Ronald Koeman was understandably pleased with his team's excellent result against Leicester City today which marked Everton's first away win since September and first clean sheet for over two months.
Second-half goals from Kevin Mirallas and Romelu Lukaku delivered three important points after a forgettable first period in which the Blues had again failed to register a shot on target.
Mirallas broke the deadlock when he latched onto Joel Robles' ball forward and Lukaku made the game safe with a superb individual effort in stoppage time to prolong Claudio Ranieri's problems in defence of Leicester's Premier League title.
“Leicester away is always difficult but I think we played well,” Koeman said. “The second half was better than the first half.
“We dominated from the start of the game but our ball possession was not [of good] quality. It was much better [at] 1-0. Of course then you see the difference and I think that's a question of confidence.
“After [going] 1-0 up the team was comfortable and [Leicester] didn't create and we had the best chance to score more goals. That chance for Gana… you need to kill the game at that time.
“But, OK, we did it finally with the goal by Romelu and it was really a very good team performance with good organisation. We fought, defended well and we made it very difficult and we were dangerous on the counter-attack. And a clean sheet — that's also very important.“
Reader Comments (58)
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1 Posted 26/12/2016 at 19:58:42
2 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:14:26
Does it matter? Short-term... no; we have three points.
Long-term... no, we have three points.
3 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:23:08
4 Posted 26/12/2016 at 20:32:09
I always said through the tough period that we need to stay on the coat tails of Europe ahead of January. Stay around there and then, when it comes to buying players, we can show them we're up there and want to be fighting for Europe and players will buy into that more and want to join rather than join a club that's down in mid table or below and looking at amounting to nothing throughout the season!
Take the momentum of this win in to Friday at Hull and win that and we go into January on an high and then hopefully add some quality and kick on for the rest of the Season!
5 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:10:32
6 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:21:16
The team did the bare minimum to get that win. Both goals a result of a 50/60 yard "pass". In both instances the defenders made a hash of it.
No point talking about winning 2/3 on one hand then using the half season mark to look at other clubs. Not the same really?
Overall the football played by Everton this season has been in moments. Only a decrepit Arsenal was a scalp to be proud of. We have been outplayed in most games, have very little attacking output and several players whose attitudinal displays are questionable.
All Koeman's, and by extension a swathe of supporters' eggs', are in a transfer window were no guarantees exist and most of his squad that he's failed to get very little from will remain intact.
He just isn't the man for me. I'd rather say now rather than be faced with recanting 2 years down the line. If he turns it around, great, but not sure he will stay for those two years!
All the best!
7 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:27:22
Davies was OK but he is untested.Maybe a few appearances from the bench will give him confidence and freshen the side up.
8 Posted 26/12/2016 at 21:31:49
The team and Koeman have received a lot of criticism recently because we have not been further up the table and some performances have been uninspiring and disappointing to say the least.
However we are in the early months of a new era with a new owner and deeper pockets than we have ever had at least in modern times. I think patience is the one virtue we need have if we are to build a new era of success as despite our new found wealth we won't be able to buy instant success along the lines of Citeh and Chelski. So let's give Koeman a decent chance before we do a Newcastle.
COYB. Onwards and upwards and let's give Koeman a season or two to prove what he can do. We thought Martinez brilliant initially but time proved otherwise. So patience all as we see what can be built.
9 Posted 26/12/2016 at 22:42:43
If we can frustrate teams like we did today, in a sense we might see a run of better results, but we will face much tougher opposition than today and they should possibly have done better in a couple of breaks.
Gotta give a mention to Coleman's proffessionalism too he has stood tall for us in the last few weeks. He's not the most gifted player but he never over-respects any opposition and his game is always positive.
10 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:05:56
11 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:07:29
In the second half we mixed it up a bit more and profited accordingly. It was as though Leicester were lulled into a false sense of security, decided to push further forward but left their defence undermanned and exposed to players, Mirallas and Lukaku, who have the class and composure to score in one-on-one situations.
12 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:18:28
Some are saying Everton are work in progress but I cannot see where the progress is being made over the last 3 seasons under Roberto. However, having now beaten the Champions, Arsenal, a point at the Etihad and seconds away from a point against Liverpool, an optimist might say the corner is slowly being turned.
Today it looked like Everton went with 3 at the back with Coleman and Baines playing as extra wing backs but it all looked out of shape for the first half and could have been costly. Luckily the Foxes are having a lean season and Everton rode their luck until after the break.
Tom Davies must start the next game. The lad is quick and full of energy and ideas. He will compliment Gana no end.
13 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:25:10
There was a set in the second half with play up and down the right, played back and across to the left with about 25 passes, then played through the centre and we were unlucky not to score this is some of the best football I've seen us play for 2 years.
With a turned over squad, I am not fearful for our future I just think blues need to be more realistic about what success is; this season, 7th or even 6th would be an achievement given the squads above us. Apologies for some reality!
14 Posted 26/12/2016 at 23:44:28
15 Posted 26/12/2016 at 00:02:36
Thanks Everton a very nice Xmas present. Onwards and upwards from here.
16 Posted 27/12/2016 at 00:46:39
Great result... very iffy performance.
17 Posted 27/12/2016 at 01:07:28
18 Posted 27/12/2016 at 01:54:40
What is lucky about connecting onto a superb 50-yard pass that Barkley dug out of the corner? What was lucky about the Mirallas goal? Every goal that's ever been scored is a defensive mistake.
The lads worked hard for this win, I know its not like watching Barcelona but the last three games we have shown grit and determination that has not been evident in over a year. We should be applauding that. How bad is Koeman for this team? Well if you look at all of the points garnered in the last 12 months by virtually the same group of players you might notice that we should be fighting relegation but by some miracle Koeman has us in 7th.
Be critical, i'ts your right, but when the players make the first baby steps to sustainable improvement, get behind the team and the manager with less of the whining, more encouragement. Be what great supporters actually are.
19 Posted 27/12/2016 at 01:58:43
Come on Ron, more young 'uns with passing and pace and fearlessness. Baines, like Jags is gone. Time to move on.
20 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:05:57
21 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:09:57
Now we win a good 3 points win against last season's Champions and you complain about the quality of the play. Get real for fuck's sake. Man City lost here 4-1.
Don't complain your ass off if we play bad. If we, the fans, are overly negative, it will certainly not help our team, rather the opposite. I don't give a shite about the quality of the play today, but I care about 3 points. I hate playing good and getting 0 points.
Now let's use this win as something positive we can build momentum up against! COYB!
22 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:12:50
Now I do agree that were not great to watch; I also agree that two long balls won us the game... but that's not the whole story.
We missed a brilliant chance at the end of the first half when Baines played a ball across goal, and Mirallas didn't get on the end of it. Also, we missed an open goal when Gana didn't finish off a good move by Barkley passing to Rom to create the open goal chance.
3 at the back seemed to suit us today, it's something we haven't tried since Chelsea whacked us, but I feel Baines and Coleman are more up to full fitness now than back then, which is a must if they're to play wing-back.
I'm also pleased to see Funes Mori keep his place, and Robles and Holgate do well.
If we can beat Hull and Southampton over the next week or so, we could just find ourselves in a decent little position.
January is just around the corner and we're linked with a lot of players... Let's hope today is the start of a better period for the Blues.
23 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:28:32
Holgate & Davies are great prospects! Robles is dependable (luckily). Gana & Williams are reliable. Lukaku is clinical as ever.
24 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:42:37
25 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:48:36
26 Posted 27/12/2016 at 02:58:31
Commenting on the performance is allowed!
27 Posted 27/12/2016 at 03:11:12
Now Koeman with some sound financial backing is tasked with rebuilding a younger team, installing a playing style that, on one hand, is beyond the level of some of the players. But he has to use the basic tenets of a system because all of the great teams play total football with fast, fit players in their prime who possess a high degree of interchangeability and, as he brings more capable players in, they can be incorporated into an existing system.
In the meantime,our team is going to win ugly but we are going to begin to grind out results nevertheless. I'm sorry for perhaps being overly positive but the only thing we can't overcome is the strangling negativity that seems to inflict us. We are Everton, FFS, and we are just starting our journey back to the top.
28 Posted 27/12/2016 at 03:18:33
29 Posted 27/12/2016 at 04:24:37
You speak a lot of sense. Whilst I'm not yet convinced by Koeman at all, the players have upped it in recent matches for sure. The performances are a little "loose", maybe Koeman has been too rigid 'til the last three games, players on too tight a rein? It's hard to tell from the outside.
It's certainly not pretty, but the spirit and effort is as high as it's been all season so far, which is needed as the basis for anything further to be built. What we already have has to be working as well as possible before the crazy shopping, IMO.
30 Posted 27/12/2016 at 04:45:26
We went away to a decent Southampton side (Koeman in charge) and tore them apart, so I'm not going to put the flags up because we won at a depleted and out-of-form Leicester.
I hope we kick on and things change, and I'll eat humble pie, but until then....
31 Posted 27/12/2016 at 05:24:13
Des Farren (#2) "Pleased with the result". What about the performance? For those interested it was, once again, dire. Does it matter? Short-term... no; we have three points. Long-term... no, we have three points.
Do you have the decency or dignity to acknowledge:
(1) How much better we played in the 2nd half?
(2) The great decisions that Koeman made after watching that dire first half?
(3) The quality subs?
(4) How well Ross and Tom played?
(5) The incredible ball Ross played for the admittedly bungled Gana miss?
(6) How brilliantly Lukaku took his goal?
(7) How much better Mirallas has been recently?
(8) How well Williams played?
(9) How well Robles played?
(10) How refreshing Seamus has been rushing forward recently?
(11) How amazing the away support was?
(12) How well Koeman reacted to what he saw and in effect admitted he was wrong?
(13) How wonderful Gueye was?
(14) How we comfortably beat the reigning Champions respect on their own ground?
(15) How solid we looked at the back today?
(16) How Holgate simply oozes class?
(17) That Mason is only 18?
(18) That Funes Mori has been rather good in the last 2 games
(19) That we had a spell of 53 uninterrupted passes memories of that Leeds v Southampton game back on black-and-white Match of the Day in the 1970s for paupers like my wonderful ma and da and it ended up with a great attack?
(20) That we are in a much better place than we were 3 games ago?
That's twenty off the top of my head. Trust me I can come up with more.
As I said, Jasysus... unbelievable!
32 Posted 27/12/2016 at 07:35:56
33 Posted 27/12/2016 at 08:37:05
With the news we're in for two pacy forwards in Berahino and Lookman, we could then break with pace and power. Fingers crossed we get them.
34 Posted 27/12/2016 at 09:14:54
The encouraging thing for me was that he played Holgate and Davies and Robles, and they all performed well. In my opinion, Barry, Jagielka and yes Baines also, are past their prime. They can still do a job when injuries, suspensions and fixture pile-up happens, but should not be playing on a regular basis.
What is more interesting for me to see would be whom we offload – we cannot be carrying non-performers (injuries, poor fitness, whatever) – Kone, Gibson, Besic, Cleverly, Oviedo, Niasse.
Koeman should build the team around Lukaku, Barkley, Davies, Holgate. Robles should be given a chance to prove himself – as people have pointed out, he has rarely let down the team whenever called upon and a decent run of games could see him improve his confidence and distribution. Might be good money saved if he turns out to be a top level keeper.
I would also say that we don't need any central defenders at this moment – what we have is pretty decent. Our defense is usually under constant pressure due to the poor ball retaining capability of our midfield and forward lines.
I hope we can get some decent additions to the squad in January and finish strong.But breaking into the Top 6 seems like a tall order – I don't see us replacing one of: Chelsea, Man City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs, Man Utd. They all see well beyond reach at this stage.
35 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:02:22
I believe this administration will achieve good things for us but there is no point in ignoring the improvement at other clubs, the mediocrity of many of our current squad and the hard-to-take fact that some clubs without our constantly trumpeted history are more attractive than us at present. Sometimes I wonder is that because a percentage of our fans spend all day spitting their dummies out.
(And yes, everyone has a right to express their views and emotions, just as I have a right to suggest some behave like petulant little children. I pray for the sake of those around you you didn't get a Christmas present you didn't like!)
36 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:07:34
We are not playing the sort of joined up footie we all want to see but lets be honest, a few of our playesr don't have that ability so if they put a shift in, thats all we can expect for now anyway. Some managers are lucky to accidentally find a bit of the team that works.
I think when Barclay and Davies got together in midfield it changed the pace for the better (although why Ron didn't see that in training already is a mystery!) so I hope they can be put together again more often.
Barry has been ok but we have enough defensive midfielders and as soon as he is not there (Macca previously) the pace increases. In the first half we effectively had 7 defenders on the pitch so it was no wonder the pace was slow.
It shows what we can do if there is a bit of pace (and youth) in the 11 and I only hope Ron takes that on board because with Holgate and Davies playing yesterday I should also open the door to a few other promising U23s we have coming through because yesterday proved some of them ARE capable of playing and making a difference to what, so far, is again and slow starting 11.
If we can get a result on Friday and then have a good transfer window, I would be a lot more optimistic. COYB !
37 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:12:15
When was the last time we started a game well? I honestly can't remember.
Not Leicester, not Arsenal, not West Ham...
That points to a manager whose players lack confidence and good direction, who's good at getting us out of holes at half-time.
While this is imminently better than a manager with no tactically flexibility at all, it can't be the long-term solution.
38 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:33:48
The Gana chance was our best bit of footy all game 20 odd passes an open goal and he ballooned it. We showed good character yesterday lots of determined defending and organisation, it was Williams's best game for a while.
Glad to see Barry getting the hook, when he gets tired he plays deeper and deeper; Davies keeps the ball and always shows for a pass which helped us. He deserves a run of cameos in the team in place of cleverly.
Although not the bravest tackle in the world, Ross thwarted Simpson in our box and smashed upfield for the 2nd a sign that Barkley is upping his workrate and determination.
All good; roll on Hull.
39 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:41:44
Koeman never gives Robles credit, have you noticed that?
40 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:45:07
41 Posted 27/12/2016 at 10:51:34
Lukaku needs more support. I will keep repeating this like a mantra until someone somewhere gives him that help because only then will we get the best out of him.
Lukaku needs more support. Lukaku needs more support. Lukaku... sod it, I'm off down the pub which also needs my support.
42 Posted 27/12/2016 at 11:53:45
Believe me, I'm right behind a progressive Everton I think most fans are and I think most fans know what we need. The perspective comes in every area and a top coach will talk about the win in perspective knowing he is telling them the next opposition is different and we still have to do better and more to win games.
Onwards an upwards, of course, mate but I'm always gonna say what I see. I feel its our job as fans to keep the players on their toes whilst giving them the praise and respect they deserve after a good win. Hull next, let's go again, lads.
43 Posted 27/12/2016 at 12:31:33
I mean, since about all of us in here agree that this squad has its limitations. No manager in the world would manage to get this team playing tici-taca football whatsoever. Now Koeman has got fighting spirit into this team. What more could he do?
We need at least 2 new central midfielders with creativity and maybe another Gana. And also a winger and a striker to be able to raise our game. Until then, be glad there now is a fighting spirit in the team!
44 Posted 27/12/2016 at 13:12:40
We know we are poor, we know we need an overhaul and we know we need more quality but baby steps and all that. Effort we wanted and effort we got in the last 3 games. When we start adding more quality to the squad we may start to see better football but until then I shall take the wins.
We know the mess Koeman inherited so give him time to try and sort it out. I'm hoping he can as it would just set us back again if we had to sack another manager. But when we win, let's have a bit of perspective please. As others have said when RS fluted a 1-0 win in the derby I didn't hear any RS fan moaning the quality wasn't very good. Get a grip.
45 Posted 27/12/2016 at 14:46:09
46 Posted 27/12/2016 at 15:40:58
Not saying it was undeserved, mind you… it was a great run by Mirallas onto a nice long ball by Robles, whose distributive abilities I have noted before… but there's no denying the element of good fortune.
47 Posted 27/12/2016 at 16:22:22
The number of goals we have conceded in the past due to deflections or lucky breaks means we are entitled to enjoy our share of luck.
48 Posted 27/12/2016 at 16:50:51
The fact is, when he is at the top of his game, there is no better in this world. Messi or Suarez don't have that power, strength or pace. What they do have is intelligent players who can and will pass the ball to places where it is easy to play on. Of course they have a better understanding of the game but that can be taught.
I still believe he will be a blue legend but he needs a little bit more from his colleagues.
49 Posted 27/12/2016 at 17:08:36
Playing with a back three, we looked far more comfortable as well. We gave Leicester very little opportunities to score. Praise to Koeman for that.
As with Tom Davies, again he looked very composed on the ball. He will turn out to be a real "in your face" type of player.
Your point #19 regarding the number of passes. Not sure how many there were to be honest. At the time I guessed about 20-25. On MotD they showed just two!! If that had been Chelsea, Arsenal, the RS or any other media darling team, they would have shown it over and over. Funny how not many people on this thread, or any other, have mentioned it.
People on this site just moan for moaning sake. Others are just never satisfied. A couple of additions next month, particularly to support an excellent Lukaku, and I think we could be in for an exciting second half of the season.
50 Posted 27/12/2016 at 17:34:08
I've been Koemans biggest critic but the last few games I'm starting to warm to him. OK the football isn't the best but it's always about results. And while you could say we might have deserved a draw against them.
We've taken 6 points out of 9 beating Arsenal and the current Champions. Oh, and as I type, I'm in a bar in Benidorm and Stoke have just notched... Walters as well. Hope to God it stays like that.
Happy New Year, boys and girls!
51 Posted 27/12/2016 at 17:47:50
52 Posted 27/12/2016 at 18:08:16
Koeman is, and has been, doing his homework. He is learning every day about the strengths and weaknesses of the squad. He has changed the formation twice in recent weeks to suit the players available to him. He will add further balance to the squad in January.
I have full confidence that he will get it right. 7th or 8th this season will be decent progress. The negativity shown by some of our fans will disappear as results improve.
53 Posted 27/12/2016 at 18:12:10
Was it really 53? I knew it was a lot, but didn't start shouting "Ole!" until half-way through...
55 Posted 28/12/2016 at 07:33:59
56 Posted 28/12/2016 at 10:35:33
The move that culminated in Gana's miss (he'll shortly hit one home soon) was one of the things that pleased me most. Even without new signings I believe we have a talented squad, sufficient to qualify for Europe if we can gel as a team. New signings would then strengthen us even more.
For example, although we've had problems with the forward line (for example, Lukaku too isolated too often), Mirallas and Deulofeu are class acts, and Lennon, Valencia and Bolasie very effective on their day, so it's just a matter of getting better consistency, through a system that makes best use of their skills.
Regarding a system, to me it's been unclear what Koeman's system is, beyond his repeating a need for more pressing. Pressing is fine, but it's got to be on the back of an effective system.
So, although I've supported Koeman's appointment from the outset, I have been a bit surprised, and have become concerned, about the uncertainty surrounding a system, organisation, and tactics. And recently I've expressed my concerns on TW (on the recent Ross Barkley thread, for example). Now, that could look like complaining, but it's not, it's just giving comments as we see things develop as the season progresses.
My concerns are more to do with organising the players effectively, rather than with their individual performances. But I'm staying positive, and that move you mentioned was a joy to behold. There's more where that came from, and it indicates that the quality of the play will improve as we progress, despite the recent hoof-ball stuff we've been seeing. But even that can be attractive when finished off with the kind of quality we saw from Mirallas and Lukaku.
57 Posted 28/12/2016 at 11:23:51
On Holgate I am delighted for the lad but everyone knew he was solid at the start of the season an he got took out the team. What amazing changes did Koeman make? Near every second 45, he has had to change the system with most first halves being dreadful all year and lets be real this needed changing too. So he changed it in shape an we scored from a goal kick.
No subs til we were 1-up. Is Davies for a slow struggling Barry a genius move? Obvious, I would say.
All I am saying is for all the points we make there is perspective and, until we beat a full strength Leicester or anyone decent on a regular basis, let's keep cool.
I always feel, if we keep picking up on where we could do better, even if we win, we are giving ourselves a better chance of top form and the desire to hold onto a winning run.
58 Posted 28/12/2016 at 12:31:14
The club is a work in progress, many have described the rebuild as a project and projects never run smoothly. Judge them at the end of the season.
59 Posted 28/12/2016 at 17:45:44
If Ronnie was "telling us like it is", he was telling us from his rear end. Imaginary "dips in form" and nonsense claims like the "youngsters are not ready" did not wash with many fans and while Davies and Holgate have proved them to be right, Ronnie has been shown to be wrong.
I'm more than happy to give Koeman credit. Good managers still make mistakes, but the really good ones learn from them.
Hopefully those claims that he is educating us with the truth will now be put to bed; it'll be a while before he knows as much about this club as we do