Obstinate Koeman's reign reeks of a busted flush

To say we expected a hell of lot more this season is an understatement and it calls into question the likelihood of success for Ronald’s three-year Everton “project”.

Lyndon Lloyd 29/09/2017 111comments  |  Jump to last

Another game, another often toothless and frustrating display, and two more important points dropped. After what unfolded in Italy a fortnight ago, the home fixture against Apollon Limassol was the one in Group E that Everton could ill afford not to win but they managed to grab a draw from the jaws of victory thanks to a late but unsurprising equaliser. That’s just the way things have been going so far this season but there’s a case for saying that Ronald Koeman’s side should never have been in a such a vulnerable position against that calibre of opposition in the first place.

To give Limassol their due, they had done their homework on the predictable way in which Koeman sets up his team, its reliance on switching the play to the flanks and its inability to consistently create through the middle. The team from Cyprus harried, compressed the space and tried to hit their hosts on the break but, ultimately, they lacked genuine quality and were there to be beaten.

Koeman said in his pre-match “presser” that he would select the strongest team available for what was a vital game in the context of Everton’s hopes of getting out of the group. That plainly wasn’t the case, though; if it had been, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, as demonstrably the Blues’ most effective attacker so far this season, would surely have started in place of Sandro Ramirez. And, as he would show by the end of the evening, so, too, should Nikola Vlasic have been in the line-up.

The problem, of course — as has been pointed out ad nauseam in recent weeks by keen Evertonian observers and long-suffering fans… essentially people supposedly less qualified than the man being paid £6m a year to work these things out — is that the Blues are, at the moment, considerably less than the vast sum of their parts and it’s down to a rigidly adhered-to system that the manager refuses to change.

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While he has in recent weeks, accepted a modicum of responsibility for Everton’s poor results and even worse performances, Koeman was back to holding up a chronic lack of confidence and individual mistakes as being at the heart of his team’s problems last night.

“It's really disappointing,” he said after the game, a lead statement that is becoming as ritual as his famous “but, okay” crutch. “We started poor without any confidence, doing a lot of mistakes.

"The challenge is to get the team full of confidence. You need to start better, if you start with many mistakes like today it's hard. Look at the first goal it's shocking. Winning games is good medicine but now it will be the same at the weekend.

"The feeling is like a defeat, not even a draw. We are missing seven, eight players, that is maybe too much in the current situation."

Of course, it wasn’t really a shortage of numbers that was to blame here, although had Phil Jagielka been in the side instead of the increasingly error-prone Ashley Williams, it’s unlikely Limassol would have been gifted the opening goal in the manner in which they were.

In any case, the Cypriot side returned the favour with an even more charitable gift to allow Wayne Rooney to score a goal he never would otherwise have done based on the rest of the match. And once Vlasic had come on to provide the energy, the purpose and the second goal that the team had hitherto lacked, the argument over confidence went out the window.

The Croatian had put the Blues ahead with a composed finish that defied his teenage years and provided the platform from which they could take all three points. What it says of the accomplished and experienced Rooney or the criminally unmotivated Kevin Mirallas that a 19-year-old could provide so many of the answers is best left for another discussion.

Meanwhile, while those errors that Koeman cites were undoubtedly factors everything comes back to selection at the moment – an ineffective, narrow formation, anchored by a defensive midfielder partnership that is superfluous when Everton are at Goodison Park, that is doing the players no favours in their bid restore some self-belief.

Not for the first time, Koeman was aware of that last issue because he addressed at half time by withdrawing Idrissa Gueye in favour of Vlasic. The worrying problem, just like his repeated deployment of too many nominal No.10s at the expense of width, is that he keeps starting games with the same busted strategy, week in, week out. If his team is suffering from a lack of confidence, continually playing the ball back and generally moving it around at a snail’s pace, it’s because of a lack of options, movement and width ahead of them.

What does it say of a supposedly top-class manager that he consistently has to change things up at half time or later in games because his starting tactics aren’t working?

The optimists will point to the fact that Group E in the Europa League is still wide open following Lyon’s draw with Atalanta but Everton will only remain in with a shot of progressing to the knockout phase if they can start winning big matches, something they are struggling to do at the moment. In the same way that Oumar Niasse’s double against Bournemouth papered over some glaring cracks, a slender win over Limassol earned in spite of suspect tactics would have belied another sub-standard display.

On the evidence of last night, it’s hard to see this Everton team winning either of their other two home games in the group and there will be an onus on getting positive results away from home as well depending on how things pan out between now and early December.

Then there are the regular challenges of the unforgiving Premier League where there are no easy games and Everton will have to earn the right to beat the likes of Burnley and Brighton in their next couple of games to keep the relegation zone at arm’s length.

The damning thing is that there is talent in the squad and some fine, blossoming young talent being worked into the foundations for future success under the right management. Tom Davies may have struggled last night in contrast to his transformative introduction against Bournemouth but his refreshing desire to keep the ball moving forward and his eye for a pass mean he should be a regular starter in place of one of the holding midfielders at home.

Calvert-Lewin is another maturing quickly on the big stages, displaying the attributes of control, direct running and eye for goal that some questioned he possessed at times last season while he was still finding his feet.

So, too, Vlasic who was a breath of fresh air last night who had the kind of impact on the game that Koeman would no doubt expect of Rooney. In Gylfi Sigurdsson, meanwhile, you have a player who, unsurprisingly, looked far more at home and was much more effective when he moved centrally and could play just behind the forward line. Will Koeman finally realise that simply picking players on reputation or price tag and shoving them into an unbalanced formation has been exposed as futile or will he blindly barrel forward regardless hoping against all wisdom that it will simply start working?

If there’s a common thread between Everton’s managers in the 21st Century it is, perhaps, a stuck-in-their-ways intransigence that ultimately underpinned their lack of success at the club. Perhaps that comes with the territory with the majority of football bosses but we Blues only have our own experiences from which to draw. And from Walter Smith to David Moyes to Roberto Martinez, we’ve been driven to distraction by an unwillingness to adapt to the demands placed on them by an ever-changing Premier League landscape.

Koeman may have only been in the job less than 18 months but he has quickly revealed either a dogged refusal or a simple inability to change — let’s face it, it’s not good either way — in the face of mounting evidence that the system to which he is rigidly adhering isn’t working. They should rename it Goodison Donkey Sanctuary — Home for Stubborn Old Mules. Yes, it’s true that he is bedding in a number of new players but that is not the overriding reason for the team’s abysmal displays.

Maybe it’s a sign that my Evertonian patience has been stretched too thin over two-plus decades without success or the Dutchman’s detached demeanour but if Koeman walked tomorrow or was ushered into a taxi by Farhad Moshiri, I wouldn’t care a jot because there's no discernible plan at the moment. That’s not a new feeling, either — I felt that way before last night’s match and it’s not one I’m likely to shake unless there is a wholesale but unlikely shift in the manager’s approach, tactics and selection policy. To say we expected a hell of lot more this season is an understatement and it calls into question the likelihood of success for Ronald’s three-year Everton “project”.

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Neil Cremin
1 Posted 29/09/2017 at 07:39:08
The team has no confidence. Koeman is the problem. They are playing to a rigid structure which stifles their football flair and ability. How many times in a game do we pass the ball back to Pickford even from attacking positions?

Of the 7-8 players we are missing, Barkley and McCarthy have been humiliated by him. Jags and Keane have already played in his boring and under performing sides this season. Bolasie had not been in the team long enough to evaluate if he is a consistent performer especially under current style of play. Funes Mori has had his ups and downs but would he be first choice centre half. That leaves only Coleman who has pace and leadership which we are missing but will he be the same player.

Good managers deal with what they have and get the best out of their resources, eg, Moyes and Royle's Dogs of War. The more players you give this manager the more disjointed the team gets. He is not a manager of a football team.

Jon Withey
2 Posted 29/09/2017 at 07:49:44
Agreed that the squad is not looking as bad as the results – especially with Vlasic and Calvert-Lewin, Kenny and Davies.

That said, Klaassen and Ramirez (at least he was cheap) have been poor buys and should be on the bench as last roll of the dice at the moment. Frankly I don't think they will ever be better than Davies and Calvert-Lewin.

I guess we will see where we are by Christmas and then the axe may have to fall – but the Europa League looks like it is already over.

Phil Sammon
3 Posted 29/09/2017 at 07:51:24
A concise summery of what just about every Evertonian has been saying for weeks if not months.

I can't believe he's said that 8 missing players is one reason for this poor result. That team was full of expensive signings made by Koeman. Outright bullshitting like that makes me doubt the validity of anything else that comes out of his mouth.

In other comments Koeman put the blame squarely on the players.

''It is in the head of the players. As a manager you can help the team and select the team but when the whistle goes you are not the one who plays the ball back."

''You saw the first 20 minutes – every ball was back instead of playing forward.''

''It is so difficult if you have so many players struggling. They are looking for the safe option. It is a difficult situation.''

Did it ever occur to him that the reason the ball was going back was due to the lack of options further forward? I saw a graphic earlier of 'average player positions' throughout the game. Schneiderlin, Gueye, Davies, Sigurdsson, Rooney, Sandro...you could have thrown a Polo mint around the lot of them. Only when Vladic and Calvert-Lewin stretched the pitch did we look in any way threatening. That made it even more disappointing to see the tidy but narrow, Klassen, on instead of Lookman or, the out of favour, Mirallas.

Perhaps the most worrying thing about all of this is that Koeman seems unwilling to budge in his tactics. I personally hope he's gone sooner rather than later, but I am really intrigued as to how things would work with Bolasie back fit. Koeman bought him and likes him, but his style is so diametrically opposed to what the Dutchman is hell bent on imposing.

If Koeman does long for Bolasie's return then surely he can see the merits of what are wide man can offer. Did it not occur to him to buy support in that area in the transfer window rather than fill up on number 10's? Are Lookman and Vlasic not good enough to start...or even participate in the case of the former?

Just what is going on in the mind of Ronald Koeman?

I'm pretty sure it's something like, 'It's not my fault'

William Cartwright
4 Posted 29/09/2017 at 07:53:00
100% agree with your comments, Lyndon. It seems that Koeman is waiting for an "Oxford moment" when it all turns positive and with no looking back. History does tend to repeat itself, but that is a long shot.

I was wondering if Moshiri's logic was to move Everton down the ruthless path instead of the more sociable type of management approach? If so it seems to be backfiring badly. However, if Koeman wants to shoot himself in the foot every week then then apart from replacing him not much else can be done. He will likely go sooner rather than later. Sooner preferably, as I can imagine Mirallas and Barkley, both excellent players if well managed, and playing in the right set up, recovering with the same patience and fortitude as Niasse; why should they?

We do have an excellent squad except with left back, striker and left sided defender not covered. Those challenges should now be addressed in January, either via the cheque book or promotion from the under 23's.

However, it all pales to nothing if the crass mismanagement prevails.

Graham Holliday
5 Posted 29/09/2017 at 07:53:08
Well articulated, Lyndon. In terms of Koeman's future, the decision as to whether he stays or goes must be made when it becomes clear that he's unable to take the team to the next level.

In my opinion he has, gradually, reached that point. To be a top side, you need to assemble a side that can defend, has options going forward, can move the ball quickly, win it back and does these things at pace. Pochettino has Tottenham doing all these things.

Koeman has us doing none of them and we're going backwards in all senses. It may be early in the season but for me the point has been reached that it is fairly evident Koeman can't take us forward.

Whether that's just because of the impact of so many new players, a failure to land key targets or just because he's a limited manager doesn't matter to me. We are where we are, we're not progressing and I can't envisage a future under Koeman where we will be. It simply must be possible to identify a talented manager who can get us moving in the right direction.

Colin Glassar
6 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:00:34
Good players, crap manager. I've never, ever wanted an Everton manager to be sacked in September so this is a first for me.
Gary Edwards
7 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:02:42
Great article as ever Lyndon.

A month ago I vowed to not attend games or watch matches live (telly or stream) as (somehow) I thought my 'presence' was a curse. Excuse, silly superstition, whatever the reason I did not have to endure the ignominy and subsequent dejection of watching a poor Everton. I relied on TW's forum and recordings. Knowing the result beforehand meant I could prepare myself and watch a game calmly and objectively whatever makes you happy right?

Last night's game was my first 'live' game in 3 weeks. Horrible. Nothing has changed, if possible it's got worse and to listen to that nimrod of a commentator and Trevor Francis state the obvious was painful. Yet I watched.

I've always considered your voice to be one of moderation, the ying to the yang of the anti-Koeman feelings that consume me but when you continually (& rightly) report the bloke's shortcomings and how he's destroying the team and confidence of a lot of decent players there is nowhere for me to go.

Koeman has to go the sooner the better. The club needs to act without delay. We have a ready made replacement in Unsworth who at the very least brings a 'system' with him and a more acceptable personality.

I'd also recommend that Unsworth employs a 'hard man' as his deputy, someone to shake the tree, make the likes of McCarthy, Barkley, Besic and others that are stealing a living shape up or ship out fellas. Joey Barton?

Ian Burns
8 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:21:02
A brilliant article Lyndon – right on the money. The significant statement for me is the following: "The worrying problem, just like his repeated deployment of too many nominal No 10s at the expense of width, is that he keeps starting games with the same busted strategy, week-in & week-out"

Because he starts the games with the "same busted strategy, week-in & week-out" he drains the confidence of the players from the first whistle. Changes in the second half are made to a team already bereft of confidence and any sensible change creating width immediately shows up in an improved (if only marginal) formation on the pitch, particularly when he adds that pacey forward, such as Lookman etc.

I didn't like Koeman's appointment from the off but was prepared to support and give him time but if he doesn't get the right result (and formation) against Burnley, his time is up surely, once and for all.

Dean Johnson
9 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:26:23
I'm with you, Colin, I've never felt like this about a manager, but Koeman is turgid, stubborn, idiotic shite.
Kevin Tully
10 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:33:22
My only concern now is that the Board will give him a free pass because they blatantly messed up their search for a striker.

Hopefully, even our dopes have been looking for a replacement. This is a Premier League of managers being given four games before they are booted out. Koeman doesn't have a connection with his players, that is blindingly obvious. His away record is abysmal. He's blown £150m this summer to make us the worst Everton side for 30 years.

I've a horrible feeling he will be here all season. I can't bear to go the game and watch this though. It's that bad!

Phil Sammon
11 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:36:46
Gary Edwards

Joey Barton as assistant manager? That's probably the one instance in which I'd rather stick with Koeman.

Seek help.

John McGimpsey
12 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:46:39
Time for the chop, no need to dilly dally with theory or anything. Unsworth worth a shout but clear the front bench including the big jock.
Ray Jacques
13 Posted 29/09/2017 at 08:53:11
I was happy when we appointed Koeman. Moshiri decided he was the man for the job and we actively pursued him and paid big money to obtain his services. He steadied the ship last season by sorting the chaotic defence and I could see some progress from the previous regime despite some poor performances along the way which is expected.

I thought with the defence sorted, we can now build from that and with new signings Koeman can stamp his style of football on the team and we will make further progress.

The club knew Lukaku was leaving and the failure to obtain a replacement is nothing short of scandalous and I would love to know who is being held responsible for that inside the club. I do know that if I didn't replace the most important staff member in my organisation (especially if I had 4 months notice) then I would probably be fired, but football is not normal business life.

However, the performances to date this season are not solely due to the leaving of Lukaku. It seems that the whole team is in some sort of unconfident trance and each player is unsure what team mates are going to do next.

The signings of young up-and-coming players praised by the majority (Pickford and Keane) are now not looking so positive as both players performances have dropped since the first couple of games. The lack of pace in the team is criminal, when the modern game is a quick, athletic sport where players are effective due to speed even if not technically gifted.

In conclusion, I think we have made a massive mistake with Koeman, he is not a good fit for the team (not interested in crap like red lights on his Xmas tree) or the club and we need decisive action and to remove him from his position.

Unfortunately if we look for a replacement in the fashion that we did when looking to replace Lukaku then I fear it's going to be a long, tough winter and a wasted season.

Ray Jacques
15 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:00:00
What is the obsession of some on here with the theory that you need a 'hard man' to motivate or scare the players into being better?? Its professional sport, not the Zingari.

We already have 'Big Dunc' on the staff, not been very effective has he under either of the managers??

Joey Barton, dear me.

Peter Mills
16 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:00:06
Many of us of a certain age will remember the story of Bill Shankly talking to Kevin Keegan before a match, telling him he had just seen Bobby Moore in the tunnel, looking ill, hungover. Keegan skinned him all game, after which Shankly said that Bobby Moore was the greatest defender that had ever lived and Keegan had just roasted him.

Peter Reid spoke at Howard Kendall's funeral of how Howard called him into his office early in the season after the Mexico World Cup. Howard cracked open two cans of Guinness, passed one to Reidy, and told him he was dropping him for the next game to give him a rest. "I don't blame you Boss" said Reidy, "I've got no strength". Howard: "I can see that. Now take these 3 cases of Guinness home with you. Drink it all, put your feet up, you'll be in the team for the following game".

That's what a proper manager does, gets into his players' heads, lifts them, bollocks them occasionally, makes them play for him.

Remember, by his own admission, Ronald Koeman's one task is to coach the players at his disposal. He is singularly failing in his role. When someone as calm, measured and thoughtful as Lyndon Lloyd is reaching the end of his tether, surely our manager must be reaching the end of his tenure.

Andrew Clare
17 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:03:04
I am in total agreement with you after reading your opinion, Lyndon.

We haven't been able to hire a manager with tactical flexibility and nous for over twenty years. Okay, up until Moshiri's arrival most of our managers have been hamstrung by a lack of funds but now there is no excuse. The board have backed Koeman by spending more than ever and buying the players he required yet he makes excuses.

I have been advocating that he needs more time but now I am doubtful that anything will change while he remains at the club.

We all know that the potential for our club to get back to the top is enormous but finding the right man to lead us there seems to be very very difficult. Koeman doesn't appear to be that man.

Lee Brownlie
18 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:05:19
You'd have to think that starting with the same 'busted strategy' week-in & week-out then invariably changing things when we merely proceed to fail yet again, seems a design purely to keep his starters lacking in confidence, whilst trying to give the impression that he knows what he's doing, and how to change it, when it is all falling so flat!

The fact that Koeman's initial set up brings that team failure about in the first place, I believe, this obstinate man thinks will continue to be overlooked by those who matter. So as long as he blames the starting players attitude/ confidence, then brings on someone else as if to prove his point, not to really achieve anything more!! Is he really working for Liverpool?

Craig Walker
19 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:20:26
Sad to say but with this team, we are better off out of this competition. We can't afford poor performances on a Thursday followed by defeats on a Sunday. I'd rather us focus on the bread-and-butter of winning Premier League games.

There are so many problems at the moment that I'm not going to bother listing them because 30,000+ fans all know where our weaknesses are. Why can't our manager see the issues?

Vlasic looks the best of the summer signings to me – he has pace and some intent. Sigurdsson and Klaassen are looking like they are vying for the prize of being the biggest waste of money in this club's history.

Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:21:47
When people asked me how I thought Everton would do this season I said I wasn't sure but I was positive we would be a more attractive team to watch especially in an attacking sense: how wrong and daft does that look now.

There are enough good players in the squad to improve the way we have played all season, just one change would do it: The manager, the sooner the better please.

Tom Hadley
21 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:28:53
It does appear that two players are causing more issues than they are solving at the moment: Schneiderlin and Rooney.

Koeman doesn't seem prepared to bench them, but from the evidence of last night they are holding us back, albeit for different reasons. Schneiderlin bothers me most, he just seems to do so little, other than play the most simple pass he can to the closest teammate. He sums up our "risk-averse" midfield play that creates so little.

With Rooney, the problem is more one of sticking to the job he needs to do, not the one he wants to do. His desire to make a difference is admirable, but he stifles the midfielders by dropping back and taking over their roles. If he can do it better, then fine, drop him back alongside Gana and let him play the "QB" role playing the longer passes from deep, then let Gylfi go in front of him to link play in the final third with the forward(s).

But at the moment they are just getting in each others way hence we feel we have too many Number 10s. In the 2nd half last night I felt Sigurdsson was starting to take control of his area and suddenly we started creating chances. This isn't a coincidence but Koeman has to demand people do their job within the system and stick to it!

Tommy Coleman
22 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:31:05
This is exactly how I see it.
Koeman needs to be brave enough to change.

"If his team is suffering from a lack of confidence, continually playing the ball back and generally moving it around at a snail’s pace, it’s because of a lack of options, movement and width ahead of them.

What does it say of a supposedly top-class manager that he consistently has to change things up at half time or later in games because his starting tactics aren’t working?"

Mike Allen
23 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:36:37
May well be missing 7 or 8 but he has pissed off another 7 or 8. Time to give up your locker. Whatever spin is put on this season, it will not alter the fact that we are a poor side.
Tony Marsh
24 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:48:56
Koeman is a fraud – no doubt about it. I mentioned it last season after watching us capitulate on many occasions. The shocking away form and reliance on Lukaku exposed Koeman for what he really is.

This season has seen the goal machine Lukaku basically given away on a free to Man Utd and Koeman's entire game plan has vanished with Romelu. By the way those fans who slagged off Lukaku and wanted him gone, you are sure looking foolish now, aren't you??

It is now time for Koeman to go but I don't think the conmen who employ him have it in them to swing the axe. Fans talk of giving Koeman more time but it's not just this season that Koeman has failed the club.

Lukaku's goals covered up our deficiencies last season and without Romelu we would've been in a relegation dog fight. Koeman was part of the process that allowed the Belgium to leave so freely, so easily, and so cheaply. Why?

Top and bottom of it all is the whole club is a mess. From Moshiri right down to the shite some fans talk and put up with. The Cypriots could of done the whole club a favour last night and I have no doubt Burnley will crank up the pressure on Sunday. There is no way the players can regroup with this clown Koeman giving the orders.

We won't go down this season to much shite below us but it will be a painfully, shamefull embarrassing time to be an Everton supporter.

Steve Solomon
25 Posted 29/09/2017 at 09:49:39
I agree with you Tommy @ 22. This, for me, sums it up:

"What does it say of a supposedly top-class manager that he consistently has to change things up at half time or later in games because his starting tactics aren't working?"

Peter Gorman
26 Posted 29/09/2017 at 10:07:51
Phil Sammon @11; it was more the mention of Joey Barton and 'hard man' together which made me splutter into my cornflakes.
James Stewart
27 Posted 29/09/2017 at 10:10:49
Completely agree especially with the last paragraph. The club is sleepwalking off a cliff. If the board of this 'new Everton' has any of the so called ambition it claims to then it has to act.

For one of the best paid managers in world football to publicly say his team is 'afraid' against this level of opposition is unacceptable and inept.

Ray Robinson
28 Posted 29/09/2017 at 10:17:41
As ever, brilliant summation of the situation, Lyndon, which other more strident contributors would do well to copy when articulating a valid argument.

I admit I was pleased when we appointed Koeman, impressed with how he had twice transformed Southampton, and have been in favour thus far of giving him until maybe Christmas to sort things out.

Now I'm not sure how long we should afford him. With no target man, width or pace I can't see how things are going to change significantly between now and then. Yes, he can improve on team selection and tactics but each time we try something different (e.g. restore Tom Davies to the side last night), things go belly up again.

There is a collective lack of confidence that's for sure but the manager can't consistently excuse poor performances on that basis. It's up to him to instill that confidence. And this is where I damn him –- can't he give even the slightest hint that he cares?

I'm not advocating running down the touchline a la Klopp but at least give the impression that he's invested some emotion in the club and that we're not just some stepping stone onto something potentially bigger. This "project" does indeed look like a "busted flush".

John Davies
29 Posted 29/09/2017 at 10:21:40
Koeman was the one manager I wanted to see at Goodison Park for over a year before he arrived. I was totally made up when he signed up. I defended him over and again against the "knockers" and told them all they were wrong about him.

But I am now totally fed up with his refusal to see and act upon what needs to be done to get the team balance right. I'm fed up with watching the most boring Everton side I have seen for decades. I am fed up with watching the most basic errors being made all over the park. And I am fed up with listening to Mr Koeman's drivel after each pathetic failure.

I hate to admit that I got it wrong but I did. This manager is surely only one defeat on Sunday away from the exit door? If that is the case I hope he leaves quietly.

Bloody hell I'm depressed.

Pat Waine
30 Posted 29/09/2017 at 10:25:32
It is rare when I agree totally with anybody. But in this article, I agree with it all. The lack of a plan, the stubborn insistence on playing both Gana and Schneiderlin removes invention from the team, lacks width and ends up with us shifting the ball slowly left and right and then back.

Koeman on occasions has been forced into making the right changes and again this was the case last night. Vlasic had a real impact for a kid at a new club.

We cant afford to play without a centre forward and Calvert-Lewin should start now all games until Xmas. I fear that we will need a new manager very soon though.

Paul Tran
31 Posted 29/09/2017 at 10:57:20
Lyndon, we've had plenty of experience of busted flushes. This is another one. The only reason to keep him is the irrational hope that things will magically slot into place. I hope Moshiri is on the phone to Ancellotti's or Silva's 'people' right now.
John Raftery
32 Posted 29/09/2017 at 11:20:40
Lyndon - Your summary reflects the views of many supporters after another dire performance. I would have sacked Koeman after the Atalanta debacle.

We will continue to serve up dross while he persists with trying to prove a point with the trudging trio of Rooney, Klaassen and Sigurdsson in the same team. Last night we started with only two of them but having taken the lead he then brings on the third one, Klaassen, instead of a wide player with pace. Game after game we have seen they cannot play together. In fact I would only play one of them.

You could argue a case for Rooney or Sigurdsson; there is little to choose between them. Both are slow, Rooney stalls the momentum of the team by dropping deep to get on the ball. Sigurdsson is proving no more adept at set pieces than his predecessor, one Ross Barkley. He played the assist for the second goal last night but he is nowhere near giving us what we should expect for £45m.

So I would sack RK and replace him with someone who can get Barkley onside and once fit, in the team. That man would be Unsworth with Joe Royle acting as mentor. I would do it now before the season implodes completely.

Currently we have a bone-headed manager who is appalling at man management, clueless tactically and totally unable to create a system of playing to make the most of the people available to him.

In three seasons we have regressed from a team which was a happy amalgam of the best of Moyes and Martinez along with a top class striker who helped us to 72 points, to one which is not only painful to watch but is heading out of Europe and headlong into a relegation battle.

Kim Vivian
33 Posted 29/09/2017 at 11:31:55
It would be interesting to read the views of anybody (if there is anybody) who takes the opposite perspective to these. I am very much one to give the benefit of the doubt and not jump on bandwagons, but it is wearing pretty bloody thin now.

Our matches must, by a country mile be the least attractive viewing proposition to neutral viewers. And that itself pisses me off. Thankfully I do not have to listen to RS fans banging on as I now live away from Merseyside. I feel for you guys up there.

I am pretty much fully in agreement with everything that is being said. We undoubtedly have good (though largely overpriced) players although one could argue that we have the 'wrong' good players. There is only Calvert-Lewin, Vlasic (now) and Niasse who I actually look forward to watching these days and it strikes me that Koeman's (lack of) personality is bearing down upon the whole squad and just sucking the charisma out. If his interviews and PCs are anything to go by he just makes you switch off mentally. He hardly seems like a man to fire up a squad. (As a matter of interest, did he ever demonstrate leadership qualities by captaining any of the teams he played for? Or was he just a soldier, albeit a pretty good one)

As it is looking, heave-ho sooner rather than later for me and leave Unsworth with the poisoned chalice short term while we seek out a replacement. I fear for Koeman being given another window if he does pick things up sufficiently to be given more time because he will probably just buy a few more 'wrong' good players.

Trying times these for us lot, trying times. What the fuck is going on?

David Midgley
34 Posted 29/09/2017 at 11:54:07
When Steve Walsh and Ronald were appointed at Everton, I and many other people thought that it was a new dawn. It now appears to have been a false one.

Perhaps another Webber could explain how the recruitment system at EFC works. As Blackadder would say "We have more midfielder than a midfield full of midfielders." Who chooses the new signings? Is it Walsh? Is it the Board? Do Steve and Ronnie not discuss this?

It has been known for a long time that Rom was going. Does Ron not watch other games and think 'That guy could do a job for us, I like his style.' Ron has said in the past that he is not involved in the transfers. Who was it then that pursued Sigurdsson so relentlessly. Was Ron not asked about it ?

Did Ron, Steve or the board not talk about strikers? Or is it like one of those birthdays when you wanted a pair of footie boots and you got a Helix compass set. Here this is what we got you, hope you like it.

We are being told that the team has lost its confidence. I'm being presumptuous but I think we've all had periods in our lives when our faith in ourselves has wavered and our decision making has faltered . The kitchen is on fire and you know that you've got to throw a bucket of water on it. For some reason you just can't do it. You know you must but you can't do it.

I wonder if it's Ronnie who has a crisis of confidence and that has spread to the team? Do Ron's assistants not say anything about the way or style that the team are playing? Tactics? Moshiri, Kenwright?

Rob Halligan
35 Posted 29/09/2017 at 11:56:30
Team for Burnley:

Kenny Holgate Williams Baines.
Schneiderlin / Gueye.
Lookman Sigurdsson Vlasic
Calvert-Lewin Niasse.

Subs: Stekelenburg, Martina, Klaassen, Mirallas, Gueye / Schneiderlin, Davies, Rooney.

Unfortunately the defence picks itself as everybody else is injured, except for Martina, who shouldn't start.

We need width along with pace to go with that width, so Lookman and Vlasic to start. Vlasic can always drift inside if need be to help out Sigurdsson and Gueye / Schneiderlin. Lookman however just needs to hog the touchline, thus creating space in the midfield which has been too congested recently, and act as an outlet to relieve pressure and also run the channels which Koeman says we lack. Lookman can also remain on the halfway line when Burnley have corners / free-kicks, as everybody going back to defend is just doing my bloody head in.

Calvert-Lewin s starting to show as a potentially decent target man, and does win a fair few balls in the air, so he needs Niasse alongside him to feed off the flicks, and I mean alongside him, not 15 -to 20 yards away. Niasse needs to be ready to anticipate any flick-ons because hopefully he will have the pace to run on to goal.

4-4-2 a bold and adventurous formation? Probably, and highly unlikely Koeman will play it, especially with 2 wide men. But WTF, anything is worth a try. Get a scruffy win against Burnley, then it's two weeks before the next game, time to get Jags and Keane fit, and build some confidence on the training pitch.

Tony Abrahams
36 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:06:09
I've been asking the same question for a few weeks now David, because I know if I was fucking up so badly, I would want my mates to help me out.

Ferguson celebrated wildly when Niasse scored, so I wonder if he has been telling the manager that if he wants us to play more forward balls, then he should put more forward players on the pitch?

People only question things, when things go wrong, but surely a manager should sign his own players, and I've never been sure that a director of football has ever really worked?

That said it's Koeman, who picks the team, and it's Koeman, who decides on the tactics. It's that bad at the minute, he looks like he's trying his best to get the sack?

Amit Vithlani
37 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:11:48
When someone who is usually as composed and balanced as Lyndon launches a visceral attack on your management style, you know you have been well and truly incompetent.

Great article, by the way.

Derek Thomas
38 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:19:08
...And so say all of us.
Dermot Byrne
39 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:21:19
I was a manager for a few years. Why? Because I am really skilled at one aspect of the industry I work in. Result? I was a useless manager. Completely different skills needed.
James McPherson
40 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:23:50
I have been an advocate of giving Koeman time, and feel that a dismissal in September was premature. This principle in my head still applies. However, I imagine no supporters of this view believe this patience to be infinite. I certainly don't. Quite the contrary, supporters of Koeman generally all agree he needs to improve and quickly.

As each game goes by without an uplift in result and performance the closer he will be to a dismissal. Last night saw another step toward departure, sadly. However, I would caution any Evertonian who thinks there's "sunshine and instant cure" around the corner if and when he does go.

Why? Well, we ought to remember that Koeman is not solely responsible here. The board's incompetency around Lukaku's replacement has been so damaging. This is the same board who will be seeking a replacement. Those touting Ancellotti, Teuchel and the like... lower your sights. <:P>Though Koeman is on his faltering last legs, Kenwright Elstone and co are very much alive and doing just fine. To those who think anybody is better than Koeman, well there's every chance you could just get your wish with an anybody.

Brian Harrison
41 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:30:26
Tony (#36),

Funny you should mention Ferguson's reaction to the goal Niasse scored. As his brother in law John Parrot was on TalkSport this morning and he was asked about Everton. He said they have no pace and no width, so I guess he has had the same conversations with Ferguson. The question is does he have an input into the set up of the team and does he voice his concerns, unless he agrees with the team selection.

As I have said before of the candidates at the time I wanted Koeman, as the press were saying it was between him and Frank de Boer. I thought after RM praising very average performances we needed a more honest and pragmatic manager. He had also done well at Southampton, so he seemed a good fit and his first season went okay – nothing great but okay. Now like his predecessor trying to improve the first season has become more problematical.

Now what he said after the game was absolutely correct most passes went square or backwards and you can see there is a major lack of confidence in their play. So I wonder what happens at Finch Farm 5 days a week, does he not make sure they look for forward passes. He has in his tenure said we start to slowly a constant theme, So make sure every training session is done at a high tempo so it becomes second nature.

Why the lack of width and pace? All the teams in the top 6 have pace and power so why does he think our way of slow and methodical is the right way to play. I wish I knew the answer to all the problems but I think he needs to add pace to this very pedestrian team. Time is ticking, Ronald and if this is not fixed soon then there will be only 1 outcome.

Len Hawkins
42 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:39:18
I am not in the "handful of matches then sack them" brigade as Kendall would never have assembled the most successful team in Everton history. De Boer 4 matches; Redknapp similar, is a ridiculous knee jerk "I want it now" spoiled brat reaction but like Bobby Brown shoes after a promising start everything Koeman touches seems to turn to shit.

Perhaps not handing out long contracts to managers is the way forward Brown Shoes getting £12million for his abject failure and Koeman getting more for similar "entertainment"... Yes, Entertainment is the meaning of Football. If you don't entertain, the gate receipts vanish –do the Board not realise that?

An ultimatum is required where "Everyone" employed by Everton Football Club Ltd are ordered to attend Goodison Park and sit in the Main Stand and tearfully Billy big bollocks (that will teach you to ride on crossbars) can along with Mr Moshiri stand on the centre spot and over the PA system tell them "Things will IMPROVE NOW or you will ALL be gone and you can sue us for firing you for failing in your duties."

That is what is NEEDED – a Leader who can LEAD and lay down the simple facts – produce or my Uncle will crossbar you out of here!

Kevin Tully
43 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:46:33
Regarding Duncan Ferguson celebrating wildly, I think that's more down to the fact he thought Koeman, and his staff (him) would be shown the door if we got beat. After being declared bankrupt, I think he needs the cash.

Ferguson is just another Kenwright favourite, being given a major role at the club regardless of ability. Ferguson is often quoted as saying he doesn't even like football.

Phillip Warrington
44 Posted 29/09/2017 at 12:57:08
I agree 100% but my fear is this: I don't really think, given the way Koeman sets out his team and his lack of tactics to change a game, that he will be in charge come the January transfer window, where he will spend £50 million on a 30-year-old forward who is 3rd or 4th down the pecking order at a so-called bigger club and results will be no different.

Koeman has bought in and starts the players he has signed and he alone sets out the tactics and picks the formation to implement them. For him to publicly say they lack the talent to break into the top six, and lack backbone to play football in a game, he should not be allowed anywhere near the Everton name or brand and especially not the players.

If this board have any ambition, then Koeman should have managed his last game at Everton.

Andrew Keatley
45 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:01:04
Sometimes holding fire can be the right move (as it was for us with Howard Kendall). Other times it will be the wrong move (Martinez probably should have been sacked months earlier).

But surely when making the decision of whether to back or sack a manager then the factors at play should guide you – not fear of acting too swiftly and hoping for an up-turn in fortune that just does not seem to be on the horizon.

Koeman is a busted flush and we need new cards.

Barry Pearce
46 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:04:03
Lyndon, you just nail it every time.
Jerome Shields
47 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:05:57
Lyndon, I totally agree with you. The writing was on the wall since last season. His slow start , continuing his holiday, and his obsession with midfield, rather than replacing a aging backline, whose ability has been a problem for the two previous seasons.

Both Lukaku and Barkley not renewing contracts gave us incite of what players with a future think. The disastrous Summer transfer window starting with Rooney.

Then the attempt to play a defensive formation (Senior players stand up, I give you your big wages contracts) to save his bacon, which didn't work. Forcing him to change tactics in the second half of every match, trying the rejected and second-string players, who prove Koeman hasn't got a clue.

Koeman will keep working on defence tactics and talking about a striker in Jan to save his job.

I thought he would be dependent on the former Russian player of the year, but he didn't even start the Europa League against the Cypriots, who might've learnt something from him.

I would tell him, "No striker for you, we need the money to pay you off. " I would also say to the board, "You could have had Pelligrini, you idiots. "

Neil Cremin
48 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:14:38
Koeman is not changing because I believe he realises he has alienated too many players and shackled the rest so much that he has lost the dressing room. Only option is to persist with a broken plan and get fired with big payoff and become the victim.

I would seriously consider Unsy and Duncan until Christmas. We will see very quickly if they can win back the dressing room and if so bottle it or go for a tried and test edexperienced manager.

John Keating
49 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:33:28
Very surprised you've nailed your colours to the mast so early, Lyndon. Mind you , I100% agree with you and would like Koeman out the door prior to the Burnley game, which at present I would suggest will be another 3 points lost.

As I regularly mention, losing, like winning, becomes a habit. Not a single thing has changed since the alarm bells started with the opening Europa League game pre-season. Not a thing.

As with Martinez this guy just refuses to change tack. If we do not act decisively within the next week or so then we have to wonder what, if anything, will force the Board to act.

Jon Withey
50 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:39:11
Comes down to the availability of a suitable replacement.

At the end of the day, I still want us to win on Sunday even if it means a Koeman stay – anything else is SM!

Johnny Rainford
51 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:45:35
Clear and concise as always, Lyndon. As I suggested on last night's live forum, 40,000 supporters and the analysis from Keown and Jenas seem to know what the problems are so why doesn't Koeman!? This in itself is extremely concerning.

Will be interesting to see how long the board tolerate this but I suspect Kenwright is looking for his theatrical happy ending carter 1983 moment... Which ain't gonna happen.

In the meantime, we stumble from one humiliation to the next.

David Pearl
52 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:51:03
Niasse has pace... it's going to be interesting now how he is used. Lennon and Mirallas also have pace. The fact is that in our 'system' Sigurdsson and Rooney have to have runners around them... which is why the acquisition of Martina is even more confusing because, with a fit Coleman and Bolasie, we are a different team. We haven't replaced them at all.

I'd like to know what meetings Koeman had with Walsh and what did he ask for? I don't believe Klaassen and Sandro can be as bad as what they have been. If Koeman can knit them together and somehow bring Barkley the team he might save his job.

Then again, how do you play with 5 Number 10s. His man management is atrocious. Wonder what Robles is up to these days?

Ian Hollingworth
53 Posted 29/09/2017 at 13:53:29
Big test of Moshiri's ambition and real intentions now. I think we will soon start to realise how ambitious he really is or not.
Steavey Buckley
54 Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:00:49
I have never seen an Everton team so unbalanced. This happened because Koeman was unable to buy players and integrate existing players into a coherent side.

Everton all season have been plagued by an ineffective defence, midfield and attack. Yet, in 12 months, Koeman has spent £200 million pounds. Any other lesser known manager would have been shown the door.

The only person available to Everton to make sense of all the different playing styles is David Unsworth, who has been fantastic with managing the Under-23s.

Matt Nash
55 Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:06:00
Think we've passed the knee-jerk stage and then some with no change in playing style or tactics. The fans and even the media have cottoned on to where the problems lie. Getting more than a bit frustrating watching the lads slowly playing keep ball with no pace or width.

I'm with Colin G – if Ronald's not going to change,then the board will have to change Ronald. I can't watch much more of this knowing that we have good players that are not being utilised properly.

Lev Vellene
56 Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:17:05
Steavey #54

"Yet, in 12 months, Koeman has spent 200 million pounds. Any other lesser known manager would have been shown the door. "

I think you could swap 'lesser' for 'more', and still be right!

Paul Ward
57 Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:17:37
Lyndon Lloyd,

A completely unbiased view of the state of play at Goodison Park today.

James Newcombe
58 Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:27:19
£500k he picks up, every month, for failing to motivate a bunch of millionaires. Never mind name an effective first XI or tactics. God! Modern football is rubbish.
John Pierce
59 Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:56:25
I posted on the main report thread that Yuste, Kevin Brock reincarnated, had tried along with the red card, and fluked Rooney pass for our 2nd goal, to offer Koeman divine intervention on the road to redemption.

He like the good Samaritan that was offered a doctor, a car and a boat ignored the signs. These were genuine offerings of aid.

When the equaliser was gifted to us he failed to realise the time to change was then. Time to hem them in, such a poor side they were.

But I'm minded now to look to the board, if they continue to ignore their duty it just erodes the faith, and confidence I have in them. The issue is now a systemic one.

Peter Laing
60 Posted 29/09/2017 at 14:57:14
Koeman read the script before he arrived 'plucky little Everton', I will have a bit of that – trousering £6 million pound a year for a Club with zero ambition. He's not arsed, he's picking up the readies and is quids in should he be fired and continue to live of his reputation as a late 80s great player and Barcelona legend.

We are currently a laughing stock and every word of Lyndon's synopsis is on the money. Sean Dyche will turn up on Sunday and show Koeman how to manage a side, something that he has done consistently with Burnley and had them punching well above their weight.

Peter Lee
61 Posted 29/09/2017 at 15:16:13
This time last season he said that the players he had were not fit to play the pressing game he aspired to. So twelve months on, after buying loads of players he fancies and with the benefit of a full preseason, we still don't press. Has he changed his mind about closing teams down or is he a charlatan?

After 5minutes at Atalanta, the players were looking to the bench for guidance. They had no idea about how to counter the opposition's tactics. None came.

Benitez, now.

Bill Gall
62 Posted 29/09/2017 at 15:26:54
My feelings on Koeman were the opposite of the hiring of Martinez.

iI did not want Martinez to be hired as it was to quick a decision, and he was hired on the the back of the defeat of Everton in the cup games. He did surprise people in his first season but soon revealed his faults in the following seasons and was kept on to long.

Koeman was a surprised hiring but I thought he would do a good job. In his first season he done a fair job, with the promises of a more successful second season, and that is slowly, but surly showing up his failings, and surprisingly not only in defense but in the attacking areas as well.

I believe it was D Simeone who said "Sometimes you can't play the style you want but you have to use the players you have to play into a style to suit the players." Koeman has got the players he wanted but still can't get them to play the style he wants to play, and like Martinez is too stubborn to change.

He will persist in playing this style until he is either right, or fired, whichever comes first. I have now changed my opinion of him and hope it is the latter.

Oliver Brunel
63 Posted 29/09/2017 at 15:34:01
I can't help but agree with Lyndon and Peter Laing; yes the system Koeman is playing simply isn't working, too many No 10s , no width, pace etc etc.

However I'm not 100% sure it is JUST this. I believe (although I may be wrong) that the following cannot be a coincidence: both managers, Martinez and Koeman started off brightly then faded like a candle snuffed out in the darkness . Why?

Moyes didn't have the same issue; it was generally a mediocre even keel for the duration. So is there a factor we are overlooking? I posit that there is something behind the scenes, endemic in the culture of the club.

Comfy, easy ride people don't like seismic change in company culture; it frightens them, both old players and the 'management' be it Kenwright/Woods resisting.

What the article is saying is that if only we had Bielsa in then we would be playing glorious football and heading into the Champions Leg. Would we: with Baines, Jagielka, Williams…..I don't think it's that simple.

Sam Hoare
64 Posted 29/09/2017 at 15:38:03
I never particularly liked Koeman or wanted him here. However, I have stuck up for him a few times this season – partly because I abhor the Crystal Palace-esque endemic of impatience and partly because we have bought almost an entire new team and that will always take time.

But my patience is stretched almost to breaking point. I think most of us could put up with a run of disappointing results if it was obvious that something better was brewing, that there was a movement to something that would bring a better future. But at the moment there is not even the slightest hint of progression of positive transformation.

The squad looks imbalanced thanks to the poor strategy in the transfer market and the tactics are the same, ineffective ones we see every week. The players look bereft of belief and confidence and that is undeniably the responsibility of the manager and his system and his coaching team.

I like to be patient in my judgements and deliberations so I will give him a couple more weeks to show me that glimmer of hope, that vision of an effective plan but my expectations are extremely low at this moment and if I were Moshiri & Co then I would certainly be turning my thoughts to Plan B. Ancelotti might be the dream. Tuchel would be similarly ambitious. Unsworth would be in my mind too. Last chance saloon, Mr Koeman.

Sam Hoare
65 Posted 29/09/2017 at 15:47:57
I'd really like to see a team in the near future with some pace, and players playing in their right position. A bit of youthful exuberance and a visible system. Something like:

Kenny Keane Jags Baines
Gueye Davies
Lookman Sigurdsson Vlasic

I think Kenny and Lookman know each other and could work well and equally Vlasic has the intelligence to compliment Baines. Get our record signing in the right position. Schneiderlin could feasibly start instead of Davies but the latter is the future for me.

Dick Fearon
66 Posted 29/09/2017 at 15:52:31
We need a manager who is experienced and successful in Europe and England. One who takes no bullshit from directors and is prepared to give youth a fling. A man who is respected by friend and foe alike, someone like Rafa Benitez.

Sadly, when we had an opportunity to hire him the board chose the Koeman brothers. Despite the massive opportunity and world class top salary they were offered and taking charge of a club in the doldrums after the disappointing Martinez and Moyes years, the Koeman's delayed taking the reins at Goodison and show a lack of enthusiasm for the job.

He has a damn nerve to accuse players of not having the kind of enthusiasm he himself has so clearly lacked from Day One.

Matt Nash
67 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:11:17
Don't be silly, Sam (#65), that team's far too balanced and plays players in their correct position for ole Ronald. Why would he play such a team????
Brian Murray
68 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:13:28
Unfortunately it's looks like Bill has really done a number on Moshiri and worn away at him that success is a by-product and we ain't geared for it.

Never really have been as the '63, '70, '85 and '87 triumphs will testify. No planning or professionalism while he still has any influence.
Peter Mills
69 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:15:24
Sam (#65). That's a decent team.
Tony Everan
70 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:15:36
Rob (#35), good team selection. I would only change Lookman for Davies.

William Cartwright
71 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:29:17
Football has for a long time been seen as 'a metaphor of life in all its complexities' (Harold Wilson in the 70s I recall). Also it is a common understanding that the ship reflects to captain, and mutiny is a dangerous course.

What has become apparent in the last 18 months is Koeman has been responsible for, tackled a major overhaul of the team (alongside a major overhaul of the club under the control of others), and we are now at a crossroads – stick or twist.

Given the backing Koeman has received, and the perceived stubbornness and 'strange' strategic decisions taken under his office the reasons for his removal are compelling. His latest public comments and their style of delivery is unsettling in themselves. If he did not have the confidence of the dressing room before, he will certainly have undermined it yet further in the last 48 hours.

Unless he and / or the team somehow masterfully achieve a major turn-around in performance and results then we have a potential for change. Would Unsy be trusted to take over (temporarily or permanently) and would he be able to achieve success as he has already achieved with the Under-23s? I believe so but we really don't know.

We are nearly half way through the 3-year 'project' (what an insulting misnomer that is) and it may be that we have to regress further before the tide can turn. Keeping on course with the 3-year plan would be the harder managerial choice. However the logics of RK's dismissal are increasing.

Wrapping his failings under one glib statement could be he is simply and sadly an extremely poor manager; considering the base skill is the management of persons under his control. The club and the players are now simply reflecting not just his 'style' but also his 'personality' which is extremely sad.

Dave Ganley
72 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:48:24
I can't really disagree with anything you say Lyndon. I was a big advocate of Koeman but now it's getting tedious and a chore going to the game again. Something that after the Martinez reign I hoped never to feel again.

I believe we have good players but are truly being stifled by an awful system that we play. Sigurdsson is a quality player but he is pretty useless out on the wing where he seems to be told to play. When he does move into the middle, you can see what a player he can be. Did we learn nothing from his ill-fated stint at Spurs where they did the same thing?

On a positive note I have just read a piece on the Arse blog about Stan Kroenke making a bid for Usmanov's shares which he is considering apparently. Who knows, he could drive a good bargain and then go in with Moshiri here at Everton. Something big may be just round the corner.

Robin Cannon
73 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:51:38
"We need a manager who is experienced and successful in Europe and England. One who takes no bullshit from directors and is prepared to give youth a fling. A man who is respected by friend and foe alike."

To be fair, Dick, that also describes most perceptions of Koeman before we hired him.

I didn't think it was a particularly inspiring hire, quite unimaginative. I didn't think it was an awful one, either. But he not only doesn't seem very interested or engaged with the club; now the team seems hugely unbalanced and with no visible plan to address it.

Nothing I've seen suggests he's going to oversee an improvement to anything better than "competent". It seems pointless to be patient for an improvement like that, instead of making a change now.

Rob Dolby
74 Posted 29/09/2017 at 16:59:30
Koeman is proving to be the Les Dawson of football managers. He is playing the right notes / players but not necessarily in the right order. How he can't get a tune out of these players is embarrassing for him.

Who would pay £45m for a Number 10 and play them left wing? Anchelotti anyone?

John G Davies
75 Posted 29/09/2017 at 17:09:10
No Kenny, and no Tom in the starting eleven on Sunday.
Chance you could put a big dent in their development if we play them.

There will be a toxic atmosphere on Sunday. First mistake the fans will be all over the player that makes it.

Rob Halligan
76 Posted 29/09/2017 at 17:15:21
Thought Tom Davies was really poor last night, John. I'd play Kenny though, only because it's either him or Martina, and if he defends like he did against spurs, then God help us. 😞😞
Andy Meighan
77 Posted 29/09/2017 at 17:28:20
Yes, Dave, something big could be around the corner – relegation. Is that big enough?
John G Davies
78 Posted 29/09/2017 at 17:31:15
Both very nervous, Rob.

I'm more concerned long term with the both of them.

Nicholas Ryan
79 Posted 29/09/2017 at 17:51:00
When Lyndon Lloyd uses a phrase like "busted flush" about the manager, I fear that for that manager, there is no coming back.
Dave Abrahams
80 Posted 29/09/2017 at 18:19:58
Andy (77), Dave is talking about Usmanov coming in to the club, if it happens then it would be massive, for < Everton and the fans, for a long long time.

The only downside would be the fact that Kenwright would make another big bundle out of the club.

Len Hawkins
81 Posted 29/09/2017 at 19:24:13
Dave, enough bum managers have raped the club. Let Bill have his last satisfying jump then pay him off too. Everton are crying out for one Ruthless Bastard to shake the club out of this "People's Club" shite.
Andy Crooks
82 Posted 29/09/2017 at 20:12:55
Tony Marsh, I agree whole-heartedly with your post. However, you talk about the shite some fans are prepared to put up with.

I assume you are not prepared to put up with this shite. So, how the fuck are you going to demonstrate you're not prepared to put up with this? By fucking ranting on here? Is that fucking it?. Tell me your plans and I will support you.

Colin Glassar
83 Posted 29/09/2017 at 20:32:45
Dave, any amount of money spent on shifting Chairman Bill out of the club will be money well spent. As for Koeman, well he isn't a Kenwright appointee is he?

I wouldn't be surprised if Bill isn't privately loving all this after he lost Darling David and his "What a manager".

Brian Harrison
84 Posted 29/09/2017 at 20:38:32
There is no doubt that Koeman is largely to blame for the way the team are performing, but I don't exempt the players in their part in this. I sense the same feeling at Goodison has happened in the charlatans last season, an almost inevitability that time to go is getting very near with every poor result.

But let's not kid ourselves about our ability to attract proven managers who have won trophies. We don't even exist on their radar, I see some suggesting Ancelotti dream on lads. We have neither the money or the kudos to attract either top players or top managers.

So what we will do is take another punt on another unproven manager if or when we lose Koeman. Our history tells you that's what is in our DNA when appointing managers, and that goes back a long long way.

Even our most successful manager Howard Kendall had a good season getting Blackburn to the top of the old Division 1. So no track record in the top league. Walker did well with Norwich and had 1 good season in Europe with them. Bingham, Lee all bums. So don't get your hopes up too high that sacking Koeman will be a panacea to better things.

Dominic Brady
85 Posted 29/09/2017 at 21:01:39
We're all doomed, I said in one of my earlier contributions, but now things are looking up. Everyone agrees that Koeman is a complete knob. I won't bother repeating all the reasons he should be given his P45 but let's assume he goes next week.

Unsworth takes over, we start playing with one Number 10 (as long as it's not Klaassen), two wide players and Niasse or Calvert-Lewin upfront. Barkley agrees a new contract, and Ramirez announces his wish to return to Spain.

Alternatively, the right team gets picked for the Burnley game, we win comfortably, and the man in charge accepts the fans we're right all along and promises never to play Rooney and Sigurdsson in the same team.

He also states that Kenny will stay right full back until Seamus returns and that Klaassen will play in the U23s until he proves he is better than others in the squad. Either way, it's Reasons to be Cheerful, Part One.

Tony Everan
86 Posted 29/09/2017 at 21:50:02
Even if we get beat by Burnley, he won't be sacked.

What worries me greatly is that his heart and soul isn't in the job here. That we are an irritation on his glorious career path to Barca.

I want to see a bit of passion that will rub off on the players and fans. The blue blood is missing.

I was full of optimism when we first signed him as manager, and still want him to bring us some progress (6th and a cup). But the optimism is being beaten out of me. Week after week of ineffective team selections. An overcrowded midfield no width or pace to get behind defences is killing me.

Playing the two defensive midfielders just has to stop.

Koeman talks about the players having fear . The real fear is the negative, defensive team selections time after time. Fear of of conceding whilst offering no meaningful attack.

It's a shameful approach especially against teams vastly inferior to us in terms of quality. The man simply has to change! Supporters cannot take any more of it.

Andy Crooks
87 Posted 29/09/2017 at 22:10:00
Tony, I agree. I expect some engagement from the coach with the club. Even if he is totally insincere it looks better. Perhaps Koeman should be respected for his approach. Frankly, Everton, likely means fuck all to him other than a huge pay check and the good or bad it may do to his reputation.

He is a hard man to read. Is it a Dutch thing? He must turn things round to save his career. Everton, unless he changes, are a stepping stone to oblivion.

Will Jones
88 Posted 29/09/2017 at 22:15:39
So, to try to give a sprinkling of positivity, we have spent heavily on youth which is the way forward for me. It makes me wonder if the budget is split 3 ways, 1 to the manager (short term), 1 to Walsh (longer term) and 1 to the stadium (very longer term).

But at the minute what a fuck up! Replacing our star striker for a 4th No 10 – I said this at the time this was stupid. So tell me who is the best Swansea player? Cos on current form we might bid £40m+ for him in 12 months! Williams was a panic buy after Stones, and now this lunacy cos Sigurdsson is not a left winger.

Anyway, my tip, for what its worth, give Koeman 10 league games to prove we are in 7th (no deterioration) or sack him (yeah and good luck with that Barca job now pal). Play kids in Europe, it is lost and not worth it anyway. Start scouting new managers, forwards. We badly need pace and a hold up player. The rest of the team can wait.

Alan Bodell
89 Posted 29/09/2017 at 22:27:13
Lookman has pace to burn, watched him win the Under-20 World Cup for England terrorising defences along with Calvert-Lewin so is Lookman on the bench due to lack of what? Just when we are crying out for pace.
Ash Moore
90 Posted 29/09/2017 at 23:06:24

I can't believe you, of all people, are finally reaching boiling point. It's something I never thought I would see happen, something I went through myself three years ago.

It's when the elastic band snaps, when you've had enough. It's when you need to redefine your relationship with the club. How much time and energy invested on such a serial shambles is too much?

Many Evertonians were hopeful that the arrival of Moshiri would signal the start of a medium term strategy to put the club back where it belongs, the very top echelon of English football.

The more cynical of us – the Wallings and Marshes – suspected that Kenwright's long search for investment had finally found a richer Iranian version of himself. Meet the new boss; same as the old boss. The Moshiri regime has demonstrated no more competence than the one it replaced. One thing that has unfortunately changed however is the amount the club has spent. The current dross we're enduring cost an obscene amount of money. Another kick in the balls from irony.

I gave up on Koeman after Watford last December. We were terrible. Really really bad. They showed Koeman sitting on the sideline, like a garden gnome. Only less useful. He couldn't even be bothered to hurl abuse. That said it all.

The best way to put it is... I feel Everton are like the Amiga computer. I had an Amiga back in the day, loved it, spent hundreds if not thousands of happy hours on it, will forever have a soft spot in my heart and a warm memory in my mind of it. But I don't have a huge amount of time for the Amiga today.

Mark Wilson
91 Posted 30/09/2017 at 01:39:16
Fascinating if depressing read!! Lyndon, I would suggest that your piece might have been in part written last season as a dire run of one win in ten saw some Martinez-esque like performances where a poorly organised, unbalanced, stubbornly managed team destroyed a season. Koeman picked things up a little but this campaigns awful start just mirrors some of last years mess, only worse.

Reading these comments you'd struggle to find a lot to argue with but that would be very dull so here's a couple of things.

The comments on Ferguson are bizarre. Utterly bizarre. From what I can see he's part of the first team coaching setup and, like Unsy, I feel he is genuinely respected at the club for a lot more than his perhaps slightly overblown legend status. I think he has little control in our staffing setup. To suggest somehow that the passion for the club as demonstrated against Bournemouth is, well, a carefully choreographed routine, is just rubbish.

I don't think he's a manager in waiting but if the two gel I honestly think he as No 2 to Unsworth would provide us with leadership that is pragmatic, unfussy, and crucially, flexible – aka not stubborn. I'd think we see a balanced settled team, given a chance based on form not transfer fees paid or past glory. I think those two would be a risk but as often happens here, many would suggest "How much worse can they be"? The answer is a lot, should they take us down, but even in my depressive state I don't see this squad going down.

It will not be a risk we face just yet because I cannot see how Koeman gets sacked at this club. He'd have been gone last night at around half the clubs in this league. But not Everton where Bill Kenwright seems to still be calling a lot of the shots.

The Rooney situation is interesting as frankly if you've seen a player work harder this season please tell me who it is ? He is desperate to give the club something back. Too desperate. He needs a bit of time out of the firing line and in the Premier League I think he should get just that.

Similarly Koeman's stubborn approach which largely ignores the pace and width we need must change if we are to survive this downturn. He has to take Klaassen and Sandro out for a while. He surely has to start Vlasic and Calvert-Lewin and Niasse on Sunday and must simply must play Sigurdsson in the centre behind a front two.

I think Lookman flatters a wee bit but give him a chance right side and accept the risk that a very inexperienced Kenny gets exposed too much. We have to proceed on the basis of giving the opposition more to do defensively and reduce that exposure down our flanks.

Williams. What can you really say? He's the biggest disappointment I've seen here for a while given what I thought as he arrived. He hasn't strongly led, hasn't dominated the box, is so slow on the turn it's scary and honestly, he just looks shot. Holgate should only ever play at centre back but frankly I'm unsure he's as decent as his youthful reviews and early career form suggested.

When supporters start screaming "Go for it" we should always get worried. It's desperate stuff from the terraces. But the fans sense that this is exactly the time to take some risks, break out of this narrow paceless strategy and attack at speed and with width. We could get a going over at Arsenal but out of our next few fixtures I see the risk level translated as medium not high that we will get slaughtered due to a really strong attacking line-up.

Koeman? Like Lyndon, I'd not blink if I heard he'd been sacked overnight. That more than anything else is a reflection of how poorly he's done in the last 18 months and I don't see the "Best of the Rest" finish as weakening that thought process.

Paul Ward
92 Posted 30/09/2017 at 04:15:54
Brian Harrison @84, I agree with every word in your post.

I feel it is almost inevitable now that Koeman's days are numbered, so moderates like myself will accept his dismissal.

What follows next is the press and the directors conspire to name potential top managers for the post, none of which we have a hope of getting. Then we settle in house, with an untried ex player. Bullshit Bill will tell us local is best, then we wait and find the new managers faults and we are back to square one.

As Brian said, "But lets not kid ourselves about our ability to attract proven managers who have won trophies.We don't even exist on their radar, I see some suggesting Ancelotti dream on lads."

Laurie Hartley
93 Posted 30/09/2017 at 05:44:32
It's like death by a thousand cuts at the moment; however, now is not the time for the fan base to give up. If we do, that will be the end of it.

Dave Ganley (#72) – If Usmanov got involved with us, he would act decisively wherever it was required. Perhaps it is not as forlorn a hope as it currently appears. We can only hope -– we are good at that.

Mark Wilson (#91) – I agree with you about Unsworth and Ferguson. However, on Rooney, who is trying his heart out, I would keep him for the Premier League and rest him in the European games.

Eddie Dunn
94 Posted 30/09/2017 at 08:36:19
Great article Lyndon - you are a level-headed fan and for you to speak so damningly about the situation shows how bad it is.
Koeman is floundering. I think he is in his death throes.
Kevin Gillen
95 Posted 30/09/2017 at 09:16:11
I'm as disappointed as everyone else but I'm not giving up on the manager just yet. I do see a lot of effort from the players and a few good results could still ignite our season.

Every poor result gets a knee-jerk reaction on ToffeeWeb unsurprisingly as being an Evertonian drives you to drink. I'm really concerned about the state of football in general as I think as soon as we would get a sniff of success the hawks would come for our best players again.

I'm sick of our players moving on to Man Utd, being injured playing for Ireland, contract rebels from Wavertree or just sulking. Cracking the top six is difficult enough without these handicaps.

Tony Everan
96 Posted 30/09/2017 at 09:42:31
Kevin , me too, I'm not giving up on him just yet .

However, any of us would want things to change drastically from the negative rut we are in. It is fair to say that Koeman's team selections and strategies are all over the place.

I am expecting something different tomorrow.

Steven Jones
97 Posted 30/09/2017 at 11:14:09
Koeman is going nowhere and we need to get behind the team and the manager.

All challenges and issues raised are valid however – hopefully he works it out There are glimmers of the fast passing but too few to really dominate a game; this needs to change .

It will take time to gel - on the bright side we have a very young and individually talented squad. Calvert-Lewin and Niasse will come back in for Burnley; Vlasic and hopefully Lookman will get a run and tom to add dynamism.

My real concern is Schneiderlin, who slows it down too much allowing the opposition to realign after we win the ball back .

On the bright side. Unbeaten in three – a win against Burnley and we will be back to near where we should be in the Premier League with some decent fixtures to come .


James Marshall
98 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:01:05
When people talk about "what we're prepared to put up with", my question to you is this – what are you actuallygoing to do about it?

It seems to me, that the answer is complain about it on the Internet, and/or shout obscenities at games, and that's about it.

I never understand this notion of 'doing something about it' when truthfully there's nothing we can do about it. Koeman picks the team, Moshiri (or whoever else) chooses the manager – our role? To go and watch games, and that's about it! We're just punters – the saps with the lifelong affliction of a football supporter.

Colin Glassar
99 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:20:28
James, you are right up to a point but, boos, banners, placards, fly overs etc... do have a wearing down effect on any clubs owners. These people tend to want to have a positive public image and if they see the punters, pundits, media et al are all ripping their team apart, sooner or later they will act.
Brent Stephens
100 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:22:58
Colin "boos, banners, placards, fly overs etc...do have a wearing down effect on any clubs owners".

I'll be looking out for your placard! What seat are you in?
And count me in on that plane you're hiring!

John G Davies
101 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:25:33
The crowd from across the park will give you all the tips you need on the protest march, boycotts of banks businesses etc.
Steve Ferns
102 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:26:44
Colin, Moshiri does not even go the game, so he wouldn't see the banners or the planes, and if he did I doubt he'd give a shit. Moshiri has invested a lot in the club already, and I think he will be unwilling to sack Koeman.

Imagine we did sack Koeman, the new guy is most likely to say that we need a striker, a left back, a centre back, and two or three wingers. I think we would be talking another £100m to be spent in January easily. We would also have to pay Koeman off £10m, if he's on £6m a year, plus his staff.

It's a cheaper option, to sit back and see how it all plays out, and call it having faith in the manager.

James Marshall
103 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:31:48
Steve makes the point I think that matters – sack Koeman, bring in a new manager (who?) and you still have the same squad to play with OK maybe some width and pace might come into the 11, but given that Koeman hasn't really lost many games yet, it seems massively unlikely he'll be fired anyway.

I simply don't see him being anywhere near the sack yet – at least not in the clubs eyes.

Steve Ferns
104 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:37:05
There's no real width within the club James.

You have Aaron Lennon on the right. On the left we could pick the right-footed Kevin Mirallas, but he always comes inside and shoots (or should I say gets tackled), and so does not provide any width at all. All Mirallas does is block off Baines's area to run into, but Leighton probably is deterred knowing what Kevin will do next.

Then you have Lookman, who is also right footed and wants to come inside and shoot, even when he is on the right. However, he does like to try and beat a man, but his crossing is poor.

We do have Bolasie of course, but despite the videos, Koeman says he is a lot further off making the team, and we do not know if he will be back with the same attributes as before. Even if he does, it'll take months for him to get back to his very best, and a lot of patience, and we lack that at present.

James Marshall
105 Posted 30/09/2017 at 12:52:33
True Steve, but we do have players that can play wide as you mention, Mirallas, Lookman, Vlasic (being used centrally but can play wide) and Lennon so why not use them, at least try them?

Lookman and Mirallas can both play on the left, albeit with a tendency to come inside – matched with Baines, it provides an outlet and opens up the middle of the pitch too – which is just as important as having players providing crosses, if not more important given we don't really have a striker to get on the end of crosses anyway!

Lawrence Green
106 Posted 30/09/2017 at 13:04:15
I don't know for sure whether Ronald is a busted flush, but his guarded personality isn't helping him win over many of the supporters.

He's a man full of confidence in his own ability and methods and he won't be swayed by negative vibes from the fans or the media. He knows that if he leaves Goodison either by choice or not ,he will get a new club at a decent level in the game either in the UK or abroad.

In his defence, which other major European club would have embarked on a such a hectic season without a recognised striker? I'm really surprised that Ronald Koeman didn't make more of an issue about it earlier in the summer – I'm certain that the managers of the other English high-flying clubs would have done so.

All of the machinations and politics within the club are not my concern, all I want is to see a football team, equipped to compete in every match regardless of the personell we have or don't have.

This is where Koeman's stubbornness appears to be misplaced and to quite a few regular match going fans totally illogical. If you have an abundance of certain types of players (Rooney, Sigurdsson and Klaassen) plus (Gueye and Schneiderlin) why not rotate them either within a game or from game to game, rather than hoping that all of those players come good at some future point in time.

If the manager doesn't feel under pressure or isn't fearing the sack why is his team so afraid of playing the game in an expansive and adventurous manner? Pragmatism isn't a bad thing, but defeatism is, perhaps the players realise that Koeman doesn't believe that the project is achievable and sub-consciously they aren't taking risks and this is leading to silly errors which are costing the team goals and results.

What I'm afraid of seeing in tomorrow's game is the defenders and midfielders taking the easier option of pumping the ball up the pitch to Calvert-Lewin or Niasse, because the manager appears to have instructed them to get the ball up the pitch quicker than they have been doing. In my mind this could be counter-productive and make things worse than they are already.

My advice to Ronald, is to pick a formation that he believes will suit the players, choose the players best suited to play that formation and stick with it for a significant period of time. At the moment and for most of this season apart from the odd 20 minutes here and there Everton FC have looked more like an International team full of decent players but lacking the cohesiveness to display their talents to the full.

It is early in the season but we have played over a dozen competitive fixtures and regardless of negative or positive results the team displays have been lacking in style and substance and as always the buck stops with the manager. If it was my decision, I wouldn't pull the plug right now but I wouldn't let it go on too long either, and if I thought there was a more suitable and able manager available and willing to take on the task I wouldn't hesitate to sound that person out, just in case the situation doesn't improve.

Peter Lee
107 Posted 30/09/2017 at 13:10:09
The Faeroes must be the team you are thinking of.

Sack him as soon as Benitez had signed on the bottom line.

Habib Erkan Jr
108 Posted 30/09/2017 at 14:20:29
Spot on Lyndon.
John McGimpsey
109 Posted 30/09/2017 at 21:47:10
Has Suntan Bob got a few accounts on here and been ordered to try and level up the fight from the "keep"?

I can't believe what I'm reading... the only reply I haven't seen on here Blue Kipper style is "Is that you, Bill?"

Colin Glassar
110 Posted 01/10/2017 at 12:11:46
727 rented Brent, banner drying. Is your pilot licence still valid?
Brent Stephens
111 Posted 01/10/2017 at 12:12:51
Colin, I'm a fly-boy (unfortunately not a very high-flyer) so no licence needed!
Don Alexander
112 Posted 02/10/2017 at 23:56:09
Koeman is on £6mill p.a. so he'll boil his own bollocks before he calls out the guy who employs him. The guy who employed him will also boil his own bollocks before he sacks him.

That said, Koeman spelt it out very clearly that he expected us to sign a centre-forward, centre-back and left-back before the window closed. We failed on all three counts.

A proper centre-forward would have allowed us to achieve ball retention and a scoring threat that would have forced our opponents to have had to drop back, at least a little, but because we failed they don't have to and therefore hold a high line, to the benefit of their own midfield and attack. We are also unable to utilise the space that is now denied us for our various no.10's to perform, with a target-man and everything, maybe even exploiting space for themselves to score more consistently.

A proper, younger, faster additional centre-back would surely have allowed us to maintain a higher defensive line, to the benefit of our midfield and attack, and to the compromise of our opponents' midfield and attack. But we failed at that end of the pitch in recruitment too. Thus we are nowhere near the opponents' goal when we get possession and horribly near our own when we lose it.

Having lost Seamus, our most attacking non-forward, we really needed to replace him but, most especially, we long-term needed to acquire a marauding left-back. We failed again. Thus we have little threat going forward from the wings, and diminishing defensive ability too as base ineptitude and ageing respectively afflict the current incumbents Martina and Baines.

So because of transfer failure we seemingly again have a squad who all consider themselves to be pro footballers par excellence, all willing to be part of a team, but only if all the essential parts of the team around them are exactly in synch with what they deem their own personal responsibility to be. To me this means there's a dearth of leaders taking the pitch.

The big question though is this, "WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THESE TRANSFER LAPSES?" (And why are they/he still here?)

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