Koeman: Equaliser was a key moment

20 August  22 Comments  [Jump to last]
Ronald Koeman said he was pleased with Everton's come-from-behind win at West Brom today and cited Kevin Mirallas's goal in first-half stoppage time as being a turning point in the game.

The manager might have been doing himself a disservice because it was his decision to make a game-changing substitution after 38 minutes that paved the way for what was ultimately a dominant Blues display.

Everton were a goal down that point to Gareth McAuley's early header off a corner and struggling to compete in the final attacking third with Gerard Deulofeu mismatched against Tony Pulis's big defenders.

Koeman replaced James McCarthy with Romelu Lukaku and the improvement was almost immediate. The Belgian wasn't involved in either the equaliser but his presence transformed the Blues' attack.

"We played well but it was still difficult because it always is coming to this place," Koeman said after the game. The teams of Tony Pulis have direct play and a lot of tall people.

“When West Brom scored to make it 1-0, that made it harder to create. When we made it 1-1, it was a key moment in the game."

The manager revealed his high expectations again, though, when he expressed his dissatisfaction with his team's failure to finish West Brom off late on.

“In the second half we played good football. The subs had a big impact on the final result but we forgot to kill the game.

"We had two big chances — one for Barkley and one for Lukaku. You need to be lucky with second balls, but there was good defending."

Koeman explained that his original starting XI was an attempt to use Gerard Deulofeu's pace to unsettle the Baggies' back line but in the end he had no choice but to change things when it was clear they weren't working.

"We had to change the system, and I think from that point on [we were] the more dominant team.

"In this system, you hope with Deulofeu up front you get space behind the defenders but they dropped further back at 1-0 and there was no space. Then you need a target man like Lukaku, wingers to make the pitch wider and to play at a higher tempo which we did after 25 minutes.

"We finished strong. To go from 1-0 down to winning 2-1, it's also mentality. OK, we can improve but it was better [physically] from one week ago."  

Reader Comments (22)

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Muj Rasul
1 Posted 20/08/2016 at 23:49:04
So refreshing having a no nonsense manager who didn't dither in substitutions and says it as it is.
Liam Reilly
2 Posted 21/08/2016 at 00:04:43
Wouldn't want to be in. Dressing room with RK f it all went wrong.
Ian Riley
4 Posted 21/08/2016 at 00:17:03
A manager who is prepared to make changes at any time. Admitted tactically not working and doesn't mind upsetting anyone to get the right result. Still work in progress but in the right direction. How refreshing it is to hear our manager talk about working hard and telling the players on the pitch.
Jimmy Sørheim
5 Posted 21/08/2016 at 00:49:43
I like that he is not afraid to change his game plan like Martinez.

All in all, it was a learning experience for Koeman, but the fact that he has not bought another striker is a disgrace, it truly is.

How many games does he need to manage until he finds that out??

Damian Wilde
6 Posted 21/08/2016 at 00:55:48
He's right, we should have buried them, good to see the steely and excellent Ronko keeping them on their toes.

And a 38th minute sub...Moyes & Martinez will have been perplexed!!!! Love it. COYB.

Darren Dennett
7 Posted 21/08/2016 at 01:13:04
Today showed we are in need of a bloody good front man. Rom does not work hard enough for me, but scores goals. Defence starts in attack, he needs a missile up his claka-valve.
Anthony Dwyer
8 Posted 21/08/2016 at 01:14:52
Putting Rom on the pitch after 37 minutes takes balls, I'm made up it paid off.

I did feel a little for McCarthy, I thought it may have been a better call to take off Holgate, but how wrong I was.

Too long have we been stuck with spineless or clueless management that just waited for a change of luck to change the game, not RK, and not Everton any more.

We went from looking clueless, to being unlucky not to finish up winning 1-4.

All in all a great day at the office.

Drew Shortis
9 Posted 21/08/2016 at 03:02:31
I wouldn't say the substitutions were a work of tactical genius. Koeman saw things were not working and promptly took action. That is a biggest difference between him and Martinez. I guess it doesn't hurt having Rom & Bolasie sat on the bench! Hopefully before the end of the window he will have added a couple more options.

Gana was the business in midfield again, harrying, tackling, regaining possession. I believe that was the role Martinez envisioned for McCarthy. The big difference is that nearly every time Gana gets the ball he makes a positive pass that, even if not always forward, drives the team in the right direction. I hope some of his play rubs off on James and he regains his spark as I still see a future for him at Everton, especially with Barry not getting any younger.

Mirallas seems to be relishing being back in the team and Holgate looks like he's going to fill the 'hole' left by Stones. If he can keep his feet on the ground and grab the opportunities that come his way he has the potential to be a top player. Perhaps that fourth centre-back (Kone) is not so essential after all, which would allow us to spend elsewhere.

In seasons gone by we would have drawn that match so we're already improving. Great for the new manager to get 3 points early on. It won't hurt our search for new players to be in the European spots come deadline day. Lukaku appears to be staying, Hart looks likely (though Stek looked the business again) and we still have a wadge of cash burning a hole in our back pocket. Very happy Toffee here!

Michael Penn
10 Posted 21/08/2016 at 03:52:34
Big change from last year. What was that game where we were losing 1-0 and Martinez didn't make a single substitution! Wanted the players to "remain in the moment" or something. How times change!

Felt bad for McCarthy but he has serous competition now from Gueye, and Barry doesn't seem to age.

Ernie Baywood
11 Posted 21/08/2016 at 04:18:00
Whether or not that change was tactical genius is one for the purists. At the end of the day, he managed us to a win. Long may I be able to say that on a Saturday!
Thomas Surgenor
13 Posted 21/08/2016 at 07:24:47
Not only was I impressed that he was prepared to change it so early but;

1- he kept the youth on and sacrificed the senior pro.
2- he explained his original plan and accepted how it was failing.

Ian McDowell
14 Posted 21/08/2016 at 07:37:25
Its great to hear a manager who tells it exactly like we see it. I'm pleased to hear his dissatisfaction about failing to get the 3rd goal. We missed 2 guilt edged chances to really wrap the game up and we need to take these in future.
Brendan Fox
15 Posted 21/08/2016 at 09:11:20
Great to see the early sub made and the change of formation to change the impetus of play as the team looked toothless up to that point.

The players look fitter by the week with Mirallas running and chasing like a man possessed. Holgate looks a real player and changed the game following the change with his interceptions and driving runs forward.

Brendan Fox
16 Posted 21/08/2016 at 09:14:05
Greyed looking like the bargain of the season already after only two competitive games played.
Brendan Fox
17 Posted 21/08/2016 at 09:16:02
Gueye I was meant to type! Autocorrect on the iPad drives me nuts.
Lee Atkins
18 Posted 21/08/2016 at 11:41:55
Gueye was immense yesterday... He always wants the ball, never stops running, doesn't give the ball away and keeps us ticking over. He won't get the plaudits, but what I saw from the stands yesterday was impressive. We were shit until the tactical change... moves or Martinez would never have made that call. Holgate was class too.
Eric Holland
19 Posted 21/08/2016 at 11:57:07
Lyndon I think Rom held the ball up in the area and brought it out to set up the first goal.
Michael Polley
20 Posted 21/08/2016 at 12:07:48
Boliase looks the deal.Like the way he attacks the back four. There is a good feeling around the club now. Happy days
James Morgan
21 Posted 21/08/2016 at 12:29:27
Jimmy #5, he has stated his desire for another striker and also his frustration that signings haven't been made sooner. Silly comment.
Gordon White
23 Posted 21/08/2016 at 16:40:58
So refreshing to see a manager swiftly reacting to a situation and his changes having a positive impact. (Rather than waiting for the 87th minute - for goodness sakes). Everyone watching the game was thinking uh, oh. We need to change something here.

I thought Gueye had an exceptional game, as did Barry. Mirallis is looking better under Koeman. Actually, I thought Stekelenburg had a good game too. (Thought he was impeded for their opener). One thing's for sure, if EFC are going places, it will only be if 11 players gel and play well as a team, not because of a few outstanding players or flashes of brilliance. Team spirit, working as a unit, hard work and doing what RK asks. Not rocket science.
Anthony Dwyer
24 Posted 22/08/2016 at 00:20:50
One player who did struggle again at times was Mori, I must admit I back him,and I will continue to do so for the time being, but he has to widen up in this league quickly or he will lose his place.

He shit out of a tackle in the second half, resulting in West Brom almost scoring, plus he was a joke for the attack in the first half leading to the corner that WBA scored from. Rondon is just a big hairy arse, its clear you can't just move him, Mori was very naive to think he could win the ball and abandon his position of being goal side.

He's a big threat off corners and can do a good job in both boxes, I want him to do well, but I do feel Jags looks more suited to his surroundings, and if imagine Williams to be the same.

Let's see what RK does, but I'm genuinely rooting for big Funes.

Harry Wallace
25 Posted 22/08/2016 at 10:50:07
Great to hear. Impressive start by RK.

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