Saturday, October 21, 2017

Why Koeman needs to bite the bullet at Everton

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 24 Sep 2017

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Everton somehow managed to beat Bournemouth 2-1 in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon. For much of the game, it was painful viewing for Evertonian’s. Only a brace from forgotten man Oumar Niasse saved the Toffees from another bad day at the office.

One of the most relieved men after the win will be Everton boss Ronald Koeman. The Dutchman had to make the embarrassing U-turn of bringing Niasse back into the fold after humiliating the Senegalese striker last summer by depriving him of a first-team locker.

I bet the 27-year-old has a locker now. He deserves immense credit for his professional attitude and dignity in the face of disgraceful treatment by Koeman.

He may just have saved Koeman’s job on Merseyside. The win papered over the cracks at Everton, though. It is plain to see that the formation that Koeman has tried to implement in recent games has failed abysmally.

Needs to bench some of his signings

Nobody can understand why Koeman persists with the trio of Davy Klaassen, Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson behind striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. The youngster’s teammates have him starved of service and support and it is all down to Koeman’s team selection.

Everybody can see that the Toffees are just too narrow. Klaassen, Sigurdsson and Rooney all do their best work when centrally positioned. However, that does not mean Koeman has to shoehorn them into a team and hope for the best.

Koeman has to start with just one or maybe maximum two of the trio in the next game. It is not working with all three in the team and it is blindingly obvious.

Young players need to start on Thursday night

Everton made a disastrous start to their Europa League campaign with a 3-0 defeat at Atalanta. However, on Thursday night the Merseysiders face Cypriot side Apollon at Goodison Park. It is a vital game for the Toffees to get their European campaign back on track.

The Cypriot side claimed a respectable 1-1 draw with Lyon on matchday one, so are not pushovers. Everton need to assert themselves on the game, though. That means a high-tempo game, which means that players with energy and pace should start the game.

One particular youngster stands out in Tom Davies. The midfielder has found himself on the fringes of the team this season, but the academy product has had a big influence in both of Everton’s recent wins. He produced an assist against Sunderland in the League Cup, before coming off the bench to set-up both of Niasse’s goals against Bournemouth.

Davies has to play he gives the team drive, energy and verve, something his more experienced teammates do not. Dominic Calvert-Lewin is another obvious starter for the Toffees, as Niasse is not in the Everton’s European squad.

Right-back Jonjoe Kenny and winger Ademola Lookman would give the team a bit of energy and drive. The fact that Koeman’s signing Cuco Martina has started ahead of Kenny at right-back is a mystery to me.

Koeman needs to turn things around and quickly

The win against Bournemouth will mean very little if the Toffees do not record a win on Thursday night and next weekend against Burnley. The Dutchman spent big money in the summer attempting to strengthen his squad after the departure of star striker Romelu Lukaku.

The clubs expenditure has ramped up the pressure on the former Southampton boss to deliver at Goodison Park. At the moment the team are struggling and Koeman is the second favourite to be the next top-flight boss to leave his position at odds of 5/2.

Only West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is shorter odds to leave his position. Koeman comes across as a stubborn character. However, he must now bite the bullet and field the best team to win games for Everton, not the team that cost the most to assemble or a team

If he does not, then I have a feeling that his time on Merseyside may not last much longer. If he does lose his job then he will only have himself to blame, as he has failed to identify obvious flaws in his team.

Can Ronald Koeman turn things around at Everton?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Nugent


David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.

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