In Defence of Koeman

Dave Cooney 28/08/2017  74 Comments  [Jump to last]

I used to stand on the Kippax but one of the reasons I stopped going was because of the moaning. Now, when you have to sit down, you can’t escape them. In the Peter Reid days, they’d be winning 2-0 and they’d be saying, “Oh, it’ll be 3-2...” The thing about the moaners is you know they’re always going to come back.
Mark E Smith (City fan) March 2000.

We’re gonna win the League!
Liverpool fan, October every year.

About three years ago, I stopped going to the game after having three consecutive stand-up arguments in three games with fans slagging Ross Barkley.

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All he can do is run with it!

I now go about two to three times a season, preferring to watch it in the pub. Since going as a kid, I have loved the fans’ comments – well, better when there was a certain anonymity in the terraces. Many fans definitely went the game as a reason to vent and, amongst the barbs, there were always some gems to laugh at or along with.

ToffeeWeb is now the new terraces. People cannot help themselves, especially on the Live Forum; hilarious reading after the game. At the same time, there are some ‘phenomenal’ posts. Talking/reading anything Everton is what we’re about.

After Chelsea, the comments were brilliant reading and overwhelmingly negative against Koeman. I was sick watching that shambles and I dislike his demeanour, rhetoric and dress sense. I hate the way he seemingly views us as a stepping stone, and history shows that he has mixed success with other clubs and does not seem to stay anywhere very long. I wonder whether he can motivate the players as I would want to keep on correcting his English in the team talk. I didn’t even like him as a player and can mainly remember his cheating against England and him being a bit of a fatty.

Despite all that, I am backing him and here’s why: If I were taking over Everto,n there are basically two ways to go at the beginning – attack or defence. He’s gone defence first and I agree with that because we’re never going to out-attack zillions of pounds of talent. For me, Jose Mourinho is the best manager in the world and his negative style was shocking last season, even with a wealth of talent. He, as he always has, concentrated on his team defending as a team as his first priority. Fortunately for him he could spend more millions on even more talent this season to challenge and look good – he has spent about £160 million on 3 players with virtually no outgoings as of writing.

Last season, Mourinho won a couple of cups which showed he had a squad of real talent but his style of play was horrible to watch. Once his team gets defending right, then he concentrates on the team attacking. I think Koeman is of the same ilk but is buying now just to get a solid base. Unfortunately, we are on a different level; we have to get players who are ‘good’ or ‘promising’. A different level from buying a Pogba. This is one reason for our players’ seriously bad inferiority complex when playing the top sides.

When you look at Leicester City a few years ago, they had a healthy disrespect for the top teams as well as great defensive Italian tactics to go with it. Craig Shakespeare obviously had a lot to do with geeing them up. At the moment, we don’t have that disdain for a Pogba or a Fabregas that we should have. I think only Rooney, Besic and Williams do. However, by keeping Williams in the side and bringing on Besic, despite their inadequacies, hopefully Koeman realises this. I may be wrong and I was with Roberto Martinez (who gave me the best Everton season and song since '95) but I feel that, to get us any silverware, we are going to need a set of circumstances (Leicester winning the Premier League when other teams were in transition; United winning the Europa League playing no-one, etc) and to keep faith.

At the moment there are still flaws. It is patently obvious that our central defence can’t bring the ball out; there's no pace in the team; not enough cohesion. But I think he wants to play with pace – he bought Mane at Southampton, he has bought Calvert-Lewin, Bolasie and Lookman. He is concentrating on getting the base of the team solid and we desperately missed Schneiderlin against Chelsea. Cohesion comes with playing together for a while, and confidence – that doesn’t come overnight and a big injury list doesn’t help.

It is true to say that, when Antonio Conte or Mourhino come up against ‘superior’ or sometimes just play equal opposition away, they use three centre halves and two defensive centre midfielders. Like those two managers, I believe (with no evidence, admittedly) that, once he gets his team’s overall defending to how he wants it, we will see him be more attacking against ‘inferior’ teams.

What I’m saying here may be seen as excuses and I am obviously not happy with the current style of play but I like a lot of his buys and can see where the golden nugget is going. It seems madness not to give him a good go at it as realistically we haven’t exactly been Real Madrid for the last 22 years.

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Reader Comments (74)

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John Keating
1 Posted 28/08/2017 at 17:24:22
Dave you may well be right in that he wants to sort out defence first. However that is no excuse to the efforts put in this season so far. The 4 EL games did not exactly excite and the 3 league games, well, let's be honest, crap is a word that springs to mind.

We appear to go out not to lose and hope we can sneak a goal and hang on. It worked to some extent at City but if we were to go behind then there's no sign we could come back, Chelsea.

No he may well not have the players he wants but at least he should and we should expect more than we are getting.

The buck stops at the manager and so far there are no excuses he can use to justify the shit we have endured so far.
Christine Foster
2 Posted 28/08/2017 at 17:42:43
"Trust me, I know what I am doing" seems to be the mantra and if the man was committed to spend anther 5 years or more at the club I could possibly live with it for a while. But given the history and focus on his immediate contract (only?) I feel he is a man doing his job short term and creating a persona of being a hard nosed, ruthless manager. For what end only he knows. He will have his plans and at the moment he clearly has no time to waste if he is going to get the things he wants in the near future. That means no holds barred at Everton, he needs to succeed at all costs if he is personally going to go forward with a prize of Barcelona on his wish list.

So that means he really couldn't care less about players, youth development coming through or long term future. Or the fans.
Lets face it we don't matter anyway, but he is making it clear that neither do the players. My way or the highway and he is clearly into public shaming / criticism of those he wants gone.

Great I hear many of you say, no nonsense, cut throat, winner.. except he isn't.. not yet. So its a personal desire to succeed and Project Everton, is the perfect vehicle. But it needs alot of money and support of the board, the players and the fans. He clearly has the boards support, to a degree, players hmm not sure tbh, fans divided but probably prepared to give him a go.

In truth he is on borrowed time on his own making, if he turns this team into a strong top 6 or even better a top 4 team then no one can complain. He delivered. He will then move on. Will we be the better for it?

Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:13:38
Christine... "creating a persona"??

No, he was a hard-nosed player and I have absolutely no doubt he's a hard-nosed manager. He's not playing a role. This is his real character.

Paul Tran
4 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:14:21
Christine, I'm not convinced we'll win anything with Koeman. I think he's the necessary wrecking ball this club needed. To look inconsistent, under-achieving players in the eye and tell them to shape up or leave. I'm fine with that.

I'm also happy to accept the fact that he doesnt regard managing us as the pinnacle of his career. If that's the case, he has to do well for us first. I suspect most players will have the same view, until we become as successful as we hope.

Not interested in youth? Last season he played more youngsters than anyone else. 'He was forced to', say some. Probably because of the under-achieving, complacent mess he inherited.

Now, 6 games into the season, I'm unhappy at the slow pace, the imbalance, the lack of a pattern of play. And if it carries on like this, I'll be calling for his head. But let's not kid ourselves that letting the likes of Barkley, Mirallas & Deufelou play their one good game in five was ever going to bring us any success.

I think the squad has improved, hopefully even more in the coming days. If he gets these players to gel, we'll all be happy. If he doesn't, the next guy will inherit a decent bunch of players to play with.

In my lifetime, when we've been successful, we've been ruthless, then we've taken our foot off the pedal and let everyrhing slip. I'm I'm happy with ruthless, but I want competence as well. We'll see if Koeman has it in the next few months. Koeman is Moshiri's man, so he won't be quick to wield the axe. But I have a feeling Moshiri won't be as benevolent as Kenwright. And I'm fine with that as well.

John G Davies
5 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:17:39
Paul Tran.

Post of the week. 👍

Stephen Brown
6 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:26:15
Despite Sunday's debacle I can see some signs of RK ruthless attitude coming from players too! Snerderlin refusing handshakes, Rooney baiting refs, Williams wrestling players off the ball!

This is the type of horrible type actions we need! We need to be hated by other teams and if RK instils this it's a good from me!

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:27:57
Paul, please stop talking sense. You're damaging the looney-tune reputation we have worked so hard to achieve.
Paul Tran
8 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:31:42
Thanks Mike, but be careful, If someone thinks a Yank who travels across the world to watch us thinks I'm sensible, my reputation will be in tatters!
Colin Glassar
9 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:35:42
When we got Koeman I wanted him to bring all of his back room staff with him, including Sammy Lee and that fella who also worked for England. They were the ones always screaming from the sidelines while Ronald, and his equally dour brother, just sat back and let them get on with it.

I also wanted Les Reed over Walsh. Reed found some real gems at Southampton and is far more agile in the transfer market.

If Koeman fails at Goodison his career could go the way of Moyes.

Martin Mason
10 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:54:05
Irrational negativity didn't exist before the advent of social media which amplified it to a status that it never deserved. For me it is a cancer that eats at the heart of even Everton who traditionally had the fairest most rational supporters in the world. Without social media it can't survive as it has no other outlet. If we ever get down to the level of the moaners at City then God help us but we are going that way.

My dog understands that RK and his team aren't producing the goods but that is ant fucking when we need to be looking at the big picture. That is difficult for some who have a bizarre need to stay down in the weeds. RK will be judged in due course and it will be by Moshiri because that is where the buck stops now.

Steavey Buckley
11 Posted 28/08/2017 at 19:12:48
I am of the opinion he (RK) has no coherent game plan. He really does not understand how to be successful at football, by turning defence into attack with one swift move, since Everton don't have the players or understanding. Even against Stoke City, who were lacking their recent buys, Koeman in the first half had 3 defenders at the back. Against Stoke of all people!
Darren Hind
12 Posted 28/08/2017 at 19:45:24
Paul T

These players who Koeman has told to "shape up or leave" . .wanna name them ?

Mirallas and Barkley are still here he has tried to secure both of their services. Deulofeu left because Barca decided to take up their option to buy.

Others who left were either crocks or were being regularly left out before Koeman even got here. Do you think they left because they were not good enough for the club to offer them new contracts . .or do you really believe Koeman stood at the door jerking his thumb and saying "go on, fucking do one"

And when you say the squad "has improved" . .in what way do you think they have improved ? Do you think we will score more goals ? create more chances ? play better football ? get more points ?

Not having a go, just curious. Personally I think Christine nails him. He is attempting to create a hard nosed ruthless persona . . but I think he is failing miserably

Joe McMahon
13 Posted 28/08/2017 at 19:53:25
Dave - Do I assume Mark E Smith quote is the singer from The Fall? If it is how on earth can he moan about the moaners. Christ I don't mind the od Fall song, but some of ift is so miserable they make Radiohead and The Jesus and Mary Chain sound like S Club 7.

On the subject of Koeman 6 million a year to be served this embarrassing dross is a dereliction of duty.
I've supported this club for 41 years and for the majority of that time i've had the most vile, horrible, obnoxious and Nasty Redshite/Kopites giving me plenty of abuse, and to top it off was yesterday's results . It's sickening.

I live nearer Manchester than Liverpool and it's full of the 5 Times You'll never walk alone morons.

John G Davies
14 Posted 28/08/2017 at 19:58:27
Mike 3,

I agree, doesn't need to create the hard nosed say as I see persona.Thats what he is.

Some people do try to create that but fail miserably. If you try too hard it becomes obvious.

Jay Harris
15 Posted 28/08/2017 at 20:28:29
I think we should all be a bit more patient. Some of us are even worse than the howling wolves that wanted Howard Kendall out before he became the most successful manager in our history.

Paul Tran is absolutely correct. If you think Koeman is happy with what we're seeing think again.

He is constantly on the touchline urging the players forward and is of course an experienced striker or two light. (We lost Valencia and Lukaku).

If the players cant or wont listen to him then yes something will have to give but FFS give the man a chance.

James Stewart
16 Posted 28/08/2017 at 20:29:58
First off let me state I am a Koeman fan.

That said he does try my patience. I am sick of seeing square pegs in round holes and some of his team selections are truly baffling and do not follow any logical train of thought. DCL as right wing-back. Mad. DCL plays well up front, then dropped. Rooney up front doesn't work. Sigurdsson seems to have been bought for the left wing? Klaassen, Rooney, Sandro, Sigurdsson, Davies, Lookman all share the same favoured position. Martina plays well at LB then dropped and never played there since. I could go on.

I hope he gets it right but his selections scream that he has no clue what his best team is and I still see glaring holes in a squad which has been expensively assembled, which is unacceptable this late in the window.

Phil Walling
17 Posted 28/08/2017 at 20:37:01
What Koeman probably doesn't realise is that at any stage of his contract he has only to string half-a- dozen wins together to persuade our soppy chairman to extend his time here. ( What a manager !)

Even if he never quite manages such an achievement, a seventh place finish this season should be enough to earn him a couple of added seasons at Goodison.

Don't imagine Moshiri wont go for it, the Dutch Moyes was always their agreed choice !

Brian Williams
18 Posted 28/08/2017 at 20:42:33
James#16.
I dread to think what you'd say about him if you weren't a fan!
Martin Mason
19 Posted 28/08/2017 at 20:45:19
I believe that Koeman has the typical manager's weakness of being only influenced by what he sees in training during the week rather than how this pans out in a real game. We can't play 3 at the back because we don't have the players to do it, Holgate is a Centre Back not a wing back, DCL is an out and out forward not a wing back, we can't play with 4 defensive midfielders and no attacking capability whoever plays up front.

I realise that I can't see the big picture but it'd be nice to see the little picture working on the pitch on match days.

Paul Tran
20 Posted 28/08/2017 at 20:56:47
Darren, I'm not suggesting he called anyone into their office and said it, I think and hope it's more implicit. I suspect its generally a tougher regime than the one they got used to and my view is that one or rwo of them don't like it. And of course, as you say, some were crocked, too old, not good enough.

I would argue that Pickford, Keane, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Gueye are improvements. I like what I saw of Klaassen in the Eredivisie; he'll be good when he gets into the pace of the game (took Eriksen a year). I wouldn't have brought Rooney back, so I'll give him a bit for that, even if it's just to prove me wrong!

The 'hard man' thing for me is a bit exaggerated. When he got the job, I saw an interview with Guillit, where he described him as fun to work with, the kind of guy who'd put his arm round a player - and be tough when needed. I find him a blunt and fairly inarticulate man in his own language, so he's unlikely to be much different in ours. Most Dutch people I know who have lived/worked in the UK (I'm married to one) tell me that Brits initially think they're blunt/rude. He played the hard man over Barkley & Niasse and made a fool of himself. Publically at least, he's been more subtle with Mirallas, and has taken to telling the press how pleased/proud he is of players' workrate, etc. Klopp has publically hung players out to dry and gets away with it because he's articulate and cracks jokes. I've been told he's one tough and harsh guy behind the scenes.

I'll nail my colours on this one, you and Christine are entitled to say Koeman's trying to create a hard man image, I'd argue that he's watched the likes of Barkley, Mirallas and Deufelou and sussed them out. Good, talented players who lack the application and resilience to make the most of what they have. We'll have to disagree on this, fine by me.

So I think he's generally brought in better players, but I've got two issues with Koeman:

First one is that like too many modern coaches, he forgets the simplicity of football and looks at every game thinking how he's going to stop the opposition, instead of picking his team to win regardless. This may change when 'his' players bed in and gel.

Second one is that like his predecessor, I don't think he's getting his ideas across to the players. They look confused, he looks confused. He talks one game, they play another. The world is full of talented people who can't explain things. That's the thing that will do for him, I think.

John Crawley
21 Posted 28/08/2017 at 20:58:10
Christine 2 - what you describe has generally been a problem with Koeman when he's been a manager at other clubs. Certainly it was that approach that led to his disastrous showing at Valencia.
Tony Marsh
22 Posted 28/08/2017 at 21:04:11
It's not the defeat that hurts... it's the manner of the gutless way we approached the game. We lack a killer instinct – not just on the pitch but throughout the whole club.

Koeman has shown us nothing new. Lukaku was an Everton player when Koeman arrived and it was Lukaku who kept us in the Premier League last season. We have since let Man Utd tickle our belly and take our prize asset away for peanuts... WHY??

The signings Koeman has made so far have been absolute shite apart from Pickford and, even then, we were the only club in for him. Paceless no-marks throughout the squad and players like Baines and Jagielka 3 years past their sell-by dates but still playing? Its a joke.

In all honesty, were very very lucky to have more than a point so far this season. It could so easily have been zero point's. Considering all the money floating about the club why are we still buying second rate players?? .Sandro, Klaassen, Keane, Williams etc.?

I'm sorry but Koeman is like Van Gall, Advocat, De Boer... Washed-up old has-been Dutch flops. We need an energetic, dynamic winner who wants the team to show some balls and go out to win games. None of this "draining the life out of us" Moyes shite. God help us when we play Lyon and the others in the Europa League. More embarrassing times ahead...

Still no movement at Bramley-Moore Dock either!! What's the story there? Do we own that plot of land or not? If so, start fucking digging and cheer us all up. More smoke and mirrors, I fear!!

Tom Bowers
23 Posted 28/08/2017 at 21:16:34
Obviously after blowing the game late on at City and the poor showing at Chelski it would be easy to condemn Koeman.
I agree with others that he needs more time with this ''work in progress''
Okay, he is not yet a Mourinho, Conte or Guardiola but those guys had billions to work with.
Koeman has only just started to have some financing and what he has gotten so far isn't too shabby.
However we all agree the striking side needs improvement in order to challenge the top four so let's hope it happens soon.
Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 28/08/2017 at 21:28:23
Never saw yesterday's game, but knew how it would go with so many injuries, and also with it being our third tough game in six days.

Koeman is starting to worry me because he's playing three centre halfs, but only one can pass the ball, and if this is the formation that he wanted to play, then he should have been signing players who would thrive, rather than keeping players who would struggle with this style?

We had an extra man against City, but the only thing that looked good was the solidity of the back five during this game. He went to a back four, and suddenly City found space in behind, and this felt more like a Martinez change to me.

He Had to do something I know, but not with how we were defending surely? If we don't sign a decent forward this week, then I think it's going to be one long, dull season. But still ile give it time.

Clive Mitchell
25 Posted 28/08/2017 at 21:31:55
Dave, I think your article's fair comment. I'm not signed up to Koeman yet, but he's making us hard to beat and I'll go with that. And you have to cut him some slack for at least the first dozen games with 'his' team. As for yesterday, the 1985 first 11 wouln't have fancied the week our lot have just had. Steavey, 11 - Stoke had Cameron, Shawcross, Pieters and Zouma, and towards the end Crouch. Koeman's call on the team that day was right.
John Daley
26 Posted 28/08/2017 at 22:09:39
"To look inconsistent, under-achieving players in the eye and tell them to shape up or leave. I'm fine with that."

It would sit much easier with me if the charge could not still be levelled at almost every single player in a squad that has been firmly under his leadership for over a year now.

Has his managerial methodology helped manouvre any first-team player toward more consistent performances than they were putting in prior to his arrival? Have any of the newer players brought in under Koeman demonstrated they can transcend the sometimes good/sometimes toss tendency of those who proceeded them?

In my eyes, it's something of a convenient cop out for a manager to continually pin falling short in individual games on the frailties of his squad, especially having spent the sort of sums Koeman has and taking into account the size of the salary he's being paid by the club.

When does Ron get to turning his steely 'no nonsense' gaze of judgement round to his own jowelly reflection?

His tactics and team selections have been found wanting in numerous games, he regularly plays people out of position, is seemingly intent on persisting with a couple of favoured formations that have never seemed a comfortable fit for the personnel currently at his disposal, all while continually overstuffing his starting line-up with defensive players, stripping it of any real width, pace or direct running, before then bemoaning the bluntness of his offence as though none of his own choices factor into the lack of threat going forward.

Someone (sorry, can't remember who) said on these pages a while back that they thought one of the reasons that not every Evertonian had taken to Koeman thus far was because he appears totally "driven" to succeed. If that's the case then he either keeps it well fucking hidden or he's motoring along in one of those invisible planes Wonder Woman pops to Waitrose in. The only occasions he appeared "driven" last season was when he was trying desperately to come out on top in verbal ding-dong's with Klopp and O'Neil. He's appeared to me to have done not much more than coast along since settling comfortably into his seat.

First order of business for any manager taking over from Martinez was to get back to basics. Tighten up at the back and cut down on the number of soft goals gifted to the opposition through unnecessary fannying about. Fair enough, Koeman sorted that out early on (a number of managers not costing £6m a year could surely have achieved the same) but what exactly has he sought to add to that foundation since?

He paid lip service to boosting the fitness levels of his players but has there really been any noticeable improvement in that regard since Roberto Martinez made way? He extolled the virtues of "pressing" as some sort of propulsion system toward improved performances, yet his team have regularly fail to pull it off. He spoke of adding more "productivity", yet again there's been little evidence of such a missing ingredient materialising on the field of play so far (although, to be fair, it's still early doors this season and some of the new signings obviously do need time to settle). If he is one year into implementing some managerial master plan to move us on to another level, then I for one am failing dismally to discern what the fuck it is.

Overall, whilst I don't think we ever need fear a dramatic plunge down the table under his charge, I'm extremely doubtful Koeman brings enough to the table to ever take us beyond the "best of the rest' territory we took comfortable root in last season.

Paul Tran
27 Posted 28/08/2017 at 22:15:56
Like I said, John, he talks one game, team play another. I get the impression he picks the defence and centre mids and chucks the rest on the pitch on a wing and a prayer.

I hope he knows what he's doing and it gels in a couple of months.

Derek Thomas
28 Posted 28/08/2017 at 23:05:34
It's all been said above and I find myself agreeing with aspects of both sides of the fence...but only aspects.

I wouldn't be heartbroken if he left tomorrow, but he does, I suppose have to be given a fair crack of the whip.

Just how long is the key question, how long before the 200M for 7th millstone drags down the Dutch Moyes.

Ernie Baywood
29 Posted 28/08/2017 at 23:21:13
Of course it's a persona. Why would anyone think any different?

Most people you meet come with all manner of complexities. But in football it's always black and white. They pick what they want to be and run with it. Does anyone believe Koeman sits the family down and offers his weekly blunt assessment of their performance (there's a sketch in that)?

That's why I've stopped caring about that side of things. Media portrayals aren't worth a thing. Judge them on the pitch.

Jack Convery
30 Posted 28/08/2017 at 23:26:28
To win the PL you nedd players to work work work - Conte's Mantra. Its what Koeman expects too. Players who don't get that will leave Everton - some already have - Lukaku would never have put the effort in the DCL did against City, which is why Koeman let him go and obviously the money we got was a factor too. I want EFC to be ruthless off and on the pitch - nice is Bournemouth. Think of the PL Champions - all worked their socks off every game. Fergie got rid of so called greats at Utd, ie the drinkers - Robson was one of them. Players Atkinson adored but players who couldn't ever win the PL. The rest is history. In my opinion Koeman has obviously started the real surgery we've needed for years and no I don't think he's the new Fergie but the way he's going about restructuring the squad is fine by me. The way he's treated Mirallas over the weekend is spot on. I am the boss and I expect everybody to be a team player and not throw their toys out of the pram if I sub them, bench them or leave them out. He said about Joe Hart that he didn't think he would be just another goalkeeper at EFC, as he considered himself as a No1. Hence he did not go for him and spent a lot more on Pickford, than Hart would have cost. So he and Walsh are looking for players who will work. work and work and be a team player whatever the circumstances. I believe Vardy and Van Dijk come into this category and I dearly hope we go after them before Friday comes.
Jerome Shields
31 Posted 28/08/2017 at 23:28:46
It is a total myth that Ronald Koeman will ever manage or even be employed by Barcelona. He should never have been employed as the manager of Everton. He is not up to the job. This is obvious and more will realise that in the coming months.
Tony Hill
33 Posted 29/08/2017 at 00:57:56
We are one of the most unattractive and tedious sides in the premier league. Boring because we are afraid to win.

There will always be excuses from the "patience" brigade. Any amount of shite can be excused on the basis that it will eventually turn into gold. I prefer the evidence in front of my eyes: we're slow, witless, unthreatening, frightened and unfit.

We have bugger all time to bolster ourselves and for club, manager and team to acquire some courage. The idea that we should be waiting, arbitrarily, until Christmas or until the end of the season to see just how bad we are is absurd.

I repeat my call : wake up Everton, wake up.

Jay Harris
34 Posted 29/08/2017 at 03:45:35
Come on folks we've just played City(The favourites for the title), Split and Chelsea (The current champions away from home with a vastly inferior squad to at least two of them and people are already trying to blame Koeman.

We are still shopping at Tesco never mind M&S while others including the RS, UnitedCity have just paid over 250m for 3 full backs while we struggle to get cover for Bainsey and much as though I love the guy I would be hounding Danny Rose to join us if I was in charge of recruitment.
I have also said all summer pay whatever it takes to get Vardy who for me is the only viable replacement for Lukaku. Why havent we had a cozy chat with Southampton over VVD.

If we had real ambition and could walk the walk instead of just talk then we should be looking at this standard of player not some gamgster that Chelsea want to see the back of or a player who cant even get a game for Benefica.

If the board want top 4 let them show it in the market rather than buying no marks or has beens.

Anto Byrne
35 Posted 29/08/2017 at 08:34:07
We are not expected to finish in the top 6 so I reckon, if the team gels together over the next few games and the home form gives us a chance, we could do better than everyone thinks.

It's a long season and we are in the cups; we can press both Spurs and Arsenal, if Liverpool have a bad run, why not a run to the top four?

Doom mongers already want Koeman out but our playing personnel is much improved. Bit of dead wood to prune away; Man City and Chelsea just didn't do it over night. Klopp has it all to do; we could still be the dark horses keeping up with the leaders.

Dave Cooney
36 Posted 29/08/2017 at 09:34:12
Joe (#13),

Good point, he is a miserable, smarmy get but he's quite funny.

Just pretend you support Man Utd – I do that all the time here in Liverpool. It really gets to them but I just say 'I'm a glory hunter, a bit like you were all those years ago when you chose to support.'

You really can't lose an argument then. They will call you 'bitter' but just carry it on saying 'Bitter, bitter, Christ you lot never stop singing about Munich, just coz we've got 20 titles, get over it. Blah blah.'

Martin Nicholls
37 Posted 29/08/2017 at 12:29:40
Tony Marsh#22 - clear to see what mast your colours are nailed to Tony and that of course is your prerogative but you lose all credibility when you describe a player like Michael Keane as "absolute shite".
Dermot Byrne
38 Posted 29/08/2017 at 12:32:11
Tony Marsh pessimists since just poor cover versions ! Great to see your post Tony.
Brian Williams
39 Posted 29/08/2017 at 12:56:16
Tony#22.
Said at the time and I reckon it's still the case, there'll be no movement on Bramley Moore until the Commonwealth Games city's been announced.
Martin Mason
40 Posted 29/08/2017 at 13:05:09
Tony@33

So you would have fired Kendal in the early eighties after his first wretched 2 seasons. United should have fired Ferguson in similar circumstances?

Do you believe good teams can be formed immediately by just buying players or changing the manager.

What are you doing to improve the situation that the patience brigade aren't doing? We know that Everton are playing badly that is just a statement of the obvious. What answers do you have?

Martin Mason
41 Posted 29/08/2017 at 13:22:35
Sorry, we're all saying the same things wrt to Koeman and his tactics and I'm not defending him in any way. The difference between the two camps is only that one side prefer to allow time for the side to gel and the other side want to - - ? Surely it isn't to fire Koeman now?

Changing the manager rarely produces results and on the face of it we've already had 2 disastrous changes.

Pete Clarke
42 Posted 29/08/2017 at 13:39:48
Tony at 33.
Spot on mate. We are so boring and tedious that you hope nobody outside of Everton supporters are watching us because it's embarrassing.
I have watched quite a few games of this season and the only team I have seen play worse football than us was Newcastle and there's certainly no stars in that team.
I haven't got the answers but I do expect better from our manager who gets paid millions and has a good squad of players.
Daniel Lim
43 Posted 29/08/2017 at 16:57:02
Martin (#41),

2 disastrous changes.

So you think Koeman is also a disastrous appointment?

Tony Hill
44 Posted 29/08/2017 at 17:30:38
Martin (40 and 41), I would tell the players to go out and play - or try to play - fast, direct and attacking football both home and away. I would tell them not to be afraid of failure and that while some defeats are inevitable, it is always better to lose on your feet than cringing in the corner.

I would not routinely play with a defensive mentality, I would tell the players always to seek a forward momentum rather then to play excruciatingly dull sideways and backwards passing odds.

Above all, if I were Ronald, I would reflect upon the fact that my approach (insofar as a coherent one can be discerned) has produced very few away victories in 12 months and a generally drab style of play and I would ask myself why that was and what I could do to change it.

I sincerely hope that he buys players before the window closes who will help to create a much more entertaining and attacking team and that he adopts a wholly new philosophy to the same end.

It is a lie that building a new side means boring the pants off everyone while we all wait for some mysterious alchemy to take place.

Dermot Byrne
45 Posted 29/08/2017 at 17:46:09
Tony...hard to disagree with that on face of it. Did Martinez try that is only worry but I guess he had no dosh.
Dave Lynch
46 Posted 29/08/2017 at 18:05:40
If he doesn't change his mindset I can see this season going seriously tits up.

I, like a lot of people where full of hope, ambition and excitement at the start of the campaign.

For me it's diminishing fast, beaten once, yes, but the style of play has been mundane to say the least.

I hate it when I see that lot across the park tear teams apart with what I consider a lesser squad.

Andrew Clare
47 Posted 29/08/2017 at 18:14:50
Until Koeman has his full set of players, hopefully by the end of the week, we cannot judge him. If after 3 months things still aren't happening then I will be worried.

One thing that does concern me is that a good manager will have even ordinary players performing well as a unit- so far I haven't seen much evidence of that but I am optimistic. A striker, a fast winger, and a classy left-sided defender this week please.

Eddie Dunn
48 Posted 29/08/2017 at 18:31:56
Good points urging patience and building our platform first. The spine of the side is crucial but one part is missing- the centre forward slot.

Also remember that one reason Koeman is not going for the jugular and being more conservative is that he is concerned about his record as a manager. We are but one project in his pathway to the land of gold and his beloved Barca.

He may well have seen what Mourinho did at Man Utd, boring the pants off everyone and picking up the League Cup and the Europa League. If Ron can emulate such a feat, I think even Darren will forgive him!

However, he is just like our players... here for a while. I know we looked jaded on Sunday, but our lack of ambition at Man City was pathetic. We got a point (undeserved) against their 10 men. Bournemouth really gave it a good go against 11 and were undone at the death, but I would rather we had a little less respect for these teams, and had a right go at them.

I don't want to go to Anfield set up to survive, only to still be torn apart in a 10-minute frenzy of inventive attacking football that we can only dream about. I want us to go there and try everything to beat them in the 90 minutes. It doesn't mean silly play, but it does mean that we can go 4-4-2 after 30 mins or 45 mins, not after 80 mins.

Darren Hind
49 Posted 29/08/2017 at 19:29:55
WTF has Martinez got to do with anything ?

He was sacked because he failed. .

For over a year people have been defending and shouting down criticism of the pug ugly football we play. Time and again they have excused and apologised for abject performances. "Give him time" . . "Look what he inherited" . . "He's an improvement on the last manager" . . "He was great player and knows more than you" . ."we've scored lots of goals" . ."It the players, they are not up to it" . ."Wait until he has 2-3 transfers under his belt" . . "Have some patience"

Finally people are starting to admit it "well of course we can see the football is poor" . .but its been poor for a year. Difference now is its no longer a contestable issue. Those who claimed they were entertained during the first stages of the European qualifiers look ridiculous.

He's had fifty games. The deadwood, people claimed he inherited are no longer playing. He's spent a fortune. The goals they claimed were scored as a result of tactics have gone to Man United. Decent players can still penetrate his expensively assembled defence like piss through snow we could very easily conceded ten if City and Chelsea converted the chances they carved out.

All the excuses have gone. they have been laid bare . .the only defence left is cries of "give him time" . .what for ? to change his philosophy ? Does he have one ?

There are not two camps as somebody above stupidly claims. There never is. There are lots of different factions, with differing opinion about everything, but people from all sides of the house are becoming alarmed. Despite the war chest, despite the deadwood being shipped out and despite all the players who have been utilised throughout his leadership, we are still playing this awful excuse for football

Patience ?????

Brent Stephens
50 Posted 29/08/2017 at 21:21:07
I'm afraid you will have to give him time, Darren. He's going nowhere yet.
Laurie Hartley
51 Posted 29/08/2017 at 21:58:44
Darren, in one of your posts above you asked the question what improvements have there been under Koeman.

Well I thought about it and this is what I come up with:

We are conceding less goals
We are winning more games at Goodison
We moved a few places up the table
We qualified for the Europa League

That is not a defence of Koeman on my part - just my assessment of what has improved since he took over.

If I am honest, I suspect I am still traumatised from the panic of Martinez' last two seasons after the joy of his first season. I thought he was going to do the unthinkable - get us relegated.

The root cause of that panic was our ability to loose games from winning positions due to our inability to defend.

Would it be fair to say that Koeman has at least improved us in that area? I think so and that is why I have been willing to wait and see what happens over the next couple of months.

As things stand Koeman has spent the money - I think Moshiri will give him till Christmas and if things are looking bleak he will pay him out and get someone else in.

In the meantime I think as fans our only course of action is to get behind the team.

The Spurs game will give us a further insight as to were we stand.

A word of caution on that one - the last time I was at Goodison we got hammered by Arsenal's invincibles 1-4.

Unfortunately, provided I get a ticket, I will be in attendance a week on Saturday.

You have been warned.

Ian Lloyd
52 Posted 29/08/2017 at 22:06:42
Completely agree, Darren Hind

Koeman isn't going to get it right, he's got it completely wrong with his signings and tactics.

People keep saying we've made good signings — we haven't... full stop!

Martin Mason
53 Posted 29/08/2017 at 22:24:11
So Darren, what are you actually doing about it apart from whining on here?

I asked you a question which was would you have sacked Kendal and Ferguson (as a United fan) for periods similar to but much longer than what we are undergoing at the moment which was just ahead of amazingly successful periods for both clubs. Answer please.

You are wasting your time coming on here and laying your negativity on us. The club will do what the vast majority of fans will expect them to do and try to turn things round and this will not involve sacking Koeman.

I personally wouldn't expect the worst opposition fan to take your position on what is happening at the club and I doubt I could find one to agree with you. I happen to agree with a lot of what you say but never your poisonous negativity. Get out of the weeds and look at the big picture.

John G Davies
54 Posted 29/08/2017 at 22:24:26
Bottom line?

Fans can scweam and shout til they feel sick.
Jump up and down and have as many tantrums as you please.

He ain't going anywhere.

Fran Mitchell
55 Posted 29/08/2017 at 23:16:07
I am firmly undecided on Koeman. He talks a good game, seems pragmatic, but too often we just seem to lack a real plan. Too many games we are crap until the second half, too many times the formation needs to be changed.

He has done well in giving us a solid spine that a good team can be built around.

Pickford, Keane, Gueye, Schneiderlin, Klaassen (???) and it appears Calvert-Lewin. Credit to him for that. But around these players, the wide men, the creative sparks and the speed that break teams open and make the 'pressing-game' work have all evaporated.

Barkley going, Deulofeu gone, Mirallas seemingly going and in demise anyway.

Baines in decline and Coleman injured, Bolasie injured and really not good enough anyway.

Maybe it is too much for 3 windows, and Koeman has taken the pragmatic route of sorting the spine (hence the current focus on a proven 'target man'), meaning a pretty boring yet safe style of play this season, to focus on the 'flair players' in future markets. If so, then he should say so.

If not, then either we have truly failed in the transfer market, or Koeman has no interest in implementing the style of play he seems to say he wants.

Darren Hind
56 Posted 30/08/2017 at 06:13:53
Martin Mason,

You sound more confused every time you post. You have never asked me that question before, but I'm happy to bat it out of the park.

You see, it's an old and tired question which was often wheeled out by Martinez apologist and the hard of thinking who thought that by trawling through history and finding two examples of managers who struggled for results, they are somehow justifying the support of the inadequacy of the clueless one.

Despite the both of these manager being under the sort of pressure Koeman will never experience. These guys were not under pressure for the ugliness of their football. They were both at clubs who expected to be challenging for honours... see the difference??? Mancs had forgotten what it was like to be champions and were becoming increasingly desperate.

Both managers had one thing in common. They were struggling for results when their biggest rivals (RS) were hoovering up just about every trophy that could be won, but (and here's the difference) They both showed signs that they were on the right track. They both had an ambition in their play which gave hope that they just may turn things around. They had both purchased top, and I mean top class players...

Koeman isn't doing any of that. The more he spends the more miserable our play becomes – and he is under no pressure whatsoever!

People talk about leaflets circulated by fans who were sick to death of listening to gloating RS fans and seeing us continually operating on a relative shoe string. but they forget the other stuff.

During Howard's darkest hours, I can quite clearly remember 10,000 Evertonians drowning out the whole of OT in an FA cup game. Despite the pressure. We swaggered into OT and played them of the fucking park. Despite the heartbreak of losing to a rare United attack about 7 minutes into "injury time" Kendall still had the balls to go out and attack in the following games.

Please put that stupid question to bed. There are no comparisons to be drawn between the circumstances of two great courageous managers and Ronald Koeman.

You ask me and I have seen you ask others "What are you doing about it?" I have already answered that, but I'll add some more to my answer. After fifty years of travelling around the country to watch my team. I have stopped going. I can no longer justify not taking my Mrs out on Saturdays... not to watch tactics which often result in no shots on target.

But let me turn the question around on you. Besides regularly coming on here to do the verbal hokey cokey what do YOU do to support you the guy you want to defend? As the tide turns and more and more people become disgruntled with Zombie football... what (besides happy clapping on here) do you do?

You appear almost every day now challenging other fans who you see as "negative" and telling us that you, "the positive" and the "majority", are somehow superior, because you remain steadfast in your support for uninspiring dross. Sorry. it doesn't work like that.

You may not have realised this, but when you openly claimed you wanted us to lose a semi final and gloated to broken-hearted Evertonians when we did, you were forever forfeiting your right to ever question the motives of another blue.

As for Koeman staying ? Yeah of course he is. These rumblings of discontent wont just remain rumblings. If Koeman does not change his approach they screams of dissatisfaction will deafen Moshiri and Mr Anti-Football will become the clubs latest waste of time, money and effort.

John G Davies
57 Posted 30/08/2017 at 06:45:44
Good post, Darren.

A shame you have decided to stop going. Despite our obvious differences of opinion, I looked forward to your assessment of how we played. That weekly assessment will have to go on hold until you decide to go back. And you will be back.

You have probably passed your ticket to family or friends; if you haven't, you won't have any problem getting shut of it. There is a 10,000 waiting list to watch this anti-football.

All the best anyway.

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 30/08/2017 at 08:01:42
John G, I'm not so sure about Koeman, going nowhere mate, I honestly think it depends on him getting in a couple more before the window closes.

I hope he gets the players in, but if he doesn't I'm not sure how it's going to go. Square pegs in round holes, and it won't be long before the players will become as exasperated with the manager, as he seems to be with them sometimes.

Not an easy group in Europe, the squad still needs filling up, although I don't think we will get as tough a run of fixtures as last week produced, and hopefully this international break, might enable a few of our players, to find their second wind.

John G Davies
59 Posted 30/08/2017 at 09:12:45
I agree, Tony. Unbalanced squad at the moment. Desperate for a centre-forward who can hold the ball up and a winger with pace. Plus a left-sided centre -half.

My point is, they won't get shut until next summer at the earliest.

Dave Ganley
60 Posted 30/08/2017 at 09:21:01
Shame you've stopped going Darren, although more resolute than I was. I nearly threw in my season ticket when Martinez was manager, I had never been so bored in all my life, just couldn't summon up any enthusiasm for going to the game. As it was, the people who sit around me changed my mind, we have a laugh and I'd sat beside them for years so I just grinned and bared it till Martinez was sacked.

As to Koeman, well I get where you're coming from. I have gone from being very optimistic before the season started to being concerned now due to how we have set up against City and Chelsea. We were pretty awful in both games, ok first half against City we contained very well and caught them out with a goal but from then it was backs to the wall. Did pretty much the same thing in Split, just defended, thought first half was pretty dire really and Chelsea, well just another shocker down there. I thought we'd turned the corner as regards going to these places just looking not to get beat. It's pretty obvious you can't use ridiculous Martinez tactics but you have to show intent to win and we never did at any of the 3 places we went to last week.

I think he has bought reasonably well. Are they better than we had last season? In my opinion much better. We need to use them much better. Speed up play and stop looking to just contain. I am prepared to give him more time due to new players still bedding in. The end of the season will tell us whether we have progressed or not. It's Koemans team now and there should be no excuses come the end of the season.

Tony Abrahams
61 Posted 30/08/2017 at 09:21:03
I hope you are wrong John G, I hope he at least finishes his contract, but only if the football changes though.

I'm giving him time, I've got to, because I can't believe a man who was brought up learning to play football in Holland, during the late seventies, hasn't got a lot more craft up his sleeve?

Maybe he was to clever for his own good as a player, and the only time he was in trouble, was when he played against a big robust target man, who played it off for the little fella to burst past him? Alls I want to see is a well thought out plan John!

John G Davies
62 Posted 30/08/2017 at 10:22:29
Me too Tony.
I am still backing him to get it right.
You can't go from the team he inherited to top four in one season.
I also agree on the pattern, without the players coming in its difficult to see an effective one good enough to see us breaking the top 6.
Peter Barry
63 Posted 30/08/2017 at 10:28:01
A prediction: this Transfer Window will end with a whimper... to be followed by lots of lame excuses for why we did not sign a striker that we knew we have desperately needed for months now.
Tony Abrahams
64 Posted 30/08/2017 at 10:38:04
Good post Dave G, sensible as usual, and I think you've got to give a man some time before you dismiss him out of hand, so let's hope our patience pays us back?

I stopped going during Moyes last season, but only to Goodison though. I kept going to the away games because I was having a laugh, but I wouldn't dare travel to watch Everton, at the minute though, which is what I hope Darren meant?

Football is crazy, and it can turn around very quick, but only if everyone in the team is given a job, that they are capable of doing though. I bet you even scientists love simplicity the most?

Martin Mason
65 Posted 30/08/2017 at 11:28:34
Darren

Sorry but there were other questions that I didn't see answers to :-). Do you advocate the sacking of Koeman and, if so, would you have recommended the sacking of Kendall and Ferguson after similar shaky starts given the success they eventually achieved?

Stopping watching is the only thing you could have done and the correct action but paradoxically it's pointless too as there is massive excess demand to watch the games. You are very much in a minority, I'm afraid, and given how badly it affects you, it's probably better that you take up another hobby. Do you not feel though that not being a stakeholder now reduces your rights to be so critical?

What do I do to support Koeman? Nothing, I rate him as totally incompetent as a manager but it's far too early yet to make a good judgement. I trust that the club will turn things around so I don't have to do anything. When the time comes, the majority will have their say.

Constructive criticism is great but surely not this grinding negativity and I think it's correct for alternative views to be made. At the moment, I see only positive things happening at the club with the only exception being current form but form is temporary and we ideally have the class of player to improve. Again the only option is to give time for this to happen.

Martin Mason
66 Posted 30/08/2017 at 11:38:30
Sorry if my "real fans" thing was misunderstood. My point is that supporters of a club should ideally do just that.
Tony Abrahams
67 Posted 30/08/2017 at 11:47:21
Instead of changing like the weather, of course, Martin!
Paul Baxter
68 Posted 30/08/2017 at 13:22:51
Koeman as the manager is 100% responsible for the style and setup of the team but surely Moshiri can't be happy watching the utter garbage being served up every week? The man has watched Arsenal for however many years before he came to us, probably the best footballing team in the league, and he is happy watching us???

None of us know what happens behind the scenes but surely both him and Bill should call him in and tell him to get it sorted and at least try and entertain us and improve the style or doesn't Koeman ever have to justify the utter dross to anyone? He must have to answer to someone surely.

Martin Mason
69 Posted 30/08/2017 at 13:51:04
A girl can change her mind you know.
Christine Foster
70 Posted 30/08/2017 at 15:00:23
Nope, I haven't
Jimmy Sørheim
71 Posted 30/08/2017 at 18:27:37
It is time for the sissies to grow some balls – I am sick and tired of the same old with Everton. I have seen through Koeman; he is just a flag for the Moshiri "3-year plan".

We all need to get real: we sold our only real top scorer... Lukaku was right in what he said in January. Koeman and the club had the chance to show ambition last season by bringing in top players.

Lukaku found out and left; Barkley is next, and what the heck do we have left after selling the only real goal threats in this club????

We have been Jedi mind-tricked with the new stadium talk, and now it has all come crashing down to earth.

Heads will spin, fans have had enough of patience – I certainly have.

Our only true hope is youngsters and one of our best in pre-season is out on loan for Nottm Forest, along with a newly bought striker in Belgium, Onyekuru.

Rebuilding demands youth players, but we just keep loaning them out, and getting rid of our only goal scorers from last season.

Oh what a fanstastic guy Koeman is... he is the 3-year plan man!

The proof is in the pudding – we barely got throgh to the Europa League; now that is our only hope. it is sad, this club deserves so much better... it breaks my heart.

Darren Hind
72 Posted 30/08/2017 at 19:12:35
Is right Tony, its just away games.

Martin

Na it doesn't matter.

Stan Schofield
73 Posted 31/08/2017 at 15:17:46
Darren, I've done like you, and spent less time on watching Everton. I've done it before as well. You can control that, the amount of time you spend watching, going to the game. Not committing as much, either because you're pissed off or simply because you can't muster the same enthusiasm.

But of course you can't control the 'pull', what's 'in your blood'. I've even told myself I'm not interested anymore, but it doesn't work. It's just not a choice. In that sense it can a bit of a curse, because it's difficult to avoid a disappointed weekend.

What frustrates me about Koeman is that very good football has appeared in spurts. This happened last season. I recall a home game where we put a 25-pass move together that was sublime attacking football. And I think, why don't we do that more? We CAN do it, so why not more often? That's the mystery for me. I believe Koeman can do it, maybe because he's from the Dutch school of great football, but it's not very apparent at the moment. So I have to be patient, because there are specific reasons to anticipate much better, even great, football. But it's hard to muster that patience.

James Hill
74 Posted 02/09/2017 at 10:06:35
My question is does the manager exist that would make Evertonians on TW happy. Moshiri is right we are a museum we live in the past. ARSENAL are really looking good aren't they, do Utd play good football or just win.
Who is this mythical team in premier league playing all this fantastic football? Frankly, the league is garbage at the moment and full of players like Lukaku, Pogba, van dyke and Barkley who are just pamper over paid average players in an average league.
Best game this year Arsenal vs Leicester says something about the league. RK is as good as any in the league.
Brian Porter
75 Posted 05/09/2017 at 09:16:45
Seems to me that Koeman's mantra is "If I signed you, you're in; if I didn't, you're out.' Yes, we needed to get rid of the deadwood but Koeman seems to be getting rid of everyone he hasn't brought in to the club. How that sets us up to compete in four competitions, God only knows.

Barkley and Niasse are included in our 25 but if Koeman has no intention of playing them, that reduces us to a 23 man squad, 22 if he's decided to freeze Mirallas out too. Oh yes, he can bring in youth players to supplement the squad but are they going to be the answer against the big boys and in Europe? We must be the worst prepared club in the Europa League, and have one of the weakest overall squads in the Premier League.

I can't help thinking that players like Sigurdsson, Sandro and Klaassen were lured here by promises we were intent on signing the players we needed to mount a serious challenge for silverware, including a new target man in place of Lukaku. Now, I wonder if any of them feel a bit cheated by our failure to deliver on those promises? Just a thought.

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