Koeman's Detachment Will Mean Little If He Brings Blues Success

The manager's "cold fish" demeanour may be something Evertonians will have to accept as a necessary part of the club's attempts to take the next big step forward.

Lyndon Lloyd 10/11/2016 93comments  |  Jump to last

He has only been at the helm for five months and 11 Premier League matches but there are already questions being raised by some sections of the fanbase over Ronald Koeman's suitability for the Everton job. Take it as a sign of the lack of patience pervasive in the modern game or evidence of the sense of injury supporters feel when such a high-profile representative of the club goes “off message” and expounds on the future prospects of the club's best player away from Goodison Park. Either way, it's massively premature in my opinion.

The shine has obviously come off the start he has made as Everton manager, a relatively poor sequence of results culminating in last weekend's disaster at Chelsea, and Koeman hasn't helped himself in terms of his fledgeling relationship with supporters with his comments over Romelu Lukaku.

Farhad Moshiri has tried to dampen the outrage that has been sparked by what Koeman said about Lukaku's future by saying his comments were misconstrued and, to a degree they have been. The less responsible elements of the media have obviously picked it up and run with it, twisting the manager's rhetoric to suggest that the Belgian will be out the door in January to the highest bidder.

And some Everton fans have reacted with anger at what they perceive to be Koeman's slight against Everton; inappropriate talk for a manager of our great club and a sign that he won't be doing his best to persuade the striker to stay when the next offers come in for his services.

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Based on the reaction from fans here on ToffeeWeb and the response to the latest poll on the site, I'm clearly in the minority in not being overly concerned with what Koeman said. No Blue wants to hear talk like that but, first of all, it's sensible to consider the audience — Koeman was talking to a Belgian newspaper about one of their star players — while, secondly, bearing in mind that he was talking about Lukaku being good enough to play for Barcelona one day. How many Blues expect him to still be playing for us in two years' time let alone when he's at his peak at 28?

Put simply, while he clearly as a wry sense of humour and a deep love for his family, the Dutchman doesn't strike one as being the type of manager to get emotionally invested in a club (although I imagine Barcelona is fairly close to his heart). After all, he has defied rivalries and loyalties in his own country by managing all three of the Netherlands' top clubs and he was able to transition easily out of Southampton just weeks after assuring their fans that he would honour the final year of his contract there. We Evertonians obviously hope that he will be highly successful at Goodison Park, that he will be forever touched by Everton and that “nothing will be the same again” for him but, just as he appeared to have ice in his veins as one the best defenders of his era, Koeman comes off as something of a "cold fish" when it comes to football management.

And that doesn't have to be a bad thing. Most fans were aware from the outset when he first joined from Southampton that Koeman would probably only be at Goodison Park for the duration of his three-year contract and that, at most, he would move to rolling one-year deals after that if he still had unfinished business.

Having lived through two seasons of Roberto Martinez's declining tenure and seen Moshiri land his number one target over the summer to replace the Catalan, most Blues were comfortable with the arrangement — the hope being, of course, that he could propel the club into the top four, depart for an even “bigger” project for himself, and leave Everton in the position of being able to attract a top-class replacement.

In the interim, it seems as though the trade-off will be having to get used to the Dutchman's somewhat detached demeanour with his references to “Everton” rather than “we”, something we're not used to as Evertonians. Alan Ball's old adage has proven so apt over the years but, perhaps like Lukaku, it doesn't appear at the moment as though Koeman is going to be bitten inexorably by the Everton “bug”. For both, it's likely to remain all business; a means to the next end but, as long as that elevates the club's standing in the process, supporters should probably accept it.

After all, Martinez had immersed himself in Everton's history and culture with the enthusiasm of someone in it for the long haul who was hoping to rebuild a dynasty. He bought into the Blues and talked loquaciously about our grand tradition and we plastered his image on the side of the Main Stand before handing him a new five-year contract but, ultimately, it ended in tears.

The modern-day Premier League has become cut-throat and very Darwinian. Despite Manchester United's floundering since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure and Chelsea's limp defence of their Premier League title last season, the elite clubs have been consolidating their grip on the upper echelons of the top flight — if not competing for the title, always able to finance the squad-building efforts that would, on paper, enable them to do so.

With Moshiri on board, Everton would appear to finally have some financial muscle to join them but a certain amount of pragmatism, ruthlessness and temporary abandonment of sentiment is going to be required to return us to the top table and Koeman would seem to embody that.

And, again like Lukaku, it may well be that Koeman is merely a transitory component in our bid to get back to competing among the top four; they certainly seem to see it that way, but both will have to perform and do well to ensure that their next move beyond Goodison will be a significant step up.

In the meantime, we have to let things play out. Koeman has spoken of needing two years to get the team to where he wants it to be. Together with Steve Walsh, he's had a solitary transfer window, one which did not go entirely according to plan by his and Moshiri's admission, even with the successful acquisitions of Idrissa Gueye, Ashley Williams and Yannick Bolasie. Given how difficult it can be to tempt clubs into selling players in January, they may need next summer to make really significant additions to the squad.

That flying start to the season imbued supporters with a false sense of optimism that Koeman could yield instant results when, instead, we're discovering that getting rid of Martinez was only part of the equation. The team itself needs further surgery before it is capable of taking the next big step forward. That will take time.

My love for Everton knows no bounds but I've lived through managers like Kendall and Royle with their deeply Blue blood, outsiders like Walker and Smith who never seemed to fully understand the club, and Martinez and Moyes who embraced it to varying degrees but weren't able to push the Blues to the next level. To the extent that they “got” Everton, it made little difference.

Obviously, some tact when it comes to speaking to the media would be appreciated but if Ronald Koeman, with Romelu Lukaku as his spearhead, is able to deliver on the promise of Champions League football and, perhaps, a trophy along the way before they moved on to other things, I think most fans would be able to live without either of them fully taking Everton to their hearts.

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Reader Comments (93)

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Oscar Huglin
1 Posted 10/11/2016 at 19:06:30
Dave Williams
2 Posted 10/11/2016 at 19:08:26
A well reasoned piece, Lyndon, but if he only referred to the club as "we" and gave off the notion that he cares about it and us the odds are we wouldn't have reacted like we did.

We don't yet feel that he has bought into what we are and what we aspire to be and indeed what we used to be; it's not asking a lot for him to pay a bit of lip service to this which would unite the fan base behind him and ban the suspicions that surfaced yesterday.

Typing this, I am thinking it is the stuff of the school playground but emotions are still very raw from that shameful exhibition at the weekend; sometimes little niceties can be quite soothing – it's not asking for much!
John Graham
3 Posted 10/11/2016 at 19:17:16
I think it's early days yet and he's still feeling his way. He's mixing things about trying to sort out his best team and also his best squad. I think by the look of it he's already made his mind up on a few of them who he wants out.

I would hope by the end of the next transfer window we will have a couple of players in who will fit into his style of play and would imagine a couple of our youngsters will have embedded themselves in the squad.

If we manage to get into Europe this season, I think he will have done a good job.

Don Alexander
4 Posted 10/11/2016 at 19:20:12
Well said Lyndon.

To us it's love but to everyone taking money out of Everton, and every other club, it's business and professional football has been like that ever since it was invented, hence the word "professional". There's usually no sentiment in a successful business either.

Lyndon Lloyd
5 Posted 10/11/2016 at 19:31:41
Dave (4): "if he only referred to the club as "we" and gave off the notion that he cares about it and us the odds are we wouldn't have reacted like we did"

Oh, I feel the same way. It would be nice to see some emotional attachment to the club from Koeman but I think we'd be asking him to change. As I say, I think he's all business and as long it works to our advantage in the long run, I'm ok with it.

As long as the passion comes from the fans and Farhad keeps falling in love, that will be enough for me!

Peter Warren
6 Posted 10/11/2016 at 19:40:47
I can't criticise Koeman as what he said is true. If he has the potential to be as good as Kluivert and stays, he will have wasted his career (unlike a Le Tissier, Romelu has no love for the club). The truth hurts, it really hurts.
Stan Schofield
7 Posted 10/11/2016 at 20:01:14
I've been an Evertonian for over 55 years, but I don't expect someone brought in, to do a job, to fall in love with Everton. They're not all like Alan Ball. Koeman is paid as a professional, he doesn't do this out of love or as a hobby. Yes, it's nice if he loves Everton, but it's not necessary, and the primary consideration (which IS necessary) is to get a successful team. So ultimately our main interest is in success on the pitch. If Koeman is dispassionate, and even cold, fine so long as he brings success.

That said, precisely because he is a paid professional, I would expect anything he does say to be consistent with promoting Everton's interests. This is not simply desirable, it is absolutely essential. You do not bite the hand that feeds you. I am not complaining about recent comments from Koeman, subject to being assured that he promotes our interests, but I am puzzled by them.

William Cartwright
8 Posted 10/11/2016 at 20:16:38
Given his semi-detached status, his professional record and statements of intent his comments don't surprise or bother me. I believe he is being reasonably restrained if the players are wasting their talent and proving to be unfit sufficient to adopt his pressing game mentality.

He has always been refreshingly honest, and congratulated the opposition when they have played well as did Chelsea last week. I much prefer that to the tinted spectacles approach of managers who are look for excuses and refuse to acknowledge the blindingly obvious.

What is even more refreshing is the support from Moshiri and his willingness to place his views on record. In this I see a cultural shift towards accountable and logical support for the Club from the upper hierarchy and that is a good thing.

Patience, chemistry, marketting, mind games and so on all go with the territory. I believe the season is still the potential we hope for. Watching the RedShites run off at a gallop does concern me but then let's not forget, this is a marathon not a sprint. I bet the team selection at the final run-in will consist of 3 or 4 of the current 11 and a couple of youngsters who have earned their place, a couple of new faces, Ross, Kev, Rom and Geri who will have by then got the message.

Alternatively, it could all turn to shite!

Bill Gienapp
9 Posted 10/11/2016 at 20:24:18
Some actual common sense expressed here. It's one thing to be critical of Koeman's comments, but these knee-jerk shrieks of "Sack him!" are embarrassing.
Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 10/11/2016 at 20:44:25
A lot of fans thought Harry Catterick was a bit of a cold fish and didn't go out of his way to please the crowd, but he was a winner and provided plenty of entertainment as well. He was also, to me, the best manager we have ever had, by far.
David Pearl
11 Posted 10/11/2016 at 20:51:43
Not as embarrassing as Koemans comments.

If the manager doesnt have that connection or passion with the club how can he be succesful? I don't buy it for a second.

I hope Walsh can do it again with his recruitment and in January we can add the quality we need. Surely all involved with Everton should be on the same page.

Chris Williams
12 Posted 10/11/2016 at 20:54:15
Agreed Dave, massively underestimated.

I'd take Koeman over anyone if he could actually get us up and running.

He could be cold, blunt, dismissive, arrogant, tell us all to kiss his arse, or not talk at all, but just win something.

Christ knows what this site would look like if we'd won 5-0!

John Malone
13 Posted 10/11/2016 at 21:19:43
I can't disagree more, Lyndon. Like a truly great manager said, "Football is not a matter of life or death, it is more important than that!"

If Koeman is not intelligent enough or too arrogant to even care to realise that the fans make a football club and it's their hearts and minds that you need to capture and impress to fill them with belief and trust in the manager of THEIR football club to ensure we our going the game full of nothing but excitement and hope!

A football fan wants to dream and believe his or her team can compete with, beat, and become the best!

Say what you want about David Moyes, I have the ultimate respect for the way in which he brought back the pride and respect to our great club and the integrity and dignity he handled all matter's regarding us!

I'm honestly astounded at how either naive or arrogant Koeman is to think he can make a statement like the one he has made and expect to create the right environment to become a winning team – especially after being destroyed by Chelsea five nil in the last game!

Unbelievable! He has absolutely pissed all over everyone's bonfire! What a way to rally the troops!

Dean Adams
14 Posted 10/11/2016 at 21:21:40
Well, I like his cold dispassionate approach to the business at hand. It should ultimately mean he does not pick " favourites" over more talented individuals, but first he has to discover what his current players are capable of, or not and act accordingly.

Long live his calculating way – it surely beats the soft fluffy crap that the last manager ended up doing.

Dave Ganley
15 Posted 10/11/2016 at 21:38:17
Great editorial, as usual, Lyndon. I have said on other posts that I was all for Koeman taking over and that he will do a good job in the long term and I see no reason to change that opinion at the moment. However, being the "boss" he does have a certain responsibility to be careful with what he says regardless of who his audience is. I was annoyed last night when I heard his comments regardless of the context. He is not a stupid man and was probably well aware of what he was saying. The first thing I heard this morning on radio in the car was the sports headline of Everton's manager saying Lukaku has to leave to be a success. It doesn't matter if that's the words he used or not, that's what is being reported. Coming off the back of a 5-0 beating that is the last thing we need.

I appreciate that he is not an Evertonian and we speak from the heart not the head, but we need unity and that kind of talk is not going to do that. We have to live with it, we have to listen and take all the jibes and all the comments about the fat Spanish waiter being right about being a small club.

You don't need to buy into a clubs ethos to understand why we would be annoyed and why that was a gross error of judgement. If he can't understand why it was wrong then he shouldn't be in the business. Football is an emotive game, it's why football is so much different from any other business. In any other business, if you produce shit, then people don't buy your product and you go bust. In football, most of us just don't have that option. We, and many other football fans around the world, live and breathe our football club. We go week after week, rain or shine, whether we are shit or great, we still turn up in our thousands. We don't or can't turn our backs on what we love. The least we can expect is that our manager doesn't make a back-handed insult to the people who idolise what he puts out on the pitch.

Lyndon, you are perfectly right in what you say, if Koeman brings silverware that all will be forgiven, but it doesn't make it right that he insults the club's fans regardless of context. Ask any football fan around the world and they will say the same. I am quite prepared to put this behind us but he really needs to reign himself in with future comments regardless if they are true or not. Fans want hope of what can be – not a cutting reality of what currently is.

Colin Glassar
16 Posted 10/11/2016 at 21:50:21
I've always said there must be something funny in the water in Belgium. Surely it's no coincidence that, every time one of our lot goes there, their brains turn to mush and their tongues seem to have a mind of their own.
Lyndon Lloyd
17 Posted 10/11/2016 at 21:54:16
Dave (15): "...we have to listen and take all the jibes and all the comments about the fat Spanish waiter being right about being a small club."

I appreciate that the nuances of this will never be appreciated by the rabble across the Park and that Koeman's comments really have invited such jibes but, as I expressed in the tweet I added to the article above post-publication, I don't see where he has inferred we are a small club.

He clearly had a club of Barcelona's stature in mind and it's going to take success unprecedented in our history – and by almost all other English clubs – for Everton to be regarded as being on a par with the likes of Barcelona.

Koeman is coming from the perspective of someone who moved around top clubs, played for Barcelona, won the European Cup, and enjoyed all the experiences that go with it. The way I interpret it, he is saying is that Lukaku won't have fulfilled his potential if he doesn't eventually do something similar.

Koeman will have ambitions for Everton but I doubt they extend to winning the Premier League or the Champions League if his time horizon is as short as three years (although we have no way of knowing what his hopes and plans are).

I agree that the comments are ill-timed after Chelsea and another smack in the face, given that Lukaku always bigs himself up to the Belgian press every time he goes home, but there were some fairly honest assessments in there that are typical of Koeman's personality.

Gary Poole
18 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:06:36
Well balanced and sensible thoughts, Lyndon.
Dave Ganley
19 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:13:28
Yes, I appreciate that Lyndon, he is right, we all know that, we haven't won anything for 22 years and we haven't been top dogs for 30 years. It's not that we hold our head in the sand and pretend we don't have major issues as a club to contend with; we do... we just don't need our manager issuing it in print.

Koeman didn't infer that we are a small club; however, his comments lead others, media and other fans alike, to make the comparison. I'm all for honesty but in my opinion, this was taking it too far.

We know we will never be Barcelona or Madrid and I understand that all players aspire to play at those arenas, but we do aspire to be a force in English football again and also on the European stage. Saying that one of our players probably wouldn't reach his potential if he stays with us was an error. Rightly or wrongly, we don't need to hear our current manager saying that.

I don't need the fluff of Martinez, in fact I hated it, but I also don't need our manager to tell the media that we won't fulfill players potential. A bit of tact wouldn't go amiss, regardless of whether Koeman sees himself elsewhere in the next 3 years.

Andrew Presly
20 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:22:13
Kevin Tully
21 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:26:37
After reading the many posts on this issue, I now realise how the theatrical one got away with murder for so many years.

There seems to be a huge sentimental streak that runs through the club and fanbase alike. Say how much you love the club and what a great institution it is etc, etc... and it can buy you a lot of leeway with the fans should the job go tits up.

I realise we've had nothing to shout about for 20-odd years except glory days in the long and distant past, but it's time to look forward. I always thought Fergie was a cold fish during his time at Man Utd – even after another trophy was placed in the cabinet, his mind was on the next one.

Sell the finest teenage footballer the country has ever produced and we generally accepted it with barely a murmur. Change the badge however, and there's absolute uproar. Funny lot, us Blues.

Darryl Ritchie
22 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:38:06
I agree with most of what you've expressed, Lyndon. Personally, I discovered my blue side mid-Moyes, so as far as I'm concerned we are a mid-table club. Fifth to eleventh, is all I've known.

However I do have something that Koeman seems to be lacking.


I read TW and I can feel the frustration and pain of all the ToffeeWebbers that were on board for the glory days and worry that they will never return. I would never post anything to anger them. They have my respect. I learn from them.

For our manager to make a statement that slights the club, or even has chance to be misquoted to that effect, is unacceptable.

Mike Gaynes
23 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:41:55
Well said, Lyndon... both in the column and your followup (#17).

In this day and age, being a football manager is a profession, not a passion. You are hired to be fired, and unless you're SAF or Wenger, the only way to avoid being fired is to move on yourself.

John Malone is entitled to his belief that passion for the Blue is the most important thing for an Everton manager, but I'm not aware of a single instance in which a manager's fervor for the club put the ball in the net – or saved his job. Look at the world's top managers. Except for Simeone, none of them – Pep, Mou, Enrique, Emery, Ancellotti, Allegri – bleed the colors or devote one minute a day to capturing the "hearts and minds" of the fans or filling them with "belief and trust". They focus on filling their PLAYERS with belief and let the fans take care of themselves.

I want a manager with a fervor for victory. I judge him on whether he wins games. Period.

Ste Traverse
24 Posted 10/11/2016 at 22:43:34
I wonder if the hysterical reaction to his comments would have been the same had we just won 5-0 rather than having just lost by that score and everyone still pissed off over that?

Personally, his comments don't bother me one way or another.

That said, Graeme Sharp was busy defending Koeman earlier this evening on Radio City.

Peter Gorman
25 Posted 10/11/2016 at 23:07:36
The mother of all 'ifs'.

Perhaps one might suggest he stands a better chance of achieving success by not under-selling the club to players likely to bring said success – or is one reacting 'hysterically'?

John Raftery
26 Posted 10/11/2016 at 23:14:43
A well-reasoned article, Lyndon.

I do not read a great deal into Koeman's comments which will quickly be forgotten if and when he delivers a good run of results.

We already knew he has a detached view of the club including its players and fans. That may not be such a bad thing. He knows whatever happens during his tenure the fans will still be here long after he is gone. All he is concerned about is being seen to be successful in his two or three year spell with us so that he can move on to his next challenge with his reputation enhanced.

The fact Martinez fully embraced everything about the club and its traditions ultimately counted for nothing owing to the deterioration in results and playing standards during his last two seasons.

I am hoping, but far from certain, the change of mentality evident in Koeman's approach will generate improved performances and results. That remains to be seen but, for the moment, we must be patient and await the changes in the squad which will certainly happen over the next two transfer windows. A year from now will be the time properly to assess progress.

Ray Robinson
27 Posted 10/11/2016 at 23:14:44
Lyndon – as usual, a very articulate article but – and it's a big 'but' –, whether or not Koeman is merely acting in his customary cold-fish manner (and I don't expect him to become a diehard blue like me and you), it is still wrong to talk about Lukaku and Everton the way he did.

It's one thing being detached but still earnestly pursuing success; it's another to put down the employer who pays you so handsomely.

A few "we's" now and then wouldn't go amiss. If he'd said that Lukaku's future belongs at a higher level club and that we are striving to become that same bigger club (as we surely are under Moshiri), then I would have accepted it. But by actually stating publicly that Lukaku will have to leave to fulfil his ambition, he is admitting that he isn't capable of achieving the brief that he has been given.

So he is taking our £6m a year salary under false pretences. How is he going to take us to the next level if he is actively promoting that his better players will have to leave?

Peter Gorman
28 Posted 10/11/2016 at 00:11:43
Actually, Lyndon, come to think of it, this is a very poor article. Disappointingly so.

I can't claim to have read every single one of the posts that have been made about Koeman's comments but I've read enough to know that the basis of fans anger is not, as you and some others seem to construe, that fans are having the temerity to compare our club to Barcelona or for being naive enough to think Koeman owes the club his unfettered devotion.

It has been articulated by multiple posters that they are to varying degrees pissed off that Koeman had the bad grace to say something to belittle the club. The fact you seem to think it is acceptable because the comments were not intended for the fans but a different audience is frankly ridiculous given that as manager he is representing the club and paid handsomely to do so.

I can't recall a single post on here contesting that Barcelona would be a step up for any player (though I think the credentials of Lukaku to play for Barcelona should be questioned) and yet certain posters seem to consider this the chief objection (and thus hysterical).

I'll speak for myself, I thought the comments were not so much offensive as utterly stupid, for two reasons:

1) Going on the basis of this direct quotation from the article – "Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career", which has run on major news outlets, is it now more or less likely the club can attract talented and ambitious players that, on the basis of the season so far, are needed to have any reasonable prospect of success? Personally, I'd suggest the latter.

2) By singling out Romelu as somehow deserving this special concern for the state of his career, Koeman has driven a totally unnecessary wedge between Rom (who let's face it is not shy in imagining he is already several leagues ahead of the club) and the rest of the team.

Which of the players will have made the most of their career by staying at Everton for the remainder of it? Any of them? We can't all play for Barca. According to Koeman, Rom would be mad to. I suspect Barkley would be advised to and the likes of Cleverley and Oviedo would be lucky to. Why would anyone in there right mind undermine the unity of the squad (which btw I see little to no evidence for at the moment) by making this wholly unnecessary comment?

These Lyndon, are the chief objections to the entire article – it was unhelpful, unnecessary and for fans who love the club unpalatable. I've not seen many posters clamouring to say Koeman's statements are all untrue which is why you and others continuing to misconstrue objections on this basis does everyone a disservice.

And as for wanting the man to love the club – not asked for – just that he doesn't undermine it whilst in its employ.

Joel Jones
29 Posted 11/11/2016 at 00:42:15
The key word, as identified by others, in this well written and thought out piece is "IF".

And what a big if!

If he delivers a title.
If he wins a cup.
If he gets Champions League.
If he gets us back into Europe.

What if he doesn't?
I find myself becoming more pessimistic by the weeks with Koeman in charge. His lack of regard for the club at times is worrying. Granted he's here for the short term, we have to accept that. But he is paid well by this club to get the best possible out of the squad. Is he doing that? No!

If we'd've beaten Burnley, if we'd've beaten Palace, if we'd've beaten Bournemouth... Football is full of 'ifs', everybody asks them!

So here's mine: what if we stop making excuses for this man we all want to succeed so badly? I'm getting bored already of people saying "give him time". His managerial record is okay, nothing more, nothing less. He carries a lot of presence based on an illustrious playing career, he's ambitious, he's "ruthless" (which seems to just be a buzz word in my opinion), he's already making an impression... apparently?

What 'if' we're not as good as some would have us believe? What 'if' we finish mid-table again? And finally, what if after his contact is up, we do it all again!

Dick Fearon
30 Posted 11/11/2016 at 02:31:24
For 30 long years, we have had precious little to cheer about. In those long dark times, fans of other clubs have had their moments in the sun whereas we have watched on with despair from the sidelines. It hasn't all been about money (or the lack of) as proved by clubs without a proverbial pot to piss in have passed us by in the race for honours.

Those that once we looked down upon now look down on us. Worst of all, we live under the increasing shadow of our own noisy neighbours. Our history and self respect are all we have left on which to cling. I strongly resent an outsider taking our thirty pieces of silver and then dragging us down.

Prior to the start of Moyes's tenure, our club from top to bottom was the pits. Relegation loomed and we were deeper and deeper into debt. Starting with his 'Peoples' club', Moyes set about restoring our pride. To our modern ears that mantra may sound a bit trite but in those days it gave us something to throw back at those Norwegians across the park.

Dear Ronald, I suggest you build on what David Moyes started and not nibble away at self-respect as a club. That is one of the few things that held us together during these bleak times.
Michael Long
31 Posted 11/11/2016 at 03:05:44
I do believe Koeman will do quite well with us in the next 2-3 years. He just needs to sign the right players with winning mentality and players willing to run non-stop all day to get stuck in and break, Gana a perfect example of that.

Right now, the players Koeman has are the same players that put in horrific performances against Liverpool, Leicester and Sunderland towards the end of last season. Plus also throwing away two-goal leads constantly last term.

Cleverley, Mirallas, Kone, Gibson, Niasse, Coleman and Oviedo have to be binned and to be honest you can throw McCarthy in there. Plus Jags is finished.

The point of these players is that they are simply either old or just shite. We have the money now (allegedly) we have DoF in place, so why can't just go in for certain players? For me, I'd have Schneiderlin from Man Utd. He worked under Koeman before, in the cold at United plus a replacement for Barry. However, a goalkeeper and forwards have to be the key in January.

I think if Koeman gets these type of players then we can have a strong end to a season, the same he did at Southampton in the past two years. To reach Europe a lot of things need to be done, end of. The club needs to prove now with new faces in charge that the ambition and plan they have is there, starting with the players against Swansea.

Fuck knows what will happen if we fail to sign any one in January. I do believe we will sign 2-3 players. However at this rate we need about 6 or 7.

It will take time of course, but I still think we will do well under Koeman. If brings discipline and winning mentality to the club.

John Daley
32 Posted 11/11/2016 at 03:44:50
Kev (@21),

I never got the chance to get back to you on the other thread so I'll do so here, seeing as though you're kind of going down a similar path.

I agree with you entirely about the cringeworthy sentimentality sticking in the craw, the "people's club" guff and the continual pining for the past coming off as piss ant when other clubs are parading trophies about on the last day of the season and Everton are left parading fucking Preki and that slap head winger who looked more like Frasier Crane than a footballer.

However, I remain to be convinced that such stuff is going to be firmly binned off and replaced by ruthless robotic efficiency. It's still "wait and see" on that score.

Moshiri himself didn't seem adverse to trying his hand at winning the hearts of supporters with romanticised fluff barely two days ago. Needlessly trotting out Bill's "world's biggest blue" credentials yet again, and then describing the exact moment his own eyes met with Everton Football Club's across a crowded room. Love at first sight, or at least love after a year's due diligence.

Then there's the new gaffer. Koeman may be a 'cold fish', but I don't think that necessarily equates to 'more professional'.

He made himself look unnecessarily petty and intransigent by publicly stating Niasse was proper, proper pish and even if he had a cracking attitude, worked his balls off and banged in a hat-trick a week for the Under-23s, he still wouldn't get a sniff. Never ever.

If anything, it seemed to be a comment that would ultimately work against Everton's best interests by making it less likely some other club would be tempted to come along and take a punt on him. ("R-E-D-U-C-E-D T-O C-L-E-A-R! Should I write 'because it's shite' underneath, Arkwright?").

Then we get to his most recent comments about the club. The comments people are once again trying to pass off as a product of dead-eyed, dispassionate professionalism or dripping with hidden subtext designed to help steer Lukaku to a storming season.

Forget Barcelona. Forget Lukaku. Players leave or are linked with moves all the time. Nothing new there. Not arsed.

However, what is new and beyond the pale is the Everton manager publicly stating that a player will have failed to make the most of his career if he remains at Everton for the duration. Did it not even cross his mind to consider how those words would be interpreted and highlighted and how they might go down with his club's own supporters and rivals, or did he simply not care? Either way, it doesn't scream 'professional' to me. Probably the opposite.

It's interesting you mention Ferguson's demeanour/attitude whilst at Manchester United. Ferguson might also have been 'a cold fish' as you say, but he would never have publicly talked United down, in comparison to Barca or any other club. Not even when he first took over, back before they were Sky's big first love and they hadn't been near the league title for ages. If anyone, inside or outside the club, were to try and run them down in public, old whiskey breath would be right out there setting them straight with a similar number of blood vessels bursting in his grid as that bloke out of Scanners who got his head blown to smithereens by a psychic rival simply for being a bit of a gobshite. If any player believed they were bigger than the club, he might very well have said "go on then, on your bike" but he surely wouldn't have been shouting after them "By the way, you're bloody right".

He understood he was being paid to represent the interests of that particular football club at all times and would do so whether it was wrong or right and even if everyone else believed him to be a stubbornly biased, blinkered old bastard.

Isn't that what you should be entitled to expect from a manager?

When he's being paid £6m a year to guide the club, Koeman could at least try and refrain from gozzing on their back as he goes about it.

Ed Fitzgerald
33 Posted 11/11/2016 at 03:53:03
Sorry, Lyndon, but I disagree totally with the sentiment of your article.

There are a few points I think are salient about Koeman. What 'shine'? We beat some very average sides at the start of the season and the quality of the football has been dire. We have not yet produced a decent 90 minutes yet under him. Any 'shine' has been by default of an average position in the league and the media kissing his arse.

We produced an Alamo type performance at Man City and got mauled at Chelsea largely because of the Dutch masters tactics, The defeats by Bournemouth, Burnley and Norwich would hardly indicate we are shining, Koeman's inability to take responsibility for poor performance whilst hammering the players and the previous regime are more like him adding a veneer of bullshit for something which he is responsible for.

Let's face it, the farce of his appointment was a bit of a 'heads up' — he will join us when he has finished his holiday... we are paying him £6M a year and then he has the front to question players commitment and fitness!! Whilst he has been tanning his ample Dutch arse when IMO he should have been here.

Finally on to to his comments in the Belgian media; I have no objection to him saying Rom could one day go to Barca – it's comments around this statement that the provide an insight into his commitment to Everton. He is experienced enough to know that he is the figurehead for the club and therefore the press will be scrutinising his words. He seems to speak about Everton in the third person and his detachment does not inspire.

The crazy German over the way understands this aspect of leadership and management and did at Dortmund too, it's important to know your manager cares. He doesn't have to love the club like we do, but we should be able to detect passion for the job. I think his words have damaged the club and most importantly the supporters' trust In him. I wouldn't go so far to say that it brings us into disrepute but it makes us an object of derision.

I hope I am wrong about Koeman; at the moment, to me, it feels like the story of the 'emperors new clothes' with most on TW and the pundits and media fawning all over him. I'm not sure his managerial record warrants this, I mean, Steve McClaren won the Dutch league with Twente.

I can understand Moshiri trying to placate the fans, but really Koeman himself should have had the balls to make a statement and or apologise.

Amit Vithlani
34 Posted 11/11/2016 at 04:21:25
We need to string results together and quickly, as the early season optimism has completely evaporated.

I could not give a flying fuck about Koeman's comments. First and foremost, results matter. Right now, those results are not good enough.

Moyes was an arch defeatist who will forever be remembered for his "knife to a gunfight" quote. Martinez coined Sin Miedo. Martinez was sacked after 3 years and Moyes lasted 11 years. It has always been a results business.

Lyndon Lloyd
35 Posted 11/11/2016 at 06:17:08
Peter (26), there are quite a few layers to this issue when you start to try and pick apart exactly what Koeman was inferring (and in response to what question) and then try and discuss it with fans who are coming at it from different interpretations of what he said of their own. I did say I was in the minority and the article (and my follow-up comment) was simply an attempt to explain why I feel the way I do.

First off, I don’t think it was “acceptable for Koeman to belittle the club because the comments were intended … for a different audience,” simply because I don’t agree that he was belittling the club... at least not intentionally and not to the degree that those who have reacted with the most vitriol say he was.

My intent behind raising the Barcelona reference specifically was to challenge that very assertion but whether he did indeed infer that we are a “small club” depends, it seems, on individual assumption and point of view.

For me, the context here is an international manager with no emotional attachment yet to Everton FC who played at the very highest level for his country and for Barcelona. So, when he says Rom “has the potential to play for a bigger club than Everton,” I’m assuming he means the likes of Barça, whom he mentions in relation to Kluivert, or a similarly big club like Real Madrid, Juventus or Bayern Munich. Again — and this only my personal take — it seems like the only club he has really compared us to is Barça, arguably the biggest club in the world. He doesn’t mention or really infer he should move to another Premier League team, unlike Lukaku himself who said he would one day like to join a “top club again … like Chelsea.”

Furthermore in terms of context, he is talking about one of Belgium’s highest-profile players to a Belgian newspaper so he is inevitably going to talk about Lukaku. So, I don’t see it as Koeman “singling Lukaku out” for “special concern” — I imagine he was the number one topic of discussion — and any wedge that existed between him and the rest of the team surely already existed thanks to Rom’s own propensity to talk himself up when he goes home on international duty.

Is there anyone in the Everton side under the illusion that Romelu Lukaku isn’t the biggest star and most saleable asset in terms of transfer value at the club? We don’t know what Lukaku has been promised at the end of the season or how common that knowledge is among the players. Maybe, like John Stones was, he’ll be free to leave next summer and Koeman is laying the groundwork to get the best possible price? We just don’t know, but I'm sure the other players are well aware of the pecking order.

And are there really a lot of talented players who will look at Lukaku’s situation or hear Koeman’s comments and elect not to join Everton as a result? If anything, surely they could see the progress the player has made with us and see Goodison as a springboard to some of Europe’s biggest clubs? (I’m sure the salaries on offer would be a big draw, as well.)

I can understand the gripe about how it’s somewhat of a PR own goal when he says "Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career,” but I’m not sure Koeman would be convincing anyone in Belgium — or anywhere else for that matter — that Everton, as the club has been since the 90s, is at the moment, and is likely to be for the next two or three seasons, is somewhere a player of Lukaku’s calibre (and I’m talking about his stature as Belgium’s best striker and in the context of the audience again here) should stay for the rest of his career if he is to fulfil his potential. We just don’t have the pedigree yet for such an assertion to carry much weight.

Finally with regard to context, maybe another factor as to why I, personally, am not that outraged is that there is an element of fatigue and “here we go again” with the Lukaku situation. We’ve been here before, only this time it’s the manager discussing his future.

I hate it but there’s been an air of inevitability — a question of when he leaves rather than if — about Rom for a while now. If we were to qualify for the Champions League this season, it would probably delay his departure but he’s made no secret of his desire to try his hand in other leagues.

Like Koeman, I just want him to do his very best for Everton while he’s here and leave us in a significantly better position than when he joined. Anything else — including genuine affection for the club, which I would obviously love to see — is gravy.

Peter Howard
36 Posted 11/11/2016 at 06:26:43
I think you have summed it up well in this article, Lyndon.

I remember back in the eighties Howard Kendall was slated for stating that Everton needed to finish above Liverpool to win the league and guess what? We did and we did!

Ian Bennett
37 Posted 11/11/2016 at 07:14:33
This all goes away if they can persuade Lukaku to sign a new long-term deal. For some, that still won't be enough – his £100k/wk plus demands will be a stick to beat the lad who still has obvious flaws, and which in my mind would rule out Barca for the fees being discussed.

Everton remain unproven in delivering players of his ilk in the numbers that we crave. He gets into a top 4 side, the rest don't. I agree with others that this courting of Lukaku is more about persuading him to stay, than pushing him out the door or belittling our club.

Laurie Hartley
38 Posted 11/11/2016 at 07:53:02
I was quite ambivalent about this matter and posted as much on the first thread covering the subject. However having read the excellent posts of Dave Ganley (15), Dick Fearon (30), and John Daley (31) I have to admit that, as an Evertonian of 55 years, I didn't take this issue as seriously as I should have.

Any club that can fill its stadium, week-in & week-out, despite a lack of success on the pitch, must have something special going for it – something great.

Pulling on the same shirt that such great players as Dixie Dean and Alan Ball (to name just two) wore should be considered an honour by any professional footballer.

By the same token, any manager charged with the responsibility of restoring the "on-the-pitch" fortunes of this great English football club should be mindful of His responsibilities to its fans.

No, in hindsight, Koeman put his foot in his mouth big time on this occasion. There will be no success on the pitch unless the fan base is 100% behind him and his players.

He is not going to win them over by suggesting to the world at large that the club's most high profile player has to move on to another club to fulfill his full potential.

Wrong message for the fans, the current squad of players, and future transfer targets.

Steve Guy
39 Posted 11/11/2016 at 08:04:57
I think Lyndon is spot on. The vast majority of managers talk about teams as a "project", which annoys the hell out of me, but it gives insight into their mentality. To Koeman, we are such a project; the culmination of the success or failure of that project comes in Year 3. If successful, then he will most likely use that success to go elsewhere for a new challenge.

On the original comments about Lukaku, I would simply say that, if Martinez was still in charge, then Lukaku would already be gone. At least Koeman persuaded our 20-goal-a-season player to stay on. It also feels a bit like shooting the messenger given that Lukaku has been telling us he is destined for greater things since he walked in the door.

Ray Robinson
40 Posted 11/11/2016 at 08:34:22
In my opinion, this thread is confused by two different arguments: the first is that Koeman, has every right to remain detached and aloof. He doesn't have to love the club to do a professional job (although I would appreciate it if he did).

On the other hand, what he said about Lukaku (even if it was to a Belgian reporter) was counter-productive to the goals that he has accepted and is paid handsomely for. Frankly, his comments were unacceptable on several levels.

They are separate issues and fans, in my opinion, have every reason to be annoyed with the second.

Phil Walling
41 Posted 11/11/2016 at 10:07:29
How silly of us to get upset about or even believe that Koeman could have told Belgium newspaper HLN .

'If Romelu was to play at Everton until the end of his career, I know he has left something behind. His potential is greater and higher than Everton as a final destination.'

Clearly he has been widely misquoted  – Flemish is a complicated language, after all – and The Mosh wouldn't lie to us if Lyndon tells us it doesn't matter as long as he wins a few... would they?

Liam Reilly
42 Posted 11/11/2016 at 10:16:55
"Ronald Koeman... is able to deliver on the promise of Champions League football"

I could be wrong, Lyndon, but I don't recall him ever promising Champions League football. His contract is for 3 years and I suspect he'll be gone either then or before and on current evidence and the surgery required on this squad; this would be a very tall ask.

I frankly couldn't care less if he buys into Everton or not, but he's paid £6 million a year to represent Everton Football Club – not Barcelona or Belgium.

Tony Williams
43 Posted 11/11/2016 at 10:19:19
Mr Moshiri cannot defend the indefensible.
Alan J Thompson
44 Posted 11/11/2016 at 10:47:45
Who was the last "detached" manager to win anything in England? And I don't mean leaving for another job shortly after.

And don't give me Harry Catterick, he also had a history as a player with Everton.

Peter Roberts
45 Posted 11/11/2016 at 10:56:28
You don't win anything without passion – he doesn't have that for the club.

The passion needs to come from the manager and through the players.

He's pretty much devalued Everton as a project – good luck selling your plans to your transfer targets in January, Ronald.

John Gall
46 Posted 11/11/2016 at 11:15:33
The reaction to this is symptomatic of the hype and hysteria of the modern game. Due to the influence of Sky, modern social media and websites like this, everything is out of scale.

Three games into this season this website was running editorials describing games as 'crucial'. How can a game be crucial in September? Remember when managers sat still on the sidelines and just smiled or clapped if their team scored?

I was watching the 1971 European Cup game versus Borussia Monchengladbach – a quarter final at Goodison which we won on pens – and when Rankin saved the pen and we'd won the game the players just ran off! No badge-kissing (no badge on the shirt then!), no hysterics, no bollocks like that, no clapping the crowd. It was just: "We've won, now I need a cup of tea."

We finally have a proper manager; just get it all in perspective fellas – he's a professional with great pedigree. Give him a few seasons to change things. Please God don't turn Everton into one of those ridiculous clubs firing managers every week and don't turn Evertonians into cretinous, whinging, hysterical Kopites.

Brian Furey
47 Posted 11/11/2016 at 11:43:02
I blame BBS. What was he thinking bringing Lukaku to Everton in the first place? It was always going to lead to problems with the "big fish in a small pond" syndrome.

Seriously I think the true blue hardcore fans will be deeply annoyed by the manager's comments, no matter how out of context they were taken. Any of us more realist fans who can state we have been a "smaller club" for some time now and we don't tend to get into Europe.

We have never won the European Cup unlike Forest, Aston Villa and Celtic and so when you do have a top player like Lineker, Rooney, Stones (perhaps) and now Lukaku, naturally enough there will be talk of him leaving to a bigger more successful club who often win European trophies.

However, saying that, I personally think it was very wrong for the club's manager to say what he did as he has been tasked by our new owner to change things around at Everton. To spend his millions to make us a top 4 club. Yes, that will take time but if the man at the top is not talking us up and wanting to keep our best players, then it doesn't show much ambition for the other players.

I think Koeman is not great at communication and often looks uncomfortable doing interviews, unlike Martinez who had the gift of the gab. I suspect he regrets what he said now and how it's being discussed and he knows it will have put him under pressure now with fans who already have begun to question his ways.

If we don't play well and win v Swansea, I think you will hear a lot of discontent from the stands.

Kevin Tully
48 Posted 11/11/2016 at 11:45:18
John D - Very true about parading old players who are now 'Legends' 'cos they had three games for the reserves in 1974. You only have to look at the nights advertised as 'Meet a legend of EFC' such as Preki or Joe fucking Parkinson! (No wonder it's all you can drink for £7.50!) Then you realise nearly ALL the youth coaches and backroom staff are ex-players. Would Duncan Ferguson be at the club if he wasn't a declared bankrupt? The man himself said he disliked football.

Also true is the fact Koeman shouldn't have put down the club in such a way when referring to Lukaku. But, I do think the players and fans need to to admit we are not the club we once were. Like an alky in a AA meeting, we need to acknowledge that we've barely survived if we are going to move forward.

How many posts have we read about Koeman 'not getting us' or 'he doesn't seem to love the club?'

In fact, it seems more important to some fans that whoever is involved with the running of the club 'get us' whatever that means, rather than say delivering a huge commercial sponsorship deal. The priorities are all askew. If Koeman can come in and rip up that cosy, "jobs for the boys" relationship, then I'm all for it. I think it's required after years of wallowing.

Martin Nicholls
49 Posted 11/11/2016 at 12:11:06
Steve (#39) – I'm no Martinez apologist but why big up Koeman by claiming that Lukaku would already be gone if he (Martinez) was still here? After all, wasn't he the one who resisted all bids for John Stones!
Ray Robinson
50 Posted 11/11/2016 at 12:17:08
Pochettino, Koeman's predecessor at Southampton, is probably not a Spurs fan and has got ambitions to go onto bigger and better things, but I'd doubt he'd air the view publicly that Harry Kane needs to move on from Tottenham to maximise his potential.

What a uniquely stupid thing for Koeman to say about Lukaku even if, privately, lots might agree (for the record, I don't, believing that Lukaku will never play regularly at the topmost level).

This is the sort of thing you might say privately in a job appraisal – not on Belgian TV. Is this Koeman guy looking for a quick pay-off?

Phil Jeffries
51 Posted 11/11/2016 at 12:44:22
Koeman took the Everton job as it was a step up from Southampton with better pay. He will do the same after his usual 2-3 years max at each of his clubs. I couldn't care less as long as he leaves us challenging at the top and has us back into Europe.

There is no chance that he will be in charge of the club when we move into the new stadium. So let's get realistic. He owes us nothing and has his eyes set on managing Barcelona.

For him to do that, he has to be successful at Everton. If he brings trophies and top players and uses it to elevate himself to the Nou Camp, I'll shake his hand and welcome the next top manager who will jump on board.

Peter Gorman
52 Posted 11/11/2016 at 13:21:23
Lyndon, thanks for the response but I'd refer to Ray Robinson's two posts now if you want to understand the controversy further (specifically post 40).

There may be some hopeless romantics here but I don't think anybody is arguing Everton are entitled to the pull of a big club or that Koeman should get the crest tattooed at the earliest convenience.

What the fans are saying is it is a disgraceful comment for the manager to make and I personally see it as an absolute failure of leadership.

In order not to 'take everything out of context' and 'react hysterically' over a statement where there may be some ambiguity, I specifically highlighted one phrase from the interview that I still cannot get my head around, namely that; "Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career."

As one in the minority; how do you put a positive spin on that? Do you rate the value of honesty so highly that you'd have no objection say if Koeman's post-match interviews after every defeat consisted of; "well what do you expect, we are shit". Because there is a lot of evidence that we currently are but how utterly lacking in the art of motivation do you need to be to think that might be a good idea.

To quote your own article; "How many Blues expect him to still be playing for us in two years' time let alone when he's at his peak at 28?" Answer: Probably very few but it is not why we think Koeman's interview was unacceptable.

If you are right in contending that Koeman isn't saying anything old Rom hasn't himself said at every given international break (which I agree he does), then follow the logic – what is to stop any player at Everton with ambition asking themselves the question: Am I making the most of my career by staying at Everton?

No doubt you are entitled to your opinion but I find it odd that you and others perform some nifty mental gymnastics to justify the comments or to downplay their relevance. It walks and quacks like a duck. On the surface, the comments were stupid, unnecessary to make and show an utter failure in leadership so I'm going with that in lieu of reading minds. Hopefully we all agree that, if this is the tembre of comments Koeman makes in future, he would be well advised to keep his mouth shut.

Lee Hind
53 Posted 11/11/2016 at 13:42:57
**Disclaimer: I haven't read all the comments**

Koeman is Dutch; Dutch people are through their nature very straight talking, honest and do not know how to 'beat around the bush'. They don't have the time or patience for social niceties nor for the consideration of how people will 'feel' about their comments. They subscribe unconditionally to the old saying – tell the truth, let it cost you what it may.

Once that is understood and an appropriate filter applied by listening ears, it becomes much easier to listen to and digest what is being said. Aligning this with the understanding that Koeman as a Dutchman is never going to have the affinity to the club that Kendall had or that Martinez vocalised so effusively, means that much less offence is taken when comments are made like Koeman's to the Belgian press.

As Lyndon alludes to – who as a rational fan believes that Lukaku can genuinely fulfill all of his ambition at Everton? It's beyond likely that we will sell him at some point (for a massive profit hopefully), he will play Champions League, and we will reinvest that money so that we try and qualify for it. Koeman was being at worst, brutally honest. What it doesn't suggest is any lack of commitment or professionalism – traits the Dutch value.

To paraphrase, calm down fellow fans, it's only a Dutchman!

Steve Guy
54 Posted 11/11/2016 at 14:14:36
Martin (#49), I wasn't deliberately having a dig at Martinez. Simply put, it was clear to anyone who listened that Lukaku was off at the end of last season; partly because he thought he was ready for a side regularly competing in the Champions League and partly because he amongst others in the team had become disaffected with the style of play.

Koeman it would appear seemed to have turned that situation around. The point remains that, I don't think it was helpful for Koeman to have made the comment (and I think he probably realised his error now), but he wasn't saying anything Lukaku hasn't said himself tens of times.

Stan Schofield
55 Posted 11/11/2016 at 14:18:06
Putting any romanticism about and my support for Everton to one side, any paid professional in any industry should always take care to ensure that they do not do or say anything that is inconsistent with the best interests of the organisation paying them.

In this case, Everton pays Koeman, and what Koeman has reportedly said does not appear to be consistent with Everton's best interests. This is unacceptable whether you are an Everton supporter or not.

To me, it's a clear case of logic rather than opinion. What he did appears, from the evidence, wrong. The question now is: What he will do to attempt to make up for this wrongdoing?

The obvious suggestion is two-fold: (1) he avoids making any further unacceptable statements, and (2) he carries out his main job of ensuring, as best he can, that we progress significantly on the pitch. That's assuming Everton do not dismiss him for the transgression.

Jay Wood
56 Posted 11/11/2016 at 14:20:47
Peter @ 52, as someone like Lyndon who stands with the minority on this issue, may I clarify my own position on some generalisations you and others appear to be making about those of us who offer a more tolerant opinion on Koeman's words.

First, not all of those in the minority are in agreement! I think it is nonsensical psycho babbel when some claim it is cunning psychology by Koeman to big up Lukaku so he plays better, scores more goals and ultimately we get a better transfer fee for him when he eventually leaves Everton.

Nor do I agree that his words have to be accepted as Koeman's 'typical blunt Dutch honesty.' It is my belief the words that clearly have caused the greatest grief amongst Blues – "Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career" – HAVE to be considered in the context of the full interview. It's not a question of "putting a positive spin on it" as you accuse Lyndon (and by extention, others).

My own initial reaction on reading the (clipped) comments attributed to Koeman was with the majority: "What the...? That is NOT how I want my club manager referring to our club or talking about arguably our biggest playing asset."

However, unlike many who took the clipped isolated quote which has caused the furor as gospel without first considering the entire interview in context (which many undeniably did), I did choose to seek out the article, translate it and read it in its entirety.

Having done so, I am prepared to give Koeman the benefit of the doubt. I don't regard his comments as disgraceful, an absolute failure of leadership, a dissing or devaluing of the club or that his position is now untenable and he should be dismissed, NOW!

Why? Because the offending quote was very much at the end of a series of pressing questions by the interviewee and Koeman, possibly naively, innocently, coughed up the quote which is now being negatively spun.

Clearly, some have further conflated different responses to different questions at different times of the interview as if Koeman made a single coherent utterance about Romelu. That is not the case.

It happens, Peter. Even to those constantly in the public eye who are media savvy and well-coached in these matters. People get caught out by journos.

It's not a question, as you charge, of some "performing nifty mental gymnastics to justify the comments or to downplay their relevance. On the surface the comments were stupid, unnecessary to make and show an utter failure in leadership so I'm going with that in lieu of reading minds."

Indeed, your own words can be inverted against you. You and others are performing nifty mental gymnastics to condemn the comments and exaggerate their relevance.

You yourself acknowledge your opinion on the comments is a superficial one and attempt to imply those who take a more tolerant, deeper and analytical view are somehow attempting to "mind read" Koeman's deepest thoughts at the time of the interview. Not so. I rather see folk like yourself trying to project onto Koeman your own interpretation of events and applying to him your character assessment (assasination..?) of the man as if it is his own. It isn't.

Liam Reilly
57 Posted 11/11/2016 at 14:24:11

"Koeman is Dutch; Dutch ... don't have the time or patience for social niceties nor for the consideration of how people will 'feel' about their comments."

I lived in Amsterdam for two years, have many Dutch friends and sorry, but this is just nonsense.

Raymond Fox
58 Posted 11/11/2016 at 14:54:34
I agree entirely with what Stan 55 says in his first two sentences.

It's not like it's Keoman first gaff either, what about his handling of the questions on Niasse being considered for the first team squad! It was a green light for any interested parties to knock at least a few million off their transfer fee offer.

I wouldn't advise Ronald to take up any PR position. He's a dead duck in my opinion, because I don't think with our present squad he's going to win supporters over with enough winning results this season.

John Raftery
59 Posted 11/11/2016 at 14:56:03
Alan (#44),

In answer to your question I would suggest Carlo Ancelotti at Chelsea. He won the league and cup double in 2010 but knew he would be dismissed if he failed the following season. In 2011 Chelsea finished second and he was indeed dismissed.

Benitez was at Chelsea in 2012-13. Despised by the fans and only recruited in a caretaker role, he won the FA Cup and the Europa League. His attitude to Chelsea in the circumstances could not have been anything other than detached.

Most of the top coaches from the continent spend their careers moving around the top clubs. Sometimes they are appointed to their next job with months still to run on their current contract; Guardiola being an obvious recent example. Their only emotional attachment is to their own careers not to the individual clubs they happen to be employed by.

Darryl Ritchie
60 Posted 11/11/2016 at 15:03:17
The pre-Swansea press conference should be interesting!
Stan Schofield
61 Posted 11/11/2016 at 15:06:36
Just to add to 55, the main issue here is not emotional attachment (or lack thereof) to Everton. The main issue is professionalism, and particularly the necessity of avoiding actions or words that are not consistent with the best interests of our club. It seems that despite his experience, Koeman has much to learn.
Brian Hennessy
62 Posted 11/11/2016 at 15:46:44
If you take emotion out of this argument and focus just on what Koeman actually said, I still think his words were downright unprofessional.

He should not under any circumstances be speaking about a valued member of the Everton team in terms of which other club he might end up at if the player reaches his potential.

Michael Kenrick
63 Posted 11/11/2016 at 15:53:58
Fans want hope of what can be – not a cutting reality of what currently is.

Most fans, perhaps, Dave (#15)... but not all. This "hope that kills" nonsense is something I for one can't Identify with. It's the same hope, I presume, that's perennially stacked in the next transfer window... and the next... and the next – while the reality of our week-to-week struggles in the game of football actually played on the field – is excused, shelved, or rationalized away by some fans claiming to have 'perspective'.

No, sorry, it's the cutting reality of what currently is that sustains me every time. Explains why I for one have lost any interest in the increasingly ridiculous Rumour Mill – the only thing that matters to me is the players that actually sign.

So, to the fraught issue at hand; the harsh cold reality of it is, like Koeman himself, not something I can get myself all wound up about. Not saying your heartfelt protestations have no validity — they clearly do for the many who have posted likewise. But it's not the only way for processing this... Just saying.

Kevin Tully
64 Posted 11/11/2016 at 16:06:35
Does this mean you don't want a table for the Roysten Drenthe fundraising evening (with special guests, free half a Chang and ham sarnies cut with a razor, MK?)
Peter Gorman
65 Posted 11/11/2016 at 16:16:56
Jay, kudos to you for taking a different approach than others in the minority but for the record I am not making any generalisations but referring quite specifically to this article by Lyndon (along with various comments on the multiple threads by other posters) that the issue is an unreasonable expectation that Koeman should love Everton and that it is unreasonable to criticise the comments because what he said is true.

I refer again to Raymond at 40 who puts the issue rather more succinctly that I do. Furthermore, John Daley's posts articulate the same point.

But as to your own view, I'm not exactly sure what it is and how it differs except that you read the comments then decided to give him the benefit of the doubt. I think you do this because he was caught out 'possibly naively' at the end of the interview – isn't this another way of saying he was stupid? The point most people are making?

As for the nifty gymnastics – I am referring to the 'Dutch people are just different' shade of apologists. Hard to refute that really except of course if adds absolutely nothing to the debate and doesn't stop old Ronald from acting stupidly (or naively as you prefer).

To pretty much repeat myself; we often have to go for potential recruits head to head with other ambitious clubs, so "Join Everton – if you stay here for the rest of your career you will not have made the most of it" is possibly not the most orthodox sales pitch.

Likewise, given the overwhelmingly negative reception on this site (though BBC reckon fans actually agree with Koeman), how well received do you think these comments were in the dressing room (who for the record aren't Dutch with all the cliched characteristics that brings)? Demotivational doesn't quite cut it.

But back to you, I have no problem whatsoever if you want to develop "a more tolerant, deeper and analytical view" but please tell me what it is when you do. At the moment it seems like you agree the comments were stupid/naive but are simply okay with it because people get caught out by journos. Have I misunderstood?

James Hughes
66 Posted 11/11/2016 at 16:54:07
Michael (#63),

I Disagree with your opening comments. I remember Oxford 1984 under Kendall. We losing and morale was low then Inchie got that equaliser and the rest you know.

I keep hoping that the team will 'click' and mirror what happened back then, the team goes from relegation fodder to winners.

I keep hoping and dreaming and I know the game has changed but without hope or dreams???

Ray Roche
67 Posted 11/11/2016 at 17:20:35

Peter Gorman (#65),

Peter, I agree with much of your post. Koeman, at his age with his experience, should know when to keep his trap shut. But you say, "How well received do you think these comments were in the dressing room?"

To be honest, I think that some players, Jags, Barry etc., will be thinking "WHAT? WTF!" But players like Mirallas, McCarthy, Besic, maybe even Lennon, will just be thinking "Dickhead, now where's my bank statement, just make sure my money's gone in" because they are no more Evertonians than Phil Thompson.

They are employees, nothing else, and as soon as their contract has expired or we sell them, then they'll be kissing another badge.

That's football. The days of a Dave Watson, Brian Labone or even Peter Reid, players who'd give their all for the club, are gone.

Stan Schofield
68 Posted 11/11/2016 at 17:35:04
Michael @63:

The reality that we are not as good as we would like to be is simply a fact, known to everyone of us. And hope is either there or it isn't, and it would be an unusual kind of supporter who did not have hope for the team to be better.

But hope, romanticism about Everton, and annoyance at hurtful opinions (from Koeman or anyone else) about Everton are besides the point. Which is, that Koeman's job is to improve Everton, including not doing anything by way of talk or action that is not in our best interests.

So far, significant parts of his talking has not been in Everton's interests, and in this respect he's not doing his job. He's paid to do his job, it's not negotiable.

Thus far, as a supporter I will tolerate his transgressions, whilst not finding them wholly acceptable. I'm assuming and expecting that the board, who pay him, are having words with him to prevent repetition of incidents like this. Let's hope it works, otherwise we could soon be looking for a replacement. That is the reality.

Si Murphy
69 Posted 11/11/2016 at 18:11:57
I think the key word in the title is "if".

He hasn't done anything yet, I'm not interested about what he achieved elsewhere as a player, so he doesn't have any credit in the bank with Everton to be coming out with stupid, derogatory suggestions about his employer.

Dan Davies
70 Posted 11/11/2016 at 19:15:55
For what it's worth, I'd tend to agree with Lyndon on this one. Yes Koeman needs a clip around the lug from Moshiri and told he's been a naughty boy...

However, as an Evertonian all my life and the fact I'd love Lukaku to bang them in for us all the way to the Champions League; there's a saying that springs to my mind with regards to all this...

'The truth hurts.'

Jay Wood
71 Posted 11/11/2016 at 19:44:28
Peter @ 65, I know you can be a mischievious imp at times, so I don't know if you are being unconsciously or deliberately obtuse when you say you aren't exactly sure what my opinion is.

A bit ironic, really, given the now several threads and several hundreds of posts devoted to what Koeman actually said, in what context and the interpretation, implication and possible consequences of his words, in many cases, presumed.

I think my position is clearly stated in my post on this thread. It is even more explicitly stated in the orignal thread when the story first broke (Link) at post 151.

There is, in my opinion, no need to repeat again what I previously stated. You get it or you don't.

I have absolutely no beef with you or anybody else who shares a 'majority' view on Koeman's words. I 'get' your anger. And ...?

What explicitly, specifically, do you feel should be the consequence for Koeman? A private or public reprimand from the board? (the latter unlikely, given Moshiri's stated position). Suspension? Put on gardening leave? Dismissed?

Because whilst I 'get' you anger, I don't see what, if anything, you propose should happen to Koeman at Everton for his 'indiscretion.'

David Edwards
72 Posted 11/11/2016 at 20:42:50
A genuinely new experience – a Lyndon Lloyd article I don't agree with 100%! I've calmed down a bit since the comments, but I still can't shake off the fact that Koeman has been either dumb or disrespectful and Moshiri's comments (to that cesspit called TalkSport ffs) are surprisingly amateurish for a businessman I actually still have a large amount of respect for.

Lyndon – I know you are trying to create a consensus and dampen down the anger amongst us foot soldiers... but I also feel Peter Gorman's comments have a lot of validity. The article really smacks of a 'calm down, calm down' approach from the stereotypical scousers from Harry Enfield's show – and equally unconvincing.

No hard feelings – the comments from Koeman will recede in my mind when we start picking up a few more points... but sadly he is now rather flawed in my view, and after only 5 months in charge, that is rather disappointing. I was really hoping for a real fresh start after the Spanish clown, but I feel quite deflated at present.

Darren Hind
73 Posted 11/11/2016 at 21:27:22
So we just have to accept that as a Dutchman he will tell us like it is... he will not be emotionally attached? Fair enough.

Us scousers are not renowned for out tact so we don't really have any business being offended.

Let's just say that the guy hired to do a job is embarrassing the club with his half-witted tactics. Let's just say he was given a free £50m swing in the last transfer window and he has barely made a difference in terms of points or entertainment – some achievement considering who he was following.

This club have offered this managerial superstar the biggest gig he has ever had and, on showings thus far, the biggest gig he is ever going to get. Those claiming he has strengthened us defensively are in Cuckoo Land. Those expecting a big turn around after January are some place beyond Cuckoo Land.

I have to confess I'm mystified by those who are talking about him graciously giving us three seasons. I will be amazed if he hasn't been sacked by then.

Those excusing his buffoonery by taking a more "measured" view will live to regret it. It's never just a one-off with foot-in-gob merchants like this. We are not a small club... we are footballing Royalty. Seems like we have even got our very own Prince Philip.

Derek Thomas
75 Posted 12/11/2016 at 00:47:30
He hasn't got to 'Get' Everton, just 'Get' them to do something... or 'Get'.

I don't know what he was 'promised' or how the deal was sold to him...yeah, l know, £6M. But if there is any reluctance to fund him to the proper extent, he won't be here long / in 12months – £6M or not... it won't look good on his CV.

Scenario: Wenger wins League, retires = offski.

Matt Woods
76 Posted 12/11/2016 at 04:45:22
There are no mitigating words that satisfy. This man is paid SIX MILLION pounds per year to be the gaffer at Everton. Obscene money, that demands a supreme responsibility to maintaining the prestige of this wonderful footballing institution. Never ever ever talk us down.

The irony is that he can't see that his salary screams massive club. Get with the program, Ronald, you beaut.

Mike Green
77 Posted 12/11/2016 at 07:15:40
Matt (#76) – interesting point. If you look across various sources most agree that Koeman is in the Top 10 best paid managers in the world, being paid around the same as the Barca and Madrid mangers (and according to some, in the case of Madrid, more).

If it's to be taken on face value, it's bad form at best. Also, Koeman isn't being honest either, he knows as well as we do the chances of Rom being good enough to play for Barcelona are pretty non-existent so what's it all about?

I think it's either a regrettable mistake, in which case he needs to think about what we expect for £6m per annum, or it's part of a conscious sales campaign to sell Lukaku for as much as possible in the summer.

My view is it's all just a bit of a fuck up that Koeman will nonchalantly shrug off but probably think twice about doing again.

Rick Tarleton
78 Posted 12/11/2016 at 07:17:31
Why are / were Klopp and Benitez so popular with supporters across the park? Because they acted as if they knew, believed, that their club was something special. Koeman has treated Everton supporters with arrogance, he has told them, they are not in any way a special club.

"If You Know Your History" means nothing to him, nor does "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum". We're just a club paying him top dollar, but really we're a stepping stone to what he perceives as greater things and he feels that is what he can say.

If he doesn't do something here at Goodison, neither he nor Lukaku will be going anywhere "upwards" as he perceives it.

Daniel Joseph
79 Posted 12/11/2016 at 07:50:09
Was Moyes an Evertonian? No.
Mark Murphy
80 Posted 12/11/2016 at 09:29:36
So we're all agreed then...

Eddie Howe to come in immediately to continue our mid table run and say nice things about us.

Eddie Dunn
81 Posted 12/11/2016 at 10:13:22
Lyndon, At last some common sense on this issue. I have had my say on other threads but I will add this.

To those that wish Ron would refer to Everton as "we", could it be that, as he has only brought in 3 of his choices so far, that he does not yet see the team as his?

Gary Willock
82 Posted 12/11/2016 at 10:53:49
Eddie @81 I've just taken over a new department in work, after one meeting we are 'we' and always will be. This is a team sport and team spirit can make a massive difference. Just look at last season's winners.
Ray Roche
83 Posted 12/11/2016 at 11:05:41
Gary, "Just look at last season's winners."

And look at them this season. There doesn't seem to be any spirit at all; maybe Kante moving has had an effect and maybe Mahrez and Vardy are regretting not moving when they had the chance. I think, for Vardy in particular, his ship has sailed and he'll be lucky to get another offer like the one that supposedly came from Arsenal.

We are like they are now, not appearing to have the spirit that we've enjoyed in recent seasons, but that's something that I think crept in last season under Martinez when there seemed to be an open rebellion to his game plan and we started falling apart — it's a problem that Koeman has yet to resolve.

Gary Willock
84 Posted 12/11/2016 at 11:17:48
Ray - my point was to show how far a group working as a team can go, not hold them up as a model of consistency at it.

For me it is one of the most important attributes, and a detached manager simply does not help it. Not until he has earned that detachment as a manager.

Just as with Martinez, most seem to have stopped playing for him. At least brown shoes got a good year in first. Time will tell, hope I am wrong.

Ray Roche
85 Posted 12/11/2016 at 11:31:58
Gary, I'm in agreement with you, team spirit makes such a huge difference to performances. That's one reason why I don't think this potential loan move for Depay is a good thing.

Any tool who turns up at his first Man Utd training session driving a £250k Rolls Royce and swaggers around like he's the real deal doesn't seem the sort to enhance team spirit. Especially when he was only 20-21 years old. Wonder how the handful of old time, real United fans viewed that?

Eugene Ruane
86 Posted 12/11/2016 at 11:35:36
Rick (78) - "If You Know Your History" means nothing to him, nor does "Nil Satis Nisi Optimum". We're just a club paying him top dollar, but really we're a stepping stone to what he perceives as greater things'

Couple of three things.

1) That applies to 99% of all managers at all clubs. I'm sure there's the odd one who has a genuine feel for the club they manage, but in the main, they know they'll get the boot in the end, so first and foremost, it's about them. Just human nature.

2) If Nil Satis Nisi Optimum / knowing your history etc means nothing to 'the biggest Evertonian in the world', why should it mean anything to a feller from Holland best known for playing in Spain?

3) Football managers are not supporters of teams, consequently they see things very differently from how we do. Personally, if our manager is a big unsmiling grock lacking in social skills (exuding 'Dutchness') I'm happy for him not to feel constrained by having to pretend otherwise. My only interest is what happens on the park and at the moment (after 11 games) I'm at the 'he needs time' stage.

Mike Green (#77) – 'If it's to be taken on face value, it's bad form at best. Also, Koeman isn't being honest either, he knows as well as we do the chances of Rom being good enough to play for Barcelona are pretty non-existent so what's it all about?'

Not being 'honest'??? Neither are you.

You make a complete guess about what Koeman thinks Rom's chances of playing for Barcelona are, state it as a fact, then ask 'What's that all about?'

And if I'm wrong and it's not pure guesswork on your part, how do you know for sure what Koeman is/was thinking?

I might add that even if your guesswork was accurate (re his 'dishonesty') he's hardly going door-to-door looking for vulnerable pensioners to have off.

When Bill Shankly was manager of Liverpool, his team talks were often him just telling his (lumpy, ugly, jammy, dirty) team lies about opposition players.

"Best's right knee is shot to fuck, he can't run, Bobby Charlton has lost three yards since last year. Pat Crerand's wife has left him, his mind has gone" etc etc.

Is he remembered for his dishonesty?

So much of this 'boo hoo Koeman doesn't love us' stuff is just Chelsea whupping venting imo.

I genuinely believe had he given the same interview BUT we'd won a couple more games, people would be saying "Well the reason we're doing well is coz he's dispassionate like, doesn't go in for all that Martinez bollocks and just concentrates on..' etc blah.

Paul Tran
87 Posted 12/11/2016 at 12:15:11
Eugene. Nail. Head. Excellent post.

Hope everyone enjoys wallowing in their shock and outrage. See you next week for a game of football.

Phil Sammon
88 Posted 12/11/2016 at 13:02:35
He doesn't have to be an Evertonian. But he has to respect the club and he has to get results. Pretty simple isn't it? Not according to Eugene.
John Daley
89 Posted 12/11/2016 at 13:08:22
You don't have to be 'shocked' or 'outraged' to come to the conclusion he's needlessly made a cock of himself.

Nor do you have to believe he should 'love' the club, or refer to us as 'we' while we call him 'Koemy Woomy', or rub talc on our arse and tell us we're 'special', to point out he should have enough nous and a greater appreciation of where his huge salary is coming from to stop short of giving his seal of approval to the 'Lukaku is way too good to remain at Everton for long' line.

At least when he's let out out in public, like.

Peter Gorman
90 Posted 12/11/2016 at 14:37:55
I genuinely believe had he given the same interview BUT we'd won a couple more games, people would be saying "Well the reason we're doing well is coz he's dispassionate like, doesn't go in for all that Martinez bollocks and just concentrates on.. etc blah."

Judging from the numerous posts on this, you couldn't be more wrong, Eugene, old pal.

Patrick Murphy
91 Posted 12/11/2016 at 15:12:50
It's reported in the Echo that Ronald has said this about the International break:

"Next Thursday, all the players travel back to Liverpool. They also have a long flight behind and you can not train directly after. So there remains a single day on the Friday to train before Saturday at three o'clock against Swansea.”

I totally sympathise with him and every other Premier League manager who have lots of Internationals in their squads and FIFA in their greedy way have made things worse in the last few years; however, our team, particularly our team, don't need any excuses not to put a shift in, and I hope – even without enough training time – the boys go out all guns blazing against Swansea.

Rick Tarleton
92 Posted 12/11/2016 at 16:49:26
I basically agree with you, Eugene, the fans are the only poor saps who truly have an emotional, as distinct from a professional, commitment to their club. However, Koeman is being either naive or he is lacking in respect if he believes he can make such a remark and for it to be accepted by the fans as a mere piece of honest observation.

Fans tend to appreciate those managers who they perceive to have an emotional commitment to their club. Moyes was forgiven a great deal for the one phrase, "The People's Club". Catterick, although a great manager, was possibly under-estimated by the press, the fans, and even his own players, because of his detachment.

Detachment is needed by a manager in assessing his team's performance, but a bit of flattery to "our great club" always goes a long way.

Patrick Murphy
93 Posted 13/11/2016 at 18:32:52
I'm not sure that Ronald Koeman will bring 'success' in the way we wanted or hoped for given what his brother says in the Echo:-

"It's nice if you get European football but it's a long way and there's a big big competition between the clubs. Normally you have the biggest six clubs and after that there is a lot of clubs with Everton.

"You need a bit of luck as well but the most important thing is to perform stably."

Ah well, all of that dreaming and hoping and at the end of the day we are nothing more than 'Wallingesque' in our ambitions.

Brian Denton
94 Posted 13/11/2016 at 18:45:14
Difficult to argue with that, Patrick.

Dispiriting to see how quickly the Leicester achievement has been forgotten.

Fingers in ears, la la la, it didn't happen, facepalm etc...

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