Ronald Koeman hailed the commitment of his players after they recovered from conceding the first goal against Arsenal to battle back to a deserved win this evening.
The manager made it clear that he was dissatisfied with the first 20 minutes of the game but praised the Blues for their response and how difficult they made it for a team that came into the game on a 14-match unbeaten run.
“The first 20 minutes were really poor,” Koeman admitted after the final whistle. “[We were] very nervous, unsure. Every ball was back instead of playing forward, too many mistakes, no aggression, no pressing on the ball.
“And, yes, after 20 minutes we played face to face and we showed unbelievable spirit in the game. We came back after 1-0 down and we deserved the win. Of course, the final with 10 players a lot happened in the box.
“We were lucky in the last situation but I think we deserved the win today. After a poor 20 minutes I think we played great football and really had a great understanding and the support of the fans and that makes Goodison Park still difficult to beat Everton if we play like we did after 20 minutes.
“Sometimes it's difficult to understand why we start so poorly in the beginning. Of course, it's normal after a bad run of results that maybe there's a lack of confidence but show your personality.
“And we showed that big personality after 20 minutes in a difficult situation in the game. We fought back, went face to face. We. made it very difficult for Arsenal and that's a huge compliment to the players.”
Reader Comments (60)
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1 Posted 14/12/2016 at 00:15:47
2 Posted 14/12/2016 at 00:15:56
His comments towards Wenger at the post match were excellent. He'll take the big boys on, don't worry he'll sort it.
Got to give him credit for the changes and the players responding.
Terrific night shows what we can do. Fortress Goodison is back; same again Monday, lads.
3 Posted 14/12/2016 at 01:12:57
We'll done, boys, and was great to see the young striker coming on and Valencia starting. Has the penny finally dropped with our stubborn-arse manager? Frigging hope so! Get in there!
4 Posted 14/12/2016 at 01:40:52
Fair play to McCarthy, Baines, Gueye and Coleman tonight for reacting in the right way to the stoney silence that greeted our awful play up until the goal.
Great to see some fight back in our boys. Slightly worried by Lukaku's body language and walking around. He may have been knackered but that's worrying too.
Impressed with Valencia's passion and workrate too.
Well done, lads. Best performance for a long time.
5 Posted 14/12/2016 at 02:12:25
So it appears the problem is me: I jinx Everton because every game I watch live we seem to lose. So, if I stop watching altogether, we will be Champions, of course!
6 Posted 14/12/2016 at 02:46:38
Made up Williams got the winner; this lad has not looked happy in the past few games,his reaction to scoring tonight backs up my assumption. A huge test in beating a quality side without Barry is a major plus IMO.
Gueye was his usual brilliance tonight, a special mention goes to Macca though, dogged in the tackle, great on his day.
Baines & Coleman showing the form that made them so formidable in days gone by? I would question Baines as a LFB long-term unfortunately,a superb servant who's time is coming to an end sadly.
Barkley being put back in tonight was well justified, he didn't hide.
Lukaku for me, didn't seem to put as much effort in as the guys mentioned above, just my opinion. Lost the ball soooo many times.
Final mention for Koeman, it's early days and he needs at least another 24 months. I will back him for the next 2 years because we need a steady build, not a 5 minute fix. This squad needs 10 players IMO over the next 18 months.
7 Posted 14/12/2016 at 03:01:32
Fantastic victory especially against a top in-form team like Arsenal!! The guys now know what it takes to win a game in EPL, 100% passion, no less, which Koeman has been advocating all along.
Hopefully, they will gun down the Reds next Monday at Goodison Park with the same gutso performance.
8 Posted 14/12/2016 at 03:21:40
Anyone else watching that thinking that at the heart of the difference lay the absence of Barry? He wouldn't have had the legs to play his part in that frenetic effort. If a centre-mid can't join in, then it is liable to undermine the whole team effort.
Barry still puts in good individual performances, but I feel they need to be sacrificed if we are to regularly repeat the team performance.
9 Posted 14/12/2016 at 03:34:09
10 Posted 14/12/2016 at 03:50:59
I couldn't agree more; those 4 epitomised the blood and guts displays we saw 3 years ago against the Gunners, Man Utd etc. The team are much more balanced without the immobile Barry. No disrespect to the guy who has given everything for us but the amount of cards he collects betrays his sluggishness, in a Premier League that is saturated with nippy players.
He can't cope now, and the Gana / Macca barrier choked Arsenal's usually productive midfield, leaving Barkley, Baines and Seamus to bomb on, taking the game to the opposition something we haven't seen much of for a couple of years.
This has to be the set-up for the derby, where we can take advantage of the loss of Coutinho, and the cowardly captain Henderson, to batter them into submission. I just hope we see another performance like this next Monday... COYB
12 Posted 14/12/2016 at 05:54:42
They were on their game. It's just that for the last 70 minutes, we were better.
It was a riveting game to watch, the final score was just icing on the cake.
13 Posted 14/12/2016 at 06:13:53
14 Posted 14/12/2016 at 06:24:31
"Every ball was back instead of playing forward."
For a week or so, I wondered if Koeman was really Martinez with a blond wig & mask, but that comment would actually have been praise from Martinez, not criticism...
15 Posted 14/12/2016 at 06:41:34
16 Posted 14/12/2016 at 06:43:16
Maybe Koeman should insist they all get up at 4 o'clock in the morning on matchdays where the kick-off is mid afternoon, just to replicate that playing-at-night vibe.
17 Posted 14/12/2016 at 06:46:32
He is simply majestic, with a quality deluxe.
18 Posted 14/12/2016 at 06:51:12
Also, Valencia deserves special mention for his effort and tenacity. The cross from Baines for Coleman was top class as well.
Let's not revert back to type against the shite Monday now!
19 Posted 14/12/2016 at 06:56:32
Well fought victory, more of the same Monday please.
20 Posted 14/12/2016 at 08:07:15
Playing 2 up front allowed Ross to hang back in the midfield 3 (something I've been advocating for sometime) thus allowing him more time and space to be creative.
McCarthy showed what a player he could be if he can stay fit and Seamus should be the captain for me.
21 Posted 14/12/2016 at 08:38:36
Honestly? No-one deserves to be displaced from the starting line up. I can see Gaz being brought back but the Gana/McCarthy axis was pretty convincing last night.
I've only just got myself down off the ceiling. Great night even on TV. I tried for tickets for this game but no chance from so far away.
22 Posted 14/12/2016 at 08:42:32
23 Posted 14/12/2016 at 08:44:06
24 Posted 14/12/2016 at 08:55:44
25 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:00:31
Koeman got some stick for talking about running and aggression, but that's the foundation for any successful team. In the 1980s Kendall called it earning the right to play.
I was watching on the telly up here in the Highlands and I'm still buzzing! It's only going to be a turning point if we keep it going, so here's hoping...
26 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:16:43
Colin, " that's a bit OTT isn't it?", maybe, but player of the season so far by a country mile I reckon.
27 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:40:42
28 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:42:37
Paul @ 17 that suggestion is just silly. I won't insult the memory of so many Everton greats by listing them and I'll forgive you on the basis I was pretty high myself when I left the ground last night.
The groundswell of noise which grew as the game – and commitment – developed was wonderful and in complete contrast to the sullen and justified crowd mood at Watford on Saturday.
Big question – WHY the change?
29 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:43:25
30 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:44:27
Barry has been and still is, a very good servant to Everton but you've got to have legs in the engine room, which is where this victory was engineered from.
I thought the crowd's response was absolutely brilliant tonight, when we finally stood-up to Arsenal, and Williams in particular went from being the most nervous man on the pitch, to the type of leader we have been looking for in the space of about twenty minutes.
Let's hope the players enjoyed it as much as the fans did, because as Koeman found out for himself last night, when your team fights for everything, Goodison responds, and the united efforts of both the players and the supporters, will always win Everton games!
31 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:46:13
32 Posted 14/12/2016 at 09:50:03
I mean, like what else could it be?
33 Posted 14/12/2016 at 10:36:41
I know I'm biased, because I'm a huge McCarthy fan, but last night, he was back to what he does best. The bite in the tackle, and his hounding and aggressive attitude, showed that a fit McCarthy played in his proper position, has shown Koeman, that all he wants, is to be part of this Everton team.
34 Posted 14/12/2016 at 10:51:40
I was pleased Koeman addressed the left side balance. Baines was getting obliterated against Watford as there was no balance to the team, so for him to bring Lennon in was a great bit of management.
McCarthy and Gana God were absolutely majestic the dynamism of them two last was truly outstanding. Lennon and Valencia (who will turn out to play an important part this season) ran their absolute nuts off, chasing back and forward! And what a difference Barkley makes just by a passing FORWARD.
Unfortunately with Barry, McCarthy and Gana, Gana being slightly better then two others, their passing range forward is more a less non-existent. Even against Watford as soon as Barkley came on we starting getting on top because the ball was moving forward.
I'm hope Koeman plays the exact same team against the Red Shite
And a quick mention for Calvert-Lewin – I thought he had a good like debut, he's going to score a few headers, that lad!
35 Posted 14/12/2016 at 10:59:19
Even if, God forbid, we lose on Monday, I will be more than content to back the Koeman project from now on because if you know the team and management are trying their best then we can only give them our wholehearted support. That is what magically occurred last night: a rediscovery of our soul.
37 Posted 14/12/2016 at 11:30:56
I kept wondering if Barry's absence was helping the midfield. Barry has been immense, but Macca and Gana seemed to compliment each other better perhaps? Maybe it was Macca's intensity combined with Gana's uncanny ability to be in the right place at the right time every time as someone said before that did the trick.
I just can't understand why it all seemed to come together last night, as against any other night this season? I mean, we've been shit and gone a goal down before, why did it galvanise us so much last night, while in every other game it hasn't. I wonder if Arsenal were simply the right team for us to play. The gave us a certain amount of space and they didn't really like going toe-to-toe with our lads.
Anyway, whatever the reasons, that was the first game this season that I've actually enjoyed watching. Absolute classic. First of many I hope. Tony (#35) puts it perfectly, it did indeed feel like a rediscovery of our soul.
38 Posted 14/12/2016 at 12:07:38
Gana (great midfielder) and McCarthy have so much energy it's unreal, and given time to blossom could become our Reid and Bracewell. The back four and keeper are fine when playing behind a midfield like that because all spaces get covered, instead of getting exposed every attack.
Ross playing more with energetic players around him moving all the time will grow and start to run at players again like he use to, and have options to find. Everything has to happen at pace for Ross, he's totally an instinctive player and gets exposed when he has too much time because he then thinks.
Finally Rom, he just needs to be in the box more, practice killing and shielding the ball more and increase stamina so we can see him take defenders on those long sprints. We'll be a danger to all. Still bouncing, what a present from my team for my 50th today. COYBs
39 Posted 14/12/2016 at 12:41:20
My assessment of the players performances:-
Stekelenburg 8/10 Very solid performance.
Coleman 9/10 Back to his best. Make him captain.
Baines 8/10 Tempted to give him 9. Almost back to his best.
Jagielka 7/10 Solid without being outstanding.
Williams 7/10 Almost an 8 though took his goal chance brilliantly.
Gana 10/10 What a performance. Must be worth £40m now, plays like a Conte on speed. I hope he hasn't a release clause in his contract.
McCarthy 9/10 Another back to his best, as a spoiler he wants some beating. Ran all night.
Barkley 7/10 Tempted to give him 8. Had a really poor start to the game, but he grew into it and played much better the last 65 mins. Still lacking aggression and he is still a passenger when it comes to defending, a big flaw in his game for me.
Lennon 8/10 I like Lennon, not brilliant but reliable and gave his all.
Valencia 9/10 Second to Gana performance wise. Should be automatic pick on that effort. Get him bought if possible.
Lukaku 7/10 Too passive again, he should be making his size tell much more than he does. He has the speed to go past defenders but most of the time he's in the wrong positions. Could be a great player if he could only find some more aggression.
Funes Mori, Calvert-Lewin and Mirallas weren't on long enough to rate but I thought Mirallas did well for the time he was on. The young lad looks like he has something about him and looks to have a future.
Great night for the club, puts our hat in the Premier League ring again.
Any opposition watching that game wont fancy coming to Goodison to play, let's keep it up.
40 Posted 14/12/2016 at 12:43:10
I've heard a rumour that there's been a bit of a meeting between the players and management early this week. An attempt to clear the air and maybe iron out a few problems or grievances. Anyone else heard anything like this?
41 Posted 14/12/2016 at 12:46:58
This must be a ToffeeWeb first
42 Posted 14/12/2016 at 12:50:44
24 hours ago I was reading a very long list of people who had lost interest in Everton & football at this level after watching for 30-40-50-60 years etc.
That's football. Passion never dies, it goes on recharge.
43 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:03:30
44 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:08:00
45 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:14:37
Hopefully that continues, it suits him.
46 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:15:52
That's an early Christmas present for me, everybody put in 100%. Well done, Toffees same again on Monday please.
47 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:53:14
Whilst not wanting to bash the older guys too much it has to be said that Baines has seen his best days. That's not to say they are washed up but can still be good squad guys for a season or two longer. Everton have some really good younger defenders who are ready to step in and it's a matter of sooner than later.
Let's not bash Lukaku for yesterday's game. He has carried the attack for a few seasons now and, although he has his faults, there is nobody else in the squad who can fill his boots.
48 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:59:11
In a press article in September, Gareth Barry said Koeman had done the same, and more, with us given the lassitude (my word) that had grown and grown under Martinez.
I've said it before but Koeman is one hard-nosed professional. The need for him to cosset the lovelies being mega-paid to also become just that has no place amongst a squad of men. Last night, for the first time this season, in my opinion, they played like men and even the thick ones in the team should be able to see the connection to winning, not shirking.
49 Posted 14/12/2016 at 14:00:54
50 Posted 14/12/2016 at 15:00:17
So what was so different about last night? Well first of all the facts & then opinion. No Barry, no Deulofeu, no Bolasie.
Coleman was like a man possessed and he didn't care that he wasn't wearing the armband, he acted like the team leader and showed his passion going in at half time.
Baines seemed a lot more up for the game too and his run and winning that free showed something we've not saw for months.
Gana has already been amazing but his partnership with a much more mobile McCarthy meant he wasn't so worried about covering for Barry and Jags.
Lennon reminded us what he was capable of and compare the effort he put in last night to what we saw from him a few weeks ago.
Most of the players certainly upped their intensity and workrate but I think that also came from a much more animated Koeman. In other games, he looks so passive and in control and his team selection and tactics was very much to be negative and defensive.
To actually listen to a lot of the fans and line up with 2 strikers totally shocked me as I thought he would never do that.
Yes, he was even smiling and enjoying himself and let himself get sucked (off) sorry in by the Goodison passionate atmosphere.
We still have a lot of work to do and we can't play like that every week as it's totally exhausting and not possible. It's good to show some of the players that they can knuckle down and win ugly, something that I think the younger lads like Lukaku, Geri, Barkley aren't used to doing as they have had it far too handy under Martinez.
On another note. I think big Rom has never really had to work hard for a team and so it's not his natural style. You can see that Valencia knows he has to work harder and make runs. Rom is trying to add it to his game a little but it's not natural for him as he's used to getting loads of goals with just good supply of balls to him.
The style of play of most big clubs now seems to be play 1 up front and they have to work hard with the team. I think this is why no big club is taking a chance on Rom and it could be the reason why he's already been with us as long as he has. I think he did better when he had Kone up front with him and I'd like to see Valencia play a few more games with him. He is fast and makes good runs and looks keen to impress.
51 Posted 14/12/2016 at 15:04:40
It's a shame there are still a few groans at any little mistake he does but there's always going to be the few that won't be proved wrong. Support the lad if you want to see his best. McCarthy who I have heavily criticised for 3 seasons for hiding and not wanting the ball seemed to put a far better shift in once he was booked an wound up.
Again the first 20 were dreadful from him and Williams but great to see the team turn around. Play like we did for the last 60 mins an we wont be getting hammered.
52 Posted 14/12/2016 at 15:30:43
He's got the pass bit down, he struggles with the bit after though. So many times last night I found myself shouting for him to move forward into space, He passes the ball and then stops to watch what the other player is doing with it.
53 Posted 14/12/2016 at 15:46:12
54 Posted 14/12/2016 at 16:09:48
I rate Lukaku highly as a finisher but no so much as a centre forward if that makes sense! And I have to agree I would definitely like to see Valencia or even Deulofeu playing off Lukaku!
I've come to the conclusion Ross Barkley is not and never will be the player we all want him to be. If he hasn't got a footballing brain by now, he never will have. If Tottenham want to give us £35 million for him, I'd take it and sign a real top class midfielder. I'd even have Gylfi Sigurdsson before Barkley.
It's not even as if he is a blue scouser who gives everything for the shirt because he doesn't he ambles through games a bit like Yaya Toure is doing now at the end of his career!!
If we want to succeed, we've got to be cut-throat like Klopp has been with Sturridge there is no shirt for sick notes or under-performers; we can't afford to carry people if we want to be a top team and win trophies!!
55 Posted 14/12/2016 at 16:35:55
I did say it is early days, but I have to say, based on his performances, which are in the main, consistent, he is such a pleasure to watch. Can't wait to see him playing with real quality.
56 Posted 14/12/2016 at 17:23:33
My judgement is based on his standout performances for us and a very poor Villa side.
I have to agree with you about the Everton greats. Modern footballers are so transient nowadays that he probably won't be around long enough , but I would love to see him prove it. That said, it is the silly season... :-)
57 Posted 14/12/2016 at 17:38:40
I do love beating Arsenal more than any other team as I live round the corner from Finsbury Park. I didn't have the bottle to wear my Everton shirt today... I wanted to (but I work on site and I'm sure some would have got a bit lively with me) but I did engage with as many Arses as I could... they were all furious! 😂
COYB more of the same Monday, please.
58 Posted 14/12/2016 at 17:44:59
I've seen McCarthy given a 9/10 on here for running. Words fail me. Our only player who can run from midfield with the ball, turn a player like he's not there, pick passes out of different range and tries to play the right way get, he gets more stick and McCarthy gets praise for running.
Although he hid from the ball 'til he got booked and wound up. Barkley is never a number 10 and does all his best work from deep.
59 Posted 14/12/2016 at 17:55:57
1 Can we please play all matches at Goodison at night under the lights?
2 When did Leighton Baines discover he had a right leg?
61 Posted 14/12/2016 at 18:21:58
He did the opposite and went 3 forwards. Risking a defeat to get the win.
Good for him, could have easily went for the "not get beat" option.
62 Posted 14/12/2016 at 19:17:08
The French lost their right to complain about poor refereeing decisions since Thierry Henry had a big hand in scoring against RoI in a World Cup playoff!
63 Posted 14/12/2016 at 19:59:37
Get this on a consistency reality.
We'll do just fine...