
64 Posted 17/07/2016 at 23:16:45
Then I think he got injured, then he came back and got sent off... and then he was mainly used as an 88th minute sub.That's how I remember it anyway.
If Koeman can get him playing consistently like he did at the Bridge, then he could still prove to be a huge asset for our team. He can be a genuine match winner.
Just give the pens to Baines though, hey Kev!
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