Ronald Koeman says that Everton's best chance of keeping their best players is to continue showing ambition and moving the team in the right direction back towards challenging for the top four.
Speaking to Sky Sports today from Finch Farm, the Dutchman acknowledged that there are no guarantees that ambitious stars like Romelu Lukaku will stay at Goodison Park but he hopes the club's own ambition will persuade the Belgan in particular to remain with the Blues.
"The best we can do as Everton is show to everybody that we are growing as a club which will fight to win titles because every player, every manager has ambitions in football, I think that's normal," Koeman said.
"If you don't have ambition, stop playing football and stop life because you need ambitions to get the best out of yourself.
"As Everton, we need to show all the players that we are growing and we will finally win titles but I understand players wanting to play in the Champions League, it's a normal ambition and we will see what will happen with Romelu and other players."
The manager also reiterated that he has been pleased by Ross Barkley's response to what was a somewhat challenging period for him earlier in the season.
Koeman wasn't shy in publicly outlining where the 23-year-old needed to improve, particularly in his ball retention, and after being dropped on a few occasions last year, Barkley is back in the side as a first-choice starter playing behind Lukaku.
"Of course we'd like to keep Ross [Barkley] because he's that type of player that you need in your team, to create chances and score goals," Koeman explained.
"Of course sometimes you have fights with players because I like to see more productivity and sometimes it's difficult for players to accept criticism but I think that's to get the best out of the player.
"I've had a lot of commutation with Ross, he's really a good guy, he'd like to improve, he'd like to remain at Everton and I think he is changing his football in a positive way and that's really important for himself but also the team."
Reader Comments (92)
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1 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:32:24
2 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:33:13
The whole mindset of the club has changed for the better since Moshiri took over and appointed his first-choice manager.
3 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:35:42
I don't know what you thought it meant, but I just had to look it up:) I think it is probably more likely number one than number two.
1. the act of substituting one thing for another; substitution; exchange.
2. the changing of a prison sentence or other penalty to another less severe.
4 Posted 28/02/2017 at 18:54:49
5 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:10:46
Barks is not Gerrard or Keane. He clearly doesn't have their "I'm-in-charge character, but he can be equally as devastating if pointed in the right direction.
Also before I go over the top with praise of Koeman Ambition is good, but we don't have forever. Step on it man FFS. Don't stop Seamus taking a quick throw when he's looking to win.
At this stage, most of us would much rather see an Everton team get no points going for the win, than settle for a draw.
6 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:12:21
Not sure Ron meant that, though, but we can let him off. His English is much better than my Dutch.
7 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:17:52
If there's any opportunity, the big clubs will be in like Flynn.
8 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:20:18
9 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:27:46
Secondly, to me it seems that Koeman is using all the right language. He states that "Ross would like to stay at the club", which frankly is much more positive than "we would like Ross to stay."
No one player is more important than the club and Ross is no exception. I want him to sign a new contract in order to play for an ambitious manager in a squad that's going places.
10 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:28:26
11 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:34:45
12 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:40:14
13 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:46:25
14 Posted 28/02/2017 at 19:53:30
16 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:09:08
Agreed. I really hope we go for it Sunday, a full-on, no-fear attempt to beat them. To see that would be worth whatever result.
17 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:20:40
I think the 'tough love stuff is a lazy way of describing a manager who is:
a) someone who believes in discipline, organisation and responsibility;
b) someone who is forthright and not particularly articulate.
I think Koeman is smart enough to know that any ambition he has will mean nothing unless he has some success with us.
18 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:23:33
The more a player like Barkley is involved in the game, then the less time he has to dwell on his mistakes and it would be a real mistake not to keep drumming this into the kid, surely?
19 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:31:16
Now the following may not have any relevance to how Everton performs until the end of this season, but it is nevertheless interesting to compare how Koeman's Southampton performed last season. It is almost a mirror copy of our own season to date under the Dutchman.
Southampton started 'Okay' but then from mid-November to early January went on a dreadful run 8 defeats in 10 games, with a solitary win against Arsenal in that run. Not unlike Everton this season.
The Saints abysmal run ended following a 3rd round FA Cup exit to already struggling Palace (Leicester, any one..?). I mean, it was so bad Southampton were even below Martinez's Everton in the league!
However, in the remaining 18 Premier League games to the end of the season they soared up the table to finish in 6th place. Their form was second only to the eventual champions Leicester. They won 12 of those games, including away wins at United, Spurs and Stoke and home wins against Liverpool and City.
Now we have some tough games to come, but if Koeman can continue to replicate for the Blues what he did for the Saints last season, with Liverpool in freefall and Arsenal also stuttering, 5th or 6th place is not yet beyond us.
20 Posted 28/02/2017 at 20:35:55
Loved the piece were Tom Davies said his Mum brings him to training everyday, and how some of his team mates gave him a bit of stick as he always gave his Mum a kiss. Just shows how well grounded the boy is and what a nice attitude he has.
Finally all the Reds are going ballistic with Carragher for wearing an Everton training kit to do a one to one session with Lukaku. As they say, once a blue always a blue.
22 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:03:14
23 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:07:29
24 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:38:37
We're getting to him!
25 Posted 28/02/2017 at 21:39:31
26 Posted 28/02/2017 at 22:11:00
Imagine having a few seasons of Rooney, not just for Barkley but also for Davies, not that he needs it.
27 Posted 28/02/2017 at 23:02:22
What made me most proud was the piece on Everton in the Community... all for charity... unbelievable stuff.
How did this piece get aired? Never saw it being done for another club before? Jim White and the Moshiri connection???
28 Posted 28/02/2017 at 23:26:20
29 Posted 28/02/2017 at 00:00:32
30 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:14:08
"Yes Ronald, Ross is... he's also the best player in your squad by a country mile."
That's a long way from the truth -– an absolutely crazy statement.
31 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:19:25
32 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:31:08
Even for £80M, I can't think of decent replacements right now. :(
33 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:32:53
34 Posted 01/03/2017 at 00:50:08
35 Posted 01/03/2017 at 01:09:26
He does it all well. Yes, sometimes he doesn't shine but, while our opponents are all putting two markers on him, it gives us space elsewhere.
36 Posted 01/03/2017 at 01:10:07
Koeman taking the youngsters, I remember Catterick used to get the tracksuit out once a year for the press too.
Moshiri + Jim White = staged foto op.
37 Posted 01/03/2017 at 02:45:40
I chose not to choose life, I chose something else.
38 Posted 01/03/2017 at 03:11:17
I can't understand why Koeman, Walsh and some on here are embarrassing our club with this cringeworthy arse-licking over a has been, who even this week has stated that he's not leaving Man Utd. To hear our manager practically begging a 31 year old who can't get into a poor Man Utd side, to come back to us, makes me realise how far our standards have fallen since the days when Speed was booed on his return for disrespecting Everton FC.
That showed the depth of feeling and the respect we all had for our beloved club... Shrek must be sitting there (with Cilla's mum on his knee) watching Belgravia hair clinic adverts, and pissing himself laughing at that 'little' club down the East Lancs who are wrapped around his finger for as long as he lives.
Still, it would be nice to see him wobbling around the Goodison pitch again, while Davies or Barkley go back to the bench, writing out transfer requests... Still, as Koeman states above: "If you don't have ambition"
39 Posted 01/03/2017 at 03:56:15
Lukaku is the best player in our squad - then Coleman, Gueye, and Schneiderlin (his obvious class will come out in time). Barkley is too inconsistent, and has too many glaring weaknesses, to be talked about as the best in the squad. Our rivals all have better AMC options, and it is that area which we need to improve (Man City KDB/Silva, Man United Mkhit/Mata, Chelsea Hazard, Arsenal Ozil, Spurs Alli/Eriksen and Liverpool Coutinho).
40 Posted 01/03/2017 at 07:11:10
Having gone out of both cups at the first time of asking, he still has work to do to improve on the last manager (who many deemed to be the worst ever).
And let's not forget. most people's ambitions at the moment is a place in the top 6-7. TGT had us there on a regular basis.
The thread is about ambition. We have made a fortune selling players TGT signed, we've also spent hundreds of millions on others. Is the height of our ambition really just to get where he left us For years we said he wasn't good enough, now we seem to be striving to do what he did routinely.
Despite being "our best manager for years" Koeman is still dreaming about getting where we were just three seasons ago. No Everton manager has been backed the way Koeman has/will be. If he fails to deliver Champions League football or win us a trophy he has to be deemed a failure...That's ambition!
41 Posted 01/03/2017 at 08:54:41
Whilst I suppose it is possible, in a "You, Mr Merrick, may yet get your hole" kind of way, it would likewise take unparalleled reconstructive work, a wholesale change of mentality, a shitload of cash, the generous laying down of others and the sort of good fortune usually a 'get the fuck out of here, stranger' to those forced to live hand to mouth in the shadow of their more socially accepted neighbour.
Up to now he's barely got beyond shedding the potato sack and combing it's fucking hair, hardly cause to start getting carried away and telling him he could have his own harem one day.
Seriously, what indicator's have you seen thus far to suggest Koeman might not only equal, but go on to surpass, the sort of success both Kendall and Catterick brought to the club?
At least wait until he has something more tangible than a 'solid but unspectacular' first seven months of a season to slap down on the table before suggesting he sit at the head.
42 Posted 01/03/2017 at 10:28:13
It'll help us of we move away from this 'best manager for years' routine. If we're going to compare, let's make Catterick and Kendall the yardstick.
Moyes was better than the dreadful previous managers before him, Martinez's first season was an improvement on that, followed by disaster. Now Koeman is better than the last guy.
Koeman's got us to 7th. Big deal. It's what he does next that matters. What I would say, is that he has the best backing that an Everton manager has had for a very long time.
43 Posted 01/03/2017 at 12:10:59
He has won nothing yet and before some posters on here start fawning all over him let's see some silverware. Watching him and Walsh pleading the case for Rooney to join us is tawdry and embarrassing.
Joe Royle saved us from relegation and won the cup with fuck all and left on principle because we couldn't get the money together for Tore Andre Flo! Kendall and Catterick are in a different sphere all together.
44 Posted 01/03/2017 at 21:12:05
I acknowledge that we are far from the finished article but given the team we have and the disruptive transition to a different style of play etc, I would suggest that there are very few managers would have achieved what Koeman has with this team this season.
What position in the league do you think the best manager in the world would have this set of players in at this moment?
45 Posted 01/03/2017 at 21:19:50
He's got us where we at least should be. I can't buy into the adulation... yet. The next stage is going to show us how good he really is.
46 Posted 01/03/2017 at 21:45:36
47 Posted 01/03/2017 at 22:50:44
Doesn't really bother me, as Koeman hasn't overly impressed me, and with Moshiri's money, we shouldn't have too much trouble finding an able replacement or maybe save the money and let Unsy step up and bring some of the talented youngsters through.
48 Posted 01/03/2017 at 23:32:25
Of course he could run off into the sunset and take a certain striker with him. 😂 0.0000001% anyone?
49 Posted 02/03/2017 at 02:51:03
50 Posted 02/03/2017 at 04:35:55
To quote Monty Python "he isn't the messiah he is just a naughty boy" or in Ronnie's case a very ambitious one as his quote at the top of the article proves.
Yes, there are some encouraging signs of progress under his leadership, but we are only 7th even the vilified Martinez got us to 5th in his first season.
If he goes, as I am sure he will (and I wouldn't blame him) then we need to be securing his replacement now and not leave it until the last minute in the typical Everton fashion.
51 Posted 02/03/2017 at 05:22:25
What evidence is there apart from the daily "lying" rags that big Ron is doing anything other than preparing his squad for a pretty important game at the weekend and stating his ambition for Everton to be amongst the elite again.
In addition, anyone who cant see the improvement in the team and performances since the clown has gone either knows nothing about football or watches the game with a blindfold on.
The RS, Man Utd, Chelsea and Man City have all appointed new "world class?" managers and spent hundreds of millions adding to their squads. I believe, with the exception of Chelsea, we could go toe to toe with any of them right now and Ronald has hardly got the Blue revolution started.
52 Posted 02/03/2017 at 06:16:54
53 Posted 02/03/2017 at 06:47:29
While people plead about giving the guy time, the first cup final has just been contested by two managers in their first season. The title will be won by a manager in his first season.
To listen to some on here, the Martinez era didn't happen, but I can quite clearly remember the overwhelming majority buying into "Roberto's dream". His ambitions were greater than Koeman's... At least he said they were – remember?
Paul Tran has consistently supported Koeman, but he has quite rightly done so with a modicum of control and reticence. It's not the reticence that damages our club, it's not even the outright criticism. It's the premature coronations and the idiotic "I know he will succeed" that kill us.
I'm seriously considering getting to fuck abroad between August and November. I really don't think I could stomach another round of "Well, it's second season syndrome, innit" – not after listening to 12 months of "Give him a chance".
This guy has been appointed to take on one of the most exciting projects in world football. What a time to get the EFC gig! So far, he has done less than nothing.
Let's see if he is capable of rising to the above average before we start proclaiming his greatness.
54 Posted 02/03/2017 at 07:06:01
55 Posted 02/03/2017 at 07:29:03
It's not shite it's a fact of life that if Barca come calling he will be off. If you don't believe that then you are delusional whatever he has said. Koeman has made it clear previously it's an ambition for him to manage them which is understandable as he has played there as captain and they are one of the world's biggest clubs.
He fucked off from Southampton to further his ambitions and improve his pay packet and he will do the same to us.
The football we are playing compared to last season has been better since the Arsenal game. We have been dumped out of both cups at home in the early stages of both competitions, however. It's a fact is that Martinez did get us to finish fifth in the first season here with a record points total. Martinez deserved to be sacked after the abysmal season we had last year.
Everton's leadership need (and surely should have) a plan to appoint a successor to Koeman.
56 Posted 02/03/2017 at 07:32:32
That doesn't mean he will go but...
57 Posted 02/03/2017 at 07:46:59
58 Posted 02/03/2017 at 07:55:18
Keep on taking the pills if you believe that. Barca is one of the top jobs in world football... managing Everton sadly is not of the same order.
59 Posted 02/03/2017 at 08:05:07
What I mean is success there is a given, not really a challenge.
60 Posted 02/03/2017 at 08:13:22
However, if the Boss adopts this contented approach to life, I will be bloody furious!
61 Posted 02/03/2017 at 08:49:54
62 Posted 02/03/2017 at 10:19:34
63 Posted 02/03/2017 at 11:04:57
64 Posted 02/03/2017 at 11:23:20
We all have different thoughts and opions and I don't know why people come on here looking to dismiss others comments. Isn't it the whole point of ToffeeWeb?!
65 Posted 02/03/2017 at 11:30:27
One of the questions may be how the coaches and players react to these rumours. I don't think it's foolish to consider the risk of Koeman going in the summer he's a Barca man to his core.
66 Posted 02/03/2017 at 12:13:59
Koeman has said many times in I the past that Barca is his dream job. I am a fair person: if he is offered the job and turns it down, I will buy your ale all night at any chosen hostelry in town. Sounds like a good deal to me, Stan?
67 Posted 02/03/2017 at 12:53:37
The most damning thing I have ever heard was that the team that had one serviceable midfielder would only be 70% fit to start the season. We will be an elite team again, but baby steps at first. This team, as Jay says, will go toe-to-toe with anyone.
68 Posted 02/03/2017 at 13:39:00
69 Posted 02/03/2017 at 13:52:33
If seems that the new Seville manager, who has them in third place, above Atletico, is the man fancied. This is José Sampioli, who you may remember was the assistant to Bielsa at Chile, before managing them after El Loco left. He did great things with Chile, including winning the South American Championship, and took the Seville job after their gaffer chose PSG when heavily link with us in the summer.
So it's doubtful Koeman really is in the frame. Think about it. Barca can have anyone, so why employ a fella who's recent record is getting Everton and Southampton up to 7th? It's hardly the pedigree you want when you're supposedly the best club in the world.
70 Posted 02/03/2017 at 14:55:20
71 Posted 02/03/2017 at 16:09:27
I repeat that is utter shite and, in my opinion, if Barca have announced Luis Enrique is going at the end of the season, they will have already lined up his successor and I would bet it is NOT big Ron.
To me, he is starting to "feel" the Everton effect and the way it touches people and I firmly believe he will see out his project and decide where he goes from there.
72 Posted 02/03/2017 at 16:31:59
I don't think I have ever heard of a manager just signing for a club and demanding a release clause. Would be interested to know if this is true.
73 Posted 02/03/2017 at 16:41:48
74 Posted 02/03/2017 at 17:03:16
To me, he would have been a perfect fit for us bar the language issue. Potchettino overcame that though, so I felt it was worth the gamble.
75 Posted 02/03/2017 at 17:16:45
First, Barca didn't announce it. Enrique did. And while Barca knew since last fall he was thinking about it, I'd be very surprised if they have "already lined up his successor" unless it's someone in-house.
Second, Ernest Macia is Barca's longtime radio voice and a reliable insider source for the club, and he predicts it'll be Koeman or Laudrup because the club will want someone who knows the Barca way. And we know who's the better manager of those two. So while the Koeman speculation may not turn out to be correct, it certainly isn't "utter shite" if it comes from Macia. Certainly the bookies don't think so ... he's second choice in the odds.
And third, if you really think that whatever Koeman is "feeling" about the Everton effect would keep him from returning to the world's top club... a place where he spent many happy years, where he's family, where his children were born... I think you need to stop nibbling on those mushrooms.
If they come calling, he'll be gone so fast that all you'll see is a vapor trail and some skid marks.
76 Posted 02/03/2017 at 17:23:50
"Barca can have anyone, so why employ a fella who's recent record is getting Everton and Southampton up to 7th?"
Because he played there, he was assistant manager, he's "family" and knows the "Barca way"... nothing is more important to that club.
Check out Luis Enrique's utterly undistinguished resume before they hired him. He got the job because he was family and his buddy Zubizaretta cleared the way.
It makes no sense to us, but to Barca it's everything.
77 Posted 02/03/2017 at 18:17:37
Laura @64: Point taken, I shouldn't have used such pointed wording, it's just that Koeman leaving us for Barca is such a constant theme. And to be honest, even if he did go, I imagine Moshiri has other options up his sleeve.
Ed @66: Sorry mate, what I said to Laura above. I now hope he's offered the Barca job but turns it down! The Phil on Hope St does a good pint of Guinness!
78 Posted 02/03/2017 at 18:31:41
79 Posted 02/03/2017 at 18:35:32
If we can keep hold, it adds to our statement of intent. Maybe the football gods are smiling on us. If he was a bit further into his contract, I'd be more worried. I'm sure Moshiri is on it.
80 Posted 02/03/2017 at 18:49:46
At this stage, Koeman is a bang average manager who has yet to surpass the zenith of his oft maligned (and rightly so) predecessor.
Jury well and truly out.
81 Posted 02/03/2017 at 19:40:17
82 Posted 02/03/2017 at 19:42:30
83 Posted 02/03/2017 at 20:04:05
84 Posted 02/03/2017 at 20:44:03
85 Posted 02/03/2017 at 22:05:54
86 Posted 02/03/2017 at 22:10:03
Koeman hasn't convinced a percentage of our fan base yet and there was a distinct element of the Saints support that wasn't sorry to see him leave. Koeman hasn't done enough for the Barca job just like Lukaku hasn't shown enough to lead the line for Real or Bayern.
Is there a market for Koeman to still be here start if next season? Easy money!
87 Posted 03/03/2017 at 00:40:27
"Koeman hasn't convinced a percentage of our fan base yet..."
Enrique wasn't close to convincing the fan bases of Roma or Celta after one middling season at each, but Barca hired him anyway. Barca doesn't care what anybody else's fan base thinks.
"Koeman hasn't done enough for the Barca job."
Ridiculous, especially when compared to Enrique. Ronald has managed over 600 first division games and won three Eredivisie titles and a Copa del Rey. At the time Barca hired Enrique, his total experience was 82 games of which he had won only 32. Yet they picked him anyway.
To Barca, the "genetics" matter most. If they don't hire Koeman, it'll be because they wanted somebody else more, not because they don't consider him qualified.
88 Posted 03/03/2017 at 01:01:21
89 Posted 03/03/2017 at 02:03:35
So without the recent poor, by their standards, results Enrique was 'walking away' anyway? I don't remember any big noises about this being his last season before it started?
Eredivisie titles? Would winning the Scottish top tier count as a major achievement as well to Barca you reckon? A couple of those were back in Koeman's Ajax days, weren't they what, 15 years ago now?
What did he do with Feyenoord? What did he do with Soton? And so far, what's he done with us? That's his CV back for the last 6 years. Nothing there is impressive.
He finished 2nd in Eredivisie where there's little excuse for finishing 3rd. Got nowhere in European competition at any time of asking since the turn of the decade.
I'm not much of a fan of the man, you might have guessed; to me, he's got that Moyes quality of being happy to accept what he's given. He'll try and make the best of it, but, it's not his fault if it doesn't work. He lets good players slip through his fingers too easily... did in Holland and did on the south coast.
He'll be with us still next season. We'll see how many of our top players have moved on for Ronald, again, to cope without too!
90 Posted 03/03/2017 at 03:57:50
According to both Enrique and Barca management, he told them in preseason he was thinking about leaving, and it was entirely his idea. I guess you think they're all lying?
As for Koeman's record, you're arguing with yourself. In circles. My point is that it's sufficient and irrelevant to Barca. You disagree? By all means, tell the world's best club they've got it wrong. Just like they did with the hopelessly underqualified Enrique three years, one treble and one double ago.
Yes, I could tell you're "not much of a fan of the man." So maybe you should be cheering the rumours instead. You'll be delighted if he goes, right?
Personally, I hope he doesn't get the offer, that they go with Sampaoli or Valverde I'm also a Barca fan, and I think either one would help keep Messi at the club. And I'd like to see Ronald stay with us.
91 Posted 03/03/2017 at 09:25:21
Time will tell.
92 Posted 03/03/2017 at 15:12:27
The press are going on a statement he made years ago and the fact he played for Barca and as usual speculating wildly as sensationalism sells papers.
Maybe, just maybe, he wants to win the Premier League and sees a chance of doing that with Everton.
93 Posted 03/03/2017 at 15:49:52
Jay, as I mentioned in a previous post, the press are also going on the Koeman prediction of Ernest Macia of Catalan Radio, the Barca media insider who predicted Enrique's surprise appointment three years ago. But no, I'm not trying to make a case for Ronald getting the call. I'd be disappointed for us and I don't think he'd be the best choice for my "other" favorite side, Barca.
94 Posted 05/03/2017 at 00:43:56
Usmanov/Moshiri that would be interesting if Arsenal really do want Koeman.