Koeman satisfied with Goodison bow

13 August  14 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ronald Koeman was pleased overall with his side's display in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur this afternoon, saying that it was important that they held on for the point.

Everton were full value for the lead they took into half-time thanks to Ross Barkley's fifth-minute free kick that flew unassisted past Hugo Lloris after Kevin Mirallas had been fouled.

Spurs came out with far greater purpose in the second half, however, and that, combined the tiring legs in the home team, helped them get back on level terms just before the hour mark when Erik Lamela headed past Maarten Stekelenburg to level the match.

Stekelenburg made two brilliant saves to preserve parity and both sides had to be content with a point.

"I am happy about the team performance," Koeman said afterwards. "I think the first 45 minutes was really excellent. We had good team organisation, we put a lot of energy in, and we were very dangerous up front.

"We had a big opportunity before half-time to score a second goal, and if we take that then it's a different game. Being one or two goals up is a completely different situation.

"We knew it would be difficult towards the end because they have really good players, scoring players. Of course they had two big opportunities, and they were great saves by Maarten Stekelenburg.

"That was important for us to keep the result, because it is also a mental question."

"We showed what we like to see, and you could see the reaction of the fans, really supporting the team, and that is good. Overall we worked very hard.

"This is the first game and I am happy overall." Everton were missing Seamus Coleman, who faces "several weeks" out with an ankle problem, and Romelu Lukaku whose stitched heel hadn't quite healed in time, but the manager indicated that the Belgian should be ready to face West Bromwich Albion next weekend.

"If he is fit then he will start. That was not an issue today, he was not fit enough," Koeman explained. "Next week? Yes, normally he would be fit for that."  

Reader Comments (14)

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James Watts
7 Posted 14/08/2016 at 01:09:06
I agree with Ronnie's assessment. This was a tricky game, no question.

As I said on another thread, happy with a decent performance, disappointed we couldn't hold on, but signs are encouraging.

I thought the team shape was excellent, and they did run themselves into the ground. Positive performances from the new boys and most of the old as well – Kone the exception, what a waste of space.

A few more signings together with continuation of building up the fitness levels and we'll be looking in good nick I think. We won't win the league just yet but we look much improved on the last couple of seasons. Slowly, slowly, catchy monkey.

David Barks
8 Posted 14/08/2016 at 01:12:15
As for the manager's comments, I was pleased to see more commitment from the players today. Overall much more defensive organization and effort, and more closing down the opposition. But we were far too defensive and sat too far back in the second half, leading us to have to hang on at the end. Disappointed that as a club we weren't more prepared for the start of the season.

The keeper did well, Gana did very well, and Baines was more involved in he first half. Already liking this manager's attitude much more than the con man we had the prior three seasons.

Andrew James
9 Posted 14/08/2016 at 01:19:48
This is a steady start. I thought their goal was caused by a concession of the ball about a minute before which was due to some Martinez-esque poncing about at the back.

Gradually that knack of inviting attacks back onto us should hopefully stop.

Michael Winstanley
18 Posted 14/08/2016 at 03:17:05
I've just watched Koeman's post match press conference where at the end he's asked about Geri playing in the 9 role.

Koeman: 'A good opportunity to play against a high line, big opportunity from pressing high up the pitch...a big opportunity and he has to score but you saw it's not for 90 minutes...I like Geri and Kevin as players but they need to run more. You saw with Ross in the second half working hard for the team, he needs to take more responsibility and defend better because it makes the team stronger and he will learn that no problem.'

I like his candid nature, it's clear what he expects from his players.
We're going to play better football and we're going to get fitter plus we'll be signing players so I think he's right to be pleased with today.

It's a different approach to the game and the players will adapt in time so there's plenty to be optimistic about.

He also spoke about the intelligence of Gana and Barry, they will be the pairing in midfield I think he said.

Brian Porter
19 Posted 14/08/2016 at 06:11:43
A good all round performance though have to agree with James Watts. Kone is a total waste of space. I can't understand why or how he is still here. Shouldn't wear the shirt again. Offers nothing and as a striker couldn't hit an open goal from three yards! Everyone else seemed to play their hearts out.

Jags and Funes Mori looked solid at the back. Funes Mori had far more confidence and self-assurance than he had under OFM. The Copa America experience has added to his play, as well as working with RK I think. With Ashley Williams joining the ranks, we won't miss John Stones if they continue like this.

The future looks brighter under our new manager, easy to say after one game, but the signs were good. One final point, was I the only one who thought our attacks were faster and had more purpose without Lukaku's ponderous efforts at hold-up play and poor first touch? Just a thought.

Thomas Kelvin Jones
20 Posted 14/08/2016 at 09:19:14
Brian @19

I'm with you on the Lukaku point. Thought exactly the same yesterday.

I believe its all to do with mindset. If Lukaku is up for it he is more than capable of making runs and closing down etc. Only Koeman and his staff will know if he's up for it or not.

One thing is for sure, his usual pondering about doesn't comply with what Koeman wants his strikers to do.

Kim Vivian
22 Posted 14/08/2016 at 09:45:48
Agree, Brian, about Lukaku. I rate Lukaku's potential and do wish he'd ramp it up a couple of gears and stay with us, but the buzz and fizz up front were a welcome change from watching Rom drift about like a burst balloon on the tide.

So Del missed that chance on half time but at least he made it. Rom wouldn't have been within a light year of it and Del ain't Aguero sadly or we'd have that put to bed by half time.

A game of two halves as they say but given where we are right now I feel very 'glass half full' about the immediate future after yesterday.

Tony Draper
23 Posted 14/08/2016 at 09:47:52
Andrew @9.

"their goal was caused by a concession of the ball about a minute before which was due to some Martinez-esque poncing about at the back."

Andrew, utterly correct, indeed it was. As "a voice behind me" clearly announced "Fuck the Chuckle Brothers routine right off will ya!"

It was abundantly clear that this "mispassage" of play was only going to end in "the weeping, and the wailing, and the grinding of the teeth, and the rending of the cloths"

I especially enjoyed your most accurate use of the oft overlooked term "poncing about".

Thank you.

Des Farren
24 Posted 14/08/2016 at 12:55:37
Andrew@9... their goal was caused by a combination of a poor "clearance" by Jags, an even worse effort by Baines to block the cross, and failure by Holgate to appreciate the pending danger.

Martinez had nothing to do with it.

Steve Carse
25 Posted 14/08/2016 at 17:25:31
What was very reminiscent of the last two seasons was conceding in the very first period of play when we came under any pressure. We miskicked more easy clearances in the 10 minutes before their goal than we did in the other 80 minutes.
Max Murphy
26 Posted 14/08/2016 at 18:38:33
No Everton manager should be happy with a draw at home. We are Everton Football Club and should strive for 3 points every home game. Drawing has been one of our big faults over the last 3 seasons.

I bet we must be in the top 2 or 3 Premier Clubs for thehighest number of draws a season. We have dropped 2 points, we have conceded at home and blown a 100% home record. Dismal.

Peter Morris
27 Posted 14/08/2016 at 18:45:10
I thought Gueye made a huge difference yesterday and brings something to the side we've lacked for years-sheer energy and dogged tenacity in midfield. His performance reminded me of Peter Reid at his best, and took so much pressure off Gareth Barry in particular. Koeman was right in his comments about player fitness.

After an hour or so, too many of our players were dead on their feet whereas Spurs looked like they could play for another hour. It's been no secret in the stands that the players have been unfit, and Barkley and McCarthy in particular looked like they've finally come off the pies. Either that, or they are wearing a larger size of shorts and it was an optical illusion.

Tony J Williams
28 Posted 15/08/2016 at 12:19:50
Peter, I thought Gueye's performance was similar to, dare I say it, McCarthy's first season with us, when he covered every inch of grass and got into opposition players' faces.
Mick Davies
29 Posted 15/08/2016 at 16:43:07
I thought McCarthy did an effective job in an unfamiliar role, but with new signings and the injured players coming back, I can't see him being anything other than a sub. Whether he'd be content with that we'll wait and see but the club could cash in on him rather than letting him rot on the bench.

Barry has acquired a new lease of life, but Bainsey is looking a shadow of his former self, and the amount of crosses coming in from his wing were worrying: maybe the younger Oviedo, or a new signing to shore this up? Don't know what's happened to Garbutt.

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