Ronald Koeman reflected on another handsome home victory, Everton's eighth in succession and one that maintains the pressure on the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United in the top six.
The Blues recovered from losing the lead to a Joel Robles error where he rashly conceded a penalty just two minutes after Phil Jagielka had headed them into the lead early in the second half to eventually run out 3-1 winners.
Koeman was vindicated in his decision to change things at half time and he also reserved praise for Ross Barkley, whose shot deflected in off Ben Mee to make it 2-1, and Romelu Lukaku who scored a tremendous third.
“I think we were lucky not to be down in the first 30 minutes but the second half was much better.
Koeman was asked if he felt the change at half time where he brought Enner Valencia on in place of Idrissa Gueye had the desired effect.
“Yes, because the start to the second half was different to the first half. We had a good goal to make it 1-0 — again, the fourth in a row, from a corner. That's really positive
“But we made some mistakes for 1-1 because, first of all, Morgan needs to win the tackle in midfield and Joel, the goalkeeper can't make that fault in that area of the pitch.
“But we kept it calm and, finally, we deserved to win. We had some good chances to score and 3-1 is a really good result.
“The goal now is to put some pressure on the teams above us. The realistic situation is if we'd played the same number of games then we'd know [where we stand] but if we finish strong then at the end of the season, anything is possible.
On Barkley, who put the incident in a Liverpool bar and the subsequent disparaging newspaper article that prompted Everton to ban The Sun from covering the club at its facilities behind him with an improved second-half display, Koeman said:
“We know all of that stuff off the pitch is not the best but he was dealing with it really well with that and it showed today.
“He was really focused and he was one of the first players who had [a difficult time] in the beginning [of the game] but he showed his qualities in the second half.”
Finally, the Dutchman was asked about Lukaku who scored yet again at Goodison and took his tally for the season to 25 in all competitions.
“He's amazing,” Koeman agreed. “He's working hard, he will always get chances to score and how he finished a really difficult [chance]… they defended well today, Burnley, against Rom but one split second he gets some space and he's a great finisher.”
Reader Comments (27)
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1 Posted 15/04/2017 at 20:49:47
As a post on the live forum said: Let's have a TW report over the weekend and links to all the shite media who says the words "Top Four". Any bets?
Brilliant statement they hate the fact we've stopped it being top 6
Bunch of arseholes
2 Posted 15/04/2017 at 21:19:19
I mean, even when he has everybody back for corners (and free kicks) he still doesn't put a player on each post... madness!!!
Now if he could find a way of winning at the teams above us... we'd be fucking Champions!
3 Posted 15/04/2017 at 21:37:49
After the last two seasons especially last when we won a meagre 6 and lost a disgraceful 8 at Goodison Park (totally unacceptable for this club) it was top priority for Ronald Koeman to sort that out, and sort it out he has.
Visiting teams now dislike coming here again, there's a fear factor and a feelgood factor amongst the supporters back again, no more toxic atmospheres.
Just need to work on getting the balance right for away games.
4 Posted 16/04/2017 at 00:10:17
I love this plain speaking honesty.
5 Posted 16/04/2017 at 00:11:00
6 Posted 16/04/2017 at 03:45:07
I love how he sees the game and speaks so openly and honestly about it.
7 Posted 16/04/2017 at 07:19:24
I bet they will just keep quiet until at least after the games tonight. Then they may have a chance to say top 5 instead of top 4.
I'm backing Chelsea all the way today.
8 Posted 16/04/2017 at 12:44:00
9 Posted 16/04/2017 at 13:14:53
Joel Robles looked mega irritated to me by the way he faffed up but, as others have said of what some call our worrying defence, we are fifth on goals conceded; only three teams have conceded notably fewer all season, so to me the priority this summer is improving the offensive part of our game, not the defence. Yes, in a season or two the defence will need to be upgraded too but, with more threat, goals and possession, teams will not be able to attack us with the freedom they currently have.
10 Posted 16/04/2017 at 13:14:59
11 Posted 16/04/2017 at 13:17:18
12 Posted 16/04/2017 at 13:25:13
Me too, especially as he was correct in his assessment of the play leading up to the penalty.
Thing is, Koeman wouldn't give a fuck if they did take issue. It's "my way or the highway" with Ronald.
13 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:05:41
14 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:11:12
Alas, I think we will have to settle for 7th with Man Utd winning today and I really can't see Arsenal losing tomorrow even though they are in freefall away.
I'll say this though. I bet Chelsea are worried about coming here and what side wouldn't be? Now for a couple of away results...
15 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:11:15
If Middlesbrough can take a point off them tomorrow night, and we can beat West Ham next week, we could open a gap between us and them.
I also believe we can go to the Emirates on the last game and win.
16 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:25:05
I bet Ronald and the players are regretting that pre-Christmas dip in form now.
17 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:39:30
Despite the feel good factor around the home form, it's really looking like the away form has sunk a run at 4th. We have point total which is tantalizingly close to a shout for it.
Question is will better players solve that or are the tactics the issue. Could be both I suppose.
For me I will look back on this season as a chance missed. Because a new manager doesn't mean he gets a free pass for the year. With a little better selection for away games this year we would be right there surely?
With Arsenal's fixture list, Spurs, Man Utd and ourselves, I will be disappointed if we don't get 6th.
18 Posted 16/04/2017 at 18:53:39
It is that last factor which continues to keep Everton short of what we all seek and it has done for a long time. We need a few better players but we need, above all, a winning toughness. There is some evidence that it may be arriving.
19 Posted 16/04/2017 at 19:08:57
I agree, I rarely deviate much from your posts, they are like minded. Koeman has done little more than restore Everton to their place in the financial hierarchy.
Acceptable is European footy, with the caveat of making the Europa group stages. That's were we will clinch better signings. That will be 7th which is 99.99999% assured!
With Arsenal on cup duty next week, our job to win at West ham and really apply the pressure with games running out. There is no reason not to be adventurous and go for games, that will tell me a lot about Koeman's attitude.
Ambition is key, a potential signing might be swayed if the table reads us above the Arsenal. Us on the upward curve Arsenal on the downhill slope.
20 Posted 16/04/2017 at 19:19:51
Brent (#11) maybe it's indicative of Baines's recent free-kick delivery. Maybe he's lost his confidence, so he's not taking them as well as a result, and now he's even letting Mirallas bully him for them. After he gets one in, no-one will bully him off them.
21 Posted 16/04/2017 at 19:23:29
Many agreed that to finish 7th in his first season was acceptable, and while we might finish 7th we are mixing it with the big boys and miles ahead of the team in 8th place. So I think Koeman has closed the gap we had last season to the top 6, and there will be additions in the summer. We have only been able to buy by selling players now we can buy without selling which puts us in a much stronger position. I heard the other day that for the first time I can remember for next season we have a waiting list for season tickets.
22 Posted 16/04/2017 at 19:27:49
23 Posted 16/04/2017 at 19:42:14
Whilst our away form is poor, I think most of us trust Koeman more now than back in January. I think we will still finish 7th, which is quite good considering how many players we've changed. I am worried though how we are gonna replace Rom as I think he has already done a deal with Chelsea and he'll put in a transfer request in the summer.
Replacing him and some defenders will be another huge task over the summer though at least we have money now compared to two years ago.
24 Posted 16/04/2017 at 20:32:17
Or am I blind to the truth that most footballers are the same as their greedy, feckless, half-wit agents?
25 Posted 16/04/2017 at 23:15:46
26 Posted 17/04/2017 at 17:58:41
The difference in team spirit from this time last year to now is night and day. Koeman has made a significant difference and I feel that it will only get better.
27 Posted 17/04/2017 at 21:01:02
It absolutely matters if it's sixth or seventh. Firstly it is Kudos to finish above the established top 6. It gets us directly to the Europa league without need for a hairy playoff round. And if both United and Leicester win in Europe guarantees entry, seventh gets us zip! Bang goes Europe and the sweeter we need for attracting players. Sure it's unlikely but we can make that moot if we finish 5th or 6th.
It marks progress, it shows ambition, it sets a bar for us to exceed next season. Constant improvement, not drifting and acceptance. Not accepting our fate is set, much like the media lazily say, it increases our media profile, forces people to re-evaluate the club.
Arsenal are on the slide, as a team, as a club and ending a cycle with a great manager, losing Champions League hurts at team, United and Liverpool are living testament to that.
And breathe .
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