Everton left chasing shadows in familiar Stamford Bridge defeat

By Lyndon Lloyd 27/08/2017  65 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Chelsea 2 - 0 Everton

It wasn’t too long ago that £140m could buy you an entirely new team. Nowadays, of course, you can barely buy three top players for that outlay, unless you are especially canny in your recruitment and buying mostly from the Continent.

Everton have spent big this summer in upgrading the spine of a side that was comfortably the best of the rest in the Premier League last season but just as plainly short of the level achieved by the top six with their resources and spending power.

After years of punching above their weight and having to make do, the Blues have finally had the financial muscle to compete with that elite group above them in the market this summer but you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a performance over the past decade in which they looked so far behind than the one served up today.

Admittedly this trip to Stamford Bridge which has been almost ritual defeat for 23 years was a big ask. The third difficult game in the space of six days and an earlier kick-off following the journey back from Croatia, they were playing the Champions who were on their own turf and playing with the advantage of a week’s rest.

This wasn’t just a case of a tired team not having enough in the tank and being edged by a superior team, though; depressingly, there was almost nothing to this Everton performance at all.

Indeed, the particulars of the result are largely unimportant because Chelsea just had to score once to win. They did that in the 27th minute having controlled the game to that point and had chances to open their account through Pedro, who fired a couple of low efforts at Jordan Pickford and missed with an attempted overhead kick, David Luiz and Willian.

The ball was worked inside following a throw-in on the Chelsea right, Cesc Fabregas exchanged passes with Alvaro Morata, albeit with a fortitous bounce of the ball that allowed the striker to nod it back into his compatriot’s path and the midfielder stabbed it into the far corner.

The second goal five minutes before half-time also came from the home side’s right flank after they had teased the ball along the edge of the visitors’ penalty area. The move ended with Cesar Azpilicueta swinging a pin-point cross to the marginally level Morata who headed home unchallenged as Michael Keane appealed vainly for offside.

2-0 down at the break and with nothing to lose, Koeman merely opted for more of the same, withdrawing Tom Davies and introducing Muhamed Besic who had taken his place in the squad despite the news that his father had been wounded by gunfire in his native Bosnia overnight.

Predictably, the pattern of the game didn’t change, although Everton did manage to carve out their first chance five minutes into the second half when Wayne Rooney played Sandro Ramirez in behind the defence but his scuffed effort was blocked by Antonio Rudiger.

Generally, there was no build-up play from Koeman’s team, very little passing through the midfield and far too many direct balls from Pickford aimed at the right flank where Sandro was hopelessly outmatched in the air. It was a tactic that while agricultural had worked well at Manchester City with Dominic Calvert Lewin up front but it had little effect today. Sandro ran himself ragged but without a strike partner for him there was no focal point up front.

Without Morgan Schneiderlin, there was no vision or composure on the ball in central midfield — indeed, there was precious little moving the ball forward on the deck at all as Chelsea appeared to easily choke off all apparent passing lanes and out-balls from the back.

With no wingers in the team, there was no one to run at their defence and take on a man on, no width as the Blues were stifled down the flanks by Chelsea’s formation. Even then, there was no one to aim at in the area on the rare occasions the mostly anonymous Gylfi Sigurdsson or Leighton Baines had a chance to put a cross in from wide areas until Ashley Williams of all players popped up late on but glanced a gilt-edged chance to reduce the deficit wide.

It took until five minutes into the second half before an Everton player touched the ball in the opposition box, a symptom of too many defenders and almost zero cohesion through the middle of the park, and Tibault Courtois had to wait until the 87th minute to make his first save.

That had come from a side-foot shot by Idrissa Gueye and a sporadic late flurry from the Blues after Calvert-Lewin had replaced Sandro just past the hour mark, Aaron Lennon had come on for Phil Jagielka and Williams had dropped a half-volley over the bar and missed that late header which was perhaps the best chance of the day. All in all, it was pretty weak fare from Everton and, like last season, hopefully the trip to this part of London marks the nadir of the campaign, at least in terms of performance.

With just six shots on target in the opening three games, the problems that were laid bare today can’t be explained away by mere fatigue alone, even if it was undoubtedly a factor for those who did play in all three matches in just six days. The same nagging deficiencies remain despite massive expenditure on upgrading the team.

Everton haven’t won an away game since January. The club have spent a fortune over the summer but still travel to the homes of the top clubs with an inferiority complex, an approach and formations to match. Unlike on Monday at the Etihad where spirit and energy more than class narrowed the gap, on this evidence Everton are as far away from where they want to be as ever.

Pace, creativity and strong centre-forward remain urgent needs before the transfer window closes but time is running out and, again, it doesn’t appear as though the shopping list includes addressing all of the team’s most glaring shortcomings. Koeman says he needs two more players but three or four would be more accurate, particularly with Kevin Mirallas seemingly ostracised, James McCarthy regularly crocked and Gareth Barry already out the door.

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Reader Comments (65)

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:23:34
Koeman says he needs more players, but it's far from clear that he'd know what to do with them if he got them.
Martin Mason
2 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:38:50
Lyndon, I'm even more depressed now that I've read your very good report.

Shaun Traynor
3 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:43:08
3 tough away games in 6 days, I get they must be tired.

If/when Mirallas goes and with Bolasie injured for god knows how much longer and Lookman still learning (not being fully trusted), Lukaku sold and Barkley either being sold/not in the plan who is our player to run at defences, who is our player to put the opposition on their toes and make them think, who is our player to turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye... who is our pacey, creative, skilful outlet? After watching Liverpool, just then who is our Mane and Salah?

We are so slow, narrow and predictable. And with all the money spent I honestly thought I wide player and a striker would come in to cause havoc. Koeman always banged on about productivity, £150 mil spent and I'm still not seeing it.

However, I have been impressed by Calvert-Lewin, but if we are to mount a challenge for top 6 we need a proven striker and to give him great service and we also need to be much quicker.

Peter Gorman
4 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:51:55
Everton; hard to beat, hard to watch.
Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:58:01
I never expected to get a point out of this game, but the manner of the defeat was disappointing. We were so clearly out of the game for the first 85 minutes that the announcers were being openly derisive. It should be obvious to all now that this is nowhere near a Top 4 side... definitely deeper and more solid, but still utterly lacking in pace and explosiveness. And Koeman needs to finally acknowledge that this is a side that must play 4 at the back. Not five, not three.

Only the young lads Holgate and Calvert-Lewin were worthy of any plaudits at all... but it was nice to see flashes of why we paid up for Sigurdsson, and most of all why Rooney is a quality addition. He wasn't at top form playing his third in six days, but his touches were superb and his competitiveness evident.

Lyndon Lloyd
6 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:58:53
Sorry, Martin. It's cathartic in a way but I'm still as depressed as you are.

Long term, the bulk of our signings so far mean that we are in good shape but we now need to prioritise the attack. We are crying out for a centre-forward but need someone who can hurt teams by running at them or on the counter-attack.

I don't get a sense from Koeman at all that the club is looking to sign someone like that before the deadline. If we only get a left-sided defender and a taller striker in, I think this season is going to be similar to the last – we'll be strong at home but frustrating away with too many draws and not enough wins to take advantage if teams like Arsenal and Spurs slip this season.

Chris Williams
7 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:04:53
Reports we were at Benfica today watching Jimenez who apparently only came on late and was unimpressive.

Who knows if any discussions with Chelsea today?

The pace in the squad is Bolasie and Seamus. Pity they're injured!

Charles Barrow
8 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:12:33
Very poor. Seems Koeman has learned nothing from last season. Different personnel, same tactics equals same result. It seems his man-management is an issue as well.
Anthony Jones
9 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:23:00
Don't over-analyse this game. We were destined to lose from the off.

Inexperienced striker with the narrow Rooney and Sigurdsson behind, and Baines slowing whilst Holgate is not experienced as a wingback. Lack of width. Lack of pace.

The judgement of the manager should be questioned, but we have a good squad of players. We should have made it harder for them today.

Rick Tarleton
10 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:28:03
From what you say and I believe you are an objective and accurate observer, they were awful. I haven't seen the game, but am sure that Koeman, despite his innate conservatism, set them up wrongly. (Again?)

I do hope that despite everything we are going to see something of Besic in the future, he looks to me like a thinking footballer when he has the ball, when he hasn't the ball it's another matter.

We swing in managers between dull David Moyes, exciting but tactically inept, Roberto Martinez and now the unadventurous Koeman.

Dennis Ng
11 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:34:01
The performance was bad. I thought Sandro, Davies and Williams looked out of place while Chelsea limited output from Rooney and Sigurdsson. Calvert-Lewin needs to play from the start every game and he has proven that with his limited performance. We could well blame this on us missing both Schneiderlin and Klaassen, but Koeman has got to figure out a formation that also uses the players well.

I'm still skeptical about a #9 but if it is Vardy, yes. Costa is welcome but not enough pace. However, for those who don't give Conte and their billion dollar team enough credit, we look lame in this game but this is the champions with arguably the best coach in the league.

Brian Harrison
12 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:37:21
I looked at the other lot today playing Arsenal and remember they had a game in midweek and Arsenal didn't. But they played fast attacking football and as much as it hurts me to say, they play a far more exciting brand of football than we do. Also add in no Couthino or Lallana.

Koeman has said repeatedly since he came to the club we start to slow we are not aggressive enough, well I still see us starting slow and lacking aggression. We lack pace and movement up front, and our midfield for me are 15 yards off the front men when we go forward.

So yes we have had 3 tough away games in a week, but that shouldn't mean we show no belief or ambition. Bournemouth showed more belief in playing an 11-man Man City than we did against 10 men. Surely if we have any hope of challenging the top 4 our belief against these sides need to change and quickly. Another 2 tough games after the International break, we will be in a better place to judge what lies ahead after these 2 games.

Phil Walling
13 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:48:57
I am by no means certain that even a half-dozen further signings would improve this team because this hopeless manager would simply not know how to deploy them.

Whilst he seems intent on replacing all the players he inherited – a cause much advocated in these columns – it is by no means certain that at least half of his signings are any improvement on those they replaced and, once rid of Barkley, the acquisition of a totally static midfield will be complete.

Wingers are no more and the only decent striker we have had in years is now missing penalties for 'the big boys' as we await his replacement to arrive (or not). Problem is that, if we do get a good 'un, he'll probably end up in midfield behind Rooney!

Perhaps the most objectionable aspect of this Dutchman's 'feel' for the Club is that he arrogantly thinks Evertonians will accept the shit he is serving up out of ignorance. Well, we'll see about that!

Jay Woods
14 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:53:32
One of the many differences between us and the very top teams is that they have players who can pass forward with the first touch. There is far too much sideways and backwards stuff with us and no mobility at the front.

And Sandro looks like a real dud. Maybe we should hang on to Niasse after all and start making plans to ditch Sandro ASAP.

Geoff Evans
15 Posted 27/08/2017 at 20:25:04
Very depressing, manner of defeat unacceptable. No improvement on Martinez.
Mike Keating
16 Posted 27/08/2017 at 21:46:20
Having badgered the FX Sports Bar in Funchal to ensure they were showing the game (following broken promises from the White Horse Pub re the Split game) and then an impassioned plea from fellow Evertonians for the commentary, I wish we hadn't bothered -– it was an embarrassment. At 2-0 down he brings on Besic for Davies FFS.

I can only assume that the sour-faced bar maid is a closet Blue otherwise she should be sacked because there can be no other way of explaining her complete disdain for her clientele. With 2 hours of RS adulation to follow, that has to be the explanation - surely no one can be that miserable in their job without good cause?

At least I watched in exotic surroundings, my son got a ticket at the last minute – poor sod!

Colin Gee
17 Posted 27/08/2017 at 21:49:07
Not sure why we tried three at the back again with Holgate as a wing-back, the lad isn't a wing back – he's a centre-half. We had no width at all and no movement up front. Chelsea looks like they had 14 or 15 players on the pitch in that first half ,there was so much movement from them.

We played our best football when Calvert-Lewin came on and started making runs to try and open up the Chelsea defence; I think we might have found a player there.

I see that Gylfi has caught the Everton corner disease already, can't beat the first man...

Mike Keating
18 Posted 27/08/2017 at 21:50:52
I forgot to say – agree entirely with Jay Woods regarding Sandro..

I say that as someone who thought we'd pulled off a sensational signing.

Naismith did more for the team.

John Raftery
19 Posted 27/08/2017 at 22:22:43
Our best player over the past four seasons was sold for £75m rising to £90m. As we have yet to replace him it is hardly a surprise we are struggling in attack. That same player was often the scapegoat in the eyes of some fans. Now fans are thrashing around looking for a new scapegoat. To be brutally frank there is no shortage of candidates.

For all the money spent strengthening the defence and midfield the team looks less 'productive' than ever. We have a Premier League defence and a Championship attack. With the squad as it is we will struggle to stay in the top half of the table let alone challenge the top six.

Unless the attack is augmented by some pace and a genuine striker we face a season of grinding out narrow wins and a load of draws, if we are lucky.

John Pierce
20 Posted 27/08/2017 at 23:13:32
Some pretty schoolboy stuff today from Koeman.

Pressing both Sandro (15% fit), & Sigurdsson (45% fit) into a team were he preaches hard work as a virtue. Reckless; lucky neither got injured.

Playing the same formation for a second year against better players and more experienced exponents of the same system, genius.

Abandoned the merest semblance of the plan he had a City on Monday by resting the key component of that strategy. Smashing that.

Playing with no attacking intent actually almost got Rooney sent off. The man was pent up as he continually looked for help, support which was nonexistent.

I reckon that Everton have spent around 30 seconds in the opposition box in three games. Champion that.

My patience for Ronald is drawing near to the end. With that squad, how we poached him and the expectations set by the major shareholder, the quality of the football is miserable.

Anto Byrne
21 Posted 28/08/2017 at 01:03:41
Geez ...The reality is we have a team in transition. Pickford is a good keeper and Keane is a great acquisition. Sandro is not fit and has a good chance. Rooney was mostly positive but with no service got frustrated as the game went on.

19-year-old Davies is no match for Fabregas and Willian, they got far too much space. Great experience for the boy. Good to see Besic doing well. We have a bit of work; it's one game with a run of fixtures not that favourable.

Hopefully our home form will allow the side to gel. 3 games in is not a time to panic. Keep the faith – just look at Wenger, ffs.

William Cartwright
22 Posted 28/08/2017 at 03:17:09
John (#20); I agree with every word. But how about looking at this with a different perspective...

1. Everton were probably very 'stale' from their recent exertions.

2. Every team have team(s) they traditionally don't do well against – either comparative styles or a bogey team if you will. Chelsea are one of ours.

3. Any player(s) can have an off-day. We certainly had lots of those.

4. The injury list is very lengthy and key players feature in ours: Schneiderlin, for example.

5. The experience of losing like that, and the post match inquest (complete with suitable rollicking) can set the path straight for the next series of games.

6. The players should be as embarrassed as much, if not more so, than the manager???

7. We need to resolve our outstanding transfer business, as do most clubs.

8. It was a real shit day at the office.

9. The real power behind the throne, Moshiri, will have been shocked at what he will have seen and will not accept a repeat. (Think how Roberto was dismissed without so much as an audience.)

10. Even without excuses, shit days at the office happen; it could have been twice as bad – look at Arsenal!

I personally would rather have lost on Sunday than on Thursday. I believe the back-door to the Champions League is our best chance.

But as I said, I agree with every one of John's comments. The jury may now be called to session and Koeman's handling of the Barkley, Kenny, striker situations, overly defensive style, lack of passion (excepting Rooney), poor game management, uninspiring media performances, will all come under even more scrutiny.

In Moshiri I trust – COYB

John Pierce
23 Posted 28/08/2017 at 04:43:01
William, 22.

I do think the veritable litany of reasons you outline actually have credence if I'm looking at it through a very narrow frame. Each game you play might have at least 4/5 elements on the list above.

My post was narrow too, but in general my posts reflect I've been one step away from wanting Koeman gone from day one; please understand my points are always stained with that thought in mind.

I can see defensive solidity but not anything beyond that. I dismiss time – he's had 50 games and plenty of opportunity to experiment, the 10 games last season for instance.

Players; he has managed an astonishing turnover of players, his squad no doubt.

Based on your posts you seem a more moderate balanced poster, correct me if I'm wrong? Can you see where the attacking potency needed to garner the wins, not draws, is to improve both our position and style of play?

Daniel Lim
24 Posted 28/08/2017 at 04:50:44
William #22,

Back door to Champions League? With how Koeman fucks up match after match? I think he would get the 1985 team relegated.

James Watts
25 Posted 28/08/2017 at 05:20:08
Koeman to blame for yesterday but guys, come on. Calling Sandro a dud? He's played a couple of games, neither anywhere near match fitness. Koeman playing him was stupid, as was playing Sigurdsson. But for Christ sake, give the lad a chance before writing him off, eh?
Daniel Lim
26 Posted 28/08/2017 at 05:55:34
James (#25),

More like people had high hope but became disappointed. As this applies to me as well.

I was hoping to see the deal got confirmed before I went on holiday at the end of June. Was really excited with his signing, but not sure if he's really as good as I first thought.

James Watts
27 Posted 28/08/2017 at 06:09:53
Daniel (#26). Why have you (and others) judged him so harshly? A grand total minutes of less than 2 competitive games whilst probably around 50% fit?

Put yourself in his shoes. Just had 2 weeks off injured. Put straight back in the team when clearly not match fit. Against Chelsea's 3-man high pressing defence in a role he probably has never played before (target man) with no support or any kind of service from 9 other outfield players?? All on top of being in a new, much more competitive league, against the champions, in a foreign country.

He had a bad game, yes, but seriously. Give the lad a chance! I understand we're frustrated but writing him off already is as daft as Koeman's "tactics". There is only one place the finger should be pointed, and it isn't at this lad.

Michael Penley
28 Posted 28/08/2017 at 06:22:42
Has it occurred to anyone that Koeman may simply be too old? Look at ailing Arsenal with the geriatric Wenger and then look at the top sides - Poch, Conte, Klopp, Guardiola. I don't know how coaches are trained these days, but if he's relying on his knowledge of the game from his playing days in the 80s, then it's well out of date.

I also seriously doubt his ability to get the squad fired up, given his charisma or lack thereof.

James Watts
29 Posted 28/08/2017 at 07:30:05
Michael (#28).

Has it occurred to anyone that Koeman may simply be too old?

He's 54. Same age as Mourinho just to put it into perspective. So no, don't think that's a valid argument. More of a case of stuck in his ways with little tactical nous. That's not necessarily an age thing.

Plus you're comparing him against some of the best coaches in the world with that list, who have won most things, except Poch.

Koeman hasn't got the same pedigree as a manager. Nowhere near. And if he carries on like he is, with his head stuck in the sand, it's going to end like his spell at Valencia did.


Peter Lee
30 Posted 28/08/2017 at 07:59:45
I didn't rate this manager before he came; I didn't last season, don't now.

An average manager could have tightened our defence. A serious manager would have bought a left-sided centre-back in the three windows we have had since he joined. This one doesn't rate either of the two we have and, again if he was serious about defensive solidity, he would have bought genuine replacements for Gareth Barry.

Those midfield players he has bought and those used already at the club have never been detailed to make protection of the defence their priority. This is an essential basis for building a confident side.

We would all like to see expansive football and it has been clear since early days last season that he wants to play 1980s football as he remembers it and we have indulged him. It is a different era and we are a long way from having enough players of the quality needed.

We continue to sit in, playing slow, predictable, football. The total football he was a part of was once described as slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Far from a waltz, what we see week after week would make Ed Balls look like a Strictly winner.

Supposedly we set up same as Chelsea. One of their wing backs was a winger, our equivalent was a centre-half. Their defensive midfield player sat in front of the back three until it was so obvious that we were out of it. Our defensive midfielders spent large parts of the game marking theirs.

They had quality in all the right places and ruthlessness when poorer players were exposed. None of their back three looked safe and Calvert-Lewin showed all three up when he was on the pitch. They simply stayed tight and chopped any threat down knowing that they hadn't the pace.

They were flat 30 minutes in and we remained timid, refusing to push out at that stage, hampered by some poor ball retention. We allowed them their two goals, nowhere near close to pushing out at them, and it was easy for them after that. They are a long way from being nailed on competitors for Premier League or Champions League this season and we should have done better, tired or not.

Did anyone else there yesterday sense that the team was going through the motions? Yes, individuals worked their humps off but I didn't see that sureness and trust in the system and shape that you see amongst teams with much less quality. cf Burnley, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, West Brom, etc.

A good job he bought Rooney. We'd be bottom of the table and out of Europe without him.


Dave Speed
32 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:12:37
I think that we are all disappointed in what happened yesterday, even those of us who haven't yet turned on our players and manager.

It's been said already about Sandro's fitness, lack of pace etc but there is no such thing as overnight success, except for Susan Boyle. We can't be expected to suddenly become a team of high energy, crisp passing and attacking football.

As much as I like the players we have acquired, and most agreed earlier in the summer how exciting it was, Guardiola, Conte, Klopp and Morinho all inherited teams with world class players that had won things, or been very close often, and they have all been through adversity as they have modelled their teams the way they want.

Koeman inherited a team in free-fall, and the players he can attract are from the second tier of the market. We weren't in competition with top clubs for any of them I believe. One season with 3 transfer windows isn't enough. Add in 4 games against, less face it, quite poor European opposition isn't enough. 3 Premier League games isn't enough.

We haven't gone backwards though. in the Premier League we had exactly the same points tally but conceded less. Slight improvement? Remember, Koeman has had a massive overhaul of an 'old engine', not a service and a fine tune like most of the top 6. I still believe that we are getting better, and maybe some of the acquisitions may not work out – it happens.

And let's not have judgements a couple of games down the line. We may have to live with another season where we are best of the rest. There were times yesterday when Chelsea's players weren't on the same wavelength and a pass to nowhere looked stupid. When we do it there's at least 100 posts on TW.

I think that we need a good showing in the Europa League to be attractive to the players we would want to sign in the future. Anyway, I'll continue to be patient and put up with some dross while the team gels, until the new players arrive, until we get back some of the injured players, and we shake off the defeatist mentality against the top 6, whoever is at fault for it.

What I won't do is destroy a young Spanish lad who played while unfit, and who left the pitch having given all he had. I won't destroy an ageing defence who are trying their best. I won't destroy a midfield who are not as good as the top 6. I hope the players don't read this as their fragile confidence would be shot to pieces.

Paul Kelly
33 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:15:55
James @ 31, well pointed out, I'm with you all the way!
Kieran Fitzgerald
34 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:22:26
Spurs, Man Utd and Bournemouth are our next three games in the league. Throw in a tricky League Cup tie against Sunderland and Europa League games and that brings us up to the end of September. My fear is that these can all be tough fixtures and we could have little or no momentum or confidence at the start of October.

I would go all out between now and Friday and look to pick up Benteke and Zaha from Palace. Pace and also a strong powerful forward, exactly what we need at the moment.

Sam Hoare
35 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:25:32
Still earlyish days but I've seen no sign in any match this season (bar the 1st half at Man City perhaps) that we have improved.

I have said all Summer that this team looks unbalanced, too slow and lacking power. It's all very well being solid at the back but, if you don't have pace to counter, or a strong striker able to hold the ball up, then it will just keep coming back at you.

Big last week in the transfer window needed.

Ian Hollingworth
36 Posted 28/08/2017 at 10:00:38
Everton need a new striker! I must be ready for a job as a Premier League manager having worked that out.

Even with Lukaku we desperately needed a new striker; now, days away from the deadline, we still need one even though we and the club have known for months that Lukaku was leaving.

I hate to be knee jerk about this but in terms of performance we are already miles off the pace in regards to competing again this season.

Koeman needs to decide on his best team and formation and stick to it; this constant meddling is obviously not working.

Such a dismal showing so early in the season is very worrying.


Barry Pearce
37 Posted 28/08/2017 at 10:58:22
This is almost Koeman's team now. I for one won't be judging until at least 10 games in.

Let's hope he gets his centre-forward, and left-sided defender, hopefully with a bit of pace, then we should see if we have any chance of breaking into the top six.

John Raftery
38 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:02:51
Peter (#30) It was another good day out, spoiled by the football match, wasn't it?

In answer to your question, yes most definitely the team looked as if they were going through the motions. They simply lacked a collective belief this was a game they could win. We were fortunate Chelsea chose to declare with their 2-0 half-time lead. Only in the last 10 minutes did we show any belief that we could get into the game. I don't think it was a coincidence that by that stage we had Calvert-Lewin and Lennon on the pitch. They offered some power and pace, sadly lacking in the first hour of the match.

Had those two been on the pitch from the start, would the overall performance and result have been any different? Possibly not... but at least we might have played with some ambition that we could pose a threat in the opposition half.

If we cannot buy the attackers we need in the next three days, it will be a long hard slog over the next few months. By the time we play Man Utd we will have recorded only two away league wins in twelve months, at Leicester on Boxing Day and at Palace in January. The scorers in those games were Mirallas (going), Lukaku (gone) and Coleman (injured). It is hard to see at the moment where the next away win is coming from.

David Johnson
39 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:08:48
Koeman often appears frustrated with our transfer dealings and appears again to be telling the board to pull their fingers out. It's as if he was given assurances Everton haven't kept to since he came to us. That and about £200m worth of talent sidelined for various reasons is obviously frustrating him.
Guy Hastings
40 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:19:49
Kieran (#34) – Wresting Zaha from Palace? That'll be the day.
Dick Fearon
41 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:22:23
Do you want the manager constantly waving his arms and shouting instructions while hugging and back slapping the players at every opportunity?

Or, do you prefer a manager standing aloof from the players showing little emotional involvement in the game and offering little praise or encouragement?

Moyes and Martinez were of the former type and 15 miserable years later we are landed with another out of the same mould.

Paul Ward
42 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:34:26
Posters are blaming Koeman and or many of the individual players for the defeat at Chelsea. It was a miserable performance, but against a top side.

Irrespective of the defeat, my concern is in the 9 games including friendlies against a few poor sides there has been no change in their negative style of play, home or away.

Daniel Lim
43 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:42:05
James (#27), I merely said people are disappointed with him maybe because they had very high hope initially.

Am I disappointed? Yes! Am I being harsh on him? No. I don't think I even criticise him except saying that I thought too highly of him initially.

Is he going to be excellent for us and worth £50m by the end of the season? Maybe. I don't rule that out. Just that I am not as optimistic as I was in June.

Steve Carse
44 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:11:24
Koeman has shown himself both here and at Southampton to be ruthless. I hope he will accept Moshiri being equally ruthless when the time comes to give him the chop, as surely it must with many more performances like that yesterday. It must have been as embarrassing and exasperating for those in the Directors Box as it was for all us witnessing it from the stands.

Apparently Koeman has a 3-year project and a contract length to match. I predict he won't be here for the third year of it.

Recently I was told that Everton had fallen behind by two goals on 106 occasions over the last 10 years. Only once had they recovered to win the game. They'd drawn only four.

Early in his time here, Koeman turned round a two goal deficit, having made very early changes to his personnel and formation – whatever happened to that Koeman? Has he really been overcome by the Everton malaise of inferiority and low expectations so quickly?

Daniel Lim
45 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:14:34
Steve (#44),

I often have the same question as you. The Koeman that made changes as early as 30+ min. Where is he?

Barry Jones
46 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:43:42
One poor performance (against the Premier League Champions at their house) and all the naysayers emerge on the thread. We write off the manager and some players based on one game. Disgraceful.

If there is no improvement at the end of the season, there may be justification for some unrest, but please, not in August.

Iain Johnston
47 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:49:37
We've had a more difficult start than Spurs but sit on the same points, another of the so called top 6. Arsenal have been abysmal too conceding 8 in their first 3 games...

We all know the areas which need strengthening – it's been done to death... I'm not going to start flapping yet.

John G Davies
48 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:54:46
Very poor yesterday. But Barry at 46 is right. Too early to judge. At least give him until 12 o'clock on Thursday before condemning his squad building.
David Hallwood
49 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:00:34
Great, if depressing report Lyndon. What makes a manager great? IMHO it's clarity of thought, or as George Dubya Bush use to bang on about ‘the vision thing'.

Take our current formation – that can only work, if we have 2 top quality wing backs; that was the case 3-4 seasons ago when Baines would be crossing to Coleman or vice versa with the knowledge that, if the move broke down, McCarthy and/or Barry would fill in the gap.

Park the bus? No problem; provided you have 3-4 pacey runners to bomb forward to counter-attack; Whiskynose & Mourinho have done it for years.

Which brings me back to Dubya, because once again IMHO is what separates Fergie, Mourinho and dare I say it, Klopp from the rest is clarity of vision (and with Mourinho it's game by game) of how they want their teams to play.

I've been trying to work out Koeman's ‘vision thing' all summer and it seems to be get as many No 10s as I can and then – do what precisely? Play defensively? Fine but where's the Hazard or Willian outlet ball. Why didn't he find replacements for Bolasie and Coleman or a back up for Baines? What has the much vaunted Steve Walsh been up to all summer?

Instead, what we've witnessed is a decent 45 minutes of football, the rest bordering on dross and I'll single out the 2nd half against Man City; given that we're supposed to have pretensions to break the ‘glass ceiling' and against 10 men for much of the half, bordered on cowardice. Even allowing for players having to integrate into the team and with Klaassen and Sandro a different type of football, what's happened to Koeman's pressing game?

Finally, I don't accept the excuses vs Man City & Chelsea, ‘they're the Champions/potential Champions' FFS that's for the Moyes era when we had a budget of zilch, and we were in every sense of the word, a ‘small club'. Even if all the new recruits come up to speed, it's still hard to see what he's trying to achieve. To quote another US president Donald J Trump: "Sad."

Paul Wyndham
50 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:12:18
I'm another disgraceful naysayer: seriously wrong formation, extremely poor if not non-existent tactics, inability to be pro-active and change what's obviously going wrong on the pitch, some poor signings in Bolasie and Klaassen, and an inability to coach highly paid footballers to pass and move. Just naysaying like!
Don Alexander
51 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:21:32
Well said Dave Speed @ 32. I wholly agree with you apart from worries I have that Europa Cup involvement will damage the already very difficult of task of getting amongst the richer clubs above us. Here's hoping though. And this isn't a massive endorsement of Koeman or the way we're currently playing either. Rather it's realism allied to patience and, yes, hope.
Jack Convery
53 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:44:52
If you go on results so far Burnley will finish above us - 4 points away at CFC and Spurs. Can we do that - No ! So on that basis sack Koeman and go and get Dyche immediately. Fortunatley football doesn't work this way and we will finish above Burnley. 3 games in and its where's the Scaffold ? When we won the first title under Kendal our start was awful. Its a marathon not a sprint. Unlike Bolt who lost his World title due to a slow start, we have plenty of time left - 35 x 90 mins at least.

Here's a question - if we don't get a secent centre forward in by 31st who is to blame - Koeman / Walsh or the Board ?

Daniel Lim
54 Posted 28/08/2017 at 14:35:49
One poor performance?
That's 7 competitive matches and a few pre-season friendlies. How many minutes of good football?
Daniel Lim
55 Posted 28/08/2017 at 14:49:12
Many of the "pessimists" here only ask for some gutsy performance, not setting up the team to go there hoping for a goalless draw.
Send the players out to fight for 3 points.
That's all.
Is that asking too much?
As for Dyche, are you sure he's going to do a worse job than RK if he has RK's players at his disposal?
William Cartwright
56 Posted 28/08/2017 at 15:44:40
James @ 23; I don't think your post was too narrow a frame of reference at all. As stated I agreed with every word. I was simply setting out the various parallel issues which may have befallen the team at the present.

To get off the fence, the bottom line for me is RK is really disapointing with his negative style of play. I say HIS, because he is the guy who selects the team, prepares and directs their play, controls the substitutions and generally all round should take the credit or criticism he deserves.

It is not always easy to be critical if by nature or training you are patient and looking at all the angles.

I was confused as to why he persevered with Calvert Lewin, but in fairness he has done well. I am confused as to why he has not even started,yet, with Kenny but perhaps that will come.

However, as said, I was ashamed of Everton's style and approach to the game with the odd exceptions (Rooney) for example, but if there is a repeat of such a performance, then all hell should break loose around RK and he should give an honest, non-evasive response. No excuses about not having yet bought the players he wants. Moshiri is not Father Christmas and he should be able to see more grit and determination than was offerred on Sunday, and more of an attacking mentality.

Jim Harrison
57 Posted 28/08/2017 at 16:06:53
Well, that was shite. But fuck me, its only the third game of the season and we are only 3 points off second!!

The manager made mistakes. 3 at the back with the players we have doesnt work. And Sandro was way off the pace. But he also is missing a fair few players yesterday.

There is a break for the internationals now, a chance to try and get everyone fit. The spurs game will be a good barometer of where we really are. Its very easy to dismiss the amount of games played so far, but our current main goal threat is nearly 32 and has played 270 minutes this week!

Morgan was missed. I know lots don't rate him, but I think the combination of him and Gana works well. On his own I fell Gana tries to do too much. Yesterday Davies was disappointing and didnt offer much at all.

Yep it was shite, but how can we really judge the season on three games?

Peter Lee
58 Posted 28/08/2017 at 16:07:33
Posters say give him time. Well he's had nearly 50 competitive games to impose a shape and sense of purpose and we have had neither.

He's had precious little success elsewhere too.

Yes he needed to re-build a squad, but he has had three windows now and whilst personnel have changed we are still pedantic and shapeless. Even clubs with poorer quality players than RK had to start with have a plan and commitment.

We need three players in this week just to be able to compete on all fronts in terms of numbers. We'll not be truly competitive with this man in charge.

Jim Harrison
59 Posted 28/08/2017 at 16:27:26
Peter 58

We just got out played. A tired group of players missing several options through injury came up against a far better team

How can you possibly tell how this season will pan out? We don't know yet who will be in the final squad as the transfer window is still open!!

6 games so far. 3 wins, 2 draws, one loss. If that for was maintained across the whole season in the PL we would have a 50% win average and a healthy points total!! Simply put we don't know what will happen yet. Yesterdays game was shit. There were very few positives at all. But you have to give the guy enough time to actually get his squad finalised and fit before digging him out.

For a bit of context, under bobby we had 3 points after his first 3 games, ended up 5th. After 3 games drawing against average teams who thought that would happen?

Steve Brown
61 Posted 28/08/2017 at 17:13:35
There was only one member of the Everton staff and players was visibly fuming about that performance - Wayne Rooney. Past it, unfit, over the hill... but still a winner, unlike Baines, Jagielka, Williams and the rest of our pleasant team losers.

I cannot comprehend Koeman's tactics, team selection or unwillingness to change things. The only thing I could think of was he was doing exactly what he did in the FA Cup at Leicester. Picking a weak team to make a point to the board before the transfer window closes. A bit lf "look what I have wo work with, where are the players you promised me?".

Or maybe he is just incompetent.

Ajay Gopal
62 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:00:42
I had predicted on one of the pre-match threads that we would lose 2-0 or 3-0 mainly due to the injuries and suspensions and the quality of the opposition as well as the fact that we had had a gruelling mid-week trip to Eastern Europe. As it turned out, Sandro and Gueye were less than 50% fit, Siggy and Rooney were knackered and the only other fit and available central midfielder took to the field just 2 days after his dad had been shot.

These are definitely mitigating circumstances, but Koeman got his team selection and tactics all wrong. He should have gone with fit and (slightly) less tired players. I would have gone with:

DCL Mirallas
Rooney
Davis Besic Lennon
Baines Jagielka Keane Holgate

And, PLEASE don't sell Barkley, we need his raw power and talent - I think his game will improve tremendously playing alongside Rooney. After the break, I hope we see this team for the Tottenham game:

Costa
Siggy Rooney Barkley
Schneiderlin Gana
Baines New CB Keane Martina
Pickford

Subs: Stek, Lookman, Sandro, DCL, Holgate, Besic, Klaassen


Peter Lee
63 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:11:03
Jim, you miss my point. He's had nearly fifty games to establish shape and commitment to an approach. He has signally failed to do this.

What worried me at the Bridge was that the players seemed disengaged, Rooney excepted.

"Right lads, you know that three at the back that hasn't worked, well we're going to give it another go.

Sandro, I know you're injured but do your best. Mason, wing-back? Fancy it? Gylfi, not sure where your going to fit eventually but left-ish midfield-ish. What do you think? Wayne, I know I can rely on you."

"To do what specifically boss?"

"Well, you know, you know?"

"Leighton, if you'd just push up to the half-way line soon as? Yes? And Tom, I'd like you to sit in with Idrissa, most of the time anyway, and Idrissa you can chase Kante when you get a chance."

"Right, all set then, away you go!"

Jim Harrison
65 Posted 29/08/2017 at 01:03:54
Sorry Peter, you started off ok, and I can appreciate where you are coming from regards games already overseen. Then you descend into farce.

I agree that the tactics were wrong against Chelsea. But I don't think that makes for a sacking. Across 50 odd games so far the results have been a marked improvement on the previous 2 seasons. And so far this season the results if not the nature of how they were achieved are respectable.

Now, for the unfit lads. I wonder how they are supposed to get match fit without playing in matches? There is a weeks break from playing now, those two needed game time.

Peter Lee
66 Posted 29/08/2017 at 09:02:16
Again the point is missed. What I travelled over 200 miles to watch on Sunday verged on farce.

I worry that the approach now appears to be impacting on the team's morale.

Phil Walling
67 Posted 29/08/2017 at 09:13:51
Pickford injured to add to our woes. But a signing on the horizion even if only for the U23s !
Neville Jones
68 Posted 29/08/2017 at 14:03:57
Why keep playing 3 at the back which turned into 5 because we were pushed back. Result, no width and attempting to play through the middle by launching long balls. We missed Morgan but we had Mo sitting on the bench. He wanted to play and was ready and gets brought on anyway when it was too late. So Gueye, unfit trying to the job of 2 people. Ramirez, unfit trying to cope with being the "outlet" in an unfamiliar position. We eventually decide (doh) 3 at the back isn't working 8 minutes from time and Lennon comes on and with Calvert Lewin we begin to look a bit of a threat.

3 at the back doesn't work and will never, it usually ends in tears and the Man City 2nd half proved it before we kicked off. By the way it was employed by Walter Smith throughout the season he was manager.

We need something like an old fashioned 4 4 2 or 4 4 11 depending, that is 2 strikers (not midfield players) and 2 wingers like Lennon, Bolasie (eventually) Mirallas and Siggurdson (not strikers). Bring in another striker and probably a player on the right side as we're short even with Lennon who seems to be making a comeback and try Kenny at right back now and again.
Come back Dowell, all is forgiven and let's bring Kevin M back into the fold.

Peter Warren
69 Posted 29/08/2017 at 14:13:30
I just don't get why Koeman persists with 5 at the back. I've never seen it work for us under him.

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