Koeman's Blues stuck in reverse as recruitment failings bite

By Lyndon Lloyd 01/10/2017  45 Comments  [Jump to last]
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Boy… don’t the heady days of July seem a long way away now? Everton “winning” the transfer window. The return of the Mersey Millionaires. Talk of a dark-horse run at the top four behind the leadership of Ronald Koeman who would finally have got his players through the door where the summer before he had been left visibly frustrated.

How quickly all that has unravelled. Far from being stronger than when they entered the summer window, the Blues look considerably weaker overall and it’s not just for the want of a striker. Olivier Giroud wouldn’t have been the panacea for this Everton side under Koeman… although this clash with Burnley was one of the few games this season where you could have made the argument that a top-class striker might have made the difference, even if it would be masking problems elsewhere in the side.

Indeed, it’s important to view this defeat in the wider context of a failed transfer window because, with Koeman at last moving towards a more effective formation — he didn’t have the courage to dispense with his two holding midfielders, unfortunately, until more than an hour gone — it laid bare the deficiencies that are at the root of this latest false Evertonian dawn.

This was, as Koeman rightly stated after the game, Everton showing commitment, decent tempo and “aggression” — in his parlance, which seems to translate more as tenacity — in the early going, at least, and it still wasn’t enough. Not by a long way.

Sean Dyche’s assessment that his side wasn’t really troubled in the second half when Everton were chasing the game and enjoying the lion’s share of the possession was fairly damning of how unthreatening this team can be despite £140m spent on new players over the summer.

Koeman bristles when the issue of the Blues’ significant expenditure is raised, offering the rather spurious defence that once the sale of Romelu Lukaku is taken into account, the net spend was only around £45m. As if that somehow makes the situation more palatable; more excusable.

The bald fact remains, however, that Everton did spend an eye-watering amount of money in the expectation that it would move the team forward — closer to the top six not mired in the bottom half dozen clubs in the Premier League with six games gone and struggling in Europe.

And it’s ironic — or, perhaps, it’s a “dog whistle” nod in the direction of the man who nominally runs the recruitment side of things at Everton — that his argument highlights the very glaring fact that Lukaku wasn’t replaced and that the manager’s striking options have been so desperate that in Oumar Niasse he has had to rehabilitate a striker he had written off and put up for sale.

Niasse started a Premier League game for Everton for the first time in a year and a half and, unlike his early appearances in a blue jersey under Roberto Martinez, he didn’t look out of place. Operating alongside Dominic Calvert-Lewin, the Senegalese provided energy and directness and the first shot on goal, albeit straight at goalkeeper Nick Pope, after just two minutes, a strong effort following lovely control by his strike partner from Cuco Martina’s cross.

Niasse would also go close six minutes later when he was alert to a looping ball over the top that he toed over the advancing ‘keeper but couldn’t get enough purchase on it to trouble the goal.

Either side of that effort, Gylfi Sigurdsson really should have scored and, perhaps, send this match in a very different direction to the one it eventually took. First, great speed and determination from Calvert-Lewin took him close the Burnley area where he found Nikola Vlasic. The Croat, in the starting XI as reward for his stellar appearance as a substitute against Apollon Limassol on Thursday, eschewed a shot and played Sigurdsson in but the Icelandic midfielder’s shot was tame.

Then, after Niasse collected the ball at the end of another fast-paced Everton move and squared it invitingly, Sigurdsson somehow failed to get a shot away with the goal yawning in front of him.

The home side’s early fire dissipated after that, though, and the visitors, who hadn’t really threatened beyond a 13th minute cross that Jordan Pickford had to parry away, began to settle into a rhythm of their own. In the 21st minute, they took the lead thanks to a 23-pass build-up that eventually carved Everton open down their vulnerable right side.

Martina, already infamous among Blues fans for his poor positional sense, was sucked inside and Vlasic went to sleep as Steven Ward stole to the byline on the overlap and crossed to Jeff Hendrick. The Northern Ireland international showed impressive composure to evade Morgan Schneiderlin and open up the whole goal into which he placed a shot wide of Pickford and Ashley Williams on the line.

Koeman said afterwards that he wasn’t disappointed with his team’s response to going a goal down but they were clearly deflated, mustering little by way of reply beyond Niasse’s shot that bobbled past the far post and a skied effort by Idrissa Gueye that drifted into the Gwladys Street End.

The manager may have deployed two strikers and dropped Wayne Rooney to accommodate the formation but it wasn’t a true 4-4-2 because it was bereft of genuine width. Vlasic has been viewed by some as a winger but he clearly prefers to operate more centrally, as does Sigurdsson who cited being stuck out on the left flank as one of the key reasons why he didn’t succeed the way he wanted to at Tottenham.

If he has any, Martina’s strengths lie more in his ability to get forward than in his defensive work but he rarely, if ever, gets to the by-line, preferring instead to loft in deeper deliveries that are proverbial meat and drink to opposing defenders.

On the opposite flank, Leighton Baines cut a badly isolated figure when he came forward, all too often searching in vain for an inside pass and then struggling to get back to his defensive duties when moves broke down.

Having taken the lead in the first half, Burnley had Everton just where they wanted them and could afford to drop off a bit and dare the Blues to break them down. They made it incredibly difficult for a team as lacking in genuine creativity as their hosts and it wasn’t until almost 20 minutes into the second half that they created a genuine chance. Baines crossed accurately to Niasse but the striker’s header dropped the wrong side of the post.

Koeman withdrew Schneiderlin in favour of Rooney — it was a toss-up between him and Gueye, really, even if it was the latter who had been charged with being the more advanced of the two defensive midfielders — after that and then introduced Tom Davies for Vlasic who had, sadly, vanished from the game almost entirely.

Nine minutes from time, Niasse made way for Sandro Ramirez but there was precious little penetration from Everton as time ticked on and more and blue seats became visible around the ground.

Rooney tried a speculative shot from distance that deflected behind, another he belted from a similar distance into the Park End, while there were appeals for a penalty for unintentional handball by Matt Lowton off Sigurdsson’s cross but referee Jon Moss was unmoved.

Everton did manage a late flurry in the final few minutes when Davies’ attempted curler deflected off a defender’s head before it could threaten the far corner of Pope’s goal. A good move involving Baines and Sigurdsson ended with a decent chance for Calvert-Lewin from close range but his shot lacked power. And an Ashley Williams header in stoppage time bounced off Lowton’s chest and inches past the post.

All in all, though, this was an Everton performance almost unrecognisable from the ones that blew the likes of Manchester City away at Goodison Park earlier in the year.

Ultimately, the transfer strategy was grossly naive. No proper fullback cover was brought in for either side. The centre back position was left badly exposed even though they knew well in advance that Ramiro Funes Mori was going to be out until the end of the year.

Weeks were spent chasing a £45m player who is being played out of position and looks lost while the search for a centre-forward was left to the final few days of the window and ultimately proved — gallingly, unfathomably — a failure.

Just as damning was the apparent absence of any desire to sign a player capable of being the creative heartbeat of the team. If Rooney was to be it, it was a poor miscalculation, likewise Sigurdsson or Davy Klaassen. All three of those players smack of being Koeman signings, not those of Steve Walsh and that muddying of the waters where responsibility for transfer lies isn’t helpful when trying to nail down what went wrong over the summer.

Even allowing for those mis-steps and oversights in the market, there is enough of a nucleus of a squad there to fashion a side capable of beating Burnley… and Limassol… and generally making a better fist of that difficult start to the season than what Evertonians have had to witness.

Ultimately, it is the manager who trains the players, picks the team, sets out the system and is responsible for their state of mind when they cross the white line and Koeman is falling short of expectation on all counts at the moment. If there were signs that it will get better under his stewardship, that would be something but it’s hard to envision anything other than the Koeman project dragging on to an unsatisfying conclusion, whether it’s in two weeks or 20 months.

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Reader Comments (45)

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Rick Tarleton
1 Posted 02/10/2017 at 06:49:57
A fine summary of the transfer dealings and of the way the team are set up.

I've said three times in various posts, Koeman recruits the players, he selects the team and the formation, he coaches the players and above all his job is to motivate the players. He fails on all counts.

His recruitment policy in the summer was a disaster. Three number tens: Sigurdsson who looks unhappy that he is being asked to play in various positions in different games; Rooney who looks as if the pace of the game is beyond him and seems to slip deeper and deeper to find the space he now requires; and Klaassen who looks like he'd be more at home in a team playing in the bottom half of the Championship. Buying three players for basically one position is simply idiocy.

Martina looks lost, he has never been a premiership defender. Vlasic, no doubt has potential, but he too is probably another number ten, certainly he is not a winger. Williams was bought too late in his career and is struggling with the speed of the game, rather like Rooney.

Possibly the worst of all the buys was Schneiderlin. Before he left Southampton he was an outstanding midfield player who often dominated games. Whatever happened at Man Utd, including his injury, have denuded him of his powers. In his time at Everton, I have never seen him put in a display where you could say "Schneiderlin was the man today." He is hesitant and his passes are basically crablike.

Then there are players Koeman is failing to use or develop. Tom Davies is being mucked about; Kenny for some reason is deemed inferior to Martina; Lookman is signed and not used; Holgate is totally a fringe player; Galloway is sent on loan when we need him at Goodison; Sandro Ramirez understandably looks totally lost when he is sent on.

Tactically the players look confused, they go forward in a series of square passes, no-one makes a run and they stop and go back and across and in the end throw in a blind, fifty-fifty ball into the box. Despite playing two holding midfielders, we look defensively inept.

Koeman blames the problems on lack of confidence. He is meant to man-manage his players, to encourage and motivate them, this he singularly fails to do. His handling of our most talented player, Barkley, last season was a textbook case of how not to handle a young and talented player. Public criticism of individuals is something that top managers rarely do (Mourinho, as in so many things, is the exception to this rule).

Koeman is even more fearful in his approach to games than Moyes was, he is tactically less astute than Martinez and that takes some doing and handles players, particularly flair players as well as Gordon Lee handled Duncan MacKenzie.

If Koeman had a shred of integrity he would resign. To sack him will be vastly expensive, but not as expensive as relegation would be and that seems a possibility after recent displays.

Stan Schofield
2 Posted 02/10/2017 at 07:45:05
All the arguments have been exhausted, and the conclusion is simple. Koeman has to go, preferably now.
Sandra Bowen
3 Posted 02/10/2017 at 08:13:06
Great stuff Lyndon. I agree with pretty much everything but I feel we all need to dispel this myth that we play two holding defensive midfielders.

I'd call Gueye a destructive midfielder who charges around a lot but defensive, no not for me. He's very rarely in the right defensive positions as he's often chasing down in the wrong positions leaving huge holes in the middle.

I'm not totally defending Schneiderlin as he's in terrible form but he is being left exposed so often and is expected to stop and start attacks, dictate games and also get forward. It's a lot for one man.

We're so poor defensively and I'd argue that we really do need 2 defensive midfielders, just not the ones we've currently got. Huge error in allowing Barry to leave, he's exactly what's needed to shield our fragile defence.

However, the biggest things killing this side are what we all know, no pace, no width, no gameplan, no balance, no striker. Utter shambles

Ian Burns
4 Posted 02/10/2017 at 08:21:01
Yet another article on the money Lyndon. Your comment - "Olivier Giroud wouldn't have been the panacea for this Everton side under Koeman…" - raises the question whether or not Lukaku would have improved this side yesterday, you would have to say "no".

I have been watching the Blues since 1959 and of course apart from some great times there have been many dire periods; teams and managers in that time (I am thinking of Walker/Smith et al). However, yesterday I was alarmed at how easily Burnley dealt with us; we had no spirit on that pitch; no organisation and in truth Burnley looked the better side.

That for me is a formula for a very uncomfortable winter unless Koeman does the decent thing and moves on to let Unsy step in until a manager can be found who really cares about the club as well as his own personal ambition. Maybe Unsy is that man?


Kevin Tully
5 Posted 02/10/2017 at 09:10:22
To say there no options to replace Koeman, as some mentioned yesterday, is ridiculous. We can offer the right candidate a minimum of £6m a season, and make them one of the highest paid coaches in the world.

Marco Silva has gone to Hull and Watford and turned them into well drilled, competent teams, who clearly understand what the manager wants them to do on the pitch.

I'm not saying we should go after him, but to say there isn't anyone who can be an improvement the the Dutch dunce, is talking as much crap as the man we need to get shut of.

Rick Tarleton
6 Posted 02/10/2017 at 09:11:42
I forgot to mention one other point if Olivier Giroud was the answer, what was the question? To spend £30 million or thereabouts on an Arsenal substitute, an impact player, who needs a very particular formation for his skills to flourish, would have been another example of wastefulness and a total lack of planning.

Giroud needs wingers and pace on the flanks, which is exactly what we lack. Deulofeu, like Barkley a skilled, flair player, might have provided that, but again, he was a player Koeman managed to totally discourage and alienate.

Peter Barry
7 Posted 02/10/2017 at 09:14:47
When Koeman goes, as go he must, I hope he takes his brother and Walsh and all his useless backroom staff with him.
Steve Solomon
8 Posted 02/10/2017 at 09:16:42
5 number 10's.
Rooney, Siggurdson, Klaassen, Vlasic and Ramirez – maybe Lookman and Barkley as well?

The question about whether to sack Koeman should be considered very carefully. Can he right the wrongs in time to save the season? The goal surely was to have a good cup run and Europa League run, but barring an unlikely revival, our Europa League season is dead and with the current issues it seems unlikely we'll win at Stamford bridge in the league cup.

All that's left is to salvage our pride in the league and get things in shape for a good FA Cup run, and that requires a change now in my opinion.

Knee-jerk? No. We can only get new players in January. By then it will be too late. A new manager must have time to settle in and adjust the tactics accordingly and January is too late. Also a new manager can hopefully rebuild the damage done to Barkley and Mirallas, whom I think will be valuable.

Perhaps a lineup that looks like:

Pickford
Baines Jagilka Keane Coleman
Gueye Davies
Mirallas Klaassen (or Rooney) Barkley
Big Striker

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 02/10/2017 at 09:29:48
Think we can say the IF is probably sorted. We need the WHEN next. Then a decision on a Temporary Who or a Permanent Who.
John G Davies
10 Posted 02/10/2017 at 09:33:38
https://youtu.be/tbJwwJ33TEI
Mike Allen
11 Posted 02/10/2017 at 09:39:02
Keeping Lukaku and bringing in one or two more strikers would not make any difference because Mr Koeman's latest utterance is we don't have anybody to create chances. However, that is bad enough but we don't have anyone who can defend either.

The media are now jumping on the bandwagon regarding his future; yes, he should go now but I think, as daft it may sound, he will be kept on until Coleman is up and running again.

I just hope that, when he does go, Unsworth is given the chance. It may well take another couple of years to bring these lads through but rather that than a quick fix with mercenaries.

Paul Kennedy
12 Posted 02/10/2017 at 10:37:59
Please let all the press speculation be accurate for once!

I really can find no justification for this man to be in charge of our club. He is going to get us relegated with his lack of tactics and man motivation. Pay him off now!!!

Mike Allen
13 Posted 02/10/2017 at 10:45:13
Picking an eleven and system is all very well – that's what we do as fans – but we haven't put in a 90-min plus display since the Moyes era or the Unsworth game.
Bob Parrington
14 Posted 02/10/2017 at 10:56:05
Difficult to know where to stat on this page. Deflated - yes ! Was there an improvement - Yes! Players showed better attitude - Yes!

Two or three players going for the same ball - yes!
Complete imbalance? Yes!

Weak defence? Yes
Poor attack? Yes

Cluttered midfield? Yes!

WTF. Could do better and would only charge less than GBP500,000.00!!!!

Simple is stupid and stupid is simple. Why do we pay the big dollars to these coaches/managers? when most of them dnotavafkn clue?

Tony Everan
15 Posted 02/10/2017 at 11:21:30
Lyndon , that sums it up.

The way it is going we will be able to field an 11 of tens!

The fact that Lukaku wasn't replaced is becoming the story of our season.

It was truly painful to see the 30 and 40 yard shots yesterday. A side without the imagination, creativity or pace to get behind or play through a Burnley defence says it all.

I invented a few new swear words after the 7th or 8th shot from distance flew high and wide. It was severely depressing fayre.

We have to shake off this diabolical form and fight like lions, or we will be in a bottom 6 dogfight.

I am starting to think that elimination from the Europa cup will give us hope of avoiding relegation. What a terrible way to be thinking , but it is pragmatic looking at the current situation.

Clive Mitchell
16 Posted 02/10/2017 at 11:45:18
I think any fair-minded person would acknowledge the accuracy of your article Lyndon. I don't though think Martina is one of the critical errors. He was brought in as a stop-gap, our resources are finite, and the problems this season are not rooted in Martina playing at right back. The team isn't good enough. Ashley Williams is one of the crudest centre backs I've ever seen in an Everton shirt, but he walks into this side on merit. Leighton Baines is no longer young, strong or fast enought to play at this level. Gueye and Schneiderlin don't have enough impact on matches to merit two places in the team between them. Sandro, Klaassen and Sigurdsson are peripheral figures who look unlikely ever to be anything else. Our youngsters are hugely talented, but even the characterful Davies is struggling playing in such a poor, disjointed and dispirited side. Right now we're desperate to get back any of Coleman, Funes Mori, Barkley, McCarthy, Bolasie. All five walk into this team. Whatever happens on the manager, those five and the January window are where hope lies.
Nicholas Ryan
17 Posted 02/10/2017 at 13:19:01
You're right [again] Lyndon; the problem is not so much that we're bad, it's that the likelihood of positive change, seems to be zero!
Jem Bir
18 Posted 02/10/2017 at 13:28:54
Crap start to the season and boy that game was poor. It's a perfect article and, like you, I fear that there is little sign of things getting better. But Koeman is here and he's a proven manager.

Time, we have to give him some more time. I'd've said a season... he probably has a month.

Craig Walker
19 Posted 02/10/2017 at 13:36:31
I said to my brother yesterday when we went 1-0 down. You watch the clock. Before you know it, it'll be 70 mins and we'll still be trailing. Then 80 mins will pass. Around 85 mins, we'll throw everything at them and have hard lines. Seen it so many times.

The board need to decide whether we want to be a top club. If they do, then they need to be ruthless and sack Koeman and especially, Steve Walsh. How can either of them justify their exhorbitant wages? I was a fan of Koeman but I hate myself this morning for being so gullible, yet again. When do we ever learn eh? We're so desperate for success that we think we've turned a corner just by spending some cash. I have to say that every single one of Koeman's signings is looking questionable at this point with, possibly, the exception of Pickford but he's still not convincing me.

How many players down the years have stepped up a level and joined us and turned out to be awful signings? There are some players like Tim Cahill, say, who manage it but most of them are overrawed and never quite play well for us. Sigurdsson is a case in point. He really does look to be one of the biggest waste of money transfers in our history. The guy looks like Niclas Alexandersson. It's so depressing being a Blue sometimes.

Martin Mason
20 Posted 02/10/2017 at 13:48:40
Lukaku kept us looking like a top half side but he's gone now, despite spending ridiculous money we can now see that the emperor has no clothes.

The major problem though is that the mismanagement of the project has happened and reversing it will be difficult for any manager including the worlds best. We have many one paced, aged or just tactically naïve players who are now on the books for years and, like Koeman are going nowhere without being paid off. We can't re-spend that money, it has been thrown off Brighton pier already.

Unlike most I don't just blame Koeman, he's just a jumped up and fairly untalented coach. The blame has to be taken by Moshiri and BK. The situation we are in now is not just bad, it could mean the end of the project before it has really begun and a return to our managed decline into oblivion.

A real lesson is that buying players on its own isn't a guarantee of success. We lost the transfer window and burdened the club with half a team of donkeys and the only solution now is to replace them with players who cost us nothing. Keeping Ross is critical now for the club.

Jonathan Tasker
21 Posted 02/10/2017 at 13:50:11
The Board don't want to win anything. They just want to stay in the Premier League.

However, with this team and with this number of chances created, I think major surgery will be required in the next transfer window to save us.

Koeman has failed. All we are waiting for now is when he gets sacked.

Craig Walker
22 Posted 02/10/2017 at 13:50:36
Kevin @5. I know people vehemently disagree but I'd look at Benitez. I hated the guy with his "small club" jibe after we parked the bus but he's managed at some of the biggest clubs in the world, he knows how to win cups, in particular. Even when he was disliked at Chelsea, he won the Europa league. His Newcastle team yesterday competed against the RS despite him having his hands tied during the transfer window. When was the last time we competed in a derby? I also think he'd jump at the chance to manage us given the wages he'd get. I can't see someone like Ancelotti coming to Everton, as much as I'd like him to. Let's see how much ambition Moshiri really has though. I predict Koeman getting a draw at best at Brighton and another home defeat by Arsenal.
Tony Everan
23 Posted 02/10/2017 at 14:24:21
Craig
The FSW is a better coach than Koeman , thinks about the game more intelligently.
He has a limited side in Newcastle but has them organised , well drilled and is getting the best out of them.
Whether he is right for our club is debateable.

John Keating
24 Posted 02/10/2017 at 15:25:57
I believe whether we had kept Lukaku, bought Giroud, in fact bought anyone would be immaterial to our season so far. The tactics are not even schoolboy level. Game management and man management are abysmal.

The excuses of players getting used to each other, the number of new faces need time to gel, injuries, fixture list early doors are all pathetic. Professional, international footballers can surely master the basics of a really basic sport.

For someone who was reputed to be one of the best defenders in the world, Koeman's defensive set up and tactics are horrendous. He like us witness the same shit game after game and for whatever reason known only to him, he refuses to totally revamp his plan.

The Club cannot allow this to continue and I suggest he be replaced immediately and the Royle/Rhino team step in until a top replacement can be sourced.

Brian Wilkinson
25 Posted 02/10/2017 at 19:05:50
I think Darren Hind had his opinions and a lot shot the guy down early doors, personally speaking, I think Darren got it spot on about Ronnie, a lot more are now running out of defending Ronnie, me included about time for players to settle.

We play with no width, defensive midfielders and midfield to close together, we cannot carry on playing this way, something has to change and quick.

We can put it down to having a tough start to the season, injuries, Burnley being well organised, Europa league teams being decent, but personally, last Thursdays game and Sunday, we were simply poor, we made Atalanta look like world beaters.

Keane does not know who he is playing alongside from one week to the next, Davies is in and out of the team, Ronnie needs to get a settled side and stop playing too compact with no width, I will give the guy until the end of October, but I am not holding my breath.

Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 02/10/2017 at 19:30:22
Very good article, and loads of sensible posts aswell. Brian, I bet you that Darren, in spite of all the arguing on T/W, wishes he was wrong, but he wasn't unfortunately and we need to make the change now.

I said to the fella, sitting next to me yesterday, that I had seen Sean Dyche, leaving Goodison, after Everton, had lost to Spurs, and I bet you they try and attack our right fullback?

Koeman's getting paid a fortune, and Koeman, is learning fucking nothing. Like most people I've said enough about him now, and hope for the good of Everton Football Club, that his time is now up.

I'm older now, but it still hurts, I actually ended up going to the pier head, and going on a big long walk after yesterday's game, because after everything that has gone on before, I couldn't believe we still never played with no width?

Went the gym this morning, and quite a few of those horrible red bastards were trying to give me loads, it wasn't easy, but like most Evertonians, I just wished that the team could show as much fight and defiance as us fans.

Don Alexander
27 Posted 02/10/2017 at 20:01:06
Koeman is in the mire and the performances and formations are his responsibility but is it CERTAIN that he is also responsible for the recruitment shambles of failing to sign the three players he said were needed as the window neared closure?

This isn't to defend him but failure in that area, coupled with a net spend of just £40mill since he was appointed, might be the responsibility of others. Failing to sign a centre-forward has criminally let us all down and de-railed the three year project for at least one full season in my opinion and, as I've said before, whoever was responsible deserves the sack.

Brent Stephens
28 Posted 02/10/2017 at 20:12:58
Tony #26 " I actually ended up going to the pier head, and going on a big long walk after yesterday's game".

Could you go on a very long with and talk his nibs with you? You can come back.

Tony Abrahams
29 Posted 02/10/2017 at 20:40:01
I don't get that Brent, but I actually saw a plack, that was thanking the Dutch navy for keeping our lifeline open during the Second World War!

Or is it the song to hell with Liverpool, and Koeman too?

Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 02/10/2017 at 20:51:58
Should have said plaque that! Also started talking to this fella, because he was carrying an Everton shopping bag, and he was only a fuckin cloggy!

Awful game I said, your compatriot is killing us, and that was the end of the convo, haha!

Brent Stephens
31 Posted 02/10/2017 at 21:02:44
You have a way with words, Tony!
Brent Stephens
32 Posted 02/10/2017 at 21:04:02
Soz, Tony, meant to say take Mr K on a long walk. Leave him at the destination. And then you're welcome back.
David Hallwood
33 Posted 02/10/2017 at 21:43:15
Great article Lyndon; but having said that I really don't know whether we should stick or twist with this. Do we go on the Watford/Palace revolving door managerial policy, or should we persevere with RK; after all he's not a rookie coach, and had Southampton playing really good football, or has the start of the season (and don't forget the back end of last season) been that bad that change is the only solution.

You make good points about the new arrivals, but are they struggling to bed in(wouldn't be the first) or are they just bang average players.

My own hobbyhorse is the 2 holding mids: It worked well 3-4 seasons ago when we had flying full backs BUT the goal return from the 2 holders in the last 3-4 seasons has been pitiful and I would be surprised if it's in double figures-so we have 2 mids, regardless if it's Barry, Macca, Gana, Snieds, Besic, that aren't chipping in with goals, and looking at our goals against column, don't stop them going in either. Added to that Snieds and Gana are horribly out of form, and a pale shadow of the 2 players that were the heartbeat of everything we did after Christmas.

What's to be done? well if Koeman is to stay it's a statement of the bleedin' obvious that things must change, so do we pray for a Kevin Brock back pass moment, or should it be (my favoured option), change the formation to 4-4-2; pace down the flanks and two centre mids as opposed to DM(and if you want to know the difference see how Burnley set up).

This isn't Walker or Smith revisited; the squad is far superior than the Mitch Wards, Scott Gemmils, Carl Tilers of the world, which probably makes the shite being served up all the more inexcusable.

So over to you Ronnie; go and earn your £6 mill. Final point, ther's been a number of posters with the opinion that RK doesn't care about Everton. That's tosh; he mightn't care about Everton, but he cares about his reputation, and should he get sacked the chances getting a job on par with the Everton job, let alone a top one will be nil. He'd be remembered as the man who spent £150mil and went backwards.

Andy Crooks
34 Posted 02/10/2017 at 21:54:20
Lyndon, I respect your views, like your writing and I would like your opinion. Should he be sacked and will the editorial team call for it?
Bobby Thomas
35 Posted 02/10/2017 at 00:12:24
Martina; Keane; Williams; Baines

That's our back 4. Anyone who thinks we have a quality squad, think again. Baines & Williams are finished as first choice Prem players. One is Martina for Christ sakes. Keane is suffering.

I thought we needed 2 new first choice centre backs prior to Mori's injury. It's been very apparent for over a year a long term successor to Baines was required. This is a slow, old back 4. That leads to trouble. We are paying the price for some shocking recruitment at center back. We badly need a quick, commanding one. Dare I say, a young Jagielka.

Defensively, we are in the position of needing to sign yet more players, meaning more churn, more flux, more players to bed in. However even if it's only a loan, he badly needs a centre back in.

This window has been a total fuck up & we have turned ourselves into relegation candidates. This is one of the most unbalanced squads I have ever seen a top flight side put together. To compound matters, we are fundamentally weak in crucial positions.

Fuck the Europa. We havent got the squad to handle it. I would play weakened sides in it from now & focus everything on the league.

This is why. The next 5 league games are:

Away Brighton; Home Arsenal; Away Leicester; Home Watford.

Depending on results, it could be game over for Koeman at home to Watford.

After that we have Palace away 18.11.

Make no mistake, we are a poor side with problems at the back & up top that aren't going away anytime soon. Buckle up.

Clive Mitchell
36 Posted 03/10/2017 at 00:46:53
There's quite a bit on the site about whether Koeman is himself responsible for the signings. Personally, I think ex-Southampton Martina, Dutchman Klaassen, and silky Sigurdsson are quite clearly Koeman signings. But I'd actually look at the Koeman thing the other way. Is there one thing about his time as manager that is a positive, that he's done well? I can't think of one.

Me and the lad initially thought it was refreshing to hear a manager who was unimpressed by everything. Antidote to 'phenomenal'. Turned out that the manager was too stupid to be impressed by Ross Barkley and alienated players who we desperately needed.

This is a poor, poor side. When he came we had Lukaku, Barkley, McCarthy, Deulofeu. Look at us now. And it's all his own work.

Dave OConnell
37 Posted 03/10/2017 at 11:17:11
Next four games can see us getting 3 points out of 12 will be in a relagation battle for sure
Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 03/10/2017 at 12:46:22
I would love to be able to go for a long walk with Koeman, Brent, but I would also loved to have gone on a long walk with both Moyes and Martinez!

People keep saying we are a poor team and, although results never lie, and the biggest barometer is always performance, I'd still argue that a decent manager could turn our season around. I'm pretty certain in fact.

Dave Abrahams
39 Posted 03/10/2017 at 13:17:50
A few Everton fans are asking should Koeman go or stay, looking at him and reading his after game responses, I would ask:

Does he look like he wants to stay, It seems to me that it doesn't matter one way or the other to Koeman, especially with the pay off he will receive.

Tom Bowers
40 Posted 03/10/2017 at 13:42:24
It's hard in the light of the season so far to find a good thing that Koeman has done. However, Vlasic seems to be a real gem. Somehow though he has not managed to inspire this squad and playing as a tight knit unit is far and away the biggest thing missing.

I believe he may last another month and then he will be axed if things continue as they are. We all wonder why the situations regarding Niasse and Barkley came about and maybe also why Lookman hasn't progressed.

Sandro still looks out of his depth and Mirallas clearly is awaiting the January window. As I said yesterday something is rotten in Denmark not just Goodison.

Brent Stephens
41 Posted 03/10/2017 at 13:48:19
Tony, I hope with the next manager, whoever it is, you get the chance to keep those slippers on, enjoy that pipe, and sip on that cocoa.
Neville Jones
44 Posted 03/10/2017 at 17:28:18
For what it's worth, I think that this low point is certainly worthy of a comment.

We all know the problems so let's look at the possible solutions based on current form and players available. Perhaps we need to take a leaf out of Joe Royle's book, a much derided and under appreciated manager, get some fight back, pace and width in the team.

Formation: 4-4-2 (no so called No 10, 2 strikers linking together not miles apart)

Goalie: Pickford
Left back: Baines
Right back: Kenny
Central defenders: Keane, Holgate
Central Midfield defender: Besic
Central Attacking midfield: Rooney
Left side midfield: Mirallas
Right side: Vlasic
Strikers: Lookman and Calvert-Lewin

Bench: Robles, Jagielka (assuming fit), Davies, Klaassen, Niasse, Gueye

We would then have pace, strength, width and goal scorers. There might be some eyebrows raised but we need to tell each player what their role is and then get the team to play to a pattern. We need guts and team spirit.

Play Rooney in short bursts, swapping with Davies so not always in the team, depending. Don't play him for more than 70 minutes unless he's outstanding.

I don't believe we have brought in bad players but they need time which we don't have much of so they will have to wait.

Get Dunc in the dressing room to give a short 1 minute speech before the lads run out, no harm done.

Give the manager until Christmas, if things have not improved then he has to go, appoint Unsie and either Joe Royle as assistant for advice when needed or Dunc (if Joe doesn't want it), if Dunc then Joe still available as an old head if necessary.

Finally, Geri Deulofeu in Barcelona's 1st team, best right midfielder since Trevor. Definitely missed.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 03/10/2017 at 19:04:42
I don't want to get old, Brent, I want to start traveling all over the country to watch my team again, mate!
Brent Stephens
46 Posted 03/10/2017 at 19:09:04
That's the spirit, Tony!
Phil Walling
47 Posted 03/10/2017 at 20:08:25
Whatever the present ire of ToffeeWeb editors and contributors, it will take little more than a mini revival of three or four wins to see Koeman, Moshiri et al restored to their hitherto roles as 'Heroes of the New Everton.'

How many times have we seen this scenario in the present century? So desperate are we to see our Club 'turn the corner' that 'blips' like the present run of results are forgotten in a trice. It's what being a Blue is all about, don't ya know?

So just cheer up, won't youse all!

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