Fear factor driving Everton back into contention

, 19 September, 15comments  |  Jump to most recent
The combination of Ronald Koeman's more regimented management and Everton's greater financial resources has increased the pressure on the players to perform.

That's the contention of club captain Phil Jagielka and it's one that has been demonstrated in results so far this season, with the Blues having recorded five wins on the bounce in all competitions since the opening day draw against Tottenham Hotspur.

Koeman's team sit in second place after five Premier League games and can take another step closer to Wembley tomorrow evening when they play Norwich City in the EFL Cup fourth round.

A few of the players who haven't had much of a look-in since the season kicked off may get a chance to stake their claims for a greater role under the new manager and it's one they should grab with both hands of Jagielka's comments in the wake of Saturday's win over Middlesbrough are an indication.

"Yes there is a fear, definitely," Jagielka said. "It is like being back at school with a new head-teacher who is trying to be a little bit stricter.

"When a new manager comes in everyone has to be on their toes, there is competition for places and even the situation with the financial backing we have now adds to it all.

"Not one player is guaranteed a place in the squad let alone the team. If the manager wants to go and buy a player in January, then the cheque book is open.

"It does put added pressure on the players, but it is a good pressure.

"[The manager] is not scared of making changes. James (McCarthy) was really unlucky at West Brom, playing out of position and he got brought off before half-time because we needed to do something different tactically.

"He is not afraid of making decisions before and after the game. It is like being back at school with a new headteacher who is trying to be a little bit stricter.

"You only have to look at the jobs he has done. That proves he has not done a bad job.

"At the moment it is going well. I wouldn't say we are playing amazing, but we are getting fantastic results and that breeds confidence."


Reader Comments (15)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 19/09/2016 at 23:15:56
Paul Joyce in the Express gives his insight into the changing of the guard at Goodison and what the players learnt early on in Koeman's reign.


Gerry Quinn
2 Posted 19/09/2016 at 23:28:00
Leave no stone unturned – punctuality and discipline will breed success. Go for it, Ronald, go for it. Love it.
Mike Gaynes
3 Posted 20/09/2016 at 01:07:35
Someone on TW posted (I think it was Darren Hind) that TV interviews with Koeman looked like sit-downs with Tony Soprano. I like the comparison.

He is one tough mo-fo.

Paul Kernot
4 Posted 20/09/2016 at 05:57:06
"I wouldn't say we're playing amazing". Interesting comment. I'm sure I'm not alone in holding my breath until we play City or the shite, Chelsea or The Arse. Good results in those games and I'll really start to believe again. For now though, I'm loving the ride.
Ernie Baywood
5 Posted 20/09/2016 at 06:23:08
Yes, we've 'only' beaten some lesser sides, but we're still playing at a high level. Most shots on target, fewest shots faced, second only to Man City in creating chances, midfielder out-tackling everyone in the league.

Or have we just stumbled on a lineup and system that works, but can be found out? Well, we've played a variety of formations and lineups. We've made first half changes to change things up.

There's enough out there to show that we are very effective right now.

Denis Richardson
6 Posted 20/09/2016 at 08:43:52
If we beat the 'lesser sides' and lose to the 'bigger teams' we'll still be around top 4 come May. If we manage a couple of wins against the top teams (other than Man City I fancy our chances against any of them, especially at home), we'll be aiming higher.

Long season however and as usual need to take it one game at a time. Hopefully we can give some players a rest against Norwich before putting in a good performance against Bournemouth.

Liam Reilly
7 Posted 20/09/2016 at 09:56:31
Interesting article that, Patrick # 1

If the players are indeed 8 lbs lighter; that in itself is a damming indictment of the previous regime. It's obvious how much fitter the players are and all are fighting for their places; which is just the balance that's needed.

Koeman also apparently doesn't do the long days, which is sensible management; if you can't complete your workload in an 8 hour period then your either shit at time management or not delegating enough.

Sajid Patel
8 Posted 20/09/2016 at 10:00:29
I just want us to beat red shite It's been too long now and I'm fed up of Everton not doing the business. We need to stop fearing them and just go and play our best football.

Last time I remember us beating them was when Kanchelskis scored two at Anfield. In the cup, we beat them at home!!

Brian Harrison
9 Posted 20/09/2016 at 11:19:20

I also read Paul Joyce in the Express, it gives us a glimpse into what Koeman has already brought to the table. He has also according to the report reduced the amount of people in the dressing room prior to the match. He is a strict disciplinarian which was needed after the shambolic way Martinez ran the club, you only have to read what Gareth Barry said about how timekeeping and dress code and training had lapsed under the charlatan.

I also thought that the most telling part of the article was were Joyce questioned how long Koeman would be at Goodison. That for me is more important than any player signing or existing players extending their contracts. Because there is no doubt that another successful season for Koeman this season will alert the very best clubs of his quality. He is rightly ambitious and should one of the very top clubs come calling, then Moshiri and Kenwright will have to have demonstrated to Koeman that they will back him with big money so he can achieve his ambitions here at Everton.

Steve Ferns
10 Posted 20/09/2016 at 11:28:22
Sounds like he's a Harry Catterick type of manager, and that his brother is playing a massive role in the day-to-day action on the training ground. Also, it's interesting that his brother also lives in the city whilst Ronald Koeman does not.
Matt Williams
11 Posted 20/09/2016 at 11:33:33
Jags maybe right that we're not playing amazing but compared to last season it's very enjoyable to watch. Everything just looks better – fitness, tactics, a balanced side. The players look like they know what they're doing and are playing with passion. Long may it continue.
Stan Schofield
12 Posted 20/09/2016 at 11:41:31
Koeman is clearly on top of his job, in control. That's why he doesn't need to work extra hours. Quality of hours, not quantity.

His handling of the media is excellent as well, treats them with respect (important in terms of how the media's handling of Everton develops). No drama queen stuff, no showmanship, no histrionics, just straightforward matter-of-fact answering of questions.

All-in-all, he leads by example, which is always an inspiration to players.

Stan Schofield
13 Posted 20/09/2016 at 11:51:12
Although there are no easy games, as some have said on TW, there are 'easier' games (on paper). Even if it were accepted that the first few games have been easier, to me a major feature is the way we've won. No sense of being fragile like last season, good team work and team spirit, good organisation, especially at the back compared with last season.

Don't know about a 'fear' factor, but there are certainly factors of respect for Koeman (the players want to impress, even without fear), wanting to support each other, and perhaps a general feeling of uplift at how things are going.

Alan J Thompson
14 Posted 20/09/2016 at 14:26:40
It is said that Fear is the first stop on the road to Respect.
Ralph Basnett
15 Posted 21/09/2016 at 15:54:41
No fear factor against Norwich it seems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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