Ronald Koeman has revealed his thinking behind the selection of Phil Jagielka and Gareth Barry in Saturday's game against West Bromwich Albion, explaining that both players were suited to the opponents' game.
Jagielka was brought back into the defence for his first start of 2017 at the expense of Ramiro Funes Mori while Barry was retained despite a chequered display against Tottenham Hotspur in the previous match.
Both players vindicated the manager's decision with highly effective displays in the 3-0 victory that extended the Blues' lead over the Baggies to seven points.
“My mind today was clear; it was a good game for Jags — the way how West Brom play. It suited him,” Koeman said in the wake of the win.
“He did well. Maybe in the beginning there were too many balls back to the goalkeeper, which I don't like. I would prefer the ball into the channel, because then you can press your opponent.
“But overall I think defensively the team was strong, and he was one of them.
“It was painful to leave Gana out,” Koeman continued in reference to the decision to keep Barry in the team and also bring in Kevin MIrallas, “but the reason to start with Gareth was that we will have a lot of ball possession and he is really clever on the ball. And West Brom don't have a lot of runners from midfield.
“But it is easy to mention that if you win 3-0, eh?! If not, they will kill me about the line-up!”
Reader Comments (70)
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1 Posted 12/03/2017 at 23:33:25
2 Posted 13/03/2017 at 00:04:28
3 Posted 13/03/2017 at 00:23:23
But what he says makes lots of sense.
4 Posted 13/03/2017 at 00:26:15
It's less hard to understand this one given how poor Funes Mori was last week at Spurs. But also seemed like a perfect opportunity for Holgate and he's the one who needs the experience and seems to have the potential.
I think Koeman deserves credit for the recent upturn, of course he does. But then he goes and makes an aweful mess of setting the team up for Spurs, and his selection of the decent cover that is Barry for WBA almost feels like him telling everyone to "Bog off, I'm the boss, so there!"
5 Posted 13/03/2017 at 00:41:06
In my eyes, he should be getting games. I do think Jags should start most games in the middle with Williams on the left and Holgate on the right. I think Funes Mori is just not good enough.
6 Posted 13/03/2017 at 01:13:17
Referring to TWebbers...
7 Posted 13/03/2017 at 01:20:37
Koeman is a good manager, and he knows the game way better than we all do of that there can be no question, yet still he get's slaughtered. Barry is the most intelligent player at Everton, and the way he uses the ball is massively underrated and overlooked by many supporters in my view and evidently, Ronald Koeman's as well.
What he says above is bang-on, and was proven on Saturday. Supporters are fickle, led by emotion, and give knee-jerk reactions more often than not. Koeman will have spent all week thinking about WBA, along with all his coaching staff, and of course working with the players to make the right call on team selection.
It beggars belief when you come on here and people are going mental without any foundation about team selection even when we win 3-0!
8 Posted 13/03/2017 at 01:23:43
If Gana isn't good enough to play in certain matches, then why did he buy him? The most successful teams are those that are moulded together as a unit, not a mish mash of Individuals getting to know each other every match day. I just wish he could find his best side and stick with it.
9 Posted 13/03/2017 at 01:28:20
Gana gets about, but Barry is smarter with the ball it seems like a no-brainer to me (and to Ronald Koeman!).
10 Posted 13/03/2017 at 01:31:39
11 Posted 13/03/2017 at 01:41:45
While building for the future, should we just neglect the current season and forget about qualifying for Europe? Koeman should just make use of whatever players that he has regardless of their age, to win matches, to get us into Europe.
To me, getting into Europe is also a VERY important part of "building for the future". Players (ours and those we are interested in) want European exposure and all that.
12 Posted 13/03/2017 at 03:39:02
The ultimate logic of the "play the younger players because we are building for the future" school of thought would be to forget about the first team entirely and just put out the U23 side and never buy a player over the age of 23.
No...we actually want to win matches.
13 Posted 13/03/2017 at 04:54:09
Barry's intelligence and anticipation are likewise brilliant he sees a pass seconds before other players and has the skill to pull it off, frequently with just one touch. That's the reason Koeman played him against the Baggies. Barry also reads incoming attacks exceptionally well, but he no longer has the quickness to react, which is why he shouldn't have played against Spurs.
You're right that they are very different players... but the difference is in their skill sets, not their brains. Both have excellent footy smarts.
14 Posted 13/03/2017 at 05:09:52
When you consider how long Jags has been sidelined coming in and playing as well as he did was a credit to him and in a way worthy of Man of the Match.
15 Posted 13/03/2017 at 05:59:12
'If Gana isn't good enough to play in certain matches then why did he buy him?'
Truly bizarre question. Surely in a squad of players you have people better suited to different roles.
We won 3-0. Barry played well. What's the problem?
16 Posted 13/03/2017 at 06:09:42
Koeman got it wrong at Spurs and changed it too late, but spot on against WBA.
We all get it wrong sometimes, but overall he's getting it right. The big test for me is the three away games at Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal. All just above us and could be caught but we will need wins and draws in those games. Can he conjure that up?
17 Posted 13/03/2017 at 06:25:44
"Going mental"? A tad dramatic, don't you think? They are questioning the wisdom of the selection and rightly so.
WBA have reached their target. They offered less than nothing and those suggesting Koeman got it right because we won are being a tad simplistic... Do you think we'd have lost if Holgate and Gana played? Who's to say we wouldn't have beaten them more handsomely if we'd have shown a little more adventure?
The result is not in question here, we got the three points, but please, somebody, explain the wisdom of bringing in two players with a combined age of going on 70?!?
This was not a Champions League Final, it wasn't a battle of wits between two master tacticians (clearly). It was however a fantastic opportunity to develop still further the so called "future plan".
Barry and Jags have been fantastic servants to this club and command huge respect... but barring injury, they should never be selected again. They have no part in our future.
I don't mind squad rotation, it's almost inevitable these days, but there are younger better options than Jags and Barry these days, players who we will depend upon when they are watching in their slippers.
The selection was as wrong as wrong can be. A comfortable win over a disinterested WBA will not alter the opinion of those who want to see more ambition.
Going mental? Hardly. Worried about the logic of the man in charge? Absolutely.
18 Posted 13/03/2017 at 06:48:08
Maybe not, I don't know. But I'll reserve my judgment until I see the team named for those big away games coming up. No, I'm not excusing the side picked for Spurs, it was wrong. For WBA, I don't have any issue.
19 Posted 13/03/2017 at 07:42:33
20 Posted 13/03/2017 at 07:54:42
I can't wait to see the debates over the new stadium once the design is revealed. I can just see all the armchair managers become instant architects, structural engineers and art critics amongst other things.
21 Posted 13/03/2017 at 08:01:23
I was listening to a few kopites yesterday, and one was saying that they have only got two big games left, against Man City and Everton. One of them said Everton's not really a hard match, and it got me quietly thinking.
The more I thought, I thought in spite of our clean sheets lately, we have not got a strong enough defensive pairing at the centre of our defence. Darren, I would also feel a lot more confident going to Anfield with Holgate playing, but maybe in a 3-man defence at the minute though?
22 Posted 13/03/2017 at 08:10:32
23 Posted 13/03/2017 at 08:17:52
I wasn't too happy when I saw Gareth Barry in the team. But a 3-0 suggests Koeman picked a team to deal with West Brom the best way possible.
As it happens, West Brom didn't do anything to suggest they were remotely interested in doing anything positive, but was that down to our formation and tactics on the day? Had we had a different set of players, West Brom may have upped their game.
On a different note, it was good to see many of their fans donating to Speedo Mick's causes.
24 Posted 13/03/2017 at 10:49:51
25 Posted 13/03/2017 at 10:57:55
And another thing many people thought the selection for the Chelsea game was a disaster waiting to happen and the same with the Spurs match. I only hope he's learnt from both those games when we play at Anfield!
26 Posted 13/03/2017 at 11:06:17
27 Posted 13/03/2017 at 11:10:11
We got done by Chelsea, who are top of the league by 10 points.
Spurs beat us 3-2, and they're second.
I don't see these as good examples of Koeman 'getting it wrong' at all. I see those as examples of us being beaten by very good football teams. It happens, regardless of team selection.
This attitude existed under Martinez because his team selections were bizarre, and basically the same every week, including our shape whereas we now have a good manager who picks the team according to the team we're up against and uses different formations but he still get's castigated when we don't win.
You do the math.
28 Posted 13/03/2017 at 11:50:47
It's short for "mathematics" not "mathematic".
You do the semantics!
29 Posted 13/03/2017 at 12:05:46
30 Posted 13/03/2017 at 12:51:26
Jags has possibly taken longer to get with the programme but we looked much more secure than with Funes Mori partnering Williams. Fresh legs needed for next season, no doubt Keane or Van Dijk would do for me.
31 Posted 13/03/2017 at 13:20:16
However, having seen Funes Mori close up on Saturday, I was taken aback at how poor he is. He shied away from several 50-50 challenges which is inexcusable whatever position a defender plays. Just on those 45 minutes, I would certainly be looking to ship him out soonest.
Putting Jags in over Funes Mori, was indeed the right decision by Koeman and I hope we can develop or buy in the summer to cover Baines and eventually replace.
32 Posted 13/03/2017 at 14:13:31
Darren (#17), no, I don't think we'd have lost to WBA if Barry or Jags hadn't played. But I also don't think Barry's presence cost us the Spurs game too many other factors. And in the middle of a final run for a Champions League place, I have zero interest in seeing Koeman pick a lineup based on the "future plan" whatever that is.
The "ambition" I care about is winning this game now. He named Jags and Barry because he thought they were among the best 11 to win, and he was... to put it as you did... as right as right could be.
I expect to see both in the lineup again vs Hull but neither at Anfield or Old Trafford.
33 Posted 13/03/2017 at 14:53:02
WBA are a team of big ugly Grocks. They can't run fast or for long, which is why they waste time from the first minute (I really couldn't believe that) to try and ensure their stamina levels aren't flagging at the end. This meant Barry's were lasting longer.
They are as organised and as disciplined a team as you will ever see. Everytime we got the ball, they snapped immediately into shape and got 11 behind the ball. This meant that we struggled to get through them. Gueye is not the man to do this. For all his vast credible attributes, clever incisive passing is not one of them. Likewise, West Brom are not the team to expose Barry's flaws, so it made perfect sense to play him.
What I am unsure of though is Tom Davies's role. He played the Number 10 position, and not very well, with Barkley to his right. I would have thought this would be the other way round.
My best guess is that Davies ran around trying to close them down and slowed them down with getting the ball forward quickly.
I fully expect a similar side against Hull, but they do have some pace upfront, no Niasse though, so should we not look to play Holgate alongside Jags or Williams, assuming Funes Mori plays left back? Midfield I'd put Gueye back in for Barry and leave Davies where he is to get at Huddlestone.
34 Posted 13/03/2017 at 15:01:08
Dermot you do the math I was taking the piss.
35 Posted 13/03/2017 at 15:18:41
Quick question: What's your thoughts on Koeman's decision to play Gana in an advanced midfield role when he was brought on?
36 Posted 13/03/2017 at 15:20:02
Are these not worthy of comment or discussion?
37 Posted 13/03/2017 at 15:34:01
Barkley was fractionally less hesitant on the ball, and the chipped cross on to Lukaku's head was simply brilliant. I gave him an assist for the first goal too it was great to see him shooting a little more from around the edge of the box but we kknow he can still do far better than what we saw.
38 Posted 13/03/2017 at 15:53:13
I'd play Jagielka ahead of the other two. He can pass better than Funes Mori and I think he's a better defender than Williams, apart from constantly giving penalties away of course.
Gana was poor the previous week and deserved to be dropped.
39 Posted 13/03/2017 at 15:55:39
I agree Tom looked a little off the pace. It has been coming for the last couple of games. A young lad who potentially will be a top player. It happens to them all at that age; he needs a break.
40 Posted 13/03/2017 at 16:31:04
41 Posted 13/03/2017 at 17:31:31
I wouldn't mind a bit seeing him benched for the Hull game. Two weeks off would help him recover mentally and physically to get ready for Anfield and Old Trafford.
42 Posted 13/03/2017 at 17:33:34
He was everywhere the ball had just been at times, but never let his head go down once, which helped me learn a lot about the kid on Saturday.
I'm glad you said that Ross Barkley, was fractionally less hesitant though, because in-spite of all the plaudits he received this weekend, he will only start to become a really great player when he starts driving forward constantly and really attacks the space.
43 Posted 13/03/2017 at 17:40:42
Also, good point about resting Davies, and letting him replenish himself for the Liverpool game, Mike, but I do think he might get selected for one of the England squads though.
44 Posted 13/03/2017 at 17:45:32
45 Posted 13/03/2017 at 17:53:56
46 Posted 13/03/2017 at 17:56:46
Then we will spend all our days trying to guess what the author meant from the thousands of options available. Then there are legal issues if the m is mole and the inevitable involvement of of radical animal rights activists.
Then this unsatisfactory situation could lead to middle-aged men breaking into the mambo which could lead to acute embarrassment and possibly relationships breakdowns across the English speaking world. Have I gone off topic for a m'ment?
49 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:12:20
How opinions change. If Vickery ever offers opinions on unknown South Americans in future, maybe we should cut him a bit of slack.
50 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:16:56
Burnley were able to take the game to them and bullied them across the pitch. If we can adopt a similar approach, coupled with our better quality and ability to find the net, we can win this match.
51 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:19:37
Sorry, I've just died of boredom and can't finish my train of thought. No, what I meant is that I can't be arsed.
52 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:22:58
Even if we won the title by 20 points and the Champions League, I would not expect a derby win any more.
53 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:26:11
54 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:35:37
On the math point, I replied because I did actually endeavour to engage with your trivial point but unfortunately trivialities aren't really for me.
Persons who generally swear without due cause are 'said' to be either emotionally impaired, or are not exactly equipped to benefit a sufficient / decent vocabulary. *I retract this immediate statement in any event.*
55 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:42:44
Barry, it was only one man, mate, and he was possibly trying to dig me out, but I just started thinking about my own team instead. For what it's worth, Liverpool have impressed me with their workrate at times this season, but we showed in the first half at Goodison that, if you can match them for this, then it usually takes them out of their stride.
I don't like Liverpool, always want them to lose, but even if they did, it won't make Everton any better (although I do know we'd all feel much better!) and that is were my main concern lies.
56 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:50:55
57 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:53:10
*Caveat: no harm intended, or if any person were to take offence, this author shall limit his liability albeit with a vie to settle out of court as there's no legal aid, owing to the Tory shower's drastic cuts.*
58 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:53:32
59 Posted 13/03/2017 at 18:56:21
60 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:11:46
61 Posted 13/03/2017 at 19:53:45
62 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:26:51
63 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:31:58
Barry has the record number of yellow cards for a reason he's too slow for the modern game.
64 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:32:37
You'd better edit post #60.
65 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:45:37
Koeman played him for the reasons he outlined and it worked. Every team rotates the odd player on occasions. It was a tactical decision and we won 3-0.
Some people just seem impossible to please.
66 Posted 13/03/2017 at 20:51:13
Well that's a load off. When I pressed the send button, I thought somebody was going to accuse me of stating the blindingly obvious.
67 Posted 14/03/2017 at 01:52:36
We aren't involved in any other competitions, and Gana has missed a month away at AFCON, so keeping up his fitness levels and reacquainting him with his team mates is much more important than letting Barry amass more yellows before he retires.
Are you trying to say we couldn't beat WBA without Barry? Stupid suggestion. Everyone moaned (rightly) about Martinez changing the team every week, and disrupting momentum, and now they think 'The Dutch Messiah' is a genius because we beat a shit side at home, who incidentally were beaten by lowly Palace at their own ground last week.
I couldn't give a shit if Barry never played for us again, he's far past his best, and after Spurs, should never be picked ahead of any squad member with two working legs.
68 Posted 14/03/2017 at 09:21:15
Anyway, I just enjoyed reading the comment "I don't like Liverpool" on here. A case of understating the obvious. :)
69 Posted 14/03/2017 at 09:33:56
It is becoming clear though, that we will need a big centre half and another striker (perhaps Niasse?) to be able to progress next season.
70 Posted 14/03/2017 at 10:48:42
I don't know how good or how bad he is, but it was a joke at the very beginning (the weekend when Everton won three matches: Everton, Everton B and him against the dark side) and now I feel sleepy when I see the name... zzz...
71 Posted 14/03/2017 at 11:06:49
I said, if Liverpool lost every week, it wouldn't make Everton any better, although it would make us Blues feel a lot better.
The only thing that can make us better is ourselves, and that's why I'm more concerned about our own players, and hopefully replacing the ones who aren't good enough to take us up to the next level, if that makes more sense?
72 Posted 14/03/2017 at 13:18:29
Referencing the earlier discussion about how we might fare on April 1st, I have absolutely no expectation or hope that we will win. For almost as long as I can remember, it has been one painful horror after another (with some very rare exceptions). But I suppose it is actually in some sense 'possible' we could win. We won't though.