Is Koeman buying the players we need?

by   |   19/07/2017  117 Comments  [Jump to last]

Some people seem desperate to give Koeman credit for signing players when the club were determined to get them before he had even arrived, Gana and Van Dijk being good examples.

99.9% of the time, a player will sign for the club who offer him the best deal. A manager who finished playing before they were born will not persuade a player to join if he has a better offer. A miserable tactician who struggles to hang on to the better players he has inherited certainly won't.

We need players who can score goals out of the blue, players with the pace and skill to get the crowd on their feet, talented individuals who can see a pass and intelligent movers who can anticipate it... Where are they? Are they even on Koeman's radar?

Why did we let WBA sign a player who will score more than anyone we have (despite playing for Tony Pulis) for a song? Why have we not tested Bournemouth's resolve with an offer for King?

If our defence was as "sorted" under Koeman as his supporters will have you believe, why has he felt the need to spend north of £100m on two centre halves, a goalie and a couple of tackling machines who barely venture over the half-way line?

Another thread has over two hundred posts about Martina, a journeyman right-back who came on a free... but where are our goals going to come from? Who will create them? Who will score them? Rooney? Really? I expect some magical moments from him, especially early season, but his legs have gone and they ain't coming back.

Koeman is beginning to look like the proverbial brothel goer with the tenner behind his ear. He has been handed one of the biggest war chests in world football, further boosted by the £80m we got for the striker he couldn't hold on to... and we have thus far spent an absolute pittance on a replacement.

According to most on here, he is building a fine house... let's hope he remembers to put the fucking roof on.

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Ralph Basnett
1 Posted 20/07/2017 at 06:30:48
I take it you are not a fan of Koeman then, Darren?

As I see it, he has bought a Spaniard who can score potentially 15 goals a season, Rooney who can give us ten goals a season and Klaassen who can give us five goals a season - Lukaku's goals covered then.

Sigurdsson, if we get him, could get five goals and ten assists, there is another fifteen goals.

But, most importantly, the above only matters if your cup is half-full or half-empty when it comes to Everton – guess yours is half-empty.

Tony Hill
2 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:01:56
I agree we need more pace (which remains my biggest worry) and we obviously need more generally up-front: one... maybe two extra. Time yet, though.
Dermot Byrne
3 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:08:32
20 July. Just to remind you Darren. Premature.
Anthony Millington
5 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:08:43
A lot of fans are over-optimistic already. In reality we are not really any better off going into the start of this season than last. From last season we have lost our best player and goalscorer Lukaku and two pacy outlets on the wing in Deulofeu and Bolasie, it looks like Barkley is leaving and Coleman is currently crocked too.

In the wide areas we are very average still and need to sign someone quick. I have to say Liverpool have signed Robertson for 8 million and Salah for 34 million and that's potentially their whole left hand side sorted for 6+ years. On the other hand, we have the ageing Baines and Mirallas and on the right, Holgate or Martina and Lookman or Lennon. Carragher is probably right – none of our signings would get in Liverpool's team or the rest of the top 6. We are still a long way behind them still. Koeman has a massive job on his hands.

In reality taking into account the players that have left and our long term injuries and Europe a top 7 finish would be a decent outcome. The top 6 teams are still better and we have sold our best player to the worst of them in Man Utd making it harder to catch them! It's a good job we have Mr Moshiri to spend the cash or I think we may have been on the decline without his investment.

John G Davies
6 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:17:54
A tenner.

Wow. The rates have dropped. 😁

James Watts
7 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:18:49
That's all a bit negative, isn't it, Darren?

We've heard previously from Koeman that he really only rubber-stamps deals and it's Walsh's job to get the player. Unless it's an old pal like Stekelenburg or Martina of course.

True our net spend is not much better than previous seasons despite the famed war chest but, knowing Lukaku was going, I think we've made some excellent signings and we're a stronger team overall for it.

We still require another 2 minimum quality signings – 4 would be what I'd hope for – so I guess we'll find out if anything has really changed in the next few weeks. I have a couple of reservations right as we stand (Koeman mentioned another signing or two before the Tanzania game but that has been completely overlooked by most and worries me slightly) but I think it's a bit early to be on this much of a downer already!

Sam Hoare
8 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:25:29
This team needed to upgrade a lot of positions in order to compete. So far we've bought in:

One of the highest rated young keepers in the country
A good centre back who's dominant in the air
A central midfielder who moves the ball quickly and gets some goals
A young, nippy striker/winger who works hard, has good movement and can score all sorts
And Wayne Rooney

And we haven't finished.

By my reckoning we need still:

A reliable central goal scorer (Giroud, Benteke, Schick)
Cover for left-/centre-back (Van Dijk?)

We still look short of pace in wide areas but perhaps Koeman thinks Dowell and Lookman will be more than bit part players. They've looked as sharp as anyone in pre-season.

Dermot Byrne
9 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:30:55
Sam, I think you may be right about Dowell and Davies. I think the concentration will be on a striker and I'm confident one will arrive.
Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:35:46
Darren was that one little boy in the back row who wouldn't clap to bring Tinkerbell back to life. He thought she wasn't a quality fairy, that there were pacier fairies who deserved more clapping, and that the calories expended in clapping would be too high a price for such an inconsistent fairy who really wasn't adequate support for that arrogant Peter Pan anyway.

Darren's computer keyboard is where optimism goes to die, where bright colors turn to dark grey, where chocolate tastes like horseradish.

Reading Darren's posts always puts me in mind of that great scene from Kelly's Heroes where Oddball complains to the ever-pessimistic Moriarty:

"Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?"

And Moriarty responds:


That's my man, Darren.

John G Davies
11 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:38:21
Struggling to think of the striker West Brom have pinched from under our noses.

Jay Rodriguez?

Chris Williams
12 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:50:58
Jim White, who is now the go-to source for all things Everton, has reported that he 'he understands' that we will bring in a further three players. Whether that includes replacements for Barkley when he eventually goes, and the now long-term absentee Funes Mori, is not clear.

Neither of these last two things are now under our control, and that is sometimes a feature of football.

If we bring in,say, Sigurdsson, a number one striker, and a wide attacking player, all of whom could add to the goal scoring potential , that could cost over 𧴜m in today's market, unless we use loans. That probably means we would not need to replace Barkley. Others might disagree.

Do we need to replace Funes Mori? Personally I think we do, unless Besic, who has experience in the position, delights and surprises us, and possibly himself.

Is McCarthy staying or going? Does Koeman want him or is he even arsed? Wait and see, but his performance against Twente was patchy in a slightly advanced position again. Will he need replacing?

Any more injuries to come? Will Dowell or Kenny burst through into the first team? Is Connolly an adequate support for Baines?

The point is, I suppose, that with the best part of 6 weeks of the window to go, there are still a few twists, turns and developments to go.

It is probably premature to cast judgement until the fat lady has sung the closing aria, although that won't stop some, I guess. Particularly those of the 'through a glass darkly' tendency'.

Dermot Byrne
13 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:54:52
Funny, Mike G. Always worried in case he wins the Lottery. He can trade-in smiling for a price!
Adam Luszniak
14 Posted 20/07/2017 at 07:57:38
Is this piece a wind-up? Am I right in thinking the OP has written off the talents of all the players we have signed in this window before they have kicked a ball in anger?

You cite West Brom's newly signed Rodriguez and claim he will 'score more than anyone we have'. This is a player who has scored at grand total of 5 goals in his previous 3 seasons. To clarify, Sandro, Klaassen and Rooney have all comfortably beaten this figure.

I think, rather than asking, "Why have we let West Brom sign a player for a song?" you should be asking, "Why have Southampton sold the player for a song?"

I think even the harshest of Koeman's critics would be mindful of the fact that there is still more than a month of the window to go.

Colin Glassar
15 Posted 20/07/2017 at 08:03:07
At long last, Darren has come forth to share with us, The Gospel According To Darren.

I rarely agree with you, Dazza, but you are consistent and for that; you have my admiration.

David Ellis
16 Posted 20/07/2017 at 08:11:00

"Why did we let WBA sign a player who will score more than anyone we have (despite playing for Tony Pulis) for a song? Why have we not tested Bournemouth's resolve with an offer for King?"

Because neither would get into our team... even now, and that's without us bringing in the additional No 9 that we know we need and the club is trying to fill. There's no point clogging up the dressing room with mid-level type senior players – all they do is block the progression of the youngsters.

Jay Rodriguez was an excellent player but had a nasty injury and hasn't re-discovered his form – which is why Saints have let him go. WBA bought him because they can't compete with us for the type of player we are looking at (such as Giroud).

King is a one-trick pony and, although effective at times, is not the kind of player we want long term. We need a No 9 that can participate in the build-up and bring other players onto the score sheet.

Goals will come from all over the park – it's a team game; it doesn't matter who takes the final touch before it goes into the net.

Dermot Byrne
17 Posted 20/07/2017 at 08:12:59
The earth is flat, Colin. I have always said so.


Geoff Lambert
18 Posted 20/07/2017 at 08:17:30
Darren – it's not just about goals.

You change your tune like the wind, you do.

Laurie Hartley
19 Posted 20/07/2017 at 08:26:01
Darren, we conceded 20% goals less last season than the previous season.

I don't think Rooney's legs have gone.

Rondon's not a bad player – but I prefer Giroud.

Giroud will score 15, Sandro 15, Rooney 10, Klaassen 10, Sigurdsson 8, Mirallas 8, Lookman 8, Keane 5.

Sandro and Lookman will provide the movement and will get the crowd on their feet – Giroud and Rooney will provide them with plenty of opportunity.

Just got to sign Giroud and Sigurdsson and Koeman's roof's on.

Charlie Lloyd
20 Posted 20/07/2017 at 08:33:45
Darren, a few points:

We need to be based on a solid defence. Prior to Koeman, we were shipping goals for fun and needed to shore that up. I've no qualms that he has made efforts to do this. Remember when Liverpool had Suarez up front but couldn't stop conceding and ultimately failed to win the league (Crystal Palace away!). We need to be solid.

As for failing to retain players, do you think if we had our recent former managers it would be any different. Lukaku would have still wanted to go as we failed to get Champions League football. To expect Koeman to deliver from a previous season finish of 11th is a bit much. If it's Barkley your inferring then Koeman just appears to think other players will give us more in that position

I'm not sure who you are in about regarding the WBA player. Certainly not proven to score like you expect.

Josh King, I agree, looked decent. But let's not forget that was for six months. His career has not ignited until that point. Callum Wilson looked the better prospect at Bournemouth. So has the penny dropped with King and will he kick on from here or was it the "one season wonder" syndrome? We are not sure presently. How much would Bournemouth want for King? In the inflated market today, they may push for up to 㿔m sounds ridiculous but If he has a long contract that's the reality. Massive outlay for a player with six decent months behind him. Compare that to what was paid for Lacazette or Morata and it's truly frightening.

We are improving under Koeman. Yes he's a bit dour and a pragmatist but, after the head-in-the-clouds previous management, I'll take where we are heading.

Point I do agree with though. We could do with that bit of a maverick who can produce the sublime. Like what Dowell produced for the third goal last night – or what Deulofeu did on the odd occasion (Arsenal away).

Russell Smith
22 Posted 20/07/2017 at 11:05:28
Last season, Tom Davies came through and was a revelation, saving us god knows how many millions in the transfer market. It would appear from the friendlies played to date that Kieran Dowell, Callum Connolly, Jonjoe Kenny and Ademola Lookman will all play a much greater role this season.

If we cut off the route to the first team for these talented youngsters by buying "ready made" players then how will any of them develop into the great players they promise to be? Whilst we can't flood the team with 5 or 6 of these youngsters at the same time, we can use them in one's and two's depending on the opposition. The players bought to date, who in general are all very good technically, will help these young players to come through.

The only positions we need to still cover are centre back and centre forward but I would still rather see us buy a younger emerging talent like Shick than Giroud. Even Ronaldo and Messi had to be given a chance when they were only "potential" great players. I would much rather see Lookman and Dowell getting game time ahead of Mirallias, because even if they took time to settle they would still offer more than Kev.

The squad is not far away from being a great balance of leaders, technically gifted players, youthful exuberance and desire, and now that Lukaku has left I would suspect a much tighter knit group. No teams, be they Chelsea, Man City, Tottenham, or Man Utd can have two world class players in every position and keep them all content.

You need players who are on the "cusp" waiting for a chance to impress. They keep the established players on their toes and, if the opportunity arises, they will be more than capable of deputising or ousting the players ahead of them. Koeman has shown he will pick players that are "in form" irrespective of age or status and I think this season he will do just that.

Brian Williams
23 Posted 20/07/2017 at 11:24:35
Kunal Desai
24 Posted 20/07/2017 at 11:51:13
The transfer window does not close until 31st August. Have some patience.
Don Alexander
25 Posted 20/07/2017 at 11:51:36
Does our Darren have owt else in common with a donkey apart from the ability to talk his hind legs off?
Tony Abrahams
26 Posted 20/07/2017 at 11:55:10
Sit back and smile, Darren! I'm not worried about the roof just yet, because I still don't think the foundations are strong enough. All the best teams are hard to score against so I still want another big dominant centre-half, before we go out and buy a big dominant centre-forward!

Only pre-season, but I watched the second half last night, and was surprised by our movement further up the pitch, but then when it went wide, we never really had much height attacking the cross. (I'd love Giroud.)

I can't tell Wayne Rooney, how to play footy but, now that his drive has disappeared, then the simpler, he keeps it, then the better he's going to be, especially if he's going to be playing close to Klaassen, who looks very intelligent out on the pitch?

Koeman has spent money, but hasn't really touched the war-chest, so let's hope we have still got a couple more surprises to look forward to!!

Ian Bennett
27 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:02:42
I think we need to be realistic of what this side can offer next season. We have/are pruning the deadwood, and have made some good acquisitions – but we've lost Coleman and Funes Mori to long term injury, Baines and Jagielka are another year older, and we've lost the goals of Lukaku. If the window shuts today, we haven't moved forward to trouble silverware or top 4.

I will be a hell of a lot happier if we can some proven goal scorers in, left side of defence cover in, and I'd say more pace. This side is very slow.

Andrew Ellams
28 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:05:01
There's more to come this summer but, even then, you can't expect Koeman, Walsh & Moshiri to completely fix the shambles that they inherited in little over a year.
Jim Knightley
29 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:06:00
'Why did we let WBA sign a player who will score more than anyone we have (despite playing for Tony Pulis) for a song.'

Brilliant, Darren – it could have been an interesting article... but really? It's always exaggerations and simplifications with you.

I like Jay a back up striker. He had one fantastic season, but has not been the same since his knee injury. Would you really have rather signed him, at 27 years old, or Sandro at 21, for half the money? I'd also prefer Rooney to him. Why go on to talk about the need for goals, and excitement, and then bring up a striker with 26 goals in 104 league appearances???

We also need defensive players – you can't build a house without a foundation either. I don't wear the Everton fans are claiming we didn't need defensive replacements – where is this coming from? In my opinion, we still need defensive replacements! An attacking left-back, and another top centre-back, are still requirements but they have to wait a season (or we hope that Holgate emerges in his best position).

Keane is a fantastic young centre-back, and quite possibly our best buy so far. Pickford sorts out a goalkeeping problem, although I'm less enthused about his signing as a I expect mistakes. Schneiderlin and Gueye are fantastic defensive midfielders – they provide strength and security in an area of the picture we cannot afford to be brittle in. Klaassen can be the link man, perfect for the 4-3-3.

We have signed some attacking players - I love the look of Lookman, who will be star in years to come. Sandro will work hard and his movement is superb – he isn't an out and out goal scorer and I'm not sure Rooney is either. But I do expect that Rooney's extra class will illustrate just how sub-par the likes of Mirallas and Calvert-Lewin are. Rooney can bring that little extra and Sandro has a lot of promise. If he can improve his finishing, he could be the deal of the summer.

But I agree to an extent re the lack of attacking, or in my opinion, creative signings. I would have liked to have seen a true creator – Lanzini interests me a lot. Someone who is fluid, and can control our tempo (Arteta pre-knee injury).

I would also like to see a quick striker – I wanted Giroud but I think Rooney's buy prevents that. Dembele is interesting and my preference. Iheanacho would have been good too. Even Hernandez would have offered something different.

There is still work to be done, but there is still time to do it. A house isn't built in a day – we are building quickly but it still takes time, and I think Onyekuru will be pivotal to this too – if it wasn't for work permit issues, I expect that he would be involved in our squad now. As I've said before, I think we can expect real improvement a little bit down the line (1-2 years).

More players will come in yet, but this is a work in progress, still some way off from the best in this division. We need realistic ambitions – we simply cannot compete with the money, recent success, and Champions League football offered by the teams above us (save for Arsenal who have 21 years of it to fall back on). That limits our business, and means we cannot realistically go in for the likes of Morata and Lacazette, or Lemar and Bernardo Silva.

And that makes this a lot more difficult, because those top-end attacking and creative players tend to go for much more money. We need to identify a player ready to take the next step – like Lukaku did. Onyekuru could be one of those. I'm confident in Lookman being a future attacking star. Sandro also has the promise to kick on – his end of season form was fantastic.

Now let's add two more – a creative midfielder to replace Barkley when he goes, and a speedy striker who can lead the line. We could do worse than King, who was wonderful last season, although he hasn't proved himself consistently yet. I expect they will come, along with another defensive replacement in view of the Funes Mori news. Expect several more youngsters to join the youth set up too.

Eric Myles
30 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:18:08
I'm with Jim (#29), I think our whole back 4 need replacing.

Coleman and Funes Mori out through injury. Baines under-performing so a challenger required at left-back, Jags and Williams getting older so someone to take over from them.

That's 5 defenders to find replacements* for and only 1 in so far. Hopefully a couple of academy lads can step up.

*By replacements, I don't mean getting rid of them, but we need serious back-up / better quality in those positions.

Jon Withey
31 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:23:38
I have to admit I was also wondering about Rodriguez – but who is to say we won't get a better forward before the window shuts? I live in hope.

It's almost a good thing that Funes Mori is out for a bit as it might mean we have to dip into the market for another centre-back – we needed one anyway – a left centre-back preferably who can cover Baines too.

If I could only have two more, left-/centre-back and a centre-forward would be my choice.

Wingers after that.

Amit Vithlani
32 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:30:55
Maybe I missed something but I thought Walsh was also responsible for player recruitment?

If question marks are to be raised, why not aim them at him as well?

Just saying.

Tom Bowers
33 Posted 20/07/2017 at 12:47:06
Koeman must be the man choosing the players he needs and Walsh with Moshiri deal with all the terms and fees etc.

So far it would appear, on paper at least, that Koeman is moving in the right direction. Keane is the first big example given the situation of aging Jags and Williams along with Pennington who is not yet ready to step in and now Funes Mori basically out for the season.

Klaassen is another good signing given the Barkley situation and of course Sandro when it was known Lukaku wanted to go.

We don't want to jump the gun but they are class replacements and should fill the bill along with some of the already proven youngsters such as Dowell who is making a statement in pre-season.

Raymond Fox
34 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:02:59
What Darren says is, in the main, correct.

Take a look at last season's league table: we were 20 goals short of challenging the top 5 teams – and that's when we had Lukaku!

The defence performed pretty well – they conceded 44 goals, the same as Arsenal, 2 more than Liverpool and 5 more than Man City.

It's upfront where we desperately weak. Yes, we have signed Rooney and I expect him to be influential and score at least 10 goals, but we need a Lukaku replacement that's not a pale imitation of him. Whether we can attract one, I remain to be convinced; if we don't, I think we will be 7th once more.

Ray Roche
35 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:03:46
Jay Rodriguez has been a major disappointment to Saints fans since his injury and there are few of their fans who will mourn his leaving. If we had brought him in, Darren would have been on here whinging about us bringing in a striker who can't get into Southampton's team and is injury prone.

The fact that he's gone to WBA just gives Darren another opportunity to have a crack at Koeman for NOT buying him. Koeman can't win with Darren, whatever he does.

Actually, thinking about it, maybe MK and LL use Darren as a "plant" to provoke a response when things are a bit quiet. Surely, he can't be this miserable and negative ALL the time.

Ed Fitzgerald
36 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:12:30
At least Darren isn't fickle and inconsistent, I will give him that, unlike many posters on here who flip-flop more than a Tory manifesto promise.

He is definitely right about us needing a quality centre-forward and getting them in quickly. The jury is out on the effectiveness of the Walsh & Koeman purchasing policy; this season will be the acid test.

Having been handed more spending power than any Everton manager in history, I am expecting the quality of football to be better. I'm not convinced we will finish any higher than 7th.

No doubt the Koeman groupies on here will be wetting themselves if we manage to reduce the points gap between ourselves and the club that finishes 6th. I hope I'm wrong and we finish in the top 4 and win a cup.

James Stewart
37 Posted 20/07/2017 at 13:20:07
Josh King I can do without us signing. 1 decent season in which he took a lot of penalties hardly of the calibre that will see us crash the top 6.

Jay Rodriguez, outscoring Rooney, Klassen, Sandro? I highly doubt that. He scores the odd worldy and is strictly a MotD player. Pass again.

We need to get away from looking at who the likes of who WBA are signing. Klaassen and Schneiderlin set the new standard for incoming signings. Rooney as well, just look at the impact he has already had.

Not once did I hear "Everton have sold their best player" when Lukaku left. We have done the best business this summer since... well? Longer than my lifetime – that's for sure. Pour a drink, sit back... for once, it's under control.

Jimmy Salt
38 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:06:51
Come on, Darren, you're just poking the Hornets' nest... aren't ya... aren't ya?
John G Davies
39 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:12:31
We have had a glut of goalscorers with a 1 in 4 record similar to Rodriguez.

I think our sights are set higher than that nowadays.

Stan Schofield
40 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:32:43
Darren, I can see your point of view. This time last year, I was very optimistic about Koeman, but now less so. I think he should be given time, but some of the details of his management have left me less than enthusiastic.

The recent signings look to be good ones, and we have good young players on the ascendancy. That is encouraging rather than exciting.

We need additional signings. But additional signings are only one part of what we need. We also need to deploy those signings effectively. That is, the manager needs to have good tactics. But good tactics were often absent last season. Hopefully they'll be more apparent this season. So I'm hopeful, but (again) not excited.

I'm being cautious, but I'm used to being cautious because I'm an Evertonian. I'm hopeful of being able to be less cautious and more excited. Only time will tell.

Jay Wood
41 Posted 20/07/2017 at 14:47:07
Nice to know parody as art (cough!) is alive and well on TW.

The transfer window opened on 1 July. We haven't done badly in the 20 days it opened, have we? Or rather, for most Blues we haven't done badly.

The window closes at 11pm on 31 August. Including today, 20 July, that gives us another 43 trading days – 6 weeks and a day. More than double the time to date.

"We need players who can score goals out of the blue" the author of the OP writes. And then offers players who, mostly over the course of their careers, do just that: score now and again, once in a blue moon.

Other than alluding to Jay Rodiriguez (I presume) and Jason King at Bournemouth, the OP doesn't even explicitly call for the signing that (IMO) we are still missing: a genuine, consistent, established, quality goal scorer.

Overall, a post way too premature in its timing and, in truth, nothing more than what TW has come to expect from Darren Hind: nothing more than an extremely thinly disguised criticism of Koeman.

Let's revisit the topic again on 1 September, eh?

Len Hawkins
42 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:18:55
No-one knows who Walsh & Koeman are looking at, yet people are prepared to rip them up for bog paper because X hasn't been signed or Y isn't good enough.

Perhaps there is another Vardy, Kane or Alli being sought out of the lower leagues... Who Knows? Let's just wait and see.

Steve Ferns
43 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:22:46
Is Koeman buying the players we need?

Does this mean the players you think he needs? or the players that Everton need?

The question should be is Koeman buying the players that he needs?

The answer is yes. Koeman is looking to build a specific team. He knows how he wants to play football and he's building the team to fit in for that. The problem is that many of us want the team to play different from how it does.

David Moyes played his safety -first defensive game, and so the players were bought to fit into his model. To be fair to Moyes, when things went well, his teams got more expansive. Moyes also always had room for a luxury player, see Gravesen and Arteta. When Arteta was drilled into working hard, in came Pienaar, and then his final one was Fellaini.

Martinez played his tiki-taka formation, and so changed the players to fit his preference of play. Koeman is more back towards Moyes' sstyle than Martinez.

I think Koeman's style of play will continue to be a pressing game with quick counter attacks. Koeman's pressing game is curious, because he has not implemented a high press, like Klopp; instead it seems to be more relaxed up top and then more intense further back on the pitch. Now was this due to personnel or due to orders? I think personnel. Lukaku, Mirallas, Deulofeu and Barkley didn't press.

If Rooney plays, I do not think that he will press. but the rest of the team is being selected as people who will run, who will run hard, and who will run all game long. See Sigurdsson for an example of how Koeman wants to replace one non-pressing Number 10 for one who will. You will have read my thoughts on Sigurdsson and Barkley, but I can understand Sigurdsson from a pressing point of view.

The next thing is how we play in possession. Koeman wants us to win the ball with this pressing game, and then move the ball quickly as possible up the pitch before the opposition gets a chance to reorganize.

I was a big fan of Martinez's first season. My preference for manager was Bielsa, but once Roberto came in, like all Everton managers, I got behind him and he delivered a great first season and his style of play was there for all to see. There was a big difference between Martinez Season One an Martinez Season Two, and that was these transitions. Martinez's style was compared to Barcelona's style. But there's a big difference. Barcelona press the ball and Martinez doesn't. Barcelona move the ball quickly, which Martinez did in season one and did not in seasons two and three.

Jose Mourinho is the master of the transition, and it's enlightening to hear him talk of transitions. He is so obsessed with them that he organises his teams to be in defensive positions when in possession so that they are not caught out when they lose the ball.

The reason I mention this is because Koeman's also all about the transition. Getting the ball forward quickly is not long ball, it's not route one. Barcelona do it superbly more often than not. The difference being that, if the move is not on, they will then knock it around for half an hour until they find another opening.

Koeman wants to sign players who can move the ball fast. So we have Schneiderlin first of all. He's the main man for Koeman in winning the ball back. Watch what he does, because he is superb at it. He will get the ball and he will already know where everyone is. How a player can be aware of his next move before he's even tackled someone or intercepted the ball is beyond me, but he does. This means he can then have the ball going forwards to Gueye if he's open, as it's a safe easy ball, most of the time. Or if he's lucky he can spot that right sided pass to Coleman. The ball goes out that way so often because Schneiderlin is able to win the ball and that's the first guy he sees tearing forward. Last season under Martinez, we won the ball and then put our foot on it and then looked for the pass and gave people the chance to recover.

Klaassen should be instrumental in the second stage of winning the ball and moving it forward. His quick feet means he can wriggle past defenders if necessary or keep the ball moving. He will not be putting his foot on it.

Keane – I'm unsure how he fits into the pressing game to be honest. He's just a great young centre-back and we will see hos he develops with Everton, and how his passing is.

Pickford – he is a great young keeper, who is undoubtedly signed for his ability to move the ball forward with his excellent distribution in the style of an American football quarterback. He will be hitting the channels within a second of claiming a cross.

Sandro – will be the prime beneficiary of Pickford, racing into the channel and taking on a couple of defenders before getting clear on goal.

Rooney - the more the window goes on, the more I think Rooney is actually the No 9. He doesn't fit into the system we described. He will put his foot on it and slow play down. However, he will press, he is all action. Perhaps if he's the front man, the No 9, he won't need to put his foot on it at all, because the only time he does that, will be to bring in other people, ie, holding the ball up instead of driving solo at a back 4.

What does Koeman need?

Another striker for sure – Rooney can't be relied on to play No 9 in 60 odd games.

another pacy player like Sandro – but perhaps Lookman's pre-season form will negate this.

No 10 – I don't think we will sign a No 10 and if Sigurdsson comes I think he will play in the Barkley role on the right of a front three. Though I think he's a lot less effective than Barkley there, particularly as I think this player needs to be able to shoot with his left.

Tony Cunningham
44 Posted 20/07/2017 at 15:42:10
Our defence was sorted? I don't know a single blue who thinks our defence was sorted last season. Improved, yes and looking far more comfortable than under Martinez but far from sorted.

The call all last summer on ToffeeWeb was for a decent young goalkeeper and solid centre backs... So, Darren, if you know any Everton fans who considered that our defence was sorted, please focus your article for that small minority and not most fans on here.

Also, the article talks about not breaking the bank for top players… and then asks why we didn't sign Jay Rodriguez. If Jay Rodriguez is the answer, then what is the question?

Ray Robinson
45 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:11:42
Of course, there are many valid points in the OP but I'm afraid, coming from Darren, this is just another attempt to have a go at Koeman, whom he clearly does not like. The article is a bit like someone on a plane who having just survived take off, worries about the undercarriage not being down when the plane is still several hundred miles from it's destination (transfer deadline still open for best part of 6 weeks).

Yes, you are correct Darren, we definitely need to find goals to replace Lukaku but do you seriously think that this hasn't occurred to Koeman and Walsh, no matter how "dire" you think his management style is? C'mon! As for Rodriguez, I'm sure you would have been moaning about it if Koeman had signed the bloke!

The article is full of barbs to yet again have another go at Koeman.

Nigel Dooley
46 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:18:14
It's simple for me: if the transfer window closed tomorrow, then the good business that we have done up to now will be a waste of time. However, the window doesn't shut tomorrow.

Koeman must quickly make a top signing for a striker (er, Belotti of Torino); if Barkley goes, replace him with Sigurdsson, and we need (in my opinion) another centre-half to play alongside Keane, someone with experience to guide him along.

With those additions, we will be prepared for the season ahead.

Jim Bailey
48 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:20:04
Darren, yawn.
Paul Holmes
49 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:28:11
After last season, and the final match against Arsenal when we were beaten easily by 10 men, I was livid and wanted a clear out.

Well done, Koeman, he saw it the same way. Loads of quality signings and the U20 World Cup youngsters coming through. I for one am pleased and excited for the new season.

Rob Halligan
50 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:29:07
If Jay Rodriguez is the answer, then what is the question?

I guess it's: "Name a shit centre-forward you wouldn't buy?"

John Pierce
51 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:52:45
There's always a grain of truth in any opinion sometimes more, even if we are pre-disposed to it.

The players we've got in get are good, I think most improve on what we have and some are borne from pragmatism.

The one major departure was meh! To describe it as 'being let go' is cheeky. $75m for wantaway striker is about as diametric as you get.

Actually don't think we will do much more business certainly not once the season starts. We have too many games of importance to handle.

It's all on Koeman, known for my dislike of his tactical nous, he has been allowed to shape 'his' side.

No excuses, no league exit at the third round, no treating the Europa like an afterthought.

Transfers ain't the issue, Darren, its how they are used.

Gary Russell
52 Posted 20/07/2017 at 16:54:26
Mr Hindsight strikes again. What a yawn of a post. Some people are never happy unless they are moaning. You know who you are!

I can not remember this much excitement around the club since that glorious Rotterdam week... really does feel like we have turned the tide, but proof is in the coming season.

As has been mentioned, crack a beer open and give the new regime a chance. How anyone can complain about the last few weeks is outrageous.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
53 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:13:07
I know it means nothing, but the Daily Telegraph have just ranked the transfer windows so far and the No 1 team = Everton.

Just proves 2 things'

1. What do they know?
2. Darren is not a journo at the Daily Telegraph.

Michael Kenrick
54 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:20:05
"Surely, he can't be this miserable and negative ALL the time."

Oh, you can be sure he is, Ray. Here's a sample of his bitching when I dare to "suppress" his off-topic rants in order to give him a thread of his own to spout his anti-Koeman venom:

"Criticism of Koeman blocked again? . There's a surprise. Valid point suppressed once again because the editor does not like to hear them."

(The above was posted on the Martina thread.)

Steavey Buckley
55 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:25:24
Everton are really short of players when it comes to width and no quality full backs. Then there is a question of no proven goal scorer. These issues have to be addressed sooner than later if Everton want to challenge for a top 4 place.

And what about who partners Keane in defence? There is little confidence in Williams at the moment. Yet, Everton have spent time on money finding players for the Under-23s, when Everton's immediate need is for the first team.

Trevor Peers
56 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:33:00
Personally I always look forward to Darren's posts. His acerbic wit, may not be to everyone's taste, but he always gives TW much needed depth, by playing devil's advocate.

This article though is a bit premature, as we are only half way through the transfer window. Koeman knows he will be judged on his signings, and we're not in the promised land just yet, the next 2 signings will be the most crucial.

John Pierce
57 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:43:56
Stevie, in order to buy for today we do have to look after the future. The talent bought at U23 is part of a clear strategy to produce one or two very good players and improve others for profit. Not sure you can disagree with that? Sustainability is definitely a good plan and that's come about with a DoF.

I could agree about the full back situation, that's based on how we played last year. Koeman wanted width from there. Is his transfer policy hinting at a change? I hope so as it was bread and gruel last year when it came to performances.

He has talked about more goals, more assists, and has to date bought as if this will be a more attacking, pleasing on the eye Everton. The addition of Keane will allow Everton to play higher up, noticeably something needed for the press which Everton couldn't do last year as we had no pace at the back.

All the signs point to a big target man too, and without it it's definitely an issue. Agree totally there. If the players bought are used to attack teams both home and away and against the bigger sides then fair dos; if he's gonna make them do stuff which exposes their weakness then he Koeman, can take a running jump off the shortest of piers.

Let's hope we can raise Darren's mood to mildly piqued.

Damian Wilde
58 Posted 20/07/2017 at 17:46:00
I'm happy/delighted with our signings and squad overall. I mean ffs we're even spending millions on players just for the U23s!! Some people are never happy!

And this:

"99.9% of the time, a player will sign for the club who offer him the best deal."

Where did you get your stats from? You made them up, right? So with your theory if ever we are after a player as long as we offer higher wages, we defo get him?

Ronaldo up for grabs: 'Everton offered the best deal and we all know virtually 100% of us go where the best deal is".

Nonsense article.

Tony Hill
59 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:07:46
West Ham pick up Hernandez. Real poacher. I would have liked him. Iheanacho likewise.
Ajay Gopal
60 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:20:50
Rome wasn't built in a day and all that. We can't buy a new XI in one transfer window. I am quite sure that Pickford, Keane, Klaassen and Rooney will straight away enter the starting XI.

I am 95% sure that we will get another Centre Back (having lost Funes Mori to injury and having loaned out Galloway, Browning and Pennington) – leaving us with only Keane, Williams, the ageing Jags and Holgate.

Buying another striker is a no-brainer – Giroud, Benteke or another. I would like to see another LB to provide competition to Baines, who is way past his best.

With the emergence of Dowell and Davies, I would seriously question plonking 㿔-50 million on Sigurdsson. We narrowly dodged a bullet last summer with Sissoko (㿊 million).

My choices would be (at this point of time): Ben Gibson, Benteke, Luke Shaw – that could easily cost us 䀆-100 million.

Ray Roche
61 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:20:52
Michael (#54),

He must be a riot on a night out...

Ronnie Pearce
62 Posted 20/07/2017 at 18:25:12
Trevor (#56), if I replace your first paragraph with,

I look forward to Darren's posts, his unyielding gloom always provokes a lengthy debate which forces "Koeman groupies" (Ed @36 – much more succinct than "apologists") to defend the current manager, then I agree with the rest of your post.

Lest we forget, it will take an enormous effort by Everton to challenge the teams at the top of the table on a consistent basis. Isn't that what we would all like to happen?

There would have to be a lot of pieces fall into place for Everton to achieve that within Koeman's 3-year "project" timeline.

Maybe the perception of a typical Koeman team will change over the course of this season. He seems to have more resources than he has had with other Southampton and teams in the Dutch league.

Or aren't coaches allowed to evolve without snide remarks such as "it took an injury" or "circumstances forced a change" to be bandied about

If we bridge the gap to the top consistently within 5 years with an odd cup win, I would be delighted.

Andy Crooks
65 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:00:54
Darren, you remind me of Clive James and Martin Amis (not in your prose style, by the way). Just because, like them, you are great commentating on other posts, some great, pertinent stuff. However, your own stuff seems a bit lame.
Darren Hind
66 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:19:45
Jay Rodriguez had scored 17 goals (more than Lukaku) when an ACL injury ended his season in 2014. He had been an absolute revelation, Chelsea, Liverpool, Man Utd, Man City — he didn't care, he scored against the fucking lot of them. No flat-track bully jibes could be aimed at this fella.

He didn't kick a ball the next season and hardly featured the season after that. It's a long way back from an ACL injury, but I saw signs that he was coming back last season. Of course he was a gamble, but so is signing an ageing superstar who will never shine as brightly again, and a youngster from Holland who has zero experience of English football. He was a gamble we should have taken.

I suggest those who scoff at the idea of him scoring more than anyone we have signed are in for a nasty shock... we'll see.The article was not about Rodriguez. He was just one example, there are other strikers on the move.

My post was not a "thinly disguised" attack on the manager, it was an out-and-out attack on a coach who seems to be obsessed with keeping goals out. A manager who has no idea how to deal with flair... who thinks there is only one end to a football pitch (the one you are defending). His transfers are a living testimony to that.

I don't speak with 'Hindsight' either. I nailed my colours up before the transfer window opened; I'm doing so now... and I will nail them when the window closes and I'm proved right... that he spends most of the Lukaku money on players who he thinks will guard our goal rather than trouble the opposition's.

Comments about "not clapping for a dying fairy", "the earth is flat", "Bahhhh"... ."Donkey parts" or the blindingly insightful "It's not just about goals" don't/won't deter me from raising legitimate criticism. They merely prove to me that those posting these pearls of wisdom simply can't offer a counter argument to the facts and opinions I voiced.

About half a dozen people actually agree with me on this thread. I hope it didn't go unnoticed that every single one of them had something to say.

I will enjoy the company and the laughs of about a dozen people before every game. Have done for years... You see, I worked out the difference between criticising a manager who has depressed many an Evertonian with dour defensive tactics, and being negative and miserable. I've also worked out the difference between supporting such shite, and being "positive" and "happy".

Ciarán McGlone
68 Posted 20/07/2017 at 19:29:48
I wasn't impressed with Koeman last year at all, but I'm willing to see what he does with the team he has assembled this season. He has nowhere to hide after the additions he has made.

I hope he does well, but he needs to start justifying his hype.

Mike Green
69 Posted 20/07/2017 at 20:45:09
This is why we have asylums.
Jon Withey
70 Posted 20/07/2017 at 21:07:20
I will be disappointed to see Iheanacho go to Leicester too. Is the obsession with Sigurdsson healthy?
Jay Harris
71 Posted 20/07/2017 at 21:15:49

Why don't you send your resume to Moshiri? You obviously know far more than our current manager, who you have consistently mocked since the day he was appointed.

Colin Glassar
72 Posted 20/07/2017 at 21:19:10
That's mean, Jay,. Darren just misses Johnny Carey and the olden days.
Dan Davies
73 Posted 20/07/2017 at 22:14:28
Rodriguez IMHO is not the answer but Darren is correct in his view – we need a goalscorer. Wayne will score, I've no doubt ,and so will Sandro, but we need an edge up front – do we have it?
David Chait
74 Posted 20/07/2017 at 22:18:52
To answer the question, which a few have done to be fair better than I could, yes.

As we exited the season 3 positions were critical to me: Keeper, new CB and a creative midfielder.

We got, I have read, the best young keeper in the country with distribution you don't often see from an English keeper.

One of the top performing "young but not youth, centre-backs from last year. Let's see how he does but we signed the right age as we had to "old" centre-backs and one youthful centre-back in Holgate. Oh and a useless one in Funes Mori.

Then we got Rooney! We might have the best flipping creative attacking midfielder in the country ! Sure he is an ancient 31 and come off a couple poor seasons.. can't wait to see that Rooney vision for assists at play!

Then add in Klaassen who is a proper goal scoring Number 8 or even Number 10 if we need him to be. Sandro let's not get ahead of ourselves, but who isn't excited!

This before we at last lost our striker... now we do need a heavyweight striker to make up for losing Rom. But let's see what happens. Too early to say nothing in the pipeline.

Oh and for one I don't want to see Sigurdsson come if I'm honest. I would rather see Dowell and Lookman given game time. "When" Barkley goes, that does change that though, although I feel Klaassen would walk straight into the Barkley role... or Sandro possibly.

Sam Hoare
75 Posted 20/07/2017 at 22:30:54
I agree we still need some more creativity and in particular goals. I don't see a reliable out and out goalscoring striker in our squad yet. Hernandez and Iheanacho might have been on my list but let's see what Koeman/Walsh have got planned...

Koeman may be defensive minded but he's made a point of saying we need more 'productivity'. Tight defense and a productive forward line? Sounds like a reasonable plan to me...

Fran Mitchell
76 Posted 20/07/2017 at 22:35:21
Over the top as ever. I seem to remember the same person a year or so ago going on about how we should get shot of Lukaku. Constantly going on about him being a 13-goal-a-season striker... Now apparently it is this same striker's departure that means Koeman is useless. As If Lukaku left because of Koeman. Haha!

Anyway. Yes, we needed a keeper. We needed a tall and quality centre-half, we needed an attacking midfielder and we needed a striker. So far, all players signed were needed, minus maybe Cuco Martina but he was free and will hardly play.

Yes, we need more players still. A wide man with creativity and pace. A striker... ideally 2. Also, another defender and left-back would be handy.

Much depends on what Koeman sees for the kids: Does he expect Dowell to play a big role? Does he have confidence in Holgate at centre-half? Will Lookman push for a starting place?

And the way Mr Hind puts it, Koeman has us playing like Greece in '04. Heck, If Koeman convinced Suarez, Ronaldo and Messi to join us he'd moan at the lack of' sell on value and say they only came cause of the chips.

Denis Richardson
77 Posted 20/07/2017 at 22:54:29
Darren, we know you're not a big fan of Ronald Koeman but there's no need to write a long winded article about whether we're signing the right players as a not so subtle dig at the manager, who you haven't rated since he joined.

Fact is we needed a decent goalkeeper, tick. We needed a new decent centre-back, tick. We needed more quality central-midfielders, tick. We needed an experienced back up at right-back, tick. We desperately needed firepower up front. Sandro tick, hopefully another striker to come (I still don't think Rooney will add much on the pitch personally).

We're not even into August and you're knocking the signings when in yesteryear we were crying out for any signings before the end of August!

Koeman's come in, taken a team that finished 11th two years running and in his first season got them up to 7th (all fact btw). On top of that he's shipped out a ton of utter dross left over from the Moyes and Martinez era and brought in better players. Not to mention the many youngsters being brought in that will hopefully produce a few first-teamers in the next 2-4 years.

How about we simply wait until the season has started and see what happens before casting judgment? The likes of Pickford, Keane, Sandro and Klaassen are all quality additions to the squad and we're not even into August yet.

I know it's hard for you in particular but try and buck the TW trend for a change and slap a smile on your face. FFS look at the club today and compare it to just 2-3 years ago and at least recognise and appreciate there has been a paradigm shift!

If you can't be hopeful with what's gone on recently then I'm afraid you're simply beyond saving.

Alasdair Mackay
78 Posted 20/07/2017 at 23:13:04
I don't think the squad is where any of us would like it to be, but there is danger of making too much change in 1 window.

At least 5 of our summer signings already are gonna be first team players and Lukaku's and Barkley's situations mean we could have as many as 7 positional changes between our line-ups on the last day of last season and the first day of this.

I worry it is already too much to not lose a step due to team gelling.

I think we need to be patient. We have a good squad and we will spend again in January.

Chris Gould
79 Posted 20/07/2017 at 23:17:57
Darren, you start off by stating that Koeman doesn't deserve credit for signing Gueye and Van Dijk because the clubs were determined to get them before he arrived? Koeman tried to buy Gueye in 2015 before he joined Villa. Walsh also wanted him. Gueye was on Koeman's radar long before he came to us.

Every club knew about Van Dijk, but not before Koeman who has known him since he was a kid. The reason Van Dijk agreed to go to Southampton was almost certainly because he knows and respects Koeman and shares the same agent.

Players come to play for Koeman because he is a former world class player who commands respect. Keane feels that he can learn from him. Sandro will have idolised him as a former Barça player. Klaassen will have idolised him as a Dutch legend.

If you had your way, Unsworth would be in charge (you said this last season). Do you really believe any of the players Koeman has bought would have come with Unsworth in charge?

You would have Unsworth as manager and Jay Rodriguez as our main striker?!! Talk about accepting mediocrity.

Darren, everyone is feeling positive. We've bought quality for the first team, exciting prospects for the U23s and U19s. Koeman and Walsh are clearly looking to purchase a striker and creative player. They are the toughest players to buy and it may take a few more weeks to get them, but they will.

As for Josh King, he has had half a good season. Before that he was poor. We're looking for proven premier league quality and King hasn't proven himself to be that yet. Giroud is quality and he is clearly our first choice, but we need a little patience now as it's trickier to buy players of his proven quality. As we're finding out with Sigurdsson.

Your dislike of Koeman is boring and it's getting the better of you.

Gavin Johnson
80 Posted 20/07/2017 at 23:32:07
"Is Koeman buying the right players?" I don't know, but I do know that Jay Rodriguez isn't the answer and a crocked 㾸m Saints reject isn't good enough to lead the line for Everton.

Darren Hind
81 Posted 20/07/2017 at 23:38:01

Nowhere do I say I want Rodriguez as the main striker and to call Unsworth mediocre defies belief... On what grounds?

If you want to believe Koeman tried to sign Gana before he went to Villa, that's your prerogative,

Btw, the signing of Van Dijk: read what Les Reed has to say about that, then read what the player says on signing... no mention of Koeman.

Tom Bowers
82 Posted 20/07/2017 at 23:46:05
Some people will never be happy. Even if ''their'' team wins the league they will always express the negative side like the few games they lost or the players they don't like or even the manager. That's why we love democracy because we can express ourselves and not be jailed for it with some exceptions of course.

Koeman will live or die by his new players and his tactics so he has the inside track on who he wants. How they perform on the field is another matter because of the old saying 'you can take a horse to water but you cannot make him drink'.

Yes, he will have the selection duties and the tactical approach and at the end of each match day will get the accolades or the criticism depending on the result. Last season when Lukaku didn't score and Everton didn't get the win then Lukaku and the manager got all the stick, even the goalkeeper.

Well, he has been and gotten the best young keeper in England but will that shut up the goalkeeper critics? Of course it won't. I still think we need another class striker but Koeman may feel that he has enough. We shall see.

Don Alexander
83 Posted 20/07/2017 at 00:23:01
Darren (#66), you seem to pay no attention to the fact that your anti-Koeman mania has been repeated ad nauseam by you. Your posts are like a record where the needle's stuck in the groove. They've long since been boring to most of us, hence the scant respect offered in response on this thread by many more than your perceived half-dozen supporters. Change the record, please.

For the record I too would like to see our team stuffed full of scintillating attackers taking the 1970 Brazil attitude into every match, confident they'd outscore any opponent and then proving it with glorious fantasy football.

Unfortunately though, in this day and age there's not a team on the planet that's able to be so cavalier because defence is key for success.

The good news for you in your fixated state is that Ron's only got two years left to get the team qualified for the Champions League. If I were as certain as you are that he'll fail I'd probably opt to do something else during that time. Something you'd enjoy, leaving most of us to enjoy Everton and TW whilst your doing it.

All the best!

Darren Hind
84 Posted 21/07/2017 at 05:30:27
Yeah, Don.

You are one of several people who can't wait to come on and tell me how disinterested in my posts they are... it's not obligatory to read them. If I see a post I'm not interested in, I simply glide over it.

I guess the difference between you and me is I don't want to silence opinion contrary to my own. I will either tackle it or ignore it.

Last time I looked, this was still a democracy.

John G Davies
85 Posted 21/07/2017 at 06:55:55
The squad has improved from last season. I don't think anyone could put a reasonable argument against that.

I personally haven't spoken to anyone who considers our defence "sorted " goals conceded went down from the previous season so an improvement but certainly not sorted in the long term. Sorted for last season yes, but using the fact that he has bought better centre half's against him is foolish. It's like saying I've got Aguero playing up front so I've got no need for Messi.

To sign a player who suffered an ACL would be a major gamble, a gamble not worth taking in my opinion. Especially so for a one in four striker.

We need, and will sign, a centre forward. If we know it I think it is safe to say Ron knows it.


These are hardly signings of a manager with the sole intention who "thinks there is only one end to a football pitch".

Dave Wilson
86 Posted 21/07/2017 at 07:16:23
I don't think the OP suggests we shouldn't buy better defenders.

The message is clear: we haven't invested enough of the money in threatening the opposition and if it was delivered by somebody who hadn't repeatedly antagonized Koeman's loyal fans, most of the OP would be difficult to argue with.

To describe Rodriguez as a 1 in 4 scorer is a little misleading; it's also untrue. The last two seasons have been made up of cameo appearances by a man who is recovering from a bad injury. In his last full season, his stats were among Europe's best.

I wouldn't buy him though: too much of a gamble. Two years out would need a Peter Reidesque recovery. Not sure that's even possible with the pace of the game today?

Peter Warren
87 Posted 21/07/2017 at 07:40:06
I disagree in part with the article. We needed a new keeper and centre back and midfielder who gets goals and gets around the pitch and we got them. I still think we need a left back and centre back so no problem if Koeman buys more defensive reinforcements.

We have also bought 3 forwards two of which I suspect will start 50% of our games.

Most fans can see we are light in the attacking department and need more. I believe we will get at least two more attackers ready to play in the first team immediately. It's all good.

I would hope we keep Barkley but that looks increasingly unlikely. Also I would prefer a Lanzini, Silva (that Arsenal Spanish genius forget his name) in midfield. Instead Koeman & Walsh are obsessed with Sigurdsson who is totally different. However, clearly they want go play different than that type of creative genius player. We also have Dowell who I hope can be that type of player for us.

I'm very happy with the signings and actually not bothered about Lukaku going but would like a proper striker to replace him. Maybe this Belgium hotshot we've loaned is the guy. I have no idea but confident we will eventually get right players under the management team. I think the signings look world class actually and am very very pleased.

Ian Hollingworth
88 Posted 21/07/2017 at 07:53:39
Yes, he is buying the players we need. Yes,we still need more quality. No it will not be the finished article as the team needed completely overhauling and that will take a few seasons.

I am amused that you think we have one of the biggest war chests in world football as at the end of the transfer window I would wager that most of the 6 clubs who finished above us will have a higher net spend than us.

We are improving the team and we do need to be excited about the coming season as we have been treading water for far too long. Let's enjoy the ride and who knows where it will take us.

Ray Roche
89 Posted 21/07/2017 at 07:56:36
Darren (#66)

Rodriguez, "but I saw signs that he was coming back last season."

It's a pity you didn't tell Southampton. They see him every day and, despite their fans calling for more and better players to be brought in, sent him packing to WBA and that master tactician of dross, Pulis. With such insight, you should surely be with a top Premier League club, "doing a Walsh", instead of boring people shitless with your constant whinging about Koeman.

Would he have done a job for us? Maybe, if he wasn't doing a Darren Gibson on the treatment table. Thankfully we'll never know.

Drew O'Neall
90 Posted 21/07/2017 at 08:18:34
Mandzukic and Van Dijk and we're challenging for the title.

You'd have to be an optimist to think this squad, minus Barkley, is going to achieve a higher league position than the last one.

There has to be more to come.

Trevor Peers
91 Posted 21/07/2017 at 08:28:16
A lot of posts are stating they are happy with the new signings but, Rooney apart, I'd say all the other signings represent a calculated gamble, and are not therefore certain to produce the goods. The proof will be in how they perform as a team, nobody knows the outcome yet, so it would be wildly optimistic to get too excited at this stage.

For sure Koeman's next two buys must be quality attacking players and seasoned Premier League campaigners, which we seem to be woefully short of.

Dan Nulty
92 Posted 21/07/2017 at 08:36:09
Check out Sandro's finishing on the Everton feed from training on Twitter. Easy double figures this year.

Darren, completely understand what you are saying, mate, I'm not sure why you need to be so negative though. We've not been this active in the market for many a year and surely we have to be positive about that?

You can't change a team around in one window, look at Tottenham, bought how many players after Bale left and took two seasons before they started to see the benefit.

We will be top 7 again, I think it is about next season for me when we will see a real step change.

Tom Dodds
93 Posted 21/07/2017 at 08:39:35
He's just sold the player we needed. Everton: "Supporting Man Utd's trophy needs since 2004"

Yes, I've written this on the back of Lukaku's goal against Man City last night and the shallow wanker's badge-kissing antics. It just all sucks feeding them all the fuckin' time.

Tony Abrahams
94 Posted 21/07/2017 at 08:43:36
I think if the window shut now then most of us would know that the squad still falls a bit short, but I think we have done really well up to now, with the money received from player sales.

Only Lukaku was a certain starter, but take away his goals, and we had a pretty static centre forward who was hard to play off, so for that reason, his transfer doesn't really worry me that much.

We have a much better squad now, despite many of us thinking that Martinez had one of the best squads at Everton, for a long time, and we now seem to be signing players that have a lot more intent, to their game.

Darren, if your mates ever get bored of you, give us a shout, because you are deffo one of the people I would enjoy debating Everton with in the boozer, and I'm sure we could also have a laugh!

On a more serious point, it's not the football that I'm missing at the minute, but not hearing from George before his voyage to the "holy ground" is something I hope to read next Thursday night!

Ste Lewis
95 Posted 21/07/2017 at 09:05:08
Bit of an aside but the new ticket purchasing system on the website is very impressive.

Just booked for Thursday – you can see your actual seats in the stand and check your 360° view to avoid obstructions etc rather than selecting from a row of unhelpful blue dots and taking pot luck. Can't wait to see the new lads in action!

Chris Gould
96 Posted 21/07/2017 at 09:10:36
Darren( #81),

It was widely reported that Koeman was trying to buy Gueye in the 2015 summer transfer window. You can Google it and find the old 2015 Guardian and Daily Mail articles reporting his disappointment at not being able to get a deal completed for him.

Every club including Southampton knew about Van Dijk, but not before Koeman. Do you really not accept that he would have been a deciding factor for Van Dijk agreeing to join Southampton? Come on, mate, he grew up idolising Koeman. The families are friends and they share an agent.

As great a job as Unsworth has done in the U23s, right now he's a complete unknown and wouldn't be a manager that these foreign signings would be interested in playing for. Do you think Keane would be more likely to come to our club to learn from Koeman or Unsworth? Be honest.

Anyway, I actually enjoy your posts regarding Koeman because they always make me either laugh or shake my head in disbelief. Always some kind of reaction.

You should recognise that you have lost a little objectivity regarding Koeman because of your obvious dislike of him. It's far easier to accept some of your negative opinions of him, if you at least try and recognise the obvious positives.

Dave Abrahams
97 Posted 21/07/2017 at 09:15:19
Darren Hind, if you read Tony (#94), go for a drink with him by all means, as you both know your football, but make sure Tony is drinking coffee, or better still... milk!!!
Jim Harrison
98 Posted 21/07/2017 at 09:34:31
Darren. For the first time ever, I agree with you: We do need another striker. From there on, you must simply be baiting.

Defence did improve last season, but still needs improvement. Need to add more goals? Adds three players capable of scoring to increase goal threat. Add Sigurdsson and a striker and we have lost 25 goals (from a player who was always leaving) and gain at a modest estimate 40 across a better spread.

I appreciate you don't rate the manager, your opinion is you own and you are entitled to it. It's just that often I think your opinion is just a load of misconceived blather.

Regret not signing Rodriguez? Are you mad, sir? That not good enough for Southampton line of yours is easily cast aside.

Arthur Westhead
99 Posted 21/07/2017 at 10:05:56
Well, this is one of the most ridiculous pieces of rubbish ever written on ToffeeWeb.

Koeman inherited a team that had lost confidence, no organisation and was only going downwards. Our football last season was not great, but somehow he stopped us losing and got us winning games again. To finish 7th was a great improvement.

Losing Bolasie to a serious injury was bad luck – he wasn't exactly the answer but at times he changed games and his pace was always an outlet.

He brought in Schneiderlin – excellent. We now have Keane, Pickford, Klaassen (quality player and looked good in his first game) and Sandro who could be terrific. Rooney still has a few good years in him, but obviously not every single Premier League and Europa League game.

My main criticism of this article is that there are still weeks to go before the transfer window closes – so let's see what happens. We know you dislike Koeman, but to be so critical now is just plain stupid – and unfair.

Kevin Tully
100 Posted 21/07/2017 at 10:43:56
I have to ask, Dazza, do you read the first three pages of a book and lash it in the bin? Or watch the opening lines of a movie, then walk out of the cinema? As has been pointed out, this is all a bit premature isn't it? It's not September the 1st mate, when this article should have been posted.

One thing I will agree on though, Koeman doesn't have anywhere to hide this season. Making excuses for every Everton manager is wearing thin. With the money available and the signings already made, we have to be challenging for a Champions League spot, or actually winning one of those shiny things. We should also be witnessing better footy, especially away from home, no doubt about it.

I'll wait until the new year though, before I start to make a definitive judgement on whether Koeman is the man to deliver.

Andrew Heffernan
102 Posted 21/07/2017 at 12:50:50
Darren, do you miss the turgid dragged-out end of Moyes era and the magic (cough) of Martinez that much?

I respect your view but we're a stronger squad and arguably a stronger club than we have had or been in a decade and the window's not closed yet.

My only fear is that players may take a long time to gel or that Koeman continuously tinkers with the squad... either way, we're moving forward, which will take another season or two (and windows); and we are unlikely to regress.

Jim Knightley
104 Posted 21/07/2017 at 13:25:24
It is interesting how you fail to engage with the very many criticisms, Darren – which is the dominant reaction to your article. For example – who said Everton didn't need defenders? Should Koeman not have bothered buying key defensive players given our weakness there?

If Koeman cannot handle flair and attacking players, why did Mane and Tadic do so well under him?

The Rodriguez interest you mention from other big clubs – where is the evidence? I've seen you bizarrely deride our signings because of interest from no one above us (a false claim) but you claim all this Rodriguez interest without a shred of evidence. And he had one good Premier League season – not five. He scored 15 league goals – not 20. And he is also better as a second striker or cutting in off the left hand side but not leading the line.

We need someone to lead the line – Rooney and Sandro both peel off and come deep for the ball – we don't need another one.

There is a point in your argument but it is lost in bizarre claims and marked by a complete lack of nuance and context.

As others have said, there is time to go yet. We need three buys imo – a striker (Dembele), an attacking midfielder to replace Barkley if he goes (Lanzini) and a left back, or centre-back that can play left back (Bertrand).

Ciaran O'Brien
105 Posted 21/07/2017 at 13:51:44
It really annoys me when people want us to sign mediocre players who have had one good season or half a season like Rodriguez and bloody Josh King. I'd rather our youngsters play than signing these guys. We need real quality that are consistent and who aren't bottlers.

We look as if we addressed some of these issues in the squad with getting leaders at the back, midfield and up front. Pickford is a risk since he is one of those coming off a good season at a shite team and we paid an absolute fortune for him.

I expect us to strengthen the remaining weak spots at left back, Striker and a central playmaker. I'd prefer someone other than Gylfi who is more agile and like a Silva, Coutinho type.

Perhaps a left-sided centre-half as well. A quality winger might be needed too, Berardi perhaps.

Tony Hill
106 Posted 21/07/2017 at 16:36:15
I've just cheered myself up by imagining Lookman and Onyekuru operating in the same side in a year or so.
Paul Tran
107 Posted 21/07/2017 at 17:06:01
I liked Darren's post. It made me question my optimism for the coming season and on balance, I'm still optimistic.

Very true that we played awful football last season. It was clear he didn't trust the forward players, bar Lukaku. I agreed with him. Just wished he'd gone out and bought some. Also true that he focused on the defence. Probably because it had been ignored the previous two seasons.

As I've said previously, I'm hoping last season was about steadying the ship and this season is when we start to push on.

I'm happy with the new signings so far and the speed of the business. I was resigned to Lukaku leaving and I'm ambivalent about Barkley.

I want another striker and a bit of craft in midfield. These were the signings I was expecting to come later in the window, so I'm not concerned yet.

Koeman got a free pass from me last year. He inherited a team of half-decent players, several of whom were past their best, too inconsistent, or not good enough. He got us into Europe. No big deal, a solid start.

Now it's his team, he's spent (and will hopefully spend more) money on players he wants. So there's no excuses. I always expect top six. This season, I want to be entertained, I want to be lifted off my seat more often. I want to see us on a bus in town waving a cup. I want to see us push the teams above us properly.

I'm more optimistic than in many a year. Doesn't mean I think everything is perfect. No excuses, time to deliver.

Mike Bird
109 Posted 21/07/2017 at 22:31:37
I used to think Phil Walling was a bit negative but he's got nothing on you, Darren!
Rob Dolby
111 Posted 22/07/2017 at 14:53:15
Law of averages and prior history tells us that we will be lucky if 2 of our latest signings hit the ground running. One thing is for sure we are better dealing in the prospect market rather than the sell to buy market of the previous decades.

Ronald Koeman isn't everyone's cup of tea... his matter-of-fact style is more serious unlike the empty soundbites of Roberto or lowering negative tones of Moyes. Koeman's reputation and our new-found wealth is the attraction – let's just hope the players gel and we start cracking that glass ceiling.

Anto Byrne
112 Posted 22/07/2017 at 17:58:50
I think the team is less one-dimensional now. The threat comes from many players and we also have Coleman and Bolasie to return. I'm hoping Barkley stays and works with Rooney. This term we have to improve the away form and of course build on our fortress home form.

Can we compete with the top 6 above us? I suppose if we can do a Leicester then yes. This season I want to bury the Red Shite and get to a couple of cup finals and that will be progress. Looking forward to the season and doing well. COYB.

Jerome Shields
113 Posted 22/07/2017 at 00:00:12
I think you are right. The danger signs are there. A Manager who can't get the best from players and fades them out, eventually moving to clubs wherein they do well.

Not being able to keep players, what does that say about the experience they had and expectations in the year they saw Koeman in action?

Signing of players under-performing at their previous clubs. Will the tactics improve this season?

Dave Ganley
114 Posted 23/07/2017 at 14:09:50
Or Jerome, a manager that sees some players for what they are, under-performing prima donnas who bottle the big games and gets rid as soon as possible. He is also getting rid of Martinez style lower mentality players and replacing them with winners whose attitude will rub off on others, ie, Rooney and Klaassen.

Danger signs are there? Where? Fact is we have started preseason okay, unbeaten (granted preseason doesn't stand for much but much better than getting beat).

There has been enough in the games to date to suggest that there will be some good football, the goals we have scored have been crackers and also from different sources rather than just Lukaku and some of the play for the goals have been excellent.

Yesterday, we had 5 new signings in the starting line up, it's going to take a while for everything to gel but it doesn't look none too bad so far. Let's see how the first half of the season pans out before moving to the "glass half-empty" scenario.

Paul Tran
115 Posted 23/07/2017 at 14:21:25
Interesting stuff, James. He 'couldn't keep' Stones & Lukaku, who both stated they wanted to leave before Koeman came to the club. He 'fazed out' Deulofeu, who would be a great player if there were no opponents on the pitch and apparently Barkley, who is a model of inconsistency.

He inherited a team of decent players that lacked a winner's mentality. Remember Martinez saying he needed seven players at the end of his first season? He was right then and Koeman's right now.

I'm happy with who we've brought in early. I'd like more additions: Sigurdsson; at least one striker; and someone who can cross a ball. Don't all have to be superstars. Remember how valuable the likes of Harper and Richardson were?

John G Davies
116 Posted 23/07/2017 at 14:24:24
Jerome (#113),

Who were the players he moved out you consider to have done well?

Barry Jones
119 Posted 24/07/2017 at 01:55:21
Darren, I sincerely hope that you enjoyed writing that piece more than we enjoyed reading it.
David Pearl
120 Posted 24/07/2017 at 02:18:34
I wonder if Deulofeu will be available for loan in January? We are currently playing 4-3-3:

Barkley, Lukaku, Bolasie;
Klaassen, Rooney, Sandro?

Which is better?

Gueye, Barry, McCarthy;
Gueye, Schneiderlin, Davies?

Are we really improving our starting 11 or improving the depth of our squad?

Coleman, Williams, Funes Mori, Baines;
Holgate, Williams, Keane, Baines?

We need a couple more that will make a real difference. Not that I'm moaning, of course.

Jim Potter
121 Posted 24/07/2017 at 19:09:25
Not so long ago under Martinez, everyone seemed to be complaining about how we could no longer defend. Now, we have some great young talent that make us appear a lot more solid and the manager is accused of concentrating solely on defence. Er... have you seen who else we've signed? Are these not potentially exciting and creative players?

Hello! The window is still wide open. For another month.

You cannot please all the people all of the time. You cannot please some people any of the time, it seems.

Normally we do a tiny bit of cheap-skate business late in August and we all feel decidedly underwhelmed and deflated when it closes. This time, we've done a load of very sound business early doors and we still have plenty of time to get others in – such as a striker, Gylfi Sigurdsson, etc etc.

No one knows what's going on behind the scences. What signings have been tried and failed? The players we are really after and that could be announced at any time. Whether these will be the game changing players of this new era just like the oddities of Reid and Gray were all those years ago – who knows?

Opposing managers don't just bow down and say “Here, Ronald, please take my best goal scorer”. Some things take time.

If we didn't get anyone else in I'd still be made up compared to previous years. It's going to take some time and a lot of effort to get in those we still need. You cannot shoot the chef whilst he's still adding the ingredients. Well, I couldn't.

You ask who will create and score our goals? I think we have a lot of these guys already. Add the striker that Koeman and Walsh are trying to bring in and I'm feeling pretty happy with what we have.

Just how Koeman is responsible for Lukaku wanting to leave and go to Man Utd or Chelsea is beyond me and very unfair on the manager. Rom had that ilk of team written all over him the last couple of years. How exactly would you have kept him at Everton, Darren?

What isn't Koeman to blame for might be an easier starting point. We all have different opinions and views and therefore if you or I held the Goodison purse strings we'd end up with a myriad of different players that everyone else on this site would invariably hate. This is why we have the manager and Mr Walsh. Not Darren or Jim – but people who have spent a lifetime in the game and kind of know a bit more about things than we do. It's up to you whether you trust them or agree with them.

What I cannot understand is why some people would willingly see us fail just so that they could bleet out – “Told you so” (not accusing you Darren of this sin, but they're on this site).

I am unashamedly positive. The revolution is evolving and I'm feeling pretty darn good.

David Ellis
122 Posted 25/07/2017 at 04:03:02
David Pearl (#120) – you have quite a good argument about whether the new players overall improve our quality. But I think they do and your combinations don't really reflect that Klaassen is a midfielder rather than in the front three.

The defence is clearly stronger with Pickford and Keane far superior to whoever they replace. We will however miss Coleman for the time being.

Midfield will be Gueye, Schneiderlin and Klaassen. From the end of last season this really means Klaassen in for Davies which I think is an improvement (but we'll see).

In the front three, we have lost Lukaku. A couple of more players to come in but net I don't think we'll see an overall improvement in the attack.

Overall -– defence and midfield better. Attack – not so much. But what matters is how it all hangs together.

Lee Brownlie
123 Posted 25/07/2017 at 05:10:26
Yeah, sod Koeman, right? Why see the light, the positives, when we can just as easy look back into the dark?

Some people just gotta whinge!! Go back to bed, close the curtains, and leave the rest of us to hope to for a better coming season!!

We all know how things might turn out, we're not stupid but, hey – most of us are actually pretty excited about going into the new season with some new personnel and... always... fresh hopes!! COYTs!!!

Stephen McNally
124 Posted 25/07/2017 at 10:14:49
I think people need to be more patient with regard to Everton's "on-going project". Would any of Everton's latest additions make it into any of the top six teams? Of course they would.

People forget that Lukaku was deemed not good enough to play at the top level and was subsequently released by Chelsea. Well, I don't need to elaborate on what's happened since.

As for Everton lacking pace and creative output in the final third, has it slipped people's attention that Everton beat a long list of clubs to snap up Onyekuru and we also have another up and coming star in Lookman as well as a soon to return Bolasie? With a spine that consists of: Pickford, Keane, Davies and Ramirez I think the foundations have been set to make Everton a top team for many years.

With regard to the fans, give our players plenty of support and encouragement because being overly critical helps no-one. COYB.

Paul A Smith
125 Posted 29/07/2017 at 21:06:54
Some great points In my opinion Darren. Just been discussing something similar to this post with another blue. I totally feel the bit about fans jumping the gun too quickly.

The praise for Klaassen the other night has been absurd. It was a friendly more or less and people were trying to find ways to fall in love with players before they know anything about them.

Why can't we just learn what the player is about. Look at the love for Morgan Slidinin as the Saints fans call him. He has started his Everton career fairly okay but away from home he is non-existent. No way am I praising players who only give their best at Goodison Park.

Spurs away last season he was terrible and if Barkley gave the same performance he'd have been destroyed.

Darren discusses flair. And again I feel he is spot on. We have spent on Bolasie, Lookman and now surely Sigurdsson to all play wide. Big money spent to see Calvert-Lewin play there.

Fair dos Bolasie we can't do anything about but my word what is going on with priorities? We need pace desperately. He's bought 𧴜 millions worth of no pace or major goal threat.

Sandro should get better but hes got to adjust and he shouldn't be carrying the goal burden anyway when you are about to spend 㿞 million.

Paul A Smith
126 Posted 29/07/2017 at 21:37:16
Ralph post 1. Doesn't add up mate. Your talking about 4 players there to replace what Lukaku did.

The extra 15 you mention would have to come from players other than the ones you mentioned seeing as they are another 15 goals, or 10 of them are at least.

Seems slightly out of sight for me that one considering 90% of the rest are not a goal threat or haven't been.

Eric Myles
127 Posted 02/08/2017 at 06:44:27
At last... a link with a player from the Italian league after Walsh's trip to Italy.


He's Dutch of course!

Clive Lewis
128 Posted 08/08/2017 at 22:37:39
What happened to bids for ineacho and Hernandez, it seems like Koeman is buying players that are safe. Been there done it or maybe been there not done it.

Not sure but apart from Pickford these are not risky purchases, but what they do provide is unmotivated learned helplessness.

I am thinking that Koeman is a slippers and pipe sort of bloke. When asked if he's going to clip it he does it at the last minute. You older folk all remember that...

I am fearing a ponderous team of plodding donkeys, it was a good idea at the time, kids loved them once.

Apart from Davis, Gueye, Pickford and maybe Sandro not sure we have much to be excited about.

Rooney, Klaassen, Schneiderlin, Baines, Keane, Jagielka, Williams, Mirallas, Lennon, McCarthy, Besic – I fear these may become next season's donkey rides...

Bill Gall
129 Posted 08/08/2017 at 23:14:57
I do not think he is buying what we want but he is buying players he believes he needs. He is the one with his head on the chopping block in a make or break season.

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