Kevin Mirallas has opened up about his hopes for the immediate future amid the atmosphere of exciting transition at Everton under what is effectively new ownership and new manager, Ronald Koeman.
In a revealing interview with Sky Sports ahead of this weekend's visit of Stoke City, the the 28-year-old describes the differences under Koeman compared to the last three years under Roberto Martinez and his determination to put the frustrations of last term behind him and make this his best season at Goodison Park thus far.
“It's all change at Everton,” he said. “When you come to the training ground you can see that it's all changed.
“The squad changed and [there's a new owner and] with the new manager, he's good because sometimes last season it was not very not so good. Now everything's changed and I hope with the change we win something.
“I think with the manager, he says, ‘OK, I want this and I want this and I want this,' because he has good ideas. It's good because now we have four wingers and six defenders so you have to keep fighting for your position.”
The current campaign is Mirallas's fifth at Goodison Park and while he has shown, at times, the kind of form that persuaded David Moyes to spend £6m on him in the summer of 2012, he has struggled for consistency because of injuries and a relationship with former boss Roberto Martinez that appeared at least to have fractured beyond repair by the end. (The former Toffees boss has called Mirallas up to his first Belgian squad, however.)
The former Olympiacos man's latest comments seem to reveal a more settled and mature player who realises he is running out of time to prove he is a top player capable of forming the bedrock of Everton's attack. Asked if he felt that this was a big year for him personally, he agreed.
“This is the most important season for me because last season was so bad for me. I missed out on the Euros with my national team. I didn't play a lot with Everton. I wasn't happy because I signed a new contract last season and I know the fans like me and I like the fans.
“But this season is so important because I want to score [the most] goals for the team. I'm 28 years old now. Before I used to play one or two games well but then after that I didn't play well. I need more consistency and if I change this, it will be good."
Faith from the manager
Based on the interview, there is a sense that Mirallas has now found the manager who can encourage and motivate him in the right way to fulfil his potential. He describes how Koeman is open with the players about who he wants to play where and which players aren't going to fit in, something the Belgian clearly respects in footballing terms.
“[The manager] told me after two or three days of pre-season that, ‘I believe in you. Last season was bad but in football sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad but if you train hard, you play hard and you start well in pre-season…' After that he continued to trust in me and gave me confidence. After the last game he came to me and he said, ‘you need to run more and be fighting more',” Mirallas explained.
“[In pre-season training] with Martinez there was more possession. With the new manager, your run more and the first week was so difficult but now the team is ready and fit and you saw against Tottenham and West Brom that we ran a lot and that is the difference.
“Ronald played for Barcelona and he likes to play football but sometimes the team needs to press a lot with direct football and you fight for the second ball and this is good. The team likes to fight and I think the fans like that as well. I think you saw against Tottenham lots of [our] players running for the ball and fighting for it. Me as well, even though I don't like to but if you want to play you need [to do] that.”
Reader Comments (26)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 26/08/2016 at 23:05:39
2 Posted 26/08/2016 at 23:11:51
Well, I hope Lukaku will also see the light!
3 Posted 26/08/2016 at 23:13:58
I think Mr K has the K factor. The ability to rejuvinate players who get bogged down in limbo and set them on a new path. He did the same at Southampton with Shane Long and made stars out of players he brought from the brink of obscurity to become household names.
I think we have more than a Manager With Mr K and I will look forward to the journey we have embarked on collectively as Evertonians!
4 Posted 26/08/2016 at 23:14:16
5 Posted 26/08/2016 at 23:17:53
Bainsey is another one who has mentioned how much more professional it is now during training than it was with the Belgians.
6 Posted 26/08/2016 at 23:28:30
Gotta love the honesty. A pro footballer who doesn't like running for the ball and fighting for it.
I've seen Barkley win more headers and tackles in the first 2 games than he did for the last 2 seasons. Koeman is making them do what everyone has been crying out for.
7 Posted 26/08/2016 at 23:42:28
Any one playing up or acting Billy big time all Ronnie has to do is say Oh yeh what the fuck have you ever won pal, here's my resume and what I won as a player, any questions, you think you know more than me? Now go sit in the corner there and shut the fuck up.
8 Posted 27/08/2016 at 00:23:28
10 Posted 27/08/2016 at 01:20:39
11 Posted 27/08/2016 at 05:03:59
Here is a player that you show you appreciate him and he repays you back in bucket loads. My favorite player at Everton helps as well lol.
13 Posted 27/08/2016 at 06:20:40
14 Posted 27/08/2016 at 06:27:20
15 Posted 27/08/2016 at 07:32:03
Kev sitting with a scowl upon his face.
Multiply this across the entire squad, across the 36 thousand season ticket holders, the countless thousands of "pay as we go" loyal fans and that's a shift of Atlantean proportions from the dismal, head shaking silence at the end of last season.
FFS I might just enjoy a game or two this season.
We could win a few at home.
I may even attempt to watch the managers pre & post match pressers without my medication. Well, let's see about the meds.
16 Posted 27/08/2016 at 08:53:20
As for the running and fitness levels comments, I expect Lukaku to improve and improve his fitness. If he hangs around the 6 yard line as he did in the Euros and offers no movement, then he is going to get a kick up the backside. Improvement expected all-round I would say
17 Posted 27/08/2016 at 09:03:59
I'm trying not to overstate things at the moment, because it's early days, but RK has all the attributes of a great manager, technical know how, charisma, discipline, and organisation. Add in, as you say, his pedigree as a player, then you have a formidable combination.
They talk about the Klopp factor across the park. I believe the Koeman factor is more potent.
18 Posted 27/08/2016 at 09:15:15
It's great seeing Kev and Ross graft as it helps the team out and can only improve our results.
Koeman was my 1st choice manager for what he achieved at Southampton, rebuilding a team in a short space of time and still improving results. It wasn't because he was a world class player, not many of those make it as top managers. Let's hope that he is the exception.
19 Posted 27/08/2016 at 10:18:52
If he doesn't take it, then he will get bombed out I have no doubt.
20 Posted 27/08/2016 at 10:30:37
Perfect summary of the situation. Love it !
Mr Koeman arguably is the biggest draw that we have to entice players given that we cannot offer European football. His management skills together with what both he and his brother can offer on the training pitches are pivotal in the progress we make.
I do not expect wonders overnight and am prepared to be patient because all Kev and Stan pointed to in their posts justifies such.
Keep the faith.
22 Posted 27/08/2016 at 10:39:18
What I have always liked about him is his directness in relation to the goal always seems to want to get that shot in, something we held back from doing under Roberto.
23 Posted 27/08/2016 at 10:50:03
I've long been a fan of Mirallas because he has the ability and he can score goals, but like many his inconsistency has been more than frustrating.
This is a big opportunity for him to repay the faith of the fans and the management staff and become a really important player for us, but also a really reliable important player!
For the first time in a long time, I am genuinely excited every time we have a game coming up. After the disappointment of the last regime and the stagnation under Moyes, we suddenly find ourselves making huge strides forward.
When I was a kid I used to ask my Dad if I would ever see Everton win anything in my lifetime and he would say yes, I never believed him, but now just maybe there's a glimmer of hope that in the not too distant future we might taste glory again, if we do I'll probably cry like a baby haha.
24 Posted 27/08/2016 at 12:23:22
Say no more, well done Kwoman!
25 Posted 27/08/2016 at 12:32:23
Its obvious that RK has given the players a lift and they are all responding now. I can only imagine how crap the mentality must have been under that phony Martinez. Players are smart and they can see through BS pretty quickly.
When I saw his smiling face giving his first interview as Belgian manager it made me want to gag. Is there really justice in this world when an incompetent like him keeps getting top jobs with huge salaries?
26 Posted 27/08/2016 at 14:12:07
Love the bit about if you don't do the chasing then you don't play. Typical Dutch no nonsense attitude. Must be like a breath of fresh air at Finch Farm!
27 Posted 27/08/2016 at 19:00:10
28 Posted 27/08/2016 at 19:02:57
That's enough down-to-earth to satisfy me!
29 Posted 27/08/2016 at 23:05:44
The way he runs the rule over the game and manages it are first class.
And BTW his media statements are so refreshingly honest.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.