Chelsea 2 - 0 Everton
It wasn’t too long ago that £140m could buy you an entirely new team. Nowadays, of course, you can barely buy three top players for that outlay, unless you are especially canny in your recruitment and buying mostly from the Continent.
Everton have spent big this summer in upgrading the spine of a side that was comfortably the best of the rest in the Premier League last season but just as plainly short of the level achieved by the top six with their resources and spending power.
After years of punching above their weight and having to make do, the Blues have finally had the financial muscle to compete with that elite group above them in the market this summer but you’d be hard-pressed to come up with a performance over the past decade in which they looked so far behind than the one served up today.
Admittedly this trip to Stamford Bridge which has been almost ritual defeat for 23 years was a big ask. The third difficult game in the space of six days and an earlier kick-off following the journey back from Croatia, they were playing the Champions who were on their own turf and playing with the advantage of a week’s rest.
This wasn’t just a case of a tired team not having enough in the tank and being edged by a superior team, though; depressingly, there was almost nothing to this Everton performance at all.
Indeed, the particulars of the result are largely unimportant because Chelsea just had to score once to win. They did that in the 27th minute having controlled the game to that point and had chances to open their account through Pedro, who fired a couple of low efforts at Jordan Pickford and missed with an attempted overhead kick, David Luiz and Willian.
The ball was worked inside following a throw-in on the Chelsea right, Cesc Fabregas exchanged passes with Alvaro Morata, albeit with a fortitous bounce of the ball that allowed the striker to nod it back into his compatriot’s path and the midfielder stabbed it into the far corner.
The second goal five minutes before half-time also came from the home side’s right flank after they had teased the ball along the edge of the visitors’ penalty area. The move ended with Cesar Azpilicueta swinging a pin-point cross to the marginally level Morata who headed home unchallenged as Michael Keane appealed vainly for offside.
2-0 down at the break and with nothing to lose, Koeman merely opted for more of the same, withdrawing Tom Davies and introducing Muhamed Besic who had taken his place in the squad despite the news that his father had been wounded by gunfire in his native Bosnia overnight.
Predictably, the pattern of the game didn’t change, although Everton did manage to carve out their first chance five minutes into the second half when Wayne Rooney played Sandro Ramirez in behind the defence but his scuffed effort was blocked by Antonio Rudiger.
Generally, there was no build-up play from Koeman’s team, very little passing through the midfield and far too many direct balls from Pickford aimed at the right flank where Sandro was hopelessly outmatched in the air. It was a tactic that while agricultural had worked well at Manchester City with Dominic Calvert Lewin up front but it had little effect today. Sandro ran himself ragged but without a strike partner for him there was no focal point up front.
Without Morgan Schneiderlin, there was no vision or composure on the ball in central midfield — indeed, there was precious little moving the ball forward on the deck at all as Chelsea appeared to easily choke off all apparent passing lanes and out-balls from the back.
With no wingers in the team, there was no one to run at their defence and take on a man on, no width as the Blues were stifled down the flanks by Chelsea’s formation. Even then, there was no one to aim at in the area on the rare occasions the mostly anonymous Gylfi Sigurdsson or Leighton Baines had a chance to put a cross in from wide areas until Ashley Williams of all players popped up late on but glanced a gilt-edged chance to reduce the deficit wide.
It took until five minutes into the second half before an Everton player touched the ball in the opposition box, a symptom of too many defenders and almost zero cohesion through the middle of the park, and Tibault Courtois had to wait until the 87th minute to make his first save.
That had come from a side-foot shot by Idrissa Gueye and a sporadic late flurry from the Blues after Calvert-Lewin had replaced Sandro just past the hour mark, Aaron Lennon had come on for Phil Jagielka and Williams had dropped a half-volley over the bar and missed that late header which was perhaps the best chance of the day. All in all, it was pretty weak fare from Everton and, like last season, hopefully the trip to this part of London marks the nadir of the campaign, at least in terms of performance.
With just six shots on target in the opening three games, the problems that were laid bare today can’t be explained away by mere fatigue alone, even if it was undoubtedly a factor for those who did play in all three matches in just six days. The same nagging deficiencies remain despite massive expenditure on upgrading the team.
Everton haven’t won an away game since January. The club have spent a fortune over the summer but still travel to the homes of the top clubs with an inferiority complex, an approach and formations to match. Unlike on Monday at the Etihad where spirit and energy more than class narrowed the gap, on this evidence Everton are as far away from where they want to be as ever.
Pace, creativity and strong centre-forward remain urgent needs before the transfer window closes but time is running out and, again, it doesn’t appear as though the shopping list includes addressing all of the team’s most glaring shortcomings. Koeman says he needs two more players but three or four would be more accurate, particularly with Kevin Mirallas seemingly ostracised, James McCarthy regularly crocked and Gareth Barry already out the door.
Reader Comments (65)
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1 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:23:34
2 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:38:50
3 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:43:08
If/when Mirallas goes and with Bolasie injured for god knows how much longer and Lookman still learning (not being fully trusted), Lukaku sold and Barkley either being sold/not in the plan who is our player to run at defences, who is our player to put the opposition on their toes and make them think, who is our player to turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye... who is our pacey, creative, skilful outlet? After watching Liverpool, just then who is our Mane and Salah?
We are so slow, narrow and predictable. And with all the money spent I honestly thought I wide player and a striker would come in to cause havoc. Koeman always banged on about productivity, £150 mil spent and I'm still not seeing it.
However, I have been impressed by Calvert-Lewin, but if we are to mount a challenge for top 6 we need a proven striker and to give him great service and we also need to be much quicker.
4 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:51:55
5 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:58:01
Only the young lads Holgate and Calvert-Lewin were worthy of any plaudits at all... but it was nice to see flashes of why we paid up for Sigurdsson, and most of all why Rooney is a quality addition. He wasn't at top form playing his third in six days, but his touches were superb and his competitiveness evident.
6 Posted 27/08/2017 at 18:58:53
Long term, the bulk of our signings so far mean that we are in good shape but we now need to prioritise the attack. We are crying out for a centre-forward but need someone who can hurt teams by running at them or on the counter-attack.
I don't get a sense from Koeman at all that the club is looking to sign someone like that before the deadline. If we only get a left-sided defender and a taller striker in, I think this season is going to be similar to the last – we'll be strong at home but frustrating away with too many draws and not enough wins to take advantage if teams like Arsenal and Spurs slip this season.
7 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:04:53
Who knows if any discussions with Chelsea today?
The pace in the squad is Bolasie and Seamus. Pity they're injured!
8 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:12:33
9 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:23:00
Inexperienced striker with the narrow Rooney and Sigurdsson behind, and Baines slowing whilst Holgate is not experienced as a wingback. Lack of width. Lack of pace.
The judgement of the manager should be questioned, but we have a good squad of players. We should have made it harder for them today.
10 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:28:03
I do hope that despite everything we are going to see something of Besic in the future, he looks to me like a thinking footballer when he has the ball, when he hasn't the ball it's another matter.
We swing in managers between dull David Moyes, exciting but tactically inept, Roberto Martinez and now the unadventurous Koeman.
11 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:34:01
I'm still skeptical about a #9 but if it is Vardy, yes. Costa is welcome but not enough pace. However, for those who don't give Conte and their billion dollar team enough credit, we look lame in this game but this is the champions with arguably the best coach in the league.
12 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:37:21
Koeman has said repeatedly since he came to the club we start to slow we are not aggressive enough, well I still see us starting slow and lacking aggression. We lack pace and movement up front, and our midfield for me are 15 yards off the front men when we go forward.
So yes we have had 3 tough away games in a week, but that shouldn't mean we show no belief or ambition. Bournemouth showed more belief in playing an 11-man Man City than we did against 10 men. Surely if we have any hope of challenging the top 4 our belief against these sides need to change and quickly. Another 2 tough games after the International break, we will be in a better place to judge what lies ahead after these 2 games.
13 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:48:57
Whilst he seems intent on replacing all the players he inherited a cause much advocated in these columns it is by no means certain that at least half of his signings are any improvement on those they replaced and, once rid of Barkley, the acquisition of a totally static midfield will be complete.
Wingers are no more and the only decent striker we have had in years is now missing penalties for 'the big boys' as we await his replacement to arrive (or not). Problem is that, if we do get a good 'un, he'll probably end up in midfield behind Rooney!
Perhaps the most objectionable aspect of this Dutchman's 'feel' for the Club is that he arrogantly thinks Evertonians will accept the shit he is serving up out of ignorance. Well, we'll see about that!
14 Posted 27/08/2017 at 19:53:32
And Sandro looks like a real dud. Maybe we should hang on to Niasse after all and start making plans to ditch Sandro ASAP.
15 Posted 27/08/2017 at 20:25:04
16 Posted 27/08/2017 at 21:46:20
I can only assume that the sour-faced bar maid is a closet Blue otherwise she should be sacked because there can be no other way of explaining her complete disdain for her clientele. With 2 hours of RS adulation to follow, that has to be the explanation - surely no one can be that miserable in their job without good cause?
At least I watched in exotic surroundings, my son got a ticket at the last minute â€“ poor sod!
17 Posted 27/08/2017 at 21:49:07
We played our best football when Calvert-Lewin came on and started making runs to try and open up the Chelsea defence; I think we might have found a player there.
I see that Gylfi has caught the Everton corner disease already, can't beat the first man...
18 Posted 27/08/2017 at 21:50:52
I say that as someone who thought we'd pulled off a sensational signing.
Naismith did more for the team.
19 Posted 27/08/2017 at 22:22:43
For all the money spent strengthening the defence and midfield the team looks less 'productive' than ever. We have a Premier League defence and a Championship attack. With the squad as it is we will struggle to stay in the top half of the table let alone challenge the top six.
Unless the attack is augmented by some pace and a genuine striker we face a season of grinding out narrow wins and a load of draws, if we are lucky.
20 Posted 27/08/2017 at 23:13:32
Pressing both Sandro (15% fit), & Sigurdsson (45% fit) into a team were he preaches hard work as a virtue. Reckless; lucky neither got injured.
Playing the same formation for a second year against better players and more experienced exponents of the same system, genius.
Abandoned the merest semblance of the plan he had a City on Monday by resting the key component of that strategy. Smashing that.
Playing with no attacking intent actually almost got Rooney sent off. The man was pent up as he continually looked for help, support which was nonexistent.
I reckon that Everton have spent around 30 seconds in the opposition box in three games. Champion that.
My patience for Ronald is drawing near to the end. With that squad, how we poached him and the expectations set by the major shareholder, the quality of the football is miserable.
21 Posted 28/08/2017 at 01:03:41
19-year-old Davies is no match for Fabregas and Willian, they got far too much space. Great experience for the boy. Good to see Besic doing well. We have a bit of work; it's one game with a run of fixtures not that favourable.
Hopefully our home form will allow the side to gel. 3 games in is not a time to panic. Keep the faith â€“ just look at Wenger, ffs.
22 Posted 28/08/2017 at 03:17:09
1. Everton were probably very 'stale' from their recent exertions.
2. Every team have team(s) they traditionally don't do well against either comparative styles or a bogey team if you will. Chelsea are one of ours.
3. Any player(s) can have an off-day. We certainly had lots of those.
4. The injury list is very lengthy and key players feature in ours: Schneiderlin, for example.
5. The experience of losing like that, and the post match inquest (complete with suitable rollicking) can set the path straight for the next series of games.
6. The players should be as embarrassed as much, if not more so, than the manager???
7. We need to resolve our outstanding transfer business, as do most clubs.
8. It was a real shit day at the office.
9. The real power behind the throne, Moshiri, will have been shocked at what he will have seen and will not accept a repeat. (Think how Roberto was dismissed without so much as an audience.)
10. Even without excuses, shit days at the office happen; it could have been twice as bad look at Arsenal!
I personally would rather have lost on Sunday than on Thursday. I believe the back-door to the Champions League is our best chance.
But as I said, I agree with every one of John's comments. The jury may now be called to session and Koeman's handling of the Barkley, Kenny, striker situations, overly defensive style, lack of passion (excepting Rooney), poor game management, uninspiring media performances, will all come under even more scrutiny.
In Moshiri I trust COYB
23 Posted 28/08/2017 at 04:43:01
I do think the veritable litany of reasons you outline actually have credence if I'm looking at it through a very narrow frame. Each game you play might have at least 4/5 elements on the list above.
My post was narrow too, but in general my posts reflect I've been one step away from wanting Koeman gone from day one; please understand my points are always stained with that thought in mind.
I can see defensive solidity but not anything beyond that. I dismiss time he's had 50 games and plenty of opportunity to experiment, the 10 games last season for instance.
Players; he has managed an astonishing turnover of players, his squad no doubt.
Based on your posts you seem a more moderate balanced poster, correct me if I'm wrong? Can you see where the attacking potency needed to garner the wins, not draws, is to improve both our position and style of play?
24 Posted 28/08/2017 at 04:50:44
Back door to Champions League? With how Koeman fucks up match after match? I think he would get the 1985 team relegated.
25 Posted 28/08/2017 at 05:20:08
26 Posted 28/08/2017 at 05:55:34
More like people had high hope but became disappointed. As this applies to me as well.
I was hoping to see the deal got confirmed before I went on holiday at the end of June. Was really excited with his signing, but not sure if he's really as good as I first thought.
27 Posted 28/08/2017 at 06:09:53
Put yourself in his shoes. Just had 2 weeks off injured. Put straight back in the team when clearly not match fit. Against Chelsea's 3-man high pressing defence in a role he probably has never played before (target man) with no support or any kind of service from 9 other outfield players?? All on top of being in a new, much more competitive league, against the champions, in a foreign country.
He had a bad game, yes, but seriously. Give the lad a chance! I understand we're frustrated but writing him off already is as daft as Koeman's "tactics". There is only one place the finger should be pointed, and it isn't at this lad.
28 Posted 28/08/2017 at 06:22:42
I also seriously doubt his ability to get the squad fired up, given his charisma or lack thereof.
29 Posted 28/08/2017 at 07:30:05
Has it occurred to anyone that Koeman may simply be too old?
He's 54. Same age as Mourinho just to put it into perspective. So no, don't think that's a valid argument. More of a case of stuck in his ways with little tactical nous. That's not necessarily an age thing.
Plus you're comparing him against some of the best coaches in the world with that list, who have won most things, except Poch.
Koeman hasn't got the same pedigree as a manager. Nowhere near. And if he carries on like he is, with his head stuck in the sand, it's going to end like his spell at Valencia did.
30 Posted 28/08/2017 at 07:59:45
An average manager could have tightened our defence. A serious manager would have bought a left-sided centre-back in the three windows we have had since he joined. This one doesn't rate either of the two we have and, again if he was serious about defensive solidity, he would have bought genuine replacements for Gareth Barry.
Those midfield players he has bought and those used already at the club have never been detailed to make protection of the defence their priority. This is an essential basis for building a confident side.
We would all like to see expansive football and it has been clear since early days last season that he wants to play 1980s football as he remembers it and we have indulged him. It is a different era and we are a long way from having enough players of the quality needed.
We continue to sit in, playing slow, predictable, football. The total football he was a part of was once described as slow, slow, quick, quick, slow. Far from a waltz, what we see week after week would make Ed Balls look like a Strictly winner.
Supposedly we set up same as Chelsea. One of their wing backs was a winger, our equivalent was a centre-half. Their defensive midfield player sat in front of the back three until it was so obvious that we were out of it. Our defensive midfielders spent large parts of the game marking theirs.
They had quality in all the right places and ruthlessness when poorer players were exposed. None of their back three looked safe and Calvert-Lewin showed all three up when he was on the pitch. They simply stayed tight and chopped any threat down knowing that they hadn't the pace.
They were flat 30 minutes in and we remained timid, refusing to push out at that stage, hampered by some poor ball retention. We allowed them their two goals, nowhere near close to pushing out at them, and it was easy for them after that. They are a long way from being nailed on competitors for Premier League or Champions League this season and we should have done better, tired or not.
Did anyone else there yesterday sense that the team was going through the motions? Yes, individuals worked their humps off but I didn't see that sureness and trust in the system and shape that you see amongst teams with much less quality. cf Burnley, Huddersfield, Bournemouth, West Brom, etc.
A good job he bought Rooney. We'd be bottom of the table and out of Europe without him.
32 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:12:37
It's been said already about Sandro's fitness, lack of pace etc but there is no such thing as overnight success, except for Susan Boyle. We can't be expected to suddenly become a team of high energy, crisp passing and attacking football.
As much as I like the players we have acquired, and most agreed earlier in the summer how exciting it was, Guardiola, Conte, Klopp and Morinho all inherited teams with world class players that had won things, or been very close often, and they have all been through adversity as they have modelled their teams the way they want.
Koeman inherited a team in free-fall, and the players he can attract are from the second tier of the market. We weren't in competition with top clubs for any of them I believe. One season with 3 transfer windows isn't enough. Add in 4 games against, less face it, quite poor European opposition isn't enough. 3 Premier League games isn't enough.
We haven't gone backwards though. in the Premier League we had exactly the same points tally but conceded less. Slight improvement? Remember, Koeman has had a massive overhaul of an 'old engine', not a service and a fine tune like most of the top 6. I still believe that we are getting better, and maybe some of the acquisitions may not work out it happens.
And let's not have judgements a couple of games down the line. We may have to live with another season where we are best of the rest. There were times yesterday when Chelsea's players weren't on the same wavelength and a pass to nowhere looked stupid. When we do it there's at least 100 posts on TW.
I think that we need a good showing in the Europa League to be attractive to the players we would want to sign in the future. Anyway, I'll continue to be patient and put up with some dross while the team gels, until the new players arrive, until we get back some of the injured players, and we shake off the defeatist mentality against the top 6, whoever is at fault for it.
What I won't do is destroy a young Spanish lad who played while unfit, and who left the pitch having given all he had. I won't destroy an ageing defence who are trying their best. I won't destroy a midfield who are not as good as the top 6. I hope the players don't read this as their fragile confidence would be shot to pieces.
33 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:15:55
34 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:22:26
I would go all out between now and Friday and look to pick up Benteke and Zaha from Palace. Pace and also a strong powerful forward, exactly what we need at the moment.
35 Posted 28/08/2017 at 08:25:32
I have said all Summer that this team looks unbalanced, too slow and lacking power. It's all very well being solid at the back but, if you don't have pace to counter, or a strong striker able to hold the ball up, then it will just keep coming back at you.
Big last week in the transfer window needed.
36 Posted 28/08/2017 at 10:00:38
Even with Lukaku we desperately needed a new striker; now, days away from the deadline, we still need one even though we and the club have known for months that Lukaku was leaving.
I hate to be knee jerk about this but in terms of performance we are already miles off the pace in regards to competing again this season.
Koeman needs to decide on his best team and formation and stick to it; this constant meddling is obviously not working.
Such a dismal showing so early in the season is very worrying.
37 Posted 28/08/2017 at 10:58:22
Let's hope he gets his centre-forward, and left-sided defender, hopefully with a bit of pace, then we should see if we have any chance of breaking into the top six.
38 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:02:51
In answer to your question, yes most definitely the team looked as if they were going through the motions. They simply lacked a collective belief this was a game they could win. We were fortunate Chelsea chose to declare with their 2-0 half-time lead. Only in the last 10 minutes did we show any belief that we could get into the game. I don't think it was a coincidence that by that stage we had Calvert-Lewin and Lennon on the pitch. They offered some power and pace, sadly lacking in the first hour of the match.
Had those two been on the pitch from the start, would the overall performance and result have been any different? Possibly not... but at least we might have played with some ambition that we could pose a threat in the opposition half.
If we cannot buy the attackers we need in the next three days, it will be a long hard slog over the next few months. By the time we play Man Utd we will have recorded only two away league wins in twelve months, at Leicester on Boxing Day and at Palace in January. The scorers in those games were Mirallas (going), Lukaku (gone) and Coleman (injured). It is hard to see at the moment where the next away win is coming from.
39 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:08:48
40 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:19:49
41 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:22:23
Or, do you prefer a manager standing aloof from the players showing little emotional involvement in the game and offering little praise or encouragement?
Moyes and Martinez were of the former type and 15 miserable years later we are landed with another out of the same mould.
42 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:34:26
Irrespective of the defeat, my concern is in the 9 games including friendlies against a few poor sides there has been no change in their negative style of play, home or away.
43 Posted 28/08/2017 at 11:42:05
Am I disappointed? Yes! Am I being harsh on him? No. I don't think I even criticise him except saying that I thought too highly of him initially.
Is he going to be excellent for us and worth £50m by the end of the season? Maybe. I don't rule that out. Just that I am not as optimistic as I was in June.
44 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:11:24
Apparently Koeman has a 3-year project and a contract length to match. I predict he won't be here for the third year of it.
Recently I was told that Everton had fallen behind by two goals on 106 occasions over the last 10 years. Only once had they recovered to win the game. They'd drawn only four.
Early in his time here, Koeman turned round a two goal deficit, having made very early changes to his personnel and formation whatever happened to that Koeman? Has he really been overcome by the Everton malaise of inferiority and low expectations so quickly?
45 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:14:34
I often have the same question as you. The Koeman that made changes as early as 30+ min. Where is he?
46 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:43:42
If there is no improvement at the end of the season, there may be justification for some unrest, but please, not in August.
47 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:49:37
We all know the areas which need strengthening it's been done to death... I'm not going to start flapping yet.
48 Posted 28/08/2017 at 12:54:46
49 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:00:34
Take our current formation that can only work, if we have 2 top quality wing backs; that was the case 3-4 seasons ago when Baines would be crossing to Coleman or vice versa with the knowledge that, if the move broke down, McCarthy and/or Barry would fill in the gap.
Park the bus? No problem; provided you have 3-4 pacey runners to bomb forward to counter-attack; Whiskynose & Mourinho have done it for years.
Which brings me back to Dubya, because once again IMHO is what separates Fergie, Mourinho and dare I say it, Klopp from the rest is clarity of vision (and with Mourinho it's game by game) of how they want their teams to play.
I've been trying to work out Koeman's â€˜vision thing' all summer and it seems to be get as many No 10s as I can and then do what precisely? Play defensively? Fine but where's the Hazard or Willian outlet ball. Why didn't he find replacements for Bolasie and Coleman or a back up for Baines? What has the much vaunted Steve Walsh been up to all summer?
Instead, what we've witnessed is a decent 45 minutes of football, the rest bordering on dross and I'll single out the 2nd half against Man City; given that we're supposed to have pretensions to break the â€˜glass ceiling' and against 10 men for much of the half, bordered on cowardice. Even allowing for players having to integrate into the team and with Klaassen and Sandro a different type of football, what's happened to Koeman's pressing game?
Finally, I don't accept the excuses vs Man City & Chelsea, â€˜they're the Champions/potential Champions' FFS that's for the Moyes era when we had a budget of zilch, and we were in every sense of the word, a â€˜small club'. Even if all the new recruits come up to speed, it's still hard to see what he's trying to achieve. To quote another US president Donald J Trump: "Sad."
50 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:12:18
51 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:21:32
53 Posted 28/08/2017 at 13:44:52
Here's a question - if we don't get a secent centre forward in by 31st who is to blame - Koeman / Walsh or the Board ?
54 Posted 28/08/2017 at 14:35:49
That's 7 competitive matches and a few pre-season friendlies. How many minutes of good football?
55 Posted 28/08/2017 at 14:49:12
Send the players out to fight for 3 points.
Is that asking too much?
As for Dyche, are you sure he's going to do a worse job than RK if he has RK's players at his disposal?
56 Posted 28/08/2017 at 15:44:40
To get off the fence, the bottom line for me is RK is really disapointing with his negative style of play. I say HIS, because he is the guy who selects the team, prepares and directs their play, controls the substitutions and generally all round should take the credit or criticism he deserves.
It is not always easy to be critical if by nature or training you are patient and looking at all the angles.
I was confused as to why he persevered with Calvert Lewin, but in fairness he has done well. I am confused as to why he has not even started,yet, with Kenny but perhaps that will come.
However, as said, I was ashamed of Everton's style and approach to the game with the odd exceptions (Rooney) for example, but if there is a repeat of such a performance, then all hell should break loose around RK and he should give an honest, non-evasive response. No excuses about not having yet bought the players he wants. Moshiri is not Father Christmas and he should be able to see more grit and determination than was offerred on Sunday, and more of an attacking mentality.
57 Posted 28/08/2017 at 16:06:53
The manager made mistakes. 3 at the back with the players we have doesnt work. And Sandro was way off the pace. But he also is missing a fair few players yesterday.
There is a break for the internationals now, a chance to try and get everyone fit. The spurs game will be a good barometer of where we really are. Its very easy to dismiss the amount of games played so far, but our current main goal threat is nearly 32 and has played 270 minutes this week!
Morgan was missed. I know lots don't rate him, but I think the combination of him and Gana works well. On his own I fell Gana tries to do too much. Yesterday Davies was disappointing and didnt offer much at all.
Yep it was shite, but how can we really judge the season on three games?
58 Posted 28/08/2017 at 16:07:33
He's had precious little success elsewhere too.
Yes he needed to re-build a squad, but he has had three windows now and whilst personnel have changed we are still pedantic and shapeless. Even clubs with poorer quality players than RK had to start with have a plan and commitment.
We need three players in this week just to be able to compete on all fronts in terms of numbers. We'll not be truly competitive with this man in charge.
59 Posted 28/08/2017 at 16:27:26
We just got out played. A tired group of players missing several options through injury came up against a far better team
How can you possibly tell how this season will pan out? We don't know yet who will be in the final squad as the transfer window is still open!!
6 games so far. 3 wins, 2 draws, one loss. If that for was maintained across the whole season in the PL we would have a 50% win average and a healthy points total!! Simply put we don't know what will happen yet. Yesterdays game was shit. There were very few positives at all. But you have to give the guy enough time to actually get his squad finalised and fit before digging him out.
For a bit of context, under bobby we had 3 points after his first 3 games, ended up 5th. After 3 games drawing against average teams who thought that would happen?
61 Posted 28/08/2017 at 17:13:35
I cannot comprehend Koeman's tactics, team selection or unwillingness to change things. The only thing I could think of was he was doing exactly what he did in the FA Cup at Leicester. Picking a weak team to make a point to the board before the transfer window closes. A bit lf "look what I have wo work with, where are the players you promised me?".
Or maybe he is just incompetent.
62 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:00:42
These are definitely mitigating circumstances, but Koeman got his team selection and tactics all wrong. He should have gone with fit and (slightly) less tired players. I would have gone with:
Davis Besic Lennon
Baines Jagielka Keane Holgate
And, PLEASE don't sell Barkley, we need his raw power and talent - I think his game will improve tremendously playing alongside Rooney. After the break, I hope we see this team for the Tottenham game:
Siggy Rooney Barkley
Baines New CB Keane Martina
Subs: Stek, Lookman, Sandro, DCL, Holgate, Besic, Klaassen
63 Posted 28/08/2017 at 18:11:03
What worried me at the Bridge was that the players seemed disengaged, Rooney excepted.
"Right lads, you know that three at the back that hasn't worked, well we're going to give it another go.
Sandro, I know you're injured but do your best. Mason, wing-back? Fancy it? Gylfi, not sure where your going to fit eventually but left-ish midfield-ish. What do you think? Wayne, I know I can rely on you."
"To do what specifically boss?"
"Well, you know, you know?"
"Leighton, if you'd just push up to the half-way line soon as? Yes? And Tom, I'd like you to sit in with Idrissa, most of the time anyway, and Idrissa you can chase Kante when you get a chance."
"Right, all set then, away you go!"
65 Posted 29/08/2017 at 01:03:54
I agree that the tactics were wrong against Chelsea. But I don't think that makes for a sacking. Across 50 odd games so far the results have been a marked improvement on the previous 2 seasons. And so far this season the results if not the nature of how they were achieved are respectable.
Now, for the unfit lads. I wonder how they are supposed to get match fit without playing in matches? There is a weeks break from playing now, those two needed game time.
66 Posted 29/08/2017 at 09:02:16
I worry that the approach now appears to be impacting on the team's morale.
67 Posted 29/08/2017 at 09:13:51
68 Posted 29/08/2017 at 14:03:57
3 at the back doesn't work and will never, it usually ends in tears and the Man City 2nd half proved it before we kicked off. By the way it was employed by Walter Smith throughout the season he was manager.
We need something like an old fashioned 4 4 2 or 4 4 11 depending, that is 2 strikers (not midfield players) and 2 wingers like Lennon, Bolasie (eventually) Mirallas and Siggurdson (not strikers). Bring in another striker and probably a player on the right side as we're short even with Lennon who seems to be making a comeback and try Kenny at right back now and again.
Come back Dowell, all is forgiven and let's bring Kevin M back into the fold.
69 Posted 29/08/2017 at 14:13:30
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