Why Koeman Is Failing At Everton Despite A Heavy-spending Summer
Everton have always been looked at as a club with a lot of potential but without a cutting edge. When Ronald Koeman was announced as their new manager, expectations were sky-high from fans and critics alike. These expectations skyrocketed once he splashed a massive sum of £140m in the transfer market this summer.
Despite that, Everton have performed quite poorly under him this season and the fans are still waiting for the Dutchman’s influence to yield positive results. His first season with the club was merely average but even after re-building the squad with new players, the team looks weaker than it did in the previous campaign.
A lot of their struggles could be chalked up to letting Romelu Lukaku leave to join Manchester United. Since then, they have failed to replace the striker, which has blunted their attack. Koeman did sign Sandro Ramirez but he is still coming to terms with the English game. Moreover, he is not as clinical or sharp as Lukaku.
Meanwhile, Koeman has a lot of issues to deal with elsewhere. The team seriously lacks pace – they are slow at the back and lack enough firepower up front. As far as the midfield is concerned, they are below average.
As seen in their previous encounters, the team enjoys a healthy amount of possession but often pose zero threat to the opposition. This could be partly blamed upon the manager’s team selection.
Their recent match against Apollon Limassol is the best example. Gylfi Sigurdsson started on the left even after proving to be more effective in a central role. Three wingers graced the bench while the front line looked haphazard on the field.
Last season, their full-backs were quite effective but Seamus Coleman is currently recovering from a broken leg and Leighton Baines has been slowing down due to his age.
Furthermore, Koeman often deploys players in positions that do not suit their skill set. Using Dominic Calvert-Lewin at wing-back is simply shocking, even if the youngster has managed to shine bright for the team.
Needless to say, it has been a tough start for Everton. Last season, the club’s performances improved significantly towards the end of December, and much of their good fortune was due to the energy of Tom Davies and Ross Barkley.
However, to make room for new arrivals like Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney, Davies has been pushed quite low in the pecking order. Barkley, on the other hand, is recovering from an injury and was very close to sealing an exit to Chelsea this summer.
At the start of the season, Everton were touted as one of the underdog contenders for a place in the top five, but as things stand, the team has a lot of work to do. Their Europa League campaign could possibly pave a way to the Champions League but if they continue like this, they might not even cross the group stages.
Time is ticking and Koeman needs to mend his ways pronto. The season still has a long way to go before it ends next year, but it remains to be seen if the manager is able to put his ambitions aside and solely focus focus on repairing the club.