Koeman will take time to assess player needs at Everton

, 17 June, 46comments  |  Jump to most recent

Ronald Koeman will begin the process of assessing the squad of players he has inherited from Roberto Martinez now that he is on Merseyside and the formalities of his appointment are out the way.

The Dutchman was officially unveiled as the Blues' new manager at a press conference with Chairman Bill Kenwright this afternoon where he was asked about his plans for the team, what areas of the squad he might look to improve and what he will do about the likes of John Stones and Romelu Lukaku who have been strongly linked with moves away from Goodison Park this summer.

Lukaku has made no secret of his desire and that of his agent Mino Raiola to secure a move to a Champions League club while Stones continues to be talked about as a much coveted potential acquisition for the likes of Manchester City.

“I had the experience in my last two years with there always being a lot of interest in the [club's] players,” Koeman explained. “First of all, like everybody, I'd like to keep these key players because you don't sell your best players.

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“But that's about meetings I will have these players and we'll see what happens.

“I will talk to many players. Lukaku is a key player, a goalscorer. You don't want to lose one of your best players. If I can do something about that, I'll do it.

“He's still a young player, he needs support and needs to improve.”

The 53-year-old spoke in similar terms about Stones who, like Lukaku, is currently on international duty at the European Championship finals, and he was also asked if the 22-year-old being a “ball-playing” centre half like Koeman was in his playing days would make things easier.

“Of course sometimes you have something more [to offer a player] because they play in the same position as you did in the past so it will be good support for him,” Koeman continued.

“First of all, I'd like to talk to him personally and [see] what he's feeling and then make conclusions.”

Aware, of course, of Everton's poor record last season, particularly at home, Koeman explained that turning Goodison Park into a fortress will be one of the priorities for him and his backroom staff.

Part of that will entail squad strengthening but the Zandaam-born manager said that he will take the time to vet the players that he will has at his disposal before outlining what moves might be needed in the transfer market where he has reportedly been promised significant funds.

“There is budget, of course,” he said. “That's part of taking the next step but you need to know what we have in the Academy and if we agree, finally, that we need better players or players in differet positions then we will work on that. But that's always after we know what we have in the squad.

“The best way to do this is to talk about the squad with the people involved at the club. It's not the way to [assess things] from outside of the club. First, we will have meetings about the players, about the squad and what we need.

“We're keeping David [Unsworth] and Duncan Ferguson in the club and they have more experience than I have with Everton players.

“We have some good young players, good players in the squad. I remember the 3-0 defeat to Everton last season. To make the next step, maybe we need to sign [new players] but we will take our time for that.

Koeman was asked about whether he would be looking back towards St Mary's Stadium for players he might wish to bring with him to Everton.

The Blues have already been linked with the likes of striker Graziano Pellè and goalkeeper Fraser Forster but the manager was cautious about further inflaming the situation with his former club.

“It's difficult,” Koeman said. “I like most of the players. We will see what happens but maybe it's better not to [pick] more fights with [Southampton].”


Reader Comments (46)

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Barrie Abbott
1 Posted 17/06/2016 at 21:13:47
Yep, makes sense. Like what I'm hearing so far. Ambitious, assess the current squad, get new players in.

No bullshit – which is the main thing.

Steve Bingham
2 Posted 17/06/2016 at 22:02:33
If he is given the time , space and support from all sides then this could be a very exciting and interesting couple of seasons which will create a great future for our club.
Sue Brown
3 Posted 17/06/2016 at 22:25:06
I like people who talk straight, say it as it is and don't talk crap for the sake of it. The Dutch are noted for this, so I like what I'm hearing so far. I don't see him rushing to blow the budget before knowing what he's got already.
Andrew Presly
4 Posted 17/06/2016 at 22:25:36
Ive got a slight man boobs aka moobs issue with the image accompanying this item but other than that, all is well.
Iain Thomson
5 Posted 17/06/2016 at 22:28:25
I concur not a good fabric that for man of a certain age with some man whammers...

nice to have a manager talk and not make me want to vomit though

Tony Hill
6 Posted 17/06/2016 at 22:39:14
Roberto was moobless, but a busty winner will be just fine. It can happen to the older sportsman.

Meantime, we should beware of reading him as a straight-talking Dutch maestro just because he doesn't talk outright shite. The thing, as always, is what occurs when we start playing and we'll see about that. Confident though.

Colin Leary
7 Posted 17/06/2016 at 23:06:15
I thought Koeman conducted himself great.. No big words like Martinez. He seems the real deal.
Winston Williamson
8 Posted 17/06/2016 at 23:07:29
Well, he's going to assess the academy and talk to David Unsworth and Ferguson. This bodes well for the young quartet whom featured in the Norwich game (subject to Koeman's approval)...

He makes a lot of sense.

Let's see how it develops.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 17/06/2016 at 23:14:47
A bit of a hatchet job in the Guardian, implying Koeman moved for the money, being the 4th team in the north west and Everton aren't bigger than Southampton etc..... In the very recent past those type of snidey, shithole comments would've pissed me off. Nowadays? I don't give a flying fuck what these journo scumbags think of us. They are a blight on the game with their pathetic kowtowing to their beloved "big clubs".
Eric Holland
10 Posted 17/06/2016 at 23:26:14
Colin the jurno who wrote the article is an Everton fan Owen Wilson,
Which makes it all the more bizarre...
Tony Hill
11 Posted 17/06/2016 at 23:49:58
There is an odd atmosphere about this appointment and I happen to think there were problems here and that our PR and timings have made the introduction of Koeman a bit flat. But I find it strangely encouraging. No good reason for it, except that the whole transaction seems to be disillusioned and that's always a good thing. Even Kenwright struggled to squeeze a tear.

Dan Davies
12 Posted 17/06/2016 at 23:50:46
The only way we change the perception of this club in the eyes of the London based media is to give them something to talk about.

We do that by signing big name players and actually winning things, then they will take us serious and show respect, until that happens..... plucky Everton I'm afraid.

Peter Larkin
13 Posted 17/06/2016 at 23:59:39
It's funny people saying how great the press conference was, lets rewind to the Martinez appointment three years ago. I can remember everyone saying it's so great to hear his positivity instead of Moyes dire persona...

Like everything, I'll judge him with his transfer activity and how we play. So far, all standard stuff from the new boss.

Don Alexander
14 Posted 18/06/2016 at 00:08:00
Koeman seems to me to have got the max from the squad he inherited and then replaced at Southampton. That to me speaks volumes for his mentality and ability. He wants to win.

Next question?

Mike Green
15 Posted 18/06/2016 at 00:25:04
Correct Dan #12. The media will be over us like a rash if we start making waves next season.

I agree with Colin 9# too - I don't give a fuck to be honest. Half of the papers are LFC Fanzines, let's just go out and win things and stick two fingers up when we get there.

I get the feeling Koeman is uncompromising, backed by a man who gets what he wants. Break up the status quo and the press will be following us like dogs trailing in the scent of success. If Koeman achieves his goals we achieve ours, if he moves on we can go again. This feels like we are on the upward spiral.

Come On You Blues.

Laurie Hartley
16 Posted 18/06/2016 at 00:30:08
There is only one way to shut them up and from what I have seen so far I think our new manager is just the man to do it.
Mick Davies
17 Posted 18/06/2016 at 01:46:28
Winston @ 8, exactly my thoughts as soon as he mentioned 'Academy'. Our previous managers have paid lip-service to 'promoting the youngsters' but preferred to risk injured older first choicers, even out of position before giving youth a chance. Moyes was practically forced to play Rooney by public demand, but chose to keep Stones, Barkley etc out of the limelight, and shipped a 21 year old Coleman out to Blackpool while Hibbert was being led a merry dance by most PL wingers.
I believe Koeman has given a few young ones a chance in his short spell at St Mary's, namely young Targett, and cementing the place of Ward-Prowse as a regular. It all bodes well for the future then . . oh wait, this is Everton under the Panto-Prince - "look behind you"
Jimmy Salt
18 Posted 18/06/2016 at 07:11:09
Makes a mockery of all these transfer rumours.
Rick Tarleton
19 Posted 18/06/2016 at 07:32:27
Very sensible, and predictable. He said exactly what we wanted him to say. Let's hope it all goes according to his plan. I wish him luck if that's what he needs.
Les Martin
20 Posted 18/06/2016 at 07:53:05
The right approach from the Manager. However you get bet your last pound that sooner or later the Barry/McCarthy axis in midfield will be gone with Barry coming to the end and McCarthy offering little, we need more pace, guile and passing ability in the engine room please.
Liam Reilly
21 Posted 18/06/2016 at 08:06:28
Fuck the papers and the journalists. The Sky favourites were gatecrashed first by Chelsea and then by City and both were mocked about their audacity to be challenging because of their new cash.

Leicester then broke the mould last season, yet the Shite still apieared on tv more often. Change is hopefully coming and the game needs it.

John Graham
22 Posted 18/06/2016 at 08:13:02
I hope we don't sign big name players just because they have big names. Could be difficult to fit on my Everton top, doesn't mean they will improve the team, usually they are big heads who disrupt the squad, they usually want too much money and if they are any good they leave for more money.
As he said, he needs to see if he can get any more from the players here and decide who is not good enough then he can work out who he needs to replace and who he can get to replace them.
Mark Murphy
23 Posted 18/06/2016 at 08:36:16
Off topic Mick but I don't recall Hibbo being led a merry dance by as many as you make out.
An unsung hero for me Hibbo!
Trevor Lynes
24 Posted 18/06/2016 at 08:38:44
John...almost every player has an ego otherwise he would not be playing premier league football.I would jump at a Mahrez or Payet in any Everton side.Either would immediately improve the team and lift the squad and the fans.I am sick at watching our club buying very average players like McCarthy and Cleverley in the midfield.We are paying decent money for players who no other premier league side are interested in.These players just make up the numbers but add nothing creatively and neither do they chip in with a few goals.We need to buy two or three players who will excite the fans and raise the club ambition.If we can do that and manage to hang on to our better players then I will be happier.

Ian Burns
25 Posted 18/06/2016 at 08:50:05
The fact he has pointedly mentioned Unsy (and big Dunc) speaks volumes for his thought process and must be music to the ears of our youngsters and I am thinking at the moment of Davies; Dowell; Connolly; Pennington; Kenny; Holgate; Foulds etc.

The fact he wants to sit with Stones and Lukaku (and maybe Ross) also says a great deal about him impending approach and if JS or Rom still wish to leave then he knows the quality of player(s) he has to bring in to improve the squad. I am loving this already.

Eddie Dunn
26 Posted 18/06/2016 at 09:14:28
Colin, many of those journos are Oxbridge know-alls who have got into football after reading "When Saturday comes".
They just don't know their history.
Eddie Dunn
27 Posted 18/06/2016 at 09:15:35
Ian, I expect that Koeman was told that he would have to keep those two.
John Graham
28 Posted 18/06/2016 at 09:30:19
Ian (25)
Don't forget Ledson, he's going to be a Star. Also agree with all others you said .
Alan J Thompson
29 Posted 18/06/2016 at 10:45:22
It's what you would expect; "I know most of your main players and that some of them may want away. I'll be speaking to them about that and I'll be speaking to the backroom staff about the players I'm not well up on. After that I'll be speaking to the Board about most of the players I've always fancied".

Commonsense and diplomacy.

Olalekan Taofik
30 Posted 18/06/2016 at 11:00:15

We have a rich Academy set up, this is an area where Ron should look at strenghten the team with experienced older players of whose ages should be between 25 & 28 yrs.

Please,can someone tell me if we still have AM0KACHI twins in our academy. They should have come age now, though they want them educated before playing proffessional football.

William Cartwright
31 Posted 18/06/2016 at 11:39:41
Saying all the right things in an efficient no-frills fashion. I liked the way he fielded the Southampton question, and then went back to give a classy back reference to thank the club and the players and then moved on.

If he manages as well as he talks then it should be a great appointment. Different as chalk and cheese from Roberto!

I just wonder how it will pan out if as we all believe, the players are much better than their form portrayed, that they are motivated in a new team spirit, played in their right positions, and we land 1 or 2 quality additions the sky really could be the limit.

Bottom line is the confidence meter has just moved up after the first media discussions and I am really looking forward to the next season, big time!

William Cartwright
32 Posted 18/06/2016 at 11:39:42
Saying all the right things in an efficient no-frills fashion. I liked the way he fielded the Southampton question, and then went back to give a classy back reference to thank the club and the players and then moved on.

If he manages as well as he talks then it should be a great appointment. Different as chalk and cheese from Roberto!

I just wonder how it will pan out if as we all believe, the players are much better than their form portrayed, that they are motivated in a new team spirit, played in their right positions, and we land 1 or 2 quality additions the sky really could be the limit.

Bottom line is the confidence meter has just moved up after the first media discussions and I am really looking forward to the next season, big time!

Paul Williams
33 Posted 18/06/2016 at 11:50:14
Interesting stats table in today's Sun. Win rate in Premiership:
Moyes 41%
Martinez 38%
Royle 37%
Kendall 31%
Smith 29%
Walker 19%
Koeman 47%
Dave Williams
34 Posted 18/06/2016 at 12:33:48
The appointment was almost an anti climax because it was widely believed arak was the man from the start and let's not forget he has come from a small club which has not won anything hence the disinterest from the press.

I think we must avoid buying big just because we can. Big name buys would attract the interest of the press because they make headlines but what we need is to strengthen in certain areas ( we all know which ones) and sort out the team ethic and fighting spirit which disappeared after the West Ham defeat. Bringing in talented youngsters where they are supported by a strong defence and team full of fight will work better than risking injured or over the hill " names" .

Let's not forget we have a number of very good players who went AWOL in the second half of the season and RK has to reinvigorate them quickly.

Rom is mouthing off again and I expect him to be sold unless RK can really impose himself to the extent that Rom realises that he is not going to be allowed to dictate with RK around and maybe his game will improve within his brave new team if he buckles down to some bloody hard work and really learns his craft. His ego must be enormous to be bragging about how the big teams want him on the back of his embarrassing display against Italy and this to me has to be sorted quickly as an ego like that will get in the way of everything RK wants to do.

I think Stones will stay to learn from the maestro in his position and so will Ross. Shipping Rom out quickly will send a message to the rest of the squad that oversized egos will not be tolerated and will be stamped on rather than encouraged as appeared to be the case with penalty duties last season.

Ronald strikes me as a man who will be ruthless to get what he wants and that is just what we need. The press will soon want to know when they see the winds of change.

Phil Walling
35 Posted 18/06/2016 at 12:43:46
Surely no outrage at the suggestion that money was not the decider in the move ? Most of us have changed jobs to improve our financial circumstances so why should football managers behave differently ?

Whatever the motivation, and it certainly could not have been a love of Everton which other managers have professed, all we can ask is that Koeman does a bloody good job whilst sparing us the total bullshit that was his predecessor's stock in trade !

Phil Walling
36 Posted 18/06/2016 at 12:46:04
Please remove the NOT in my first sentence. Money WAS the decider but who cares ?
Steavey Buckley
37 Posted 18/06/2016 at 12:46:28
One of the biggest concerns for Koeman, as he assesses Everton's playing staff, not just the risk of losing Everton's top goal scorer, is the failure of Everton's midfield to score goals. Yet, many Everton fans are happy to see Lukaku go. So where are the goals coming from?
Craig McFarlane
38 Posted 18/06/2016 at 12:57:49
The biggest thing for me with the RK presser was the amount of times he said the word 'win'.. and didn't mention 'performance' once!

He's a born winner and will set us up to win games one way or another... this (I hope) bodes extremely well for the future!

Looking forward to shouting "Koeman Everton, these are shite!" in the coming months!

Phil Walling
39 Posted 18/06/2016 at 13:21:51
Steavey, I think it is his attitude rather than his goals they want to see the back of !
Anto Byrne
40 Posted 18/06/2016 at 13:48:21
Rom on his day is one of our better players. Let's see how it all pans out.
Damian Wilde
41 Posted 18/06/2016 at 14:54:10
Steavey, the set up will be different, so more goals may come from midfield e.g. Mirallas & Barkley - Spanish clown stifled them.

Plus, he will more than likely sugn one-two strikers.

And Phil has it spot on.

Damian Wilde
42 Posted 18/06/2016 at 15:01:23
Spot on Colin. I'll tweet that journo and in polite terms call him a vacuous knob.


"I am sick at watching our club buying very average players like McCarthy and Cleverley in the midfield."

With you there 100%. Get shot of both.

I love how Koeman said Rom needed to improve - spot on.

Phil Walling
43 Posted 18/06/2016 at 15:27:50
Damien, so for you and Colin the 'double your money' offer was of no significance. Really ?
Charles Barrow
44 Posted 18/06/2016 at 16:24:21
Of course money was the motivator - that, and the chance of glory, is the main reason football players, managers etc move. That is completely understandable. We all surely know that the only people loyal in football are the fans. However, I don't care if he moved for money, so long he is successful. If he isn't - then ship him out! If he is - he's a hero!
Ian Robert
45 Posted 18/06/2016 at 19:08:33
Mark #23 with you on that mate...don't recall the players "dancing" passed Hibbo...getting tired of the uninformed Hibbo comments, great servant and solid defender!!
Tony Hill
46 Posted 18/06/2016 at 23:34:58
Sensible comments from Koeman about Barkley being reported, both supportive and demanding. That is what I'm looking froward to most of all, seeing whether the new manager can release Ross's great talent and can remove his mental blocks. If he can, then that alone will justify his appointment.

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