The Clock is Ticking

Dave Wraggs 17/09/2017  50 Comments  [Jump to last]

The dust has yet to settle on one of the least representative scorelines I’ve seen in my 39 years of watching Everton. The 4-0 reverse away at Old Trafford was particularly harsh on the Blues, who showed much of the endeavour that was missing from the embarrassing defeat to Atalanta in the Europa League, but 12 goals conceded and none scored in the last four fixtures is a damning statistic and places a huge question mark over our summer spending spree.

Much of the criticism aimed at Ronald Koeman over the past few weeks has centred on his perceived negativity and intransigence in terms of sticking with the same slow possession-based football that fails to yield any real attacking threat and is a throwback to the Martinezesque style of a few seasons ago, but without the odd gung-ho attacking foray. Many fans have also questioned the team’s lack of identity, with no real system being evident in any of the games played by the Blues this season.

As positively as the Summer transfer window started, it’s end – and particularly the failure by the club to secure the services of a striker who can serve as the team’s attacking focal point – was hugely sobering and promises to derail what was hoped to be the real start of the Blues’ resurgence as a footballing force. In the eyes of many fans, this was simply ’the same old Everton’, hamstrung by their own off-the-field-failings.

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As good a prospect as he may be, Dominic Calvert-Lewin is a long way from being the finished article and placing the burden of Everton’s attacking threat on his 20-year-old shoulders is both unfair and unrealistic. Evertonians the world over knew that the classless Lukaku wanted away in January, so the Board’s failure to secure the signature of something that resembled a replacement is bordering on corporate negligence. There were clearly transfer targets, so the Managerial staff can be cut some slack, but the ongoing failure of Koeman and his team to make the best of what they have, or even get close to working out their preferred starting eleven, is worrying and has left no shortage of fans calling for the Manager’s head.

The lack of pace that is so evident from the Manager’s preferred line-ups (we do have ‘some’ pace available – Kenny, Lookman, Lennon and Vlasic) suggests his preferred style is a keep-ball short passing game and one that he feels doesn’t force him into the market for pacey footballers – a pre-requisite for all but the most technically gifted Premier League players. A suggestion that is borne out by an insistence on shoehorning three or four Number 10s into his starting eleven.

Gana and Schneiderlin can seemingly do no wrong, the latter looking nothing like the player who did so well in the latter part of last season and the former, neat, tidy and hard-working. Together forming a central defensive midfield partnership that has got nowhere near achieving its aim of making the Blues more solid at the back – but each game they start together as the beating heart of the team.

Of the new players, Gylfi Sigurdsson has been ineffective, Davy Klaassen looks too slow and lightweight, Sandro Ramirez tries but has little chance in a system that doesn’t suit his game, and Michael Keane has been enveloped by the mediocrity he plays alongside. Wayne Rooney works hard but certainly isn’t the player he once was and that guaranteed start he gets may soon be a thing of the past as Koeman searches for his best eleven. That leaves Cuco Martina. He’s no Tony Thomas, but his biggest problem is that he’s not Seamus Coleman, so, in the eyes of some, he can’t win.

Four consecutive home games, against Sunderland, Bournemouth, Limassol and Burnley beckon and each of these is eminently winnable. Talk of ‘must wins’ after five Premier League games seems ridiculous, but that is quickly becoming the state of Everton’s season and a loss of more than one of those games would send the Twitterati into meltdown and brighten the spotlight that is shining ever brighter on our Manager.

One thing is certain: this is Koeman’s team and he’ll live or die by results. I’m with those that are happy to give him more time to correct the mess we’re in. By most measures, we’re arguably a worse team than the one that finished last season, but there are at least 140 million reasons why we shouldn’t be. The Manager is now almost halfway through a three-year contract and that three-year plan is as big a work in progress as it’s ever been. Over to you, Ronald.

The clock is ticking.

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Reader Comments (50)

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James Stewart
1 Posted 17/09/2017 at 22:08:50
The fact that many are trying desperately to grasp at positives from a 4-0 defeat just shows how low we have sunk. The clock has ticked, fallen over and smashed into a thousand tiny pieces as far as I am concerned.

Koeman has turned us into a laughing stock. We are decrepit at the back and pedestrian in attack, not to mention without left-back cover or a left winger, full stop.

I care very little whether it's Koeman, Walsh, Moshiri, Kenwright or the tea lady in charge of recruitment – bottom line is they fucked up big time.

The apathy around many Blues makes me physically sick. Sure, we may pick up some wins in the next few games but so what? Are we really paying Koeman £6M p/year to beat the likes of Sunderland?

Koeman was brought in to get us top 4 and he has failed miserably. We are further away than under Martinez despite spending heavily, which is something I never thought I would say.

Enough is enough. Give Unsworth til Christmas and let's get some pride back at the club.

Neil Cremin
3 Posted 18/09/2017 at 06:52:58
What I find ironic, Dave, is that you haven't included the players that Koemann has marginalised. For me I would start giving them a serious chance to rehabilitate themselves.

Also as I have said in another thread, I have serious doubts about Pickford, particularly his ability to kick/pass the ball. Our style of play is so limited that we regularly pass the ball back to him in order for him to hoof it up the pitch in hope.

Sam Hoare
4 Posted 18/09/2017 at 07:08:05
The results/performances have been very patchy to say the least but it's still very early in the season and we have a lot of players bedding in. It was always unlikely to change the team so much and hit the ground running.

What concerns me more is the transfer window just gone and the imbalance of the squad. If this is a long term project then why on earth did we not get a striker and a faster more dynamic left-back. How is the team to build on a foundation that see's Southhamptons ex 3rd-choice right-back as our main attacking wide outlet?!

Maybe there is a plan/system still struggling to emerge that will make a success of this lack of width and pace but there are few signs of it yet.

Koeman's not going anywhere for a while, it seems clear, so I just hope that these 'easier' games give the team a chance to show us what this new project is meant to look like. Stay in the cups and climb up the table and you might yet win a few more skeptics over but any less than that and the tide will have turned for good.

James Byrne
5 Posted 18/09/2017 at 07:49:04
I'm not buying into the positives from the Man utd game at all. For me there were none.

I can't for the life of me understand how our players can consistently apply shit passing of the ball to each other during open play. The Williams pass that led to their second goal was a perfect example.

What type of fucking football are we supposed to be playing? There doesn't seem to be a specific game plan for each game we've faced, particularly the last three games.

Atalanta finished 4th in their league last year so they weren't going to be a pushover. Everyone knows that Spurs playing away from Wembley will be like a home game for them.

Apart from all the hysterics, Koeman has at least 4 more games to get his shit together so he surely has to consider his position.

Andy Meighan
6 Posted 18/09/2017 at 08:13:29
Great piece, Dave. But the only thing I'd take issue with is when you say the next 4 games are winnable – is this because we've got this tough start out the way?

Man Utd was winnable yesterday and any half-decent side would have come away with something. Not us; we manage to turn a tight game into a crushing defeat. There are no so-called winnable games for us because we've forgotten how to score.

Do you think Bournemouth and Burnley will be worried about coming here? I mean, Burnley already have beaten Chelsea, drawn with Spurs and Liverpool. Our team at the moment, Palace apart, is the worst in the Premier League – it's certainly the worst to watch, so I don't envisage us getting out of this mess any time soon.

The only way forward is to change the manager because, even this early on in the season, we are fighting relegation.

Matt Nash
7 Posted 18/09/2017 at 08:31:25
I for one am firmly in the Koeman Out camp. Barcelona, my arse – he'll have a job getting the Braintree gig with his lack of tactical nous and stubbornness. He arguably has more tools In his chest than any manager in the last 20 years, but consistently plays the wrong system time and time again (don't tell me it's about about new players gelling lack of passion and no Number 9, he's paid handsomely to put out a team to compete).

We are far too narrow and this brings problems to all the team. There's no protection or outlet for the full backs, hence why we're being pushed back so deep and other teams are having a free run at our defence and crossing at will (this should have been sorted during the Spurs game).

We then play the same system v Atalanta with their second goal being a case in point (would Lennon if playing on the right afford him the time to get a shot in?).

We're just not putting enough pressure and stretching opponents due to our lack of width. We can only go through the middle with our 3 or 4 Number 10s. It's congested Ronald and it's not going to suddenly open no matter how many Number 10s you play. How many chances have we really created this season? We have the players and the pace in to inject into this team but Mr. Koeman thinks we don't need it we just need passion????

And by the way we should have beaten Man City from the position we were in or at least stretched them a hell of a lot more and made them earn the point. My team for the next four games for what it's worth:

Pickford, Holgate, Keane, Jagielka, Baines, Gana, Davies, Lennon, Mirallas, Sigurdsson, Rooney.

Sort it out, Mr Koeman, or we're going to be embarrassed by Burnley et al.

John Keating
8 Posted 18/09/2017 at 09:28:21
There have been no positives so far. The warning signs were there during preseason and the Europa League games. The fact that we have played a number of the "top" teams I just a excuse. The fact that we have a number of "new" players is just an excuse.

Without doubt and plain to see our tactics and team selections are embarrassing. The fundamentals and basics are non existent the defending a joke and goes against what kids are taugh at an early age.

If anyone thinks that the so-called easier games are going to give us respite then they are in for a shock. Losing, like winning, becomes a habit.

Mike Allen
9 Posted 18/09/2017 at 09:37:56
Should we decide Mr Koeman is not for us, either mid or end of season, or contract, we must not go foreign.

Like it or not, we are not one of the glamour clubs and, while we are all dreamers, we are an average run-of-the-mill Premier League club. The high profile foreign managers won't come to us so we don't need any of the Z-list that litters the league. It's a short-term merry-go-round – not only the manager but the backroom staff – these guys are not long term.

I world rather go through the next transition period with Unsworth. I am not going down the "he's one of us" road but he has had a good grounding at the club and is an up-and-coming prospect who deserves a chance. I'd rather it be us than him having to go elsewhere for his progression.

Kevin Gillen
10 Posted 18/09/2017 at 09:46:31
A really good summary of where we are, Dave. I think most fair-minded Evertonians agree that Koeman has to have time to sort out the mess he has in part created.

I know lots of us are angry and you're right the clock is ticking but we're going to have to swallow a few more disappointments before we kick on.

Peter Larkin
11 Posted 18/09/2017 at 09:53:08
The only reason why we looked a little better is because Man Utd let us have the ball. They didn't high press, didn't harry us. We had the freedom of Old Trafford and still managed to get tonked by 4!!

People say it wasn't a 4-0 result... ermmm, am I missing something here? They scored 4, so yes, it was a fucking tonking and they deserved that by being ruthless in the final 3rd.

This team is shot. Bournemouth will harry and harass us to death next Saturday, and they are pretty decent on the ball. We will struggle again with Koeman insisting on picking the slowest team possible!! A 6-pointer, must win.

I'd have Koeman gone already, this idiot has just about pissed off every single flair player we have. Koeman Out.

Brian Harrison
12 Posted 18/09/2017 at 10:04:30
To expect us to be challenging for a top 4 is fanciful; I think many looked at what Leicester did and thought that was possible. But what Leicester did was unique – something we wont see again for another 50 years. Bit like a 33-1 shot winning the Derby against all the top thoroughbreds.

I agree, the performances should have been better, but I can never remember a team fielding 6 new players having much initial success.

So what is realistic? Well, as much as it annoys the hell out of us all, I think 7th again is were we should be looking at.

Carl Taylor
13 Posted 18/09/2017 at 10:18:40
Kevin (#10), I find your assumption that you and the people who agree with you and the original post are fair-minded. I imagine both Jameses above consider themselves fair-minded, but they have had enough of a manager who shows zero attachment to the club we love. I for one, obviously in an unfair-minded way, want Koeman gone and crave a manager who shows passion and refers to the club who employ him as 'We'.

It takes a big man to admit his mistakes, Ronald wants to blame everybody else and will never admit he got it wrong, publicly criticising players that he now needs to use to try and save his job.

How ridiculous is it that Niasse was sat in the away end yesterday? A place on the bench to at least add a bit of pace in the last 15 minutes? No, Ronald said he doesn't rate you, so the worm is not for turning.

Steavey Buckley
14 Posted 18/09/2017 at 10:59:11
It is often stated that Everton have no left back cover, yet, the reality is, Everton have no left back or centre back worth thinking about. There at least 12 left backs better than Leighton Baines in the premier league at the moment.

Just like Martinez before Koeman, once a player is adopted by the manager as their new love child they become irreplaceable – Koeman presumably missed Valencia being given all the time and space in the world by Baines to hit a shot into the back of the net for the match's opener, which sealed Everton's fate yesterday.

Tony Everan
15 Posted 18/09/2017 at 11:20:26
We needed 2 strikers of quality to compete with teams above us.It needs addressing as the No 1 priority.

Koeman should have had Moshiri in a kendo Nagasaki style headlock on Transfer Deadline day, and for the preceding weeks.

The fact he was golfing in Portugal is sickening. Whether or not he had placed his faith in the recruitment team is irrelevant. He should be seen to be concerned.

The general is sipping his vintage port, while the rank and file are getting massacred. Ooh, it makes me seethe.

Rob Dolby
16 Posted 18/09/2017 at 12:36:12
Realistically what did people expect from Chelsea, City, Spurs and Man Utd.
The start of season fixtures are the hardest possible test unless all of the new players clicked into form we would struggle. Rooney, Pickford and Keane have done well – it's the flair players who haven't performed putting pressure on the rest.

Momentum is key in any sport; if we had held on for a win at City things would be looking a lot rosier. As it is we have the next month to get our act together starting with the league cup game this week. Koeman needs to start earning his money by motivating these multi millionaires into winning football games. At the moment I don't think sacking him would help.

Stephen Davies
17 Posted 18/09/2017 at 12:56:34
Koeman is the Coach... Walsh in the Director of Football... Kenwright is Chairman... Moshiri is Majority Shareholder.

Ferguson wrote a good book about Success called Leadership

Who's the Leader?

Kim Vivian
18 Posted 18/09/2017 at 12:57:06
Rob - I agree. I think conceding that draw at City was pivotal. The win there would have had a huge psychological benefit rather than the defeat it felt like. Spurs and Chelsea were a panning but we might have got something out of that game yesterday.

See my earlier post. Very few are going to come away with any scalps from those top 4. We have got a great opportunity between now and December and with a bit of confidence we can quite realistically see Arsenal off in that run.

Total focus and belief is all it will take, and wise preparation by Koeamn.

Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 18/09/2017 at 13:24:19
Very good post, Dave. I think you have raised a lot of points that we can all understand and agree with, the non signing of a striker being the main one.

I think now not signing a centre back is almost as important, Jagielka and Williams inability to bring the ball out of defence, both uncomfortable with the ball unsteadies the rest of the defence and slows the movement of play.

Koeman will have to change his attitude, he's too stubborn, he has indicated that Niasse is part of the squad, actions speak louder than words, so get him in the squad and not just for the Sunderland game; that goes for Lennon, Kenny and a few more especially McCarthy when he he is fit.

I will not worry if Koeman goes but while he remains he has got to start righting some of his many faults where the team is concerned, have the attitude of the team for most of the second half yesterday, play at least one winger, stop playing three at the back, it has never worked and mostly pick a settled team and stick with it.

Derek Thomas
20 Posted 18/09/2017 at 13:37:24
Rob; The point isn't how good the opposition is – nowt to do with us, it is what it is. What is to do with us the fans and us the Club is how bad we are.

With our 3 No 10s, no pace, no width and a Lukaku shaped hole upfront. The £150M spent. The ageing porky CB's. The lack of cover for both Fullbacks etc etc. The absence of a discernible pattern – the lack of faintest glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

This is 90+% Koeman's Team on the field now, trained, selected and directed by him... His mistakes, if he can't fix them, somebody else has to. The sooner the better.

Ian Burns
21 Posted 18/09/2017 at 13:58:02
Good article Dave although I don't agree with giving Koeman anymore time. There appears to be no recognisable style of play emerging. We have all heard about this pressing game etc and I think Koeman should take videos of how Pochetino has achieved it at Spurs, admittedly with better players but he had the summer to put that right.

We need to inject some pace into the team be it Niasse, Lennon, Vlasic – anybody who can do more than trot! Barkley gets better each game that passes by not being on the pitch!

Brian (#12) – I agree top four is fanciful but bottom three is wholly unacceptable. No matter who we are up against next you cannot just turn on form and Bournemouth and Burnley will be no pushover.

Good article but for me the clock is no longer ticking the ruddy alarm has gone off!!

Chris Jones [Burton]
22 Posted 18/09/2017 at 13:58:51
The priority now has to to be to get the new players to gel, to get our heads up, cling-on in the Europa League, and identify a striker or two for (albeit over-expensive) signings in the January window.

If Koeman, can steady things by Christmas fine, but a New Year will require a new coach if were anywhere near the bottom when 2017 comes to a close. And even if we do have Koeman till the end of the season, anything below 10th should see him shipped-out in May.

Kevin Gillen
23 Posted 18/09/2017 at 15:12:05
Carl at 13, fair point, it's not my intention to offend, far from it. I think there are many that would like a change but I'm not sure what changing the manager would achieve. I would like to see root and branch change and I think Moshiri, Kenwright and Walsh have a lot to answer for not just the manager.
Paul Saleh
24 Posted 18/09/2017 at 15:51:28
Stephen (#17), I totally agree with your question of who is the leader? We look totally rudderless.

Why is Kenwright still chairman when he offers nothing? Moshiri needs to stamp his authority, he has to be ruthless, you don't get anywhere by being nice.

Lev Vellene
25 Posted 18/09/2017 at 17:55:49
I think Koeman's biggest fault is firstly that he's a continental-type manager, not the English dictator-type manager we are all used to (most of the players included).

If he lets Walsh do the players-in end of the business, how can he then convincingly give the current players the SAF hair-dryer & ultimatum of pointing towards the exit-door?

Secondly, he's too dogmatic and patient about his own tactics for each game. When he's clearly failed with his predictions about how the game should unfold and we get slaughtered and played off the field after the first 15-20 minutes, he should be able to switch formation (and if necessary, players) long before the break!

(That would be one instance in which I'd not complain about Calvert-Lewin suddenly having to play right wing-back for a while!)

Colin Glassar
26 Posted 18/09/2017 at 18:12:19
For me, the fact that he went golfing on TDD says it all. If he knew that for his team to function he needed a centre forward, why did he go to Portugal rather than stay and kick, scream and plead?

This shows a certain level of indifference towards the club which is also reflected in our play. There's no passion, no fight, no nothing.

Koeman has disappointed me enormously with his attitude so if he's sacked I wouldn't give a toss. He won't be the first, or last, Everton manager to do so.

Paul Kennedy
27 Posted 18/09/2017 at 20:01:22
It's officially everyone's fault — how dare the fans have high hopes and expectations!
David Pearl
28 Posted 18/09/2017 at 21:39:13
We don't and never have played a possession-based keep-ball or slow paced whatever. We have played no system at all under Koeman. The players don't interlink at all. If they did then we'd have something to build on.

I also just read that Pickford can't kick a ball. One or two misplaced passes from a keeper are highly seen but please let's not ostracise the kid; a keeper with low confidence is no use at all.

Raymond Fox
29 Posted 18/09/2017 at 22:24:23
I can't see much light at the end of the tunnel at the moment.

Moshiri is turning out to be a disappointment. Walsh likewise, Koeman ditto.

Our players are still lacking the quality to seriously challenge the top clubs, and for me we look a worst team than last season. I don't think we can be confident of beating any team the way we are set up and with these players.

Rick Tarleton
30 Posted 18/09/2017 at 23:12:38

Two excellent articles by Dave Wraggs and David Booth have elicited minimum response from ToffeeWeb correspondents and I must admit this surprises me. Their theme was the most important issue facing Everton, its board and our supporters: the future of our manager.

Ronald Koeman is starting his second season in charge. He has been handed a transfer fund that our last two managers, Moyes and Martinez, could only have dreamed of and he has spent the majority of it on three players to play in the same position: Klaassen, Rooney and Sigurdsson. This is despite the fact that possibly our most talented player, Ross Barkley, whom somehow he has alienated beyond reason, was already equipped to play in that position. Barkley with a mobile, hard-running striker ahead of him, would have been the answer to so many of our problems.

I accept that Sigurdsson is an asset to our squad; Rooney may have value as a presence around the club, but less and less on the actual pitch... and Klaassen looks neat and tidy and unlikely to ever take hold of a game and really influence the play. But, as correspondent after correspondent over recent weeks has pointed out, we desperately needed pace and a striker. We signed no-one with a smidgen of those qualities.

Pickford and Keane looked to be good signings, though Pickford's inability to pass to his own side is a worrying sign and Keane, having to play alongside Williams and Jagielka, is fast losing his confidence.

Let's look at Koeman as a manager. Four principal jobs are the responsibility of the manager. Firstly, putting his squad together, so that it is balanced and a team. Secondly, training and coaching that squad so that it knows what it is doing and is fit enough to do it. Thirdly, sorting out the tactics for individual games, tweaking it slightly for different opponents and understanding what each game needs.Fourthly, motivating and instilling confidence in that squad. This is simply man-management.

On none of these four criteria does Koeman measure up. He has recruited awfully: the three Number 10s, is the perfect example of a manager who does not know what he wants and what the team needs. For £10 million less than he spent on Klaassen, he could have got Mario Lemina from Juventus. This is a player who can run a game, always available in the centre of the park, and passing with precision and subtlety. Southampton picked him up.

Koeman signed Lookman who appeared promising, and has a little pace, but he's disappeared from view. Schneiderlin at Southampton a few years ago was an excellent player in the Barry mould. Now he is anonymous in our midfield and his passing is crablike, it goes sideways and backwards, but rarely forward.

Martina looks a fringe player and presumably will not get near the team when Coleman is fit. However, Kenny could have been given an opportunity. But I fear Koeman is not too fond of our local lads. Barkley's case is an obvious example and Tom Davies seems to be playing less and less.

Tactically we do not have the three players capable of playing as a back three, but we persist in the tactic. We can't counter-attack as we have no pace and those players who have some pace (Mirallas, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman) are marginalised. We are set up game after game to play a system which our players cannot manage.

His treatment of many players seems difficult to fathom. He does not seem very good at the arm round the shoulder and the encouraging word. His man-management skills are primitive. His public criticism of players and of the team is not a good trait in a manager who needs to get his players on side. I don't know if he's lost the dressing-room, but the signs aren't good.

Williams is struggling, Jagielka too. Koeman's been unlucky that he lost Funes Mori and Coleman. Baines is a shadow of the player he was a couple of years ago. So why was Galloway sent out on loan?

There seems to be no vision, no coherent plan, no tactical acumen and above all no sense of joy. Everton players look downright miserable when they come out on the pitch. We play Sunderland in the League Cup later in the week. Rodwell, Oviedo, Gibson and others would quite enjoy doing well at Goodison, it's a banana skin waiting to happen.

I'd like Koeman to resign; there'd be problems recruiting another manager. Whether Howe or Dyche would relish the challenge, I don't know. Perhaps internally, Unsworth or Ferguson could do an interim job. But Koeman is going to have us in a relegation dogfight and his players manifestly do not enjoy playing for him.


Neil Farrell
31 Posted 18/09/2017 at 23:15:20
I'm in my mid 40s. So I remember the Kendall years but young enough to see tactics change but why. Brazil use 4-4-2. And for give the reference to a Red legend but as Shankly said. "Football is a simple game complicated by Idiots."

Why can we not play 4-4-2. defenders defend first. Fuck the flying left right backs. Wide men produce the flair. (You cannot tell me AC Milan and Barca are wrong playing Deulofeu.) One, yes one ball-winning midfielder, a ball-playing midfielder, and 2 strikers playing off each other.

So I understand Klaassen... ball playing mid. Guy as a ball winning mid. Rooney is slow but he has a good touch.. that won't leave him. Along side a fast pacey striker.

So why the fuck did we spend stupid money on Sigurdsson??? We don't need him. As others have said we don't need 3 number 10's, 4 if you include Barks. Calvert-Lewin can play now along side Rooney. Pulling defense to give the slow Rooney space.

We have the players, the system or lack of it is one of the main issues. Again why complicate matters. Let's get back to the basics.

Michael Kenrick
32 Posted 18/09/2017 at 23:33:02
I suspect most punters blew themselves out on the other threads already, Rick, and are thankfully not posting just to say the same thing that has already been said many times over. In fact, speaking of which...

No, I shouldn't discourage you from venting. But the more unique or informative you can make it, the more likely it is to stand as a focal piece (cf Brian Potter's excellent research piece on The One-Man Wrecking Ball).

There's a desperation in your post, Rick, for something to happen... for us fans to do our best to make something happen. Tony Marsh asks "Where's the Blue Union?" I don't get the sense, though, that Moshiri or his Board will do anything drastic. But I could be wrong!

Peter Gorman
33 Posted 18/09/2017 at 23:36:53
I genuinely don't understand those that say "Well it was a tough run of fixtures, what did you expect?" etc.

Forget the scorelines, I expected some kind of football and effort. It has gotten so bad that actually turning up and running about a bit (forget losing 4-0) is lauded as some kind of corner to be turned.

Er, no. It is the absolute least I expect. I would quite like to be entertained every now and again but I've gone without that for most of Koeman's reign.

The man is paid so much and the return on the investment has been non-existent. For my penny's worth, he is done, I can't wait for him to go now.

All those bigging up Unsworth need to bear in mind his utter lack of experience at this level but I'll say one thing for his sides, they always show up and are bloody good to watch too.

Steve Carse
34 Posted 18/09/2017 at 23:43:51
Where are these comments about Pickford's distribution suddenly coming from? One badly misplaced pass at Old Trafford? The lad's long ball distribution is first class, and, although this particular bar is admittedly not set too high, way better than any of his defensive colleagues.

There's enough real problems and deficiencies for us to all moan about; let's not invent more.

Daniel Lim
35 Posted 19/09/2017 at 07:33:13
Brian @12

"But I can never remember a team fielding 6 new players having much initial success."

If that's the case, shouldn't a man being paid half a million a month also see that and not do that?

Colin Glassar
36 Posted 19/09/2017 at 07:42:34
Great post, Steve. One of the lad's strengths is his ability to pick out a teammate with a long kick. Difficult at Everton when all our players are encamped in and around our own box all the time.
Rick Tarleton
37 Posted 19/09/2017 at 09:52:36
There is, Michael, a sense of desperation as you put it on my part about Koeman. He has no sense of the beautiful game, of the glory game. He sees grinding out results as the be-all and end-all. I don't want a Happy-Kloppy style of management, but people in all walks of life do better in their jobs when they feel valued and when they enjoy what they are doing.

Ignoring all Koeman's many technical failure, and his disastrous recruitment policy, it is this inability to see that the people of whom he is the boss, need to be encouraged and need to enjoy their work. He is the classic bad boss – whatever happens, it's not his fault and he quickly shifts the blame onto his subordinates.

Ian Hollingworth
38 Posted 19/09/2017 at 12:12:43
The problem stems from the top like another poster says above , "who is the leader?"

Koeman was brought in to deliver top 4, the summer transfer activity was about pushing on to that goal.

If Everton truly were an ambitious club, we would see some action if this dross continues. Sadly we won't because the ambitions of this club are to maintain Premier League status and build a new stadium.

Without a decent team, you can stick your new stadium where the sun don't shine. There are lots of teams in the lower leagues with new stadiums. New stadiums do not guarantee results or better times.

A winning team has to be priority and we need ambitious leadership who strive to get us there.

Sadly in Moshiri, Kenwright, Walsh and Koeman, we clearly do not have the leadership and passion required.

We have bigger issues than just sacking Koeman will resolve.

Paul Kossoff
39 Posted 19/09/2017 at 14:24:06
I watched the game with my son, and we were genuinely upset at the score line. The signs are there of a good team; we need strikers in. It's unbelievable that Kenwright, Walsh and Moshiri have overseen no replacement for Lukaku.

Beyond belief is putting it mildly. Shame on the three of them, and Koeman for putting up with it.

Tom Bowers
40 Posted 19/09/2017 at 14:40:48
Of course Everton have a good team and it could be even better when they get strikers but that may not be likely till January.

Yes, they played better at Old Trafford but why did they give Man Utd a goal start?

As most Premier League teams don't hold much importance on the League Cup, they will make a few changes merely to give the benchwarmers a game.

Sure they are expected to beat Sunderland but things being what they are at the moment I don't expect anything wonderful but certainly would expect a big showing against Bournemouth.

Tony Abrahams
41 Posted 19/09/2017 at 15:02:54
Everyone is slagging off Koeman for not getting us a center-forward; I'm just as unhappy with his choice of center-halves.

Why can't he play Holgate, in a back three, if this is the formation he's going to carry on with?

Nowhere near enough thought has gone in to how we were going to play, and he still hasn't played five in midfield with natural width yet.

When the chips are down, you should always go back to basics and, considering most of our buys have been midfielders, then surely it's time to balance out this area of the pitch, and make it easier for everyone because of its simplicity?

Pat Waine
42 Posted 19/09/2017 at 16:13:37
To quote Shakespere with regard to the ambition of Ronald Koeman: "Ambition should be made of sterner stuff".

We finished 5th under Roberto Martinez who had no money to spend. We spend £150m and Ronald Koeman thinks our ambition should be to finish where we finished last season.

Dennis Heaton
43 Posted 19/09/2017 at 16:47:59
I think the next two games are must-win games or the axe will fall. Also, Koeman must change his team selection and bring in some of the young lads as surely they can't play any worse than some players that have played of late. I think the team was going through a bad patch last season until he gave Holgate and Davies a go.

As for no striker, I have said before, let him give Niasse a few games as he can't be any worse than no striker! And I hope he scores a few goals as he deserves a chance to show the management as they have now had enough chances and cash to spend.

John Boon
44 Posted 19/09/2017 at 17:35:43
I think you can blame anyone you like but we should lay off Moshiri. He is our "money man" and doesn't necessarily know much about football. He may have made a mistake in hiring Koeman but I am sure as an astute business man he will give him at least the next ten games before deciding he is not the right man for the job.

As regards performance, I have been watching Everton since 1947 and have seen many Evertons. You have to be strong to support Everton, even slightly insane.

They are playing really badly at the present time. There will still be good times hopefully with Moshiri's cash infusions. However, that money cannot be wasted, as it seems to have been of late.

Colin Glassar
45 Posted 19/09/2017 at 18:47:29
Good post, John. I think Moshiri is being led by the nose by you know who.

I'm Everton through and through, Farhad.
I watched the Cannonball Kid in the Boys Pen, Farhad.
Trust me, Farhad, I know what I'm doing.
Show me the money, Farhad.

Kiern Moran
46 Posted 19/09/2017 at 23:04:47
David Squires as ever on the money:

https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/sep/19/david-squires-cartoon-harry-redknapp-football-managers-early-season-troubles

David McMullen
47 Posted 20/09/2017 at 11:14:57
Who is to blame for the failure to get a centre-forward? My guess between Walsh and Bill Softshite. 100% everyone knew Lukaku was going and 100% Koeman spoke about the need for a striker (and indeed a left sided defender) several times. But that's by the by.; it can't and won't help us now.

The lack of playing style is worrying. As is the sheer number of players who are not playing like the should be. Why is that? Excuses can be made for a few of them. Koeman is the manager so the buck stops with him. It's time for him to fashion a winning team, a fixed team. Next four games will hopefully get us back on track.

Dennis Heaton
48 Posted 21/09/2017 at 15:39:13
Well, that's one win; now for the next game. The young lads and Niasse did a great job; let's just see if Koeman can mess it up on Saturday... the taxi is still outside waiting!
Brian Murray
49 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:30:56
Dennis (Post 48). The taxi will be running up a hell of a fare waiting while bill dithers in background ready to act 12 months after the inevitable. Unfortunately, Moshiri is just as indecisive as the Martinez sacking proved to be. The first Anfield humiliation should've been the end of.
Brian Porter
50 Posted 22/09/2017 at 00:20:19
Michael Kenrick #32, thanks for mentioning my piece on Koeman's time at Valencia. A few people have taken me to task over that piece by saying that what Koeman did at Valencia should have no bearing on what he's doing now at Everton. I would disagree with that.

If you apply for a new job, it is normal practice to provide a CV which should include details of previous employment. In Koeman's case, I made the point that he went to Valencia (regardless of the internal strife at the club) and did exactly what he's done at Everton.

He told three of their senior players that they were not in his plans for the future. The players in Spain need being a bit more vocal than here went to the press. They complained about being publicly humiliated by the manager and one of them even went to court to get his contract with the club cancelled as he wasn't prepared to stay at the club but be excluded from the playing squad for no good reason apart from the fact that the manager didn't like him.

When Koeman took over, they were 5th in La Liga, only four points off the top, but in his 22 games in charge before being sacked Koeman rook them to two points off the relegation zone with only four wins in that time.

The players complained that they were made to run around like headless chickens because he had no real game plan and his tactics were nonsensical. Somehow they reached the final of the Copa del Rey and actually won it because (as stated by the players), they ditched Koeman's tactics and did it their way.

A week after winning the cup, they reverted to playing it his way and were thrashed 5-0 at Bilbao who hadn't previously scored more than two at home all season. Koeman had lost the dressing room, had alienated players, and forced a style of play onto them that they simply couldn't understand or adapt to. Similarities anyone?

It doesn't matter what the internal state of Valencia CF was at the time. The fact was, Ronald Koeman, as the manager, was responsible for team affairs and he failed miserably.

The board of Everton or any prospective employer, on seeing the Valencia job on his CV, (if he bothered to include it), should, in my opinion as a previous manager of a large business, have been probing very deeply into what went wrong during that time. If they still wanted to offer him the job, it should have been with the proviso that we saw none of the kind of poor man-management or alienation of players as exhibited during his time at Valencia.

Knowing Koeman as we do, he probably concentrated on his success in Holland and didn't even mention Valencia. Did Moshiri know and simply ignore his reputation as a poor man-manager and an authoritarian bully? If so, why?

Others have said Southampton fans were gutted when he left. In fact, from what I have heard in conversation with a few of them, they were more upset by the manner in which he left than by his actual leaving. There was probably a fairly even spread between those wanting him to stay and those who either wanted him out or were simply indifferent to where he left or not. He did after all, do fairly well with them, without actually winning anything.

So, I'm in agreement with the majority of posters on this thread. I simply don't think he's the man to take us to the next level. Despite his damage limitation efforts regarding his ambition, it is just another attempt by Koeman's to deflect from his indifference towards the club as a whole.

After the Sunderland game I can only hope he has learned a. Lesson or two and that we will see Niasse, who is after all a striker, and Lookman, being given the opportunity to show what they can do to inject some pace and perhaps some goals into our current non-system of playing. I won't hold my breath however!

David Barks
51 Posted 23/09/2017 at 00:44:47
I think it's fairly easy. If the manager says publicly that he expects less from his players than the opposing manager, how does that motivate his players to push to be better and, dare I say it, "exceed" expectations? If he says we shouldn't win those games, then why would the players try to win those games?

It's funny, every time I have to give performance reviews to my employees, I can select multiple options, but there is Meets Expectations and Exceeds Expectations. Meets is in the middle, average.

Exceeds is a person who doesn't just do the minimum, doesn't just get by with what is needed, but pushes beyond what I or anyone else asks for because they don't want to be limited by those lowered expectations.

Which one is Koeman? He's trying to convince people, and sadly some agree, that he is meeting expectations. I wouldn't even give him that.

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