Plenty to please Koeman in friendly win over Barnsley

25 July  31 Comments  [Jump to last]
Clint Hughes/Getty Images

Ronald Koeman said he was happy with Everton's first official pre-season friendly run-out at Barnsley on Saturday which yielded a 3-0 win and a goal apiece from three players who have the chance to revitalise their fortunes under the new boss.

Kevin Mirallas, Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley all struggled at times last season with form, confidence and fitness to varying degrees in Roberto Martinez's final campaign but the trio looked sharp and hungry against the Tykes.

"I'm happy with the work rate of the players today," the Dutchman told evertontv. "It was another step physically with their preparation. I'm happy with the team and the spirit and there were some good things today.

“We had some good moments in the first half. Maybe there wasn't quite as much productivity as you'd like to see but … with the changes we made [in the second half], we controlled the game and had chances to score more goals, which is good because I like that. But I think the boys did well.

“We had a lot of pace from Gerard [in] maybe a new position for him. I know he played that position at Barcelona B because he is very fast and we had a lot of dangerous situations out of that but I thought the best goal was the the third one from Ross. He's a great player and it was a great goal."

Speaking of Tom Davies's distribution down the right flank, Koeman described his philosophy on playing it out at the back from the fullback position, one which differs from his predecessor who was happy to see his team use the goalkeeper to retain possession, even it meant inviting pressure into the back line.

“That's what we like," Koeman said. "The two options for the right fullback are to play the ball back to the goalkeeper — I don't like that — and play the ball down the channels and press. There was a lot of space and there was really good passing from Tom Davies.

“We spoke about pressing, starting with the strikers and it's sometimes difficult for them because they are not all the type of players who like to press all of the time.

"But they need to do it, it's good, it's training and we need this kind of exercise."

The manager was asked about the compressed nature of the pre-season schedule which will see the Blues play four times in the space of a week but he expressed his confidence that the squad is big enough to cope.

“It's a lot but we have enough players in the squad to deal with that. We're looking forward to Tuesday.”


Reader Comments (31)

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Nigel Munford
1 Posted 25/07/2016 at 07:24:41
What a refreshing change to hear clear, concise analysis of a football match, the more I hear Koeman speak the more I like his style and philosophy.
Joe O'Brien
2 Posted 25/07/2016 at 07:34:30
Totally agree Niger, no more waffle and with all of us asking ourselves 'what is he on about?' Also it's great to hear that he doesn't like passing it back to the keeper. Nice to see some forward passes. I hope Davis gets some time in the middle. I think Barkley and Mirallas are going to have a great season.
Can't wait for it to kick off. If RM was still in charge I would be dreading it.
John Wells
3 Posted 25/07/2016 at 07:52:41
I've supported Everton since 1983, I was 9 when it all started! I'm not going to lie to you it's been tough after such a great start but I've hung in there like you all through thin and thinner!! But since we've got this guy I just think things are to swing quickly. He will not take or accept poor displays, he knows football and gets teams playing. Football is really so simple it's a joke but you have all these highly paid little spooky pricks running around full of their own importance, get into space look for and receive ball, glance, move it forward to a man who just showed like you did, find him and go again to a good position in case he may need you. Get a few signings completed.
Les Green
4 Posted 25/07/2016 at 08:15:52
Does anybody know what "new position" Geri was playing in?
Brin Williams
5 Posted 25/07/2016 at 08:17:12
This playing it out from the back should please Stones - isn't that what he does best - and not pass back to the goalie.
Gareth Clark
6 Posted 25/07/2016 at 08:25:02
Les #4 -

Deulofeu was playing striker. Played quite well, lots of chances & lots of runs made.

Thomas Surgenor
7 Posted 25/07/2016 at 08:25:10
Les #4 he was played up top as a striker.
James Morgan
9 Posted 25/07/2016 at 08:38:50
Good to hear Ronald's thoughts on how the game should be played. No piss farting about at the back, get forward with pace and close down quickly without the ball.
Colin Glassar
10 Posted 25/07/2016 at 08:42:21
Phenomenal interview.
Dave Lynch
11 Posted 25/07/2016 at 08:47:39
After a couple of years of listening to the hyperbolic diatribe of the other Spanish clown and the dour shite of that ginger surrender monkey, it's nice to hear a few positives from a manager who I'm sure can take us forward.
Phil Walling
12 Posted 25/07/2016 at 09:14:34
If this bugger always talks like this he's going to make miserable curmudgeons like me redundant !
Derek Thomas
13 Posted 25/07/2016 at 09:27:19
Forwards have to press eh? good luck with getting Rom to do that...he'll be right on the phone to his agent...I'm a celebrity get me outta here.
Chris Gould
14 Posted 25/07/2016 at 09:42:42
Geri scores regularly for the Spanish u21's. Maybe he could be turned into a striker?
Martinez is being interviewed for the Hull vacancy!! Straight back down for them if they make that mistake.
Alastair Donaldson
16 Posted 25/07/2016 at 12:35:13
I'd like to think he's considering the overall tone, message and expectation levels he wants to convey to us carefully.

He does appear quite straight-talking - but then I would like to ask him what he really does mean by "great?" - ref. Ross B.

In my eyes, he's a very good player, with quite a lot of experience at the "top level in England". Potential to become a better player is there..we shall see. But GREAT? The literal definition in my OED is "occupying much space, extending far, large, big..." sorry Ross, that might be more accurate at the moment! Nice strike though.

Admittedly that's a bit pedantic and he isn't English, but after 3yrs of BS, these players need to a realistic view of what they look from outside their outside perspective should help.

Ref the work ethic, really liking's just plain common sense after's a squad game these days, the starting 11 should be running themselves into the ground every game and expect to be replaced... if some of them are too lazy to do it, ship them out.

Only saw the goal highlights..pitch was wide open..Gibson had all the time in the world.. so you'd expect this result.

Hopefully we'll see real high fitness levels ala Southampton last year, come the 1st game v Spurs.


Clive Rogers
18 Posted 25/07/2016 at 14:07:26
Well done to Ross. After being told he was overweight and left out for the last game, he looks leaner and fitter. Koeman will get the best of of him. Happy days.
Stan Schofield
19 Posted 25/07/2016 at 14:47:53
Clive @18, I agree. He's a fantastic player, just needs managing in the right direction. Similarly for Mirallas. Both, and others in the squad, will prosper under Koeman. I also hope Stones stays with us, because he is another player of unusual talent who needs the right management.
Jay Harris
20 Posted 25/07/2016 at 15:14:37
As you didnt see the game you wont know what he was talking about re Ross.

When Ross came on he was all that we want him to be. Took the game by the scruff of the neck, created a number of chances by threading through killer passes and scored a great goal.He was head and shoulders above anyone out there.

In other words he was great.

Now if only we can repeat the trick with Lukaku.
I would have put Stones there too but regrettably I think Stones has gone.

David Milner
21 Posted 25/07/2016 at 16:27:30
Jay @20
I watched the game live & agree with RK.
Geri was a completely different player to last year playing down the middle. The understanding between him & Ross was nice to see.
To think we had to put up with a couple of donkeys at times (Niasse & Kone) & we had a diamond in Tarashj waiting in the wings. He will benfit with more game time.
The player that impressed me the most was Conor Grant, looks a much improved player in the Barry mould. Could save us a heap of money.
Also have to mention Holgate. Not the tallest centre back but so comfortable on the ball & believes in playing the ball forward.
Frank Wade
22 Posted 25/07/2016 at 16:36:39
Music to my ears. First, that he doesn't like passes back to the goalkeeper and prefers the full backs to pass long. Second, he likes his forwards to press high.

The passing back to the keeper makes no sense. Often, we are attacking within yards of the opposition penalty area and after a series of backward passes, we are treated to a pressured keeper lofting a 50/50 Hail Mary pass to the half way line.

I watched most of the game on Saturday, when I had overcome the usual now traditional official feed glitches and agree with Jay(20) re Ross Barkley. Looked a different player, albeit against weaker opposition. Hope to see more of that as well.

Michael McCarthy
24 Posted 25/07/2016 at 19:30:25
16.Alastair. Ross is a great player, believe me he is.
Nigel Munford
25 Posted 25/07/2016 at 20:09:15
Just read an article on comments from Seamus, sounds like he may have been a fan of RM's methods. Given the impression at the end of last season that most, if not all the players revolted against RM's methods you'd think they would all see RK's as a breath of fresh air, but maybe for some it's too much like hard work. I never had Seamus down as a slacker though, maybe he's just being a bit cautious. Now Rom, I might think will get a wake up call with RK's pressing methods.
Richard Leeming-McHale
26 Posted 25/07/2016 at 20:20:45
As much as I'd love to get as excited as ya'all, too early days. I remember similar praise for the previous gentleman to guide our club at the very beginning too....

I'd rather just wait and see, before being so joyful and optimistic. It was a friggin' great start, though!!!!

Dan Doran
27 Posted 25/07/2016 at 21:35:45
Joe #2 - that's quite the misspelled name! I think you forgot the "l" in Nigel...
Clive Rogers
28 Posted 25/07/2016 at 22:00:05
When Barkley was on loan at Sheff Wed he was played defensive mid and the manager started leaving him out saying he couldn't defend. I thought why play him there then? That's what Koeman will do. Play him in a totally attacking role, scoring and creating. He will get the best out of him over the season. Can't wait to see the new Ross. COYB
Jay Harris
29 Posted 25/07/2016 at 22:43:00
Agree with you re Conor Grant. He looked as if he belonged there.
Also Holgate read the game very well unlike Galloway who got some useful challenges in but let players get in behind him too often.
Overall we looked like a rejuvenated squad totally unlike Martinez pre seasons.
Nigel Munford
30 Posted 26/07/2016 at 01:03:18
Dan, week spotted, my name was a standard joke at school, but that was in the late sixties early seventies, there weren't many Nigel's about.
Nigel Munford
31 Posted 26/07/2016 at 01:05:00
Ha ha I can't spell either Joe, should have been 'well' spotted.
Carl Sanderson
32 Posted 26/07/2016 at 07:23:29
Alastair 16:

Why pick on a single word from Koeman's interview and work up a 200-word critique? Everyone uses the word "great" to describe players, fans, their latest meal, etc.

Koeman appears to be pretty level-headed and straightforward. When he starts to use words such as phenomenal you can begin to worry.

David Ellis
33 Posted 26/07/2016 at 08:20:11
Nigel - were your parents always making plans for you??

(XTC circa 1981 anyone???)

Stan Schofield
34 Posted 26/07/2016 at 10:34:50
David @33: At first I thought you meant a different song. My senses must have been working overtime.
Nigel Munford
35 Posted 26/07/2016 at 13:06:00
XTC the bane of my life, as well as a well known diddy man of the same name, I think that last early seventies though David.

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