Koeman calls for more aggression from the first whistle

Monday 19 December 2016  17 Comments  [Jump to last]

Ronald Koeman has asked for more of the attitude that his players showed for 70 minutes of last Tuesday's win over Arsenal as he prepares for his first Merseyside derby.

The Everton boss was highly critical of his side's slow start against the Gunners but was effusive in his praise for the way the Blues reacted to going a goal down, eventually turning the match on its head an earning a much-needed victory.

Koeman wants the mentality of his players to change in terms of how they begin matches and is expecting a faster, more aggressive start this evening against a dangerous Liverpool side than was the case against Arsenal.

“We know Liverpool is different to Arsenal, they are more physical and play aggressive football. To get a good result we need to show the same as last Tuesday,” the Dutchman explained.

“If you act too nice, like we have in the past this season, you need a reaction. Sometimes it is a referee's decision and the fans are not happy, but you need that reaction from the start.

“It's difficult and you have to create it for yourself. Some players always have it and some need something else to get that reaction, but we need to change that as a team.

“We need to not start sloppy and show the spirit from the start — not because the fans are unhappy, because we are behind, or there is a decision from the referee. We can't worry about that.

“We did it wrong in the first 20 minutes [against Arsenal] but we had a good reaction and that's how you need to play.

“We need to be more aggressive because it is not all about technical qualities of a player, but also the belief and commitment and aggression on the pitch to make it difficult.”


Reader Comments (17)

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Mark Andersson
1 Posted 19/12/2016 at 07:44:43
Sounds good to me, Ron, just hope the players respond to what you are saying. Another defeat by the Red Shite and moral will be back down and the pressure back on.

The fans will play their part so let's hope we get a good win and send those fantastic supporters home happy for Christmas

Tony Abrahams
2 Posted 19/12/2016 at 08:13:05
That last paragraph sums it up perfectly, it's what separates the men from the boys. As an after-thought, I hope we have also taken notice of what Carragher said the other day about controlling the referee in these matches.

14 Red Cards to Liverpool's 7 since the start of the Premier League. I suppose we can claim to have beaten them at something, but it won't be professionalism. I reckon Liverpool would have subbed Phil Neville immediately if he would have been wearing red the day he got up an shook Kuyt's hand!

Peter Roberts
3 Posted 19/12/2016 at 08:27:22
We get more red cards because our players haven't been strong enough with the ref. Stevie G reffed the games – got in their faces and good honest pros like Phil Neville and Phil Jagielka just were jolly good sports.

It's time we made the referee's job difficult.

Liam Reilly
4 Posted 19/12/2016 at 08:30:11
Agree Tony, no-one cares about how you win, once you win.
Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 19/12/2016 at 09:10:45
And soft lad Henderson has taken over from Gerrard, argues over everything, even throw-ins. He is the one to target, easy rattled, acts tough but isn't, all show.

Toughness has definitely been missing in these derby games for years. McCarthy was showing the way last week, getting his tackles in also urging the players on along with Coleman. Lennon and Valencia working up and down the line, Gana perpetual motion, Baines working away, even Barkley working much harder than he has been.

If Lukaku awakens from his slumber from the first minute and uses his body strength we can beat these; however, there cannot be anything stupid or reckless, just controlled aggression for 90 minutes.

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 19/12/2016 at 09:42:45
Very true, Liam, and once a team has grasped this they will definitely win a lot more games than they lose. Skill is what we all love to see, but earning the right to express it, will always be the most important factor in big games of football like tonight.

Great shout, Dave, I think you have hit on something with regards to "Fishcake Henderson!"

Anthony Dwyer
7 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:09:59
We have to line up 20 yards further up the field than we did v Arsenal. We can't sit and wait for the RS to pick gaps.

They have really useful attacking options, they will almost certainly score, but they're soft-centred so we have to press high and get in their faces.

I hope someone puts that prick Henderson on his arse too, btw.

Chris Williams
8 Posted 19/12/2016 at 10:26:38
And please, please don't concede the first fucking goal again.

Pretty please.

Timothy Blanshard
10 Posted 19/12/2016 at 12:11:33
I've looked all over the website for Ken Buckley's report and I can't find it, has he written one for the Arsenal match? I always look forward to reading his match reports.
Paul Kelly
11 Posted 19/12/2016 at 13:30:32
Let's do some waist-high two-footed tackles... what's good for the goose and all that!
Paul Kelly
12 Posted 19/12/2016 at 13:35:50
Other post is in reference to Dirk Kuyt's unbelievable "get off scot free" lunge where he ended up in the toilets in the Lower Bullens once he finally came back down to earth.
Ray Roche
13 Posted 19/12/2016 at 13:46:56
For those who don't know what is going on here...


Gary Russell
14 Posted 19/12/2016 at 14:31:52
That was a solid tackle and Ronaldo showed what a big girl's blouse and cheat he is. But Phil Neville, what an embarrassment as a footy player, and then we signed him, jeeezzzzz!
Gary Russell
15 Posted 19/12/2016 at 14:33:25
Got caught up in the YouTube tackles and distracted by Neville's one. Kurt, did he even get booked for that?
Craig Walker
16 Posted 19/12/2016 at 15:02:47
Kuyt was one of those limited players who we always made to look good. Please let us get 3 points tonight. My lad is 6 and has never seen us beat them. Make his Christmas, Santa. He's been good this year, and so have I, for that matter.
Marc Sansum
17 Posted 19/12/2016 at 17:15:02
I get the feeling this is going to be one tasty game, if the lads are up for it from the off. As much as we hate them, they are good going forward, and good on the counter (I can see this is where we would come unstuck). Wonder whether he brings back Jags?

Poor old Besic, he must be chomping at the bit for these kinds of games.

Paul Tran
18 Posted 19/12/2016 at 17:42:00
I know it's off topic, but is Ken Buckley OK? No report from the Arsenal game is a concern. Anyone know anything?

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