Is Ronald Koeman The Answer For Everton?By Damian Coyle • Aug 4th, 2016 • Category: News |
Is Ronald Koeman The Answer For Everton?
For so long, Everton constantly teetered on the periphery of the top four under the guidance of recently appointed Sunderland boss David Moyes. The Toffees even secured a place in Europe’s Premier Club competition for the 2005-06 campaign, only to come up short against Villarreal in the qualifying stages. Can the appointment of Ronald Koeman inspire the blue half of Merseyside back to this era of consistency — or better still, the glory days of the 80s?
If we start by looking at what the bookies think, it doesn’t look quite at that level for this upcoming season. Most have Everton finishing mid table and unable to challenge for any European places. BetHut have them a favourite for finishing 8th, whereas others have them finishing lower. Of course, potential signings of Koulibaly, Williams, Begovic and even recently linked Draxler could transform Everton into a side perhaps even fighting for the title.
Koeman – a new Era
However, the magnanimous and expansive style of Roberto Martinez over the past two campaigns showed great potential initially, with the club recording their highest ever points tally in England’s top flight and narrowly missing out on that coveted fourth spot.
When the Spaniard first arrived, he promised the fans that he would bring Champions League football to Goodison Park, but his second season at the helm was a complete fall from grace for the man renowned for leading Wigan Athletic to FA Cup glory and relegation in the same campaign.
Following last season’s disappointment, the Everton board have managed to attract Koeman from Southampton which represents a major coup for the Toffees following the Dutchman’s exploits at St Marys.
Koeman clearly has a knack for utilising what funds he is given effectively and a keen eye for statistics when it comes to recruiting players. At Southampton, he continually lost individuals who were pivotal components of his side. However, he used the excessive amount of money he received for the likes of Nathaniel Clyne and Adam Lallana to enhance his playing staff at a fraction of the cost, whilst still maintaining their dynamic style and fantastic team spirit.
Finishes of seventh and then sixth were remarkable, given that many tipped the Saints for relegation after their mass exodus and provide further credence of Koeman’s uncanny transfer acumen.
Under Koeman, Everton have already signed Idrissa Gueye from Aston Villa with his powerful numbers surrounding interceptions and closing down in midfield impressing the 53-year-old. More signings are expected with the club in talks to engineer a deal with Swansea for their captain Ashley Williams as the Toffees brace themselves for the departure of cultured centre-back John Stones.
The Merseyside Derby is guaranteed to generate ample amounts of interest with the contrasting personalities of Jurgen Klopp and Koeman going to head to head in the dugout. With the Premier League arguably at its most cut-throat, the fierce competitions for places in the top six means that Everton’s encounters against the likes of Liverpool and West Ham are going to be momentous in terms of the final standings.
Make no mistake; Koeman is inheriting a strong squad with some exciting talent which include the likes of Gerard Deulofeu and Ross Barkley. On the other hand, the expectation levels amongst the Goodison Park faithful are on a different level to those down at St Marys, so it will be interesting to see how Koeman fares with this new lease of pressure.
So much can still happen between now and the start of the Premier League season. Can Koeman persuade Romelu Lukaku to remain an Everton player? Can Williams be prized away from the Liberty?
If Koeman can immerse his professionalism, personality and shrewd judgement into the club, then Evertonians have a genuine cause for optimism and a bright future.