Koeman: No one is more ambitious than I am

Thursday, 21 September, 2017 149comments  |  Jump to most recent
Ronald Koeman has dismissed suggestions that he lacks ambition because he has downplayed his team's chances of finishing in the top four this season.

The Dutchman was visibly irked by the suggestion made by Jose Mourinho in his programme notes ahead of last weekend's clash between Manchester United and Everton that the Toffees should be aiming to end up in the Champions League places because of the money the club spent over the summer.

Everton shelled out what could end up being around £140m on new players during the last transfer window once appearance-related add-ons are factored in but, after recording an opening day-victory against Stoke and almost beating Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, they have lost three Premier League games on the bounce without scoring a goal.

While Koeman expects his side to improve now that a difficult run of fixtures to start the new season is out the way, he used the occasion of his pre-match press conference before Saturday's clash with Bournemouth to restate his belief that this season is too soon to be talking about his young Everton outfit as a top-four team.

“Maybe it was different for everybody because we reached the Europa League [group stage]," he explained. "We had a good game at home and three points against Stoke. We had one point away against Manchester City that [made] everybody maybe expect much more [than] we have showed until now.

“I don't care. I know they (the press) have the easiest job in the world to analyse, to make columns but I know what we are. I know the way to be successful and it's crazy… it's ridiculous to put a lot of pressure on the team by saying we need to finish [with] the top four teams. In my opinion that's ridiculous.

“Everybody got time. Everybody signed new players. We signed also young players and we played yesterday with six, seven boys of 21, 20, 19, 22 and that's the future and that needs time and that's normal.

“Let's take the next step but that doesn't mean we don't have ambition because if there's one person in football who has ambition he's at this table. But I'm realistic and sometimes being realistic in football is difficult.”

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Reader Comments (149)

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Ian Burns
1 Posted 21/09/2017 at 21:46:21
Nobody doubts your personal ambition, Ronald, and despite my own thoughts on the time you should be given, there is value in your claim about the youngsters needing time, as one could say about all of our new signings.

My problem is your tactics because they are not identifiable; your choice of certain players playing out of position; the seeming lack of commitment and even fear against the so-called better teams; the slow play and lack of pace up front.

Will Niasse now be given a chance? Lookman brought on to add pace later in games?

I can't wait to see the team chosen against Bournemouth, it will tell us a lot.

Steve Ferns
2 Posted 21/09/2017 at 21:52:39
Agreed, Ian, especially the last sentence.
Jack Convery
3 Posted 21/09/2017 at 22:05:23
Has he never met Boris Johnson ?
Jeff Armstrong
6 Posted 21/09/2017 at 22:17:26
So, in his mind we had a good home win against Stoke, (reality,... scrappy win,incoherent tactics,6 out of 10 performance) a good draw against Man City (reality,...a lucky draw against 10 men, no bottle to go for win).

Nobody expected anything other than what we got after those 2 performances, tanked at Chelsea, Man Utd and abject surrender at home to Spurs, this guy is delusional if he thought expectations where high after the early results and Europa performances.

Last night was a win against a terrible side in free-fall; if we had been playing a form team from either the Championship or League One, I think it would have been very different. James Vaughan ran Keane ragged all night and could have had a hat-rrick with more luck.

James Stewart
7 Posted 21/09/2017 at 22:17:33
Totally agree Ian, I'm dying to see what the team is on Saturday.

Calvert-Lewin up top, no Rooney slowing things down and pace on the flanks? I highly doubt it.

Would loved to be proved wrong.

Don Alexander
8 Posted 21/09/2017 at 22:22:00
What else is he supposed to say; he doesn't have ambition?

The club, not him unless he's a liar, have spent £140 mill to improve a whole squad that after Lukaku left would in my opinion not have amounted to £140 mill or thereabouts.

Contrast that with the six that finished above us. It's stark. Most have squads that are worth nigh on £1 billion these daft days. That's why I'm enviously encouraged by signing so many youngsters regardless of whether Koeman stays in post. To force our way to top four will require talent and coaching because top-notch expenditure is beyond us and I'm sure Koeman knew that when he signed his contract, two fifths of which are now gone.

Over to you Ronald and good luck too, genuinely, but please get the gel soon!

Jeff Armstrong
9 Posted 21/09/2017 at 22:22:32
James (# 7), I guarantee he will revert to type, Rooney, Sigurdsson, Schneiderlin, Gueye etc.

Calvert-Lewin I think will start though, what position is anyone's guess. Everyone thinks we have no strikers, but two turned up last night. Niasse should be on the bench, purely for the option he gives us.

Gerard Carey
10 Posted 21/09/2017 at 22:57:05
Hope Niasse plays on Saturday, and scores. If only to see if Koeman's face will look like it did on Wednesday night.
Eddie Dunn
11 Posted 21/09/2017 at 22:59:19
Well, I have sympathy with his argument.

It is easy for the media and us to suggest that he should be doing better after such an outlay, but of course most on here realise that it is the net spend which is important.

The real issues are to do with Koeman's tactics and insistence of playing his favourites and players out of position. As welcome as it was to see Calvert-Lewin and Niasse succeed in midweek and the likes of Kenny getting a game, it will all turn to dust if the manager reverts to the Sigurdsson, Rooney, Schniederlin trio in the next match.

Rooney tried his socks off against his old club, but still looked a yard short - a worrying sign.

Siggi does need more games to get up to speed, but surely anyone with an ounce of football knowledge can see that to play both of them is daft.

I am sick of us playing two holding mids and if we can't be trusted to have a real go at Bournemouth, then why did we not get in a quick centre back instead of relying on the likes of jags and Williams(who are backs-to -the -wall defenders).

If I see Calvert-Lewin on the wing I will internally combust. The lad needs to play down the middle. He has the makings of a marvellous striker. In a year we will be fending off all of the big clubs who will be tapping him up at England games.

Davies and Calvert-Lewin are two adventurous young talents to pin our hopes on. If they were at Spurs, they would already be in the England senior team and have articles written all over Fleet Street about them.

Come on,Ron, please let's attack in the next game. Give youth a chance. And put Niasse on the bench along with Lookman again.

Paul Williams
12 Posted 21/09/2017 at 23:31:54
No-one is more ambitious than I am. It's just not with Everton.
Vijay Nair
13 Posted 21/09/2017 at 23:39:50
This is the lineup I would like to see for the next game:

Kenny Keane Holgate Baines
Vlasic Sigurdsson Lookman
Calvert-Lewin or Niasse

Very much doubt it will be though...

Don Alexander
14 Posted 21/09/2017 at 23:48:50
Good points, Eddie Dunn, but I just wonder how badly the abject failure to sign a proper centre-forward or two is?

For me, most professional footballers have a boot size slightly in excess of their real-world IQ. If that's true it may be too much to expect our poor/rich dears, Koeman included, to find a way to score without such a fulcrum. From what we've seen so far this season, it's certainly affected their passing accuracy, but it's early days with a very new squad.

But that's maybe what "gelling" necessitates, I don't know. Hopefully we'll all be a trifle happier come the end of the week-end though.

Andrew James
15 Posted 21/09/2017 at 23:50:11
I suspect the game on Saturday could be similar to the last time Bournemouth visited. They're on a bad run, so are we. Eddie Howe will have them coming at us.

If he goes with two defensive midfielders, we will end up with the usual problem: not getting up the pitch and bringing them on us. We need Davies with Gana in the middle to chase them down and get us up the pitch where it might be a case of having to score more than them.

This will be very interesting and will tell us a lot about Ronald Koeman.

Declan Campbell
16 Posted 21/09/2017 at 23:55:23
Vijay, Rooney was Everton's best player against Man Utd. Niasse is now a better bet than Rooney, or one of those other children you have in your team.
Garry Corgan
17 Posted 22/09/2017 at 00:12:07
We're not good enough for the top 4. Not by quite a long way.

My biggest concern is that we've been shit in every game this season, even the ones we've won, bar Sunderland. No width, no pace and very little goal threat.

Meanwhile he's sold Deulofeu and shown Mirallas the door – two players who do offer pace and width (when they turn up.)

And yes I know Deulofeu had a release clause but I wonder if he might have stayed had he been shown a bit of love and told he was a big part of Koeman's plans.

John Pierce
18 Posted 22/09/2017 at 00:56:09
Go shove your words matey. I wanna see it on the pitch, in your team and in its style.

Everything else is bluster, and protecting your position. Too much tripe has passed under that bridge.

Joe O'Brien
19 Posted 22/09/2017 at 01:10:38
Tomorrow will tell a lot. If he goes back to the same team and tactics, we will get run over and his position will be in serious trouble. If he swallows his pride and plays the same team as Wednesday night, he might well turn things around.

The only change I would make is Sigurdsson instead of Klaassen. Time will tell.

Nicholas Ryan
20 Posted 22/09/2017 at 01:15:18
Bobby Chorizo had a plan; it may have been a bad one; he may have failed to apply it; but it was clear what it was.

The problem is; it's not at all clear what Bertie Edam's plan is. It seems to change from week to week. We can't decide whether his plan is good or bad; or whether he's achieved it or not; because we just don't know, what it is!

David Booth
21 Posted 22/09/2017 at 01:16:31
"...it's ridiculous to put a lot of pressure on the team by saying we need to finish [with] the top four teams."

Well doesn't that quote tell you everything about why he is not the man(ager) for us.

Even seventh, where we finished last year, is apparently being lauded by Koeman as the best we can do.

Surely a total outlay approaching £200m and a whole team full of new players assembled under his 15-month stewardship kindles some form of increased expectation.

I would have thought aspiring to higher things was a vital component in actually achieving them. Instead we have another manager who talks our team down: just the philosophy we need to take us up to the next level.

How can he deliver the necessary improvements, when he has no belief in his – or this team's – ability to provide them?

I cannot wait for him to go.

John Pierce
22 Posted 22/09/2017 at 01:30:35
David, the key, absolute critical element of his appointment was Koeman himself. Couldn't agree more with your sentiment.

Everton needed a manager to help bridge the gap, a short-cut if you like. Unlikely to be able to complete for the top resources paying out for a gifted manager to get us to overachieve.

He patently is so far away from that, miles away. Not even on the road to being that manager.

I cannot see joy returning to the old lady for some time.

Mark Andersson
23 Posted 22/09/2017 at 01:56:26
Gerard Carey: your post made me laugh coz that's what I thought when the camera went on Ron after the Niasse goal. You could see his mind thinking "Oh fuck, he's making me look like a bad manager..."

I have said since day one that he was brought here to do what he done at Southampton. But at least he had them playing some good football. So maybe he is right about taking time...

He is here for another season get use to it, he may well improve things but needs to start doing it now.

Henry Lloyd
24 Posted 22/09/2017 at 03:37:17
Stop whining, Koeman!! Take responsibility for your total inadequacy.

Jose Mourinho was absolutely right to say what he said. You have spent £140 million on absolute shite and you need to recognise that, you absolute pratt!!

Along with thousands of Evertonians, I want you out of my club, you Dutch Muppett. Just go, man, I am sick of the sight of you and even more sick of listening you!!

Jon Withey
25 Posted 22/09/2017 at 03:51:05
He's very muddled, isn't he?

Spent tons of money of players in and around their prime like Schneiderlin, Klaasen, Sigurdsson, Williams but then is looking to youth – although not entirely because he won't play Kenny and he's sent a bunch of others on loan.

He also seems to have alienated a bunch of players, probably to try and raise some cash, like Barkley, McCarthy, Niasse, and Mirallas.

I am sympathetic on the striker situation though and one decent centre-back wasn't enough – the team is simply incomplete and that is why no top 4, regardless.

Dave Lynch
26 Posted 22/09/2017 at 04:19:03
The one thing that's baffling/concerning me is this.

I honestly cannot see the seeds of improvement; we have signed a ruck of players who for me have added nothing of any significance to the team (except Pickford).

If anything, we are IMO playing worse than last season and the whole set up on the pitch looks jittery, lacking in confidence and cohesion.

I don't even get that "It's only a matter of time" vibe from the team. I just pray we get a result every time we step onto the park.

Vijay Nair
27 Posted 22/09/2017 at 04:34:00
Declan (#16), my reason for not picking Rooney is that he slows the play down when we attack. What we need is pace... something he no longer has.
Darren Hind
28 Posted 22/09/2017 at 05:27:09
Anybody else feel absolutely certain that we will look around the team as we line up against Bournemouth and think 31, 32, 33, 35?

Of course youth will be cast aside again. They only played in the first place to give his old brigade a breather.

Koeman has inherited a rich crop of youngsters in Holgate, Davies, Kenny and I will include Calvert-Lewin. He has used Davies, Holgate and Calvert-Lewin as stop gaps, playing them all over the place and he has ignored the obvious claims of young Kenny, preferring a journeyman right back who couldn't get a game for Southampton.

"Ambition" my arse, his ambition starts and ends with staying on board the gravy train to its destination.

An ambitious manager would not play two defensive midfield players at home to Bournemouth, he would not play five at the back, he would reward the efforts of the kid he has so clearly doubted and ignored when all hands have been screaming for his inclusion.

Those who think he will do any of that should get themselves down to the bookies, No rush like... There'll be no queue.

John Pierce
29 Posted 22/09/2017 at 05:54:40
Darren, I could cope with the experienced players, any players in fact, if the system allowed them to perform close to their ability.

The biggest flaw in his fella's selections is simply playing defenders who cling to the 18-yard line. That fabled 3 at the back just allows Jags n Williams to revel in defending and sit there. He asks nothing further of them.

The whole team is dragged back and hence the wing backs become full backs, and those 2 defensive midfieders sat on their laps. It fundamentally kills any attacking intent dead.

To your point he should bite the bullet and pick Holgate & Keane together and coach them! Not because they are young, its simply just appropriate. He has a touch of experience there, that's what makes this all so ludicrous.

I'm personally not sold on Kenny yet. However the aim should be to get the team to start and stay further up the pitch, so maybe. The net affect, in part nullifying the chronic lack of pace up top.

But will he? Course not, it is all about protecting his reputation. Is that really in the interest of the club? Thought not.

Paul Johnson
30 Posted 22/09/2017 at 06:03:32
Darren, I am not against your idyll but do me a favour with your constant negativity.

I was nearly tempted to put "mate" at the end of the last sentence but believe that would fall on deaf ears. I don't think you have any cos the record never changes and I don't think it ever will.

Yep things aren't great at the moment and they possibly won't be in the future but in your world they never will be and to be honest I am tired of your negativity because it is killing debate. Quite simplym if we were top of the league you would still fuckin moan.
Kunal Desai
31 Posted 22/09/2017 at 06:44:35
The only ambition he appears to have is increasing his bank balance with millions. He shows no enthusiasm, passion or emotion when he speaks, he comes across boring just like his style of play.

One of those people who comes into a job, who will look to do a reasonable job knowing they get paid well at the end of it. However, you will not see that person being pro active, just doing whats required and nothing more.

Tony Hill
32 Posted 22/09/2017 at 06:45:46
I think there's been a whiff of hope in the last two games in the attitude of the players and in the semblance of a coherent approach.

Tomorrow will tell us a great deal about whether Koeman, contrary to my expectation, can manage to turn those sparks into something more enduring.

Amit Vithlani
33 Posted 22/09/2017 at 06:46:49
Koeman's words - May 2017 - when linked with the Barca job:

"Everyone knows that I am from Barca, they know my love for a club where I grew up as a player and as a person," he told Spanish newspaperSport.

"In football, as in life, as in business, everything can be talked about and discussed.

"In my life as a professional coach I have two dreams to fulfil. One, coach the selection of my country, Holland (he was previously assistant to Guus Hiddink for the 1998 World Cup)

"My other wish, my other dream, is to one day coach Barca. That's the truth.

"I now owe to Everton. We have a very powerful and exciting project and we will reinforce our best to try to reach next season the Champions League."


1- In his own words he spoke about trying to reach the Champions League.

2 - In football as in life anything can be talked about and discussed. He admits it. So he talks about managing Barcelona, but the club and its fans are "ridiculous" in asking the club to challenge for the top 4?

It seems for Koeman that if he performs well he personally can aspire to grander things, but if results are poor we all have to adjust our expectations.

This project looked like a stepping stone for him but now this stone is cracking under the weight of his hubris.

Tony Hill
34 Posted 22/09/2017 at 06:49:18
I also agree with Vijay (#26) and others who have said that Rooney presents a structural problem in the side, despite his commitment and remaining talent. One of the interesting questions is whatever Wayne gets picked tomorrow. I assume so.
Don Alexander
35 Posted 22/09/2017 at 07:00:56
Ronnie Goodlass and Kevin Ratcliffe are in quotes this morning on the BBC stating that the failure to sign a centre-forward has put a major jinx (my words) on this season's prospects. They're right.

Koeman is by no means Mr Personality but he must know, given his record as a player, how to meld a team. I imagine he's 100% fuming that the failure we have in retaining possession up front, never mind scoring, just shouldn't be the case had someone not very badly let him, the club and its supporters down this summer by not signing someone of note. Promising as Sandro and Calvert-Lewin are they are not this season going to become the hard-nuts we need and nor is our Oumar.

That means Koeman either has to try to impose his preferred system without the end product being immediately available on the pitch in the hope that in January we get the required hard-nut/s and start firing as we all want or dispense with it to create a system he has less faith in.

Just about all of the teams that finished above us routinely play with two holding midfielders and three centre-backs of sorts. Unfortunately for us, they also all have fire-power up-front and ball retention too, as well as effective wing-backs. Our best wing-back is injured and the second-best is fading but no signing was made to improve the left, contrary to what Koeman infers he was promised in summer.

So, whilst I hope he conjures a way to improve without at least two component parts we all know he needs I suspect the club's summer failures will make 6th the summit of our ambition this season, and that's a shame for all of us.

And Paul Johnson (#30), I'll give you a character reference, mate! :)

Sam Hoare
36 Posted 22/09/2017 at 07:04:08
I've got no problem with him telling it like it is. We are not a top 4 team, no where near. Not yet at least. Those teams have been spending bucket loads (bar Spurs) for years. Perhaps if we'd kept Lukaku and bought a high class winger of the Mane, Salah, Sane variety instead of Sigurdsson and Klaassen then we might have an outside shot but we didn't. Or couldn't.

Top 6 might have been possible, might still be and that would be a good achievement in my eyes.

Not too bothered by the sound bites to be honest. All that matters is that we start getting results on the pitch. And start seeing some performances that make it clear the promised better future is indeed round the corner.

Top 4 is obviously the long term goal but we need:
A) New players to bed in properly.
B) To buy the players we didn't get this Summer, namely a top striker, left back and centre back.
C) For some of the young players like Davies, Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Onyeruku, Lookman etc to continue to develop and deliver on their potential.

If these things happen then maybe next year or more likely the year after we'll have a team capable of challenging top 4. Whether Koeman is there will depend on whether he can turn things around after a very insipid start to the season.

Alexander Murphy
37 Posted 22/09/2017 at 07:21:03
Having invested in the first-team squad and moved on other players, the character of the squad this season is now much more the product in the manager's image.

To state that our league finishing position should be anticipated to be same as last year, whilst unambitious, is not entirely unreasonable (allowing for new arrivals to settle & gel) albeit with certain provisos, namely:

Our overall points tally this season should be higher than last season.

The progress in each of the cups must be beyond that attained last season.

Total points gathered against the top sides last must be greater than last season.

The quality of performances (difficult to measure accurately & fairly, I know) must be of a higher standard than last season.

Furthermore, the performance level should increase as the season progresses and players settle, gel and coaching takes ever greater positive influence.

If any of the above are not achieved then the numerous "improvements" are no improvement at all, are they?

Being allowed time can only be granted in line with achieving measurable progress, the opposite of progress is decline.

The evident fear of the sides finishing above us last season must be dropped immediately. For instance, drawing Chelsea away next in the League Cup should be seen as an opportunity to have a crack at them and show our improvement and not as a reason for early exit. Us going out by an odd goal in a toe-to-toe thriller is clearly not measured the same way as say us being embarrassingly thrashed with a shambolic team mustering not a single shot on goal.

Likewise, to count disposing of Sunderland as any mark of progress is wide of the mark, not least because that team line up of ours won't be seen again this season.

So, Ronnie, despite my inner feelings, I'm giving you time. I'm simultaneously judging your progress/decline against the above provisos in the meantime.

John G Davies
38 Posted 22/09/2017 at 07:22:58

Your post is far too sensible. Pack it in please.

We want top four NOW, immediately, pronto. We want the manager to take a team from the 11th position they finished in the season before he got the job, straight into the top four in two seasons.

Mike Allison
39 Posted 22/09/2017 at 07:42:40
Sam, what are you playing at? ToffeeWeb is for knee-jerk, emotional overreactions to every little thing a manager says, not patient long-term development.

We had many posters demanding multiple signings, I remember one person claiming we had no chance unless we signed 12 players. Well guess what, individual players don't instantly become a team overnight.

Everton's modest success over the last 15 years has been based on continuity – our players knew each other's games inside out. We don't have that now. I'm not particularly defending Koeman, he's definitely getting some things wrong, but that doesn't mean that everything he says is clear and indisputable proof that he's a moron who doesn't know anything about football.

Peter Larkin
40 Posted 22/09/2017 at 08:05:08
Just another Moyes. Poor wee Everton can only finish here... we're not good enough... not enough money... bla bla bla. Tell that to little old Leicester City who were relegation fodder the season before, then won the fucking league the following season by 10 points!

Football is a simple game made complicated by overpaid idiots. That's the problem. Koeman is trying to be clever with his tactics and shoehorning players into unnatural positions.

Expecting another backs-to-the-wall job against a side which we should swat aside. Can't wait to see Klaassen, Rooney and Sigurdsson all bumping into each other for 90 mins. Koeman Out!

Harry Wallace
41 Posted 22/09/2017 at 08:07:45
He is right about top 4. Crazy to aim for that. Even 5th. But push for 6th and a good cup run should be achievable if we sign a striker in January. Otherwise, closer points to 6th.
Andy Meighan
42 Posted 22/09/2017 at 08:47:08
Everyone knows who's playing tomorrow:

Rooney, Schneiderlin, Gueye, Sigurdsson, Martina, Baines...

It'll be the usual pedestrian puerile shite that's become the norm at the Old Lady under Koeman's watch. Don't be expecting a repeat of last season's scoreline, folks – I'm going for first goal the winner.

Two words, Ronnie boy: Borrowed time.

William Cartwright
43 Posted 22/09/2017 at 08:49:37
As a moderately unsuccessful chap myself (not fulfilling potential etc), my take on the situation is this:-

Ronald is an extremely capable football person whether player or manager. Footy is his business. Like or loathe him, you have to acknowledge that, having got to where he is, he has by definition been 'successful'. To become truly successful or 'great' now that's another matter.

Getting as far as he has done thus far, Ronald has show the single mindedness and let's be honest, self-centered attitude to his life that truly un-gifted people need. It doesn't make you likeable, often the opposite. It means you can and probably will step on or over people and dispense of them without a second thought as you move onward (or potentially sideways) as the case sometimes is.

Ron and Rom got on well together because they had a mutual understanding and complementary roles. They are (were) ironically a perfect match, and will have both used Everton (the Club I love) as their stepping stones to greater things.

The thing is, being self-centered, or 'driven' or what ever you want to call it, you have to be careful. The approach can blind you to your own failings. Rom had many failings in his attitude and his game, but he is (may well?) achieving playing greatness by delivering the goals. I expect him to haul in 40+ this season given the Man Utd approach and the players and management around him.

Management greatness for Ron? There I am not so sure. Moshiri has and will support his efforts , and if it is not proving too costly he will remain outwardly patient. But it is Ron's track record that worries me. He was a great footballer no doubt, but as for being a great manager, he has a lot to prove and he is looking to be too single minded and egocentric at the moment. His facial reaction to the Niasse goal said everything for me. It was unrehearsed, spontaneous, and very telling. Niasse by making a point on the pitch, could go even further against the direction Ron wants to go, ie, his own path to success.

Like most Evertonians, I love watching the home-grown bedrock of the team, with a sprinkling of expensive imported talent if necessary; I love watching attacking skillful footy, I love to see community spirit which underpins so much that is good about the Club. I used to enjoy the derby rivalry (but let's not go there), but I really do not like the boorish, joyless, overly defensive, arrogance of the man and the way it translates onto the pitch.

I did not like like the way Rom used Everton (his cupped ear gesture was the most insulting thing I have seen from an educated man on a football pitch in a long time), and I do not like the way Ron is doing the same thing. His latest round of defensive, excuse laded, frankly uninspiring comments show exactly the nature of the man. I hope when he has gone, sooner rather than later, and we appoint a management team who have the Club's interests at heart, then we will move forward.


Eddie Dunn
44 Posted 22/09/2017 at 08:55:14
Structurally the inclusion of Schneiderlin in front of the defence slows the movement of the play from the back. He may be following instructions, as my vague memories of him at Saints was a more dynamic player, more attacking than we have recently witnessed. He struggled with some niggling injuries last season. I wonder if he is still being hampered by one?

The other problem is Rooney. He is also slow and his frustration means he seeks the ball. I know a few highly skilled lads who do this when things are going badly. Instead of keeping the structure and sticking to the plan, they think they can do it all. Those days are gone, Wayne.

Peter Gorman
45 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:05:57
John G, what a hilarious misrepresentation of the arguments against old Ronald. I'd rather have my knee jerking than my head up my arse.
Phil Sammon
46 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:09:21
I remember when we signed James McCarthy. That first year he could do no wrong. He was like a fucking coiled spring. Up and down the pitch, sniffing danger all over... just like a coiled spring. Only one thing nagged us: he would always play the safe, sideways pass rather than imposing himself on the game in the attacking third.

Fast forward 12 months and we're doing shit in Martinez' second season and McCarthy is now more crab than man. He's not bounding around anymore and he's still passing sideways. I felt like throttling the lad every time I went to the game. Where did the energy go?!

Anyway, my point is the same seems to have happened with Schneiderlin. He's a quick guy who could do so much more. He also has a real eye for an incisive forward pass... he's shown us that... and now it's been abandoned for more crabbing. It's so frustrating!

Get the fucking shackles off and let the players express themselves. Please!

Phil Walling
47 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:11:30
Eddie, Schneiderlin was a disaster at United and is a disaster here, just as most of the Koeman and Walsh signings are proving. Clubs all over the world are coming to see that, if you want easy money, Everton will provide it for you!

Drew O'Neall
48 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:15:07
When you look at Vijay's lineup at #13, you see what a bloated squad we have formed, presumably with a hugely inflated wage bill... and without a single decent striker.
Charlie Lloyd
49 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:15:14
Darren @ 28,

I understand your frustration but this will not all come together instantly as we want. The youngsters do need to mature and get that level of consistency.

I'm a massive fan of Davies but he will not run games every week. In truth he will have games like Chelsea away were he's off the pace. The other youngsters the same. So starting them all every week is not the way forward. The senior players need to step up though. Schneiderlin, Williams et al need to start earning their wages.

I'm not completely pro Koeman. Some things I like about him but there are things I can't fathom. Tactics, formations, subs etc... I reckon we've bought reasonably well though there are some massive gaps in the squad that means a top 6 finish would be tough unless one of the top 6 implode.

So it's not all great, we are not the finished article but there is no need for total doom and gloom yet.

For a more thoughtful view on the situation, refer to Sam @ 36.

John G Davies
50 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:17:03
Peter, 45

You've got your head up your arse. It was Mike Allison who mentioned knee-jerking.

John Keating
51 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:20:19
Surely it is immaterial how we do against Bournemouth, Burnley etc - apart from win of course. Surely the whole point is to get closer to the teams above us and, based on what we have seen so far, it has been a total failure. In fact, I would suggest we've been left further behind.

I can see some posters hailing Koeman as some sort of genius should we get a couple of wins the next few weeks. His buys, tactics and team selections have been abysmal so far. There is nothing to suggest that he will see the obvious mistakes and rectify things.

Every one of us wants our team successful but, unless Koeman either radically changes his managerial thinking on all levels, or ships out, then an early exit from cups and a hopeful mid table finish is the most we should expect.

Derek Knox
52 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:26:07
I think tomorrow's performance and team selection will tell us a lot. I have watched Bournemouth on TV a couple of times recently, and they are a hard working side who never give up. We, or should I say Koeman, must not take them lightly, or they will get something from this game.

I agree with many fellow posters regarding Schneiderlin, he has been awful this season, and would not be an automatic choice, in my team. I think Gueye plays better when he (Schneiderlin) is left out.

I would love to see Kenny retain his place from Wednesday, because that Martina is a waste of space and a liability in defence.

I suspect Koeman will play the same faces who struggled against Man Utd, although for a while in the second half they looked like they might get something, until he subbed the positive players.

On paper, we should normally win this one, but my faith, and expectations, are at an all-time low.

Rob Dunleavy
53 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:26:55
There's a lot of negativity on TW at the minute and quite rightly so given the awful performances and lack of management skills in recent weeks. Okay, we're not playing well, our manager has made some awful decisions tactically and the club have not signed a striker – are we going to keep talking about this until January when we "hope" to sign a proper striker?

This negativity transcends down to the players on a matchday and you can sense it in the crowd the last few games, every game. I went to Man City and Man Utd games and there was a marked difference – okay, result dictates, but I turned up at Man City not expecting much; we got a point and the crowd for whole of the first half, even though we were getting battered, were great. At Old Trafford, it was negative from before the kick-off and players can sense this. Wednesday, there wasn't a song until we were 2-0 up, so disappointing.

I get it, and believe me I've slagged Koeman and his tactics off over the past few weeks and personally thinks he doesn't know what hes doing at the minute. But it's our team and we can still be positive and support them and turn up on a matchday and not jeer every misplaced pass but get behind them and get that atmosphere back up through the roof like it was in the middle of last season.

We can still "hope" he turns things round and plays players in the right position and Calvert-Lewin becomes the next Harry Kane in the next few games. Lets get behind the team and have some positivity.

On Saturday I would play;

Kenny Williams Keane Baines
Gana, Davies
Vlasic, Sigurdsson, Rooney

Get Lookman, Niasse, Schneiderlin, Holgate etc on the bench.

I think Vlasic looked great on the ball the other night; I'm really excited about him.

Rooney has to play, he's the only person in our squad that can unlock a defence with a single pass. I agree there is potential to slow down attacks but, with his vision, he also has the ability to find Calvert-Lewin anywhere. Play him out on the left and Sigurdsson in No 10 with Vlasic on right and Davies and Gana in the middle.

I know I said be positive, but one quick negative – Klaassen looks awful; okay, he can pass, but shouldn't everyone be able to that cost £36m? Schneiderlin has been off-pace and Sigurdsson still looks unfit – I think that side above would be a real positive for me.

Sorry for the long story! COYB

Amit Vithlani
54 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:27:28
Great post William Cartwright. Moderately successful I thought.

I see that Ron is being lauded for "telling it like it is". Show me where?

Telling it like it is would run along the lines of -

"We have had a very bad start to the season. Conceded lots of goals and scored not many. The first part is my fault as I set up the team. The second part is a collective failure by everyone at this football club to bring in a striker."

Telling like it is could also have included:

" I was wrong to twice publicly say Niasse has no future at the club. Not only was it unnecessary, but I have now ended up with a bit of egg on my face as he has shown himself to be quite capable of scoring goals. Something which we are not doing a lot of at the moment".

And lastly, telling it like it is could have also included the following admission:

"When we were flying high last season, I was openly discussing my ambition to manage Barcelona. I also alluded to pursuing Champions League football with Everton. Our performances this season have taken us backwards and I take a big part of that responsibility."

But we know he is not going to say this. So "telling it like it is" will involve reducing expectations and perpetuating the image of our club punching above its weight.

Which, of course, somewhat contradicts Moshiri's words when he bought into the club:

"There has never been a more level playing field in the Premier League."

John G Davies
55 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:30:54
John (#51),

That's the trick, mate. He's not a genius if he wins two games. Same as he's not a coward, moron, Shithouse etc if he loses two games.

Anthony Hughes
56 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:34:33
By saying it's ridiculous that we could challenge for a top four slot, is Koeman giving the players a subconscious out-ball? Will some of them think "oh well it doesn't really matter if we don't beat the big teams as 7th will be accepted"?

Not sure if coming out and dampening expectations is a good thing. Protecting his job I suppose, doesn't strike me as ambitious though.

Tony Hill
57 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:35:16
Yes, William (#43), lovely post. "Moderately unsuccessful": count me in.
Barry Pearce
58 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:49:25
Ian (#1) – spot on.
John Crawley
59 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:53:22
Amit (#33) – great post. My take on all this, Koeman can stay as manager as long as he wants and we still wouldn't break into the top 4. He's simply not good enough.
Jonathan Tasker
60 Posted 22/09/2017 at 09:57:25
I don't care what Koeman thinks about anything.

I want him to go and to take Kenwright with him.

Kevin Hudson
61 Posted 22/09/2017 at 10:00:23
Penny for Moshiri's thoughts...?

Koeman's 'realism' is simply Moyes-era 'best-of-the-rest,' pandering to respectable mediocrity. Except Moyes wasn't given £140 million to spend in one window..

What audacity Koeman has, to simply pledge more of the same as last season (that's right, mate... tone it down) and what sort of savvy businessman is Farhad if he doesn't demand some sort of evident return on his investment?

Weird situation...

Alan J Thompson
62 Posted 22/09/2017 at 10:07:52
He has as much ambition as the next man providing the next man doesn't want to finish in the Top 4 or is named Mourinho.

What is the prize for finishing 7th? The wait to see who wins what Cups that allows us second-level European competition.

Is it his English or is it him? I know where my money is.

David Hallwood
63 Posted 22/09/2017 at 10:18:59
You are the manager of Colchester and you've just drawn Man Utd Man City or Chelsea away in the cup, do you do tell it like it is? I e we're getting twatted here so we're just going along for the day out or do you give it the "it's 11v11, anything can happen on the day". Discuss.

Managers are there to inspire and to instil confidence, and as long as he doesn't go to Martinezesque extremes I expect my manager to at least say "It's a marathon and anything can happen"; a bit of positive spin doesn't do any harm. For instance, look how Man City fell away last season after blowing everyone away in the early part of it.

I thought his comments were defeatist and more to do with his own failings certainly in recruitment.

Brendan Fox
64 Posted 22/09/2017 at 10:24:59
Said it before and will say it again he is a Mk 2 "knife to a gunfight" merchant.

Ronnie, we'll judge you on how ambitious you are if the team start playing proper, joined-up, attractive, winning footie – or at least try to attain this standard. Otherwise, your words are just soundbites.

Roll on tomorrow and let's hope the team is not the usual 7 defensive players on the pitch stifling all creativity and pace to break out quickly...

Alex Mclellan
65 Posted 22/09/2017 at 10:29:01
The aim should be to finish 1st, not top 4. We may not do it, but that should be the goal, to win every game.

For me, the Europa League and League Cup, and FA Cup for that matter, would be a run out for the 2nd string and players returning from injury. The strongest team should play in all the league matches. 90 points should win the league or thereabouts. That's 8 defeats against the big boys and beat the rest.

The league is more important than any cup. Once we are in a position to challenge for the title, we can then think about the cups but they should be secondary.

Jamie Morgan
66 Posted 22/09/2017 at 10:37:44
I think he needs to bring the experienced players of Rooney and Sigurdsson in place of Sandro and Klaassen. Pickford to come back. Back 4 and just Gueye as defensive mid.
James Hughes
67 Posted 22/09/2017 at 11:05:07
If he is what he says, then maybe he could persuade Cavani to join us. It appears he has fallen out big time with Neymar and will be shown the door.
Ray Smith
68 Posted 22/09/2017 at 11:46:26
If Koeman wants Cavani the holders of the purse strings will have to pull out all the stops to get him.

Why would he want to come to Everton?

We talk the talk but don't walk it. Koeman is being realistic when he says same again.

£45m wont buy you a top 4 player with ambition in the current climate.

I can't see any current top 4 striker in any league wanting to come to Goodison, we can't offer Champions League, can we?

Kim Vivian
69 Posted 22/09/2017 at 11:53:06
James – I was thinking that yesterday when I read about the bust up, but no chance. Just blow a fucking wad and get him here – but not a snowball's chance he would come to us anyway. Dream on, Kim.

Wouldn't it be magic to have someone like that... oh, wait on... We did, didn't we?

John G Davies
70 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:17:49

£200k per week.
Wine bars of the Champs Eyleesee.
Champions League

£150k per week
Wine lodges of Charlotte Street
Europa League.

Hard choices ahead for Edison...

George Cumiskey
71 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:21:06
Amit @33 – spot on with your post, it perfectly sums up Koeman and his character. Surely even the most blindly faithful TWs will have to agree with you.
James Hughes
72 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:25:52
John G – the lure of Yates Wine Lodge would be too much for any forward-thinking man. A large Aussie White... pure nectar.
Derek Knox
73 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:31:11
John G, I admire your optimism that we would still be in the Europa League come the end of January. :-)
Peter Gorman
74 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:36:00
Apologies, John G, I know you didn't mention knee-jerking and I meant to put a space between my points.

You misrepresent the argument against Koeman because nobody is calling for top 4 now – just evidence of progress.

We saw Koeman secure 7th last year with games to spare and then the players just gave up. This season, Ron himself says we can achieve the giddy heights of (drumroll) the exact same – but even that is in doubt judging from our performances.

The last few weeks have not been knee-jerk but the final straw for fans who know too well the danger of appointing a bad manager (see 2013-2015 Everton vs Martinez).

Dave Abrahams
75 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:37:12
John G (71), I think Cavani would be made up in Blobs. Especially on a Monday between 4:00 and 8:00 pm, he might even get up and give a song.
George Cumiskey
76 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:37:34
Rob @53,

So the negativity transcends down to these highly paid, highly trained professionals even before the match starts???

My god, you couldn't make this stuff up.

John G Davies
77 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:39:43
Dave, he would be more happy than you and me would be having a drink on the Champs Eyleesee. That's a cert.
Dave Abrahams
78 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:45:21
John G, fuck that Champs Eyleesee, mate – €6 for a glass of lager.
Chris Gould
79 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:47:07
Don (#35)
That's exactly how I see it.

Koeman clearly favours 3 centre-backs and stated at every opportunity he had that we needed a left-sided centre-back and a striker.

I believe the club thought Giroud was in the bag, and when he finally said 'no' we were left looking at players that weren't interested or not good enough. Maybe we decided to see if Giroud changes his mind in January after half a season on the bench?

Koeman has tried to implement the system without these 2 key positions filled with players of the right quality. Jags struggles at left centre-back and Calvert-Lewin is just too inexperienced to be relied upon against quality Premier League opposition. There is a real danger that he could struggle for 2 or 3 games and then have certain fans turn on him.

I think Martina was bought in as a right wingback and has shown he has quality going forward. 3 centre backs can cover for his defensive frailties. His problems arise when he plays right back as part of a back four.

Like you say, should he keep with the system until January and hope to get the 2 key players needed to make it work? Or change it in an attempt to get the best out of what we've got? I don't think he has a choice but to go with the latter option but that will make it difficult for the players to switch back to his preferred system if/when we buy the 2 players he needs.

I still believe he is the right man and look forward to him turning it around.

Thomas Lennon
80 Posted 22/09/2017 at 12:58:09
We have a group of players who have just completed a series of high-pressure games against four top teams and mostly come up wanting. These comments from Koeman are clearly designed to reduce the pressure on the squad, in exactly the same way other managers do.

BBC this morning are running a story that we have wasted £140 million – the media pressure to win is now becoming pressure not to lose. Mourinho played an excellent mind-game before the Man Utd match and piled more pressure on. We did better but ultimately wilted badly.

Koeman is trying to take the media pressure off a little to allow his team to develop. Does that mean he is happy with 7th? No.

John Daley
81 Posted 22/09/2017 at 13:01:15
It's not unusual for a manager... especially an Everton manager of the modern era... to eagerly dampen down expectations. Moyes maintained a reputation as 'a miracle worker' by looking to first "get to 40 points" and then "taking it week by week". It's about covering their own arse as much as closeting their players from any added pressure.

The only time I can remember one choosing to go the opposite route in recent years was when Martinez openly stated they were aiming for 70 points in his first season and then continued to claim he was en route to winning trophies with the club, despite the chances of realistically doing so receding faster than his fucking hairline. The first was a fairly brave statement of immediate ambition (although initially dismissed as foolhardy arse ventriloquism by some), the second just a defiant death cry, soon to be drowned out by the footballing gods shouting "Jenga!" as giant building blocks with 'joke', 'cock', and 'tit' carved into them came toppling down all around him.

Unless truly confident of pulling it off, probably best to keep their cards close to their chest. Setting a lofty target in public is fraught with latent potential to make a manager look either a woeful underachiever, or something of a deluded fool, when they proceed to fall disappointingly short. It then can't possibly be construed as anything other than a failure on their part. So, what would be the point? An attempt to convince other people of their aspirations? Futile placation at this point.

If Koeman had come out roaring after recent performances and results, telling fans the race for the top four was defo still on, despite his team suffering a near fatal gut shot from the fucking starting gun, people would have been lining up to say he's well and truly lost the plot.

Until things improve out on the pitch, he's going to get stick whichever way he spins it. Actions speak louder than words and all that (which is pretty fortunate for a guy who seemingly can't go a week without putting his foot in his mouth).

George Cumiskey
82 Posted 22/09/2017 at 13:14:55
No, Thomas @81 – Ronald is trying to take the pressure off himself, not the team, by trying to lower everybody's expectations.
John G Davies
83 Posted 22/09/2017 at 13:16:56
You're paying for the view and the surroundings, they reckon, Dave, last time I was there. I'd sooner look at the mad Monday crowd any day of the week.

Stan Schofield
84 Posted 22/09/2017 at 13:18:39
Ambition isn't the issue. The issue is tactics and man-management.
Peter Fearon
85 Posted 22/09/2017 at 13:26:01
The Top Four isn't the point. The Bottom Four is the point. That is where we are now and that is wholly unacceptable even without the expenditure of £140 Million.

If we move up the table after a run of victories then this disastrous opening will diminish in importance. But, if we are in a similar position by the end of November, then I am afraid the "Ronald Koeman Project" should be terminated.

James Ebden
86 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:01:38
Some of the expectations on here are hilarious.

Last season we were 7th, and several points adrift of 6th. All the teams above us have kept their core squads and made additions to strengthen. Additions that mostly cost more than our additions – ergo, they are better players.

We haven't spent £140m – people quoting this are talking utter dribble. Our net spend is around £50m. Far less than the top 6 spent, and also less than some clubs who finished below us. Not only is our spend low, but we lost our main player and goal scorer. Therefore this expectation that we are suddenly going to leapfrog a few teams up to 4th is pie in the sky.

If we had invested the Lukaku money in one or two proven quality strikers to balance the squad more and take our true spend to £140m, then yes, maybe with a bit of luck, we could have given the top 6 a bit of a scare. But we didn't get a striker! So re-evaluate what is realistic.

I don't think for one minute Koeman would be happy with 7th or 8th, and going out of the cups in the earlier rounds. No manager will want that; they will want to win every game they enter. However, looking at the squad and those teams above him, he knows that, without further quality additions, we aren't going to bridge that gap as quickly as some hope.

We don't have the resources of Man City or PSG to blow £400m on players in one window and upset the apple cart. That's why we are trying to build a core of young talent in the hope some progress to become the next Mbappe, etc.

I don't like Koeman's current style of play, or team selections; that is something I will happily take issue with. But people saying he should be aiming and talking about top 4 in his interviews are blinkered.

John G Davies
87 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:12:09

A tongue strap may help their performance, James.

Tony Hill
88 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:23:10
What you do is to send out your players with courage first and foremost. That is the quality which Koeman's Everton has most conspicuously lacked.

We have not looked up for the fight, physically or mentally, against serious opponents nor, often, against less serious opponents. That is the damning charge and it is one he is still to dispel.

Brent Stephens
89 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:24:28
Dave (#69) "Fuck that Champs Eyleesee, mate – £6 for a glass of lager".

Dave, I heard that you never pay for your ale anyway.

Frank Crewe
90 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:28:33
James (#87). I don't see the point in buying young players in the hope that they may develop into top players because if they do they will just do a Stones/Lukaku on us and agitate for a move to whatever club they consider bigger than Everton – as Mbappe has done to Monaco.

If we want to keep our better young players, we have to start showing genuine improvement in our prospects of winning trophies. A start would be mounting a serious challenge to the top four to show young players that they have a decent chance of achieving their ambitions with Everton rather than other clubs. A manager who pours cold water on such an ambition is not a good start.

Duncan McDine
91 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:28:40
Say what you like about Koeman (I actually agree with most of it)... but he's proved me wrong with the trust he showed in Calvert-Lewin.

I know I'm not the only one – plenty of us on here couldn't see what Koeman saw in the young lad. I just hope he gives enough game time to him and Tom Davies this season.

Ajay Gopal
92 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:33:12
Koeman is struggling to find the right system, and the ability of the players that have newly come in to fit into his system. He needs to be given more time to get the team playing his style (which is not clear at the moment).

From his side, hopefully Koeman is more flexible to bring out the best in players like Barkley, Niasse, McCarthy, Robles, Mirallas. And also, be more bold in giving opportunities to youth – not wait till his hand is forced.

I do believe that we have an excellent squad of players – some like Klaassen and Sandro need to be brought in more gradually, but some others have hit the ground running. We also need to strengthen in some well known key areas – notably in the striking and left defensive departments. We also have some key players who are due to come back from long-term injuries.

For this weekend's game against Bournemouth, I would like to see the following team:

Kenny Holgate Keane Baines
Davies Rooney Sigurdssson Vlasic

With Klaassen replacing Rooney after about 60 mins when we are hopefully leading by a couple of goals, Lookman and Niasse getting a look in during the final minutes.

(Wow, just realised I have 8 English players in my team!)

3-1 to the Blues!

Stan Schofield
93 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:37:32
There's too much talk, including from Koeman, on where we might or might not finish. Waste of time.

Football is about winning games. How about Koeman says, quite simply, our aim is to win each game as it comes, and thereby finish as high as we can?

Setting his tactics towards that aim would help.

Liam Reilly
94 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:41:09
A positive post about Koeman, Duncan – admirable in this tide of doom.

I can't see any way that Koeman doesn't start Rooney and Sigurdsson tomorrow and there is the main problem as I see it. One of them will be at No 10 and the other outside, which unbalances the side and is a major symptom of the lack of pace throughout the side.

Even though Rooney is giving it his all, Sigurdsson must start at No 10.

Keith Monaghan
95 Posted 22/09/2017 at 14:49:22
James @ 87 – good to see some level-headed realism on here amidst a lot of rubbish.

The worst deal of the summer was the Lukaku/Rooney deal – I wasn't a fan of bringing Rooney back & didn't want Rom to go. If the club accepted it had to sell Rom it should have been on out terms; we should have replaced him before – this was obvious at the time – but somebody (stand-up, Bill Kenwright) was blinkered by bringing his favourite back 13 years after he ditched us, and stood to attention and caved in as soon as Man Utd came calling – "Yes, we're lovely old Everton, we'll help you to win the Premier League next season and whilst I'm here we'll always accommodate your wishes."

Bill Kenwright has done a lot of good things for this club, but he needs to be moved out so that we become tougher and always put EFC first.

Wayne has done okay in some games, but he slows the play down too much – as he did at Man Utd, according to many of their fans.

Derek Knox
96 Posted 22/09/2017 at 15:02:59
Ajay @93, spot on with that team mate, it has got a good look to it, but our stubborn manager will go with his out of form favourites.

Sincerely hope I'm wrong on that one, and our team gets the vote.

Robert Leigh
97 Posted 22/09/2017 at 15:15:47
I really like that team, Ajay (#93), apart from Davies playing right midfield/wingback, where I think Lookman should be, given our limited options.

I don't know if Koeman buys the players or not, but trying to get all his signings into a team is very difficult.

Interestingly, if everyone was fit, what would everyone's team be?

Coleman - Keane - Funes Mori - Baines
Bolasie - Rooney - Sigurdsson - Sandro

Subs: Robles, Holgate, Schneiderlin, Vlasic, Barkley, Lookman, Mirallas.

That still leaves Davies, Jagielka, Williams, Lennon, Kenny, McCarthy, Stekelenburg, Besic, Niasse, and Klaassen – amazing how big the squad is!

Brian Harrison
98 Posted 22/09/2017 at 15:19:02
I think now, more than ever, managers are under so much pressure from fans and journalists. They have no choice but to attend after-match and pre-match press conferences, were they are constantly being asked awkward questions. I know the cry will go up well that's why they are paid so well, but very rare do any managers say what they really feel for fear of upsetting players.

I agree some of the problems lie at Koeman's door, but after a couple of defeats against the best teams in the league, when a journalist asks "Do you think you should be in the top 4?" What realistic answer is he suppose to give? If he says, "Yes, we should," then the fans think he has lost the plot... or worse, is taking the fans for fools. If he says, "Realistically we can't make the top 4 this season," some fans think he lacks ambition.

The Premier League has 3 of the best managers in World football in Conte, Guardiola and Mourhino, who can out-spend Everton by large amounts at every transfer window. But, even spending an absolute fortune last year, Mourhino failed to get his team into the top 4. So the chances of us being able to compete for a top 4 is going to be extremely difficult if not impossible this season and maybe never at all. I am sure someone will remind me that Leicester won the league the other year, but the chances of that happening again are so remote.

So, if we can't compete in the transfer market with the big boys then maybe the plan of getting together some very promising youngsters maybe our only chance to compete in a couple of seasons. And the one thing you can always say is that, at Everton, youngsters will be given a chance, and Koeman is carrying on that tradition. So maybe the very promising youngster will come to us instead of Man City, Man Utd or Chelsea knowing they will get a game which they probably wont at these other clubs.

Now whether fans have the patience to see that plan through is another matter. But if we are ever to challenge for a top 4 place, this is the only way to do it; and, if we do challenge the top 4, it will make the youngsters stay rather than looking for pastures new.

Phil Bellis
99 Posted 22/09/2017 at 15:22:53
1664 €14.80 Le Bar Long, Avenue des Champs-Élysées

John Smith's £1.50 The Blob Shop, Great Charlotte Street

No contest

Amit Vithlani
100 Posted 22/09/2017 at 15:25:35
James Ebden

"We haven't spent £140m, people quoting this are talking utter dribble. Our net spend is around £50m. Far less than the top 6 spent,"

It would help your cause to check your facts before posting your own dribble.

Spurs, Arsenal and Liverpool's net spend was lower than Everton's. From Transfermarkt.com, which is used by the Telegraph to quote transfer figures.


The fact is, the club spent all of its its Lukaku windfall and more.

In years gone by, Moyes re-invested only a portion of the Rooney windfall (Cahill, Bent amongst others) and the balance went to pay off the overdraft.

Ronnie had no such restriction this time.

James Ebden
101 Posted 22/09/2017 at 15:38:16
Spot on, Brian (#99).

Frank (#91),

The whole point is the youngsters are the ones who will push us up to the top 4. We shouldn't have to spend (and certainly cant afford it anyway) to compete in the top 4, just to try and show the youngsters we have ambition and to keep them.

The youngsters should be coming into the main team, playing their socks off, without fear, to showcase their growing talent. And these performances are what will drive us up the table. And once we reach 4th, the youngsters won't need to move on for footballing reasons. The only reason they may move is that PSG or Barca are offering them the GDP of a small continent every week.

As Brian says, no youngster in their right mind should go anywhere near Chelsea, just to sit on a bench or play in the reserves. At Everton, they will have a chance to get game time.

And as long as the players are on decent long-term contracts, then you can always do what Liverpool and Saints did, and put the players back in their oversized box and tell them the club don't want to sell. It was quite refreshing this window to see a few high-profile big-money moves refused.

James Ebden
102 Posted 22/09/2017 at 15:57:02
Amit (#101),

The point is, the top 6 strengthened their squads. Liverpool's sales are all fringe players that were never in their first 11. Arsenal only sold Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was never a regular starter, so again have strengthened and kept their core team. Spurs are the only one who actually sold a regular first team starter – but the key is they replaced him!

We sold our main asset and source of goals, and we didn't replace him. Therefore our team is weaker.

And Moyes wasn't operating in the main Sky TV years, so the financial situation of the club and transfer market were rather different.

Gary Edwards
103 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:04:12
Sigurdsson needs time; Klaassen, Sandro etc all the new signings need time to settle in settle into what? An unbalanced team, an incoherent system (if any at all)?

Time to understand wtf Schneiderlin's role is and adapt their game to accommodate him? Ditto Rooney? Ditto CB pairing?

Most of the new signings came from teams that play fast, progressive footie (the same style of footie the U23s play) yet those signed by Koeman get selected and are afforded far more concessions and first team opportunities than the U23s – it's wrong.

Koeman's references to the U23 players are invariably negative, they're rarely encouraging. In the above missive, he seems to be apologizing for playing so many U23s against Sunderland... wake up, you dullard – we won!

They (the U23s) need time... for what? They have proved, and will continue to prove, that they are more ready for the 1st team than the new summer signings and, as a minimum, they deserve fair and equal opportunities.

Consider – Davies & Calvert-Lewin were not particularly stand-outs in recent (U23) seasons; for example, Henen looked more 'likely' than Calvert-Lewin and Davies was one of Walsh, Williams, Charsley, Evans & others that combined to make a very industrious midfield – not forgetting the mercurial talents of Dowell. Good footie with a high win percentage.

Dave Abrahams
104 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:14:24
Brent (#90), you will be receiving a letter off my solicitor in the next few days for slander. Meanwhile stop interrupting this very interesting and sensible thread; seriously, some very good posts on here today.
Darren Hind
105 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:26:37
James (#87) – what is really hilarious is reading you and others rage against outrageous expectations expressed "on here".

Who are these people you are talking about? Leap-frog to the Top four??? You are quite clearly having a laugh...

Scroll back through the posts. The people who are mentioning top four are those who (like you) are using the daft straw man argument to apologise for Koeman .

Right now, most people "on here" would settle for a little entertainment and a bit of fight from time to time.

Terry White
106 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:26:48
It's great to see Calvert-Lewin getting deserved praise for his efforts this season. To me he looks like an unfinished Kane and that is praise indeed.

However, there are many on ToffeeWeb that would have us paying out multi-millions to sign "stars" each transfer window to replace him and start in place of the youngsters that we say we want to bring along. Can't really have it both ways. "Stars" or "youngsters"? Instant "success" or gradual improvement?

Dave Abrahams
107 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:34:23
Frank (#91), I understand your point about Lukaku and Stones, but they had no affinity to Everton and, to be honest, some of the young lads we are signing now might feel the same way. But, as James Ebben pointed out, some of these lads might be contributing to a very successful Everton team and will be less inclined to push for a move, particularly if we are playing at a fabulous new stadium in the Bramley-Moore Dock.

Looking on the bright side here, but it could all turn out to be our Utopia, and if it doesn't, we will just have to console ourselves in making huge profits on the lads: £90M on Lukaku and Stones, for instance.

Paul Tran
108 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:36:38
I agreed with most of what Koeman said, but he was very clever, he spoke about the clamour for us getting the top four, which I hadn't noticed.

Easier to call that ridiculous than to counter arguments about dull play, slow play, no pattern of play, imbalance and a lack of intensity, chances, goals and fight.

The substantial evidence is on the pitch, so let's see who he plays and how they play. And, of course, when they get the three points against a team we should beat.

John Wilson
109 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:43:49
Don Alexander at #14, it's easy to say they (footballers) have lower IQs than the average person but this is called speculation! What does IQ even mean except an artificial comparison anyway?

The way media rips into footballers because they're easy prey, for instance look how they treat Rooney over the way he looks. They're just superficial bastards – it's all about control, I think.

Tony Everan
110 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:51:05
Terry, it's a fair description of Calvert-Lewin, and he's probably better than Kane was at his age.

As far as ambition goes, I just want to see progress, on and off the field. 7th and a cup would be progress for me.

If we can consolidate and improve over the next few years, we can challenge for the Champions League in our new stadium.

John G Davies
111 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:54:13
Genuine question.

At the start of the season, and given the strength of the teams above us... What position did posters think was realistic for Everton for this season?

To start the ball rolling, I went for 6th.

John Pierce
112 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:56:42
Paul Tran, spot on there with that observation.

I'm afraid James (#87) was sucked into Koeman's vernacular by poo pooing people who are calling for tangible progress and a defined pattern of play from him.

There is no clamour for Everton to be Champions or top four contenders, certainly not on these pages at least. Why would there be? We are currently ghastly, garbage to watch.

Those 'defending' Koeman just are doing so on hope, blind faith and an instinctive reaction to be 'Evertonian' and give the manager time. What a load of hooey! I've had two posters, Clive and Sam, actually admit that! Fair dos to them for at least saying so.

Many pick fault with Koeman's detractors points and shy away from actually presenting a constructive cogent argument for him to stay. I'd love to hear one.

Fact is, the most Koeman gets from his most ardent supporters is ambivalence. Is that the tacit vote of confidence or just hope again?

Time is over for talk, as per my original post. Action on the pitch – to send the faithful home happy with a win, and content in a performance that gives encouragement for the future.

James Ebden
113 Posted 22/09/2017 at 16:59:53
Darren (#105),

if you read my first post, I quite clearly said I don't like Koeman's tactics or team selections at present.
And having read all the stories and comments on here over the last few weeks since the season kicked off, I can safely say there are a lot of people calling for Koeman's head and moaning about his lack of stated ambition etc etc.

When he said the other day 7th was his expected target, that thread went mental with people saying he should go and has no ambition and how we should be aiming way higher. No realism whatsoever.

I'm not sold on Koeman at the moment (and we all know from your constant moaning that you want him out), but I'm realistic to know that after 5 games, mainly against the top 4 from last season, it's too early to judge. We are trying to bed in more players than the teams around us, and we have no recognised striker (which isn't Koeman's fault, that will sit with the board).

However, I am sure the club has a long term plan. That has been evident over the summer with the investment in some of the most promising young talents in Europe. If 4 or 5 of the U23 team progress over the next 12-24 months, that could save us upwards of £200m in fees.

We can't buy the likes of Neymar and Mbappe, so our only hope to have this quality of player on our books is to develop them from the younger teams.

What I can never fathom is that everyone claims to be blue through and through, yet half of them only ever seem to criticise and want to drag the team down. Any real fan would get behind the team, whether or not they agree with the manager, players or board. No wonder the players seem to be lacking fight on the pitch when all they get is abuse. A bit of support from the stands and who knows what it might do for team confidence.

James Ebden
114 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:10:48
John (#111),

I posted in an earlier thread that my expectation was 7th for this season. However I said acceptable progress for me would be a smaller points gap to 6th than last searson and a decent run in one or more cups.

Then hopefully kick on to a top 6 assault the season after – once new players have bedded in and youngsters progressed.

I still stand by that.

Grant Rorrison
115 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:11:38
We've got the 7th most expensive squad in the Premier League and the 12th most expensive squad in Europe. All the teams ahead of us in Europe, except for Arsenal, are in the Champions League.

So, surely it's realistic, depending upon who drops down into the Europa League from the Champions League, to make the final of the competition should we avoid Arsenal and any expensively assembled drop outs?

Nope, didn't think so.

John G Davies
116 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:14:18
Thanks, James.

I look forward to other posters giving their predicted league finishing position for this season.

Laurie Hartley
117 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:14:42
William (#43) – working my way down this thread I couldn't go past you post without commenting. For what it's worth, I agree with every word.
Darren Hind
118 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:14:55

You are not getting it. You are making up an argument you think you have an answer too. You are certainly not the only one – I would be staggered if any right-thinking Evertonian was "expecting us to finish top four". That said, it is perfectly acceptable to expect the manager to want to have at least that as a target.

Most of the criticism of Koeman on this site comes from people who cannot fathom why they should be subjected to absolutely brain-numbing performances. The prospect of challenging the top boys has been well and truly put on the back burner. We simply want a competitive team attempting to play attractive football ... Is that really too much to ask?

The real negativity is emanating from the people who accept, defend and apologise for the standard of our play. They will attack the players, the chairman, the Majority shareholder and even other supporters in their attempt to deflect blame form The manager – just as you are doing now.

Anybody expecting a top four placing is setting themselves up for a big disappointment that why very few are... but is calling for younger better players to be selected, calling for the manager to be more adventurous, and calling for an end to Zombie football "Negative"???

It's the most positive thing we can do at this moment in time... always was.

Paul Tran
119 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:17:59
John G (#116). I was with you on 6th. I still think it's possible, if we have a team that knows what it's meant to be doing.

Remember Martinez's poor start to his first season, when people queued up to say our players 'couldn't pass the ball'?

Brent Stephens
121 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:21:12
John #111 - 6th was my hunch / gut-feel as well.
Brent Stephens
122 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:25:27
Dave Abrahams – I bet you keep your solicitor busy!
John Pierce
123 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:29:25
John G.

Everton have the resources the finish 7th. That's the minimum, anything less is failure.

Anything above that was in my opinion meant to be bridged by the procurement of a gifted manager. Tactically adept, innovative solutions against more difficult sides to help erode those advantages. In game management.

Koeman has never finished higher than 6th in a league which matters.

A fair wind is now required to get 6th or 7th.

David Barks
124 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:31:47
I still can't believe there are so many Evertonians speaking positively about finishing 7th. It honestly sickens me and I just don't want to believe it. That is not progress and it certainly is not ambition. What a sad day for this club.
James Ebden
125 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:39:25

Go back and read the comments in the "Koeman ratchets down expectations" thread after his interview the other day when he said his realistic target for this season was 7th.

quite a few in there saying that is not an acceptable comment from a manager, or acceptable after spending £140m, blah blah. Therefore my conclusion is they are expecting us to finish higher – right?

Koeman didn't say he doesn't want to take us to the top 4 eventually, just that this season is unrealistic with all the new players. Pretty sensible I'd say.

And again, I have never said I'm defending Koeman. I hate our current football as much as the next fan. However, I'm prepared to give him more than 5 games against top sides in order to work it out.

All teams go through flux. Spurs after Bale left were awful and took a while to settle. Did they call for Pochettino's head after his first few defeats? Ferguson at Man Utd, etc. If we are still dire and in the bottom half come Christmas, then I will happily take a change in manager.

John G Davies
126 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:39:50
Paul Tran,

I agree, we are well capable of getting 6th this season.

James Ebden
127 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:47:55
David (#124),

Okay, so tell us why you think we should finish above 7th? I'm not talking about ambition and long term goals, as I want us in the Champions League as much as anyone in the next few years.

I'm talking about this season. Why do you think we should be able to finish above 7th? Where do you think we have closed the gap on the teams above us?

I'm looking at the team as it stands now, and those around us. Do you honestly think we have the quality at this time to finish above them?

I don't think people are being "positive" about being 7th. They are saying that is what they expect of our current squad. Yes, a few freak results and dodgy decisions might sneak us up a place, but realistically, over 38 games with our squad, you honestly think we will be above 7th?

Amit Vithlani
128 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:48:26
James @ 102.

"The point is, the top 6 strengthened their squads. Liverpool's sales are all fringe players that were never in their first 11. Arsenal only sold Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was never a regular starter, so again have strengthened and kept their core team. Spurs are the only one who actually sold a regular first team starter – but the key is they replaced him!"

That was not the point made in your original post. You directly referenced the net spend of the top 6 teams and accused others of talking "dribble". This has now changed to an analysis of whether Everton are stronger or weaker. Okay, if Everton are weaker than last season, then why the fuck did we buy a boat load of players?

"We sold our main asset and source of goals, and we didn't replace him. Therefore our team is weaker."

We spent a shit load of money we received from our Lukaku windfall only to end up weaker? Massive indictment on the management team surely?

"And Moyes wasn't operating in the main Sky TV years, so the financial situation of the club and transfer market were rather different."

So you are saying that crying poverty is no longer the excuse it once was for our "knife to gunfight" mentality? I fully agree.

Mark Morrissey
129 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:49:58
Any team that pulls its collective socks up and works and pulls together can win this league.

Most clubs have a horrible mix of massive egos that can derail your season. We, having got rid of our walking hormone, Lukaku, should be able to do a Leicester City but with Koeman in charge we have our work cut out.

With him, I think 7th but he won't ever achieve a Leicester because he is a Lukaku, inebriated in his own ego and he comes first.

Ranieri gave his all for Leicester. Koeman is not capable of giving himself to Everton; his blood runs the usual red and not blue.

John Pierce
130 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:52:42
James, posts #113 & #125.

This! 😳

Fact is, the most Koeman gets from his most ardent supporters is ambivalence. Is that the tacit vote of confidence or just hope again?

You practically slate him and yet still call for time and patience?!


Kevin Tully
131 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:52:52
Brilliant, pay a man £6M a season, back him to the tune of £200M (so far) and all we can expect in return is 'a good run in the cups' and a mid-table finish – which 7th is, you can argue semantics all you wish.

Evertonia has gone off a cliff-edge of late. I don't know about you lads, but I expect more, a lot fucking more. Definitely not setting up away at Man Utd like a non-League side in the Cup. We've won 3 away games in 30 or something along those lines. It's abysmal.

Amit Vithlani
132 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:57:54
Phil McNulty's piece in the BBC is surprising. Normally a docile, "I won't ruffle any feathers" character has written a piece which even by him is critical in parts, especially this section:

"Koeman needs to get real

Koeman was publicly irked by Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho suggesting Everton should aim for the top four after £140m of summer spending, responding: "Let's be realistic."

And when asked what was realistic, he said: "Same as last season."

Penny for the thoughts of Moshiri, who has already pointed out Everton's team is now 80% Koeman's and that the top six is an initial target.

Everton's ambition and aspirations were instantly lifted higher than last season's seventh once he rebuilt his squad - and the sound of "same again" has hit a discordant note with the supporters.

Goodlass says: "The statement Koeman came out with was wrong. You start giving certain players an excuse.

"I could put my grandmother in charge and Everton would finish seventh when you've spent that money."

Moshiri has not handed Koeman £140m to maintain the status quo and even though he would clearly disagree, Mourinho may have been more realistic than Everton's manager."

Derek Knox
133 Posted 22/09/2017 at 17:58:26
David @ 124, I tend to agree with you, to a point, with so many squad changes I appreciate there are a few trials to establish your strongest formation.

Having said that, we have had a difficult start, both with the teams we had, but the manner of play has been a worry.

I think most Evertonians would reluctantly accept defeat by one of the top sides, provided they played with heart, and performed reasonably well, but displays at Chelsea, Man Utd, and home to Spurs have been woeful.

Getting back to the original thread, the only way 7th would be acceptable, is if we win the Europa and a Domestic Cup too.

Unless there is a dramatic turn around, I can't envisage any of the above to happen, but I live in hope.

Tony Abrahams
134 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:02:32
Phil @99, it would be no contest if you was having to drink with Dave!
John Pierce
135 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:05:43
You cannot defend Koeman's poor team's performance on the influx of new players.

He was bought in, in part for his lauded ability at Southampton to deal with a mass exodus of players and the veritable revolving door of newcomers. This happened two seasons in a row.

Yet posters on here are, oh man 'give the team time to gel'. Rubbish.

He either fluked it at Southampton. Or has introduced all the new players all at once. Either way, it ain't good.

See through it. He's just not the answer.

Paul Tran
136 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:05:45
James, I'm happy to give you my reasons for thinking improvement on 7th is and should be regarded as viable.

We've lost a goalscorer and have bought players who have a record of scoring goals. With the decent players we have, we should be creating chances and scoring plenty.

My view at the start of the season, and now, was that Arsenal are vulnerable, a club drifting and waiting to be picked off. Liverpool are fur coat and no knickers with a manager who doesn't know a defender/keeper if one fell on his head, and has a track record of breaking players. Tottenham are vulnerable for not having a home. They still haven't won anything and are hitting a point where, if they don't, Levy/Pochettino will get restless and their 'low' paid players may start to leave. Like Liverpool, the crash bang wallop style can be good on the eye but conducive to knackered/injured players.

So there are three vulnerable teams. What we need is a manager who can get simple, effective ideas across to the players, have them knowing what they need to do and get them performing regularly. Right now, I'm not convinced Koeman is that man, but we have a sequence of winnable games that will give us an idea. In the meantime, I'm hoping the board are doing due diligence on possible successors.

John G Davies
137 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:15:51

I agree with most of your reasons for a 6th finish. Especially the Arsenal part. To expect a manager to take a team that finished 11th the season before last, and given the state of the squad he inherited, is unrealistic.

I retain confidence that we will finish 7th minimum, 6th is very much achievable. The push to better 6th will come next season.

John G Davies
138 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:25:10
See you later, chaps, thanks to those with the conviction to post their expectations re predicted league positions for this season.

Have to leave it there, graveyard shift for me tonight. Hopefully when I get back on tomorrow a few more will have told the babe ruth.

George Cumiskey
139 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:50:10
David Barks, spot on again mate, I like you can't believe the mediocrity a lot of Everton Ian's will except.

Not many of us expected to be in the top four this season, but to be in the bottom three beggars belief.

Steve Ferns
140 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:04:32
Koeman really, really pisses me off. So here we are, 15 months into his project. We are aiming for 7th, and to be fair we will probably get it.

Fast forward to the end of the season, having got 7th, and we will all be asking: "So what's the point in the last two seasons?" Seriously, what was the point?

Martinez talked a lot of crap but he said something that particularly resonated with me. It was in his first few days of management in a series of lengthy interviews with anyone who would want to talk to him, and it was on one podcast or other.

To paraphrase him, he said that money is nothing more than a shortcut. Football is all about coaching, and that if you have good enough young players you can coach them to be what you need, and so you can actually get to the Champions League without spending money.

Now he clearly fell short of doing it in his first season and his subsequent drop-off showed that he couldn't coach us long term to fulfil his vision. But someone has. Mauricio Pochettino.

Everton, with five U20 World Cup winners, Tom Davies, Ross Barkley and Mason Holgate have 8 players that could be coached to greatness and save us an absolute fortune.

If Koeman said, "Right we're only going to finish 7th, at best, but we are going to transition a load of young players into the side, and so it's going to be difficult," then most of us here would cut him, and especially the players some slack. You would even say, yes, Signing old players like Rooney and Williams, is fine, as long as they are just there to help bring the youngsters through and pass on their experience.

We, or should I say I, could accept standing still or even slipping backwards, and still call it progress, as part of a long term plan. We could have then used the £150m or so we had to spend to purchase players for positions where the kids are not coming through, namely left-back, striker (Calvert-Lewin needs more competition), and on the wing.

I cannot accept Koeman getting rid of our team, selling off young players (Lukaku, Deulofeu, Stones and potentially Barkley) and replacing them with older players (Rooney, Sigurdsson, and Williams), and keeping the next batch of young players (Kenny, Holgate, Dowell, and now even Davies) far from the first team. Calvert-Lewin has played a lot of games to be fair, but he has yet to start back to back games in the Number 9 role, and he's been the best 9 we have had this season, and surely deserves a good run.

I am very frustrated with his tactics, his selections, his purchases, his sales, his dimming of expectations, his manner and personality, but most of all that if we are just standing still, then why not try to bring through a load of these kids instead of signing 8-10 players?

Will Mabon
141 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:30:37
Thomas @ 80:

"Koeman is trying to take the media pressure off a little to allow his team to develop."


Tony Hill
142 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:49:11
If we accept and endorse a script from the start that we are unworthy/incapable of reaching the top, a script written by Sky and their cartel friends, then we truly deserve no more.

It is also then a nonsense to talk about a project and cultivating youth and so on because every season those above us, our betters, will have spent more and/or will have attracted superior players. There will never be good reason to expect more.

After a good beginning last season, Koeman scoffed at Everton reaching top 4 and the players promptly wilted. He's doing the same now from the opposite position.

I don't expect top 4 but I really do want to seek it in every single game played, with the players at full fitness and armed with relentless will. If we fail on such terms, then there can be no complaint. If we fail because we've surrendered in our minds after 5 games, then we are indeed hopeless, and will continue to be so.

Brendan Fox
143 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:12:57
Tony @ 142 so eloquently put.

As a fanbase, we either accept mediocrity or strive to reach the stars. I and most of you would rather the team die trying to reach the stars then accepting mediocrity as the best they can achieve.

The man is looking after No 1 and is not interested nor capable of reaching for the stars as custodian of our great club.

Stan Schofield
144 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:32:31
I predict we'll finish between 1st and 20th. That has about as much insight and information content as any other prediction.
Tony Abrahams
145 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:41:19
It looks to me that Koeman hasn't got any real plans Steve@140, but other than Jonjoe Kenny and Holgate, I think the younger players are getting brought on okay at the minute?

It's very early days with regards bedding so many players into the team, and it's not being helped by the constant chopping and changing of both personnel and formation, but it's obvious that the biggest thing working against Koeman right now is the complete lack of direction when trying to analyse what he's trying to do.

I forgot about Lookman as well, but I'm not sure it's wise to play too many kids at once, although I hope the day comes when they can all play together and make Everton great again?

Koeman has got a track record for bringing a few kids through at Ajax, but I think he maybe thinks English football is just too physical to bring through too many at once?

Maybe he's right, or maybe he's overestimating the Premier League, but until he can come up with a real identifiable style, he's never going to succeed either way. Of that I'm sure!

Andy Crooks
146 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:56:38
George (#139), point me to a single post on this site, anywhere, where you can see an Evertonian prepared to accept mediocrity. No-one is accepting it, not one.

However, what ,in your view constitutes not accepting it? Boycotting the games? Flying a plane over the ground? Starting an online petition (har-de-fucking-har). You will not accept mediocrity? Well, tell me what your non-acceptance entails and I will back you.

We are stuck with this and I like it no more than you but this is where we are and the coach is not going to be sacked.

Amit Vithlani
147 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:03:26
Paul @ 136 - thoroughly enjoyed reading that analysis.
John G Davies
148 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:34:11

Your not as ambitious as Jurgen though.
Let's see you bouncing up and down the line today Ron.

George Cumiskey
149 Posted 23/09/2017 at 12:37:50
Andy, why should we be stuck with it, why can't he get sacked? We are in the relegation zone mate and it doesn't look like Koeman has the tactical nous to have us pushing for the top four. Yet a lot of people on toffee web keep saying he needs time.

Can you honestly see him turning things around. That's what I mean by excepting mediocrity; the team he picks today will tell you a lot about his ambition.

James Marshall
150 Posted 23/09/2017 at 12:42:29
We're only 5 points off the Champions League places! No need to panic, we're well in the hunt!
Andy Crooks
151 Posted 23/09/2017 at 13:33:45
George, I agree about the team today. To me, it is vital that he shows that he is prepared to acknowledge that he has got it wrong.
Tom Heaton
152 Posted 23/09/2017 at 18:38:17
I think there are thousands of Evertonians with more ambition than our £6million pounds a year manager.

The older Evertonians have seen our team – "The Everton" as Koeman calls us – win the league and win cups. There are young and old blues who care deeply about our club and follow the club passionately for all of their life.

How long is Ronald's project? 3 years? Will he manage to beat Liverpool this season or is that too ambitious for him?

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