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The Koeman Diaries – 1 Year On

A year ago today Everton sacked Ronald Koeman, we are still fixing his mess even today

Everton’s sacking of Ronald Koeman could be likened to that of his attitude towards Everton. Cold. The closing scenes of the Koeman era were as painful as many Everton fans can remember. The sacking came quick and swift. After weeks of speculation and questions directed to Koeman surrounding his future, Moshiri and co pulled the trigger a year ago today. I examine on how it came to a conclusion on that Monday afternoon in October 2017.

Ronald Koeman had no affection towards Everton or the Everton brand he was supposed to respresent and lead into a bright future even less than that of Sam Allardyce. The appointment promised much but delivered little in the the end. Spending was aplenty. Early signings of Ashley Williams, Yannick Bolasie and Enner Valencia was a stark shift in the imagination of Everton fans who hoped for Yacine Brahimi, Virgil Van Dijk and Manolo Gabbiadini. In fairness, the first season was deemed acceptable. A 7th place finish and a return to the Europa League was welcomed by the Goodison faithful as was the purchases of Morgan Schneiderlin and Ademola Lookman in January 2017. A 4-0 victory against Manchester City was also a high point as was a return to the club for Wayne Rooney. The positives never stretched any further.In fact, that same season there were causes for concern. A bleak, poor run running from the end of September 2016 to a calamitous 3-2 defeat away to Watford at the beginning of December brought about a lot of questions regarding the future of Everton under Ronald Koeman at that time, as problems reminiscent to that of Roberto Martinez’s time at Everton began to surface despite the bright start Koeman had at Everton.Koeman’s domestic cup form was also a sticking point to many fans in the first season. Lacklustre home defeats to Norwich, in the Carabao Cup and Leicester in the FA cup, proved too much for a section of Goodison at that time as well as his arrogance in team selection with Everton’s system switching constantly between a 4-2-3-1 and a 5-3-2. The following season was even worse.

Despite the glaring problems that faced Koeman’s side in the 2016/17 season, optimism and a sense of finally stumbling upon the right man was felt by man Evertonians in the following campaign. In fact the season started respectably with a 1-0 home win against Stoke, with Wayne Rooney, local hero bought back by Ronald Koeman scoring the winner for Everton that day, and with hindsight we should not have met that game with such optimism considering how rigid and pace-less we were that day.After this an encouraging point away to Manchester City was the only bright point. One away win in the calendar year under his watch along with pathetic defeats to Burnley, Atalanta, Spurs and Lyon in the following campaign. A 2-5 drubbing by Arsenal in October 22nd 2017 proved to be his last as manager of Everton. In his final Press Conference, with Everton 19th in the Premier League, Koeman told the sitting press to ‘write what you want’ and declared that ‘people need to be a bit more realistic when talking about Everton.’ Koeman was sacked less than 24 hours later. And a month after his sacking with the club still languishing in the bottom three and after furiously trying to chase Marco Silva out of Watford, Everton appointed Sam Allardyce. All of which wouldn’t have happened if Koeman was ‘a bit more realistic’ and actually faced the problems Everton faced with real responses (not playing Dominic Calvert-Lewin at right back and Gylfi Sigurdsson left midfield.)

Even today the imbalance is being solved of which he left. Marco Silva is at the helm now and has went on his own summer spree that has left Everton 8th in the table after three consecutive wins. The future is bright under Silva, Everton play with width, pace and intent these days, with Richarlison, Bernard and Sam Allardyce signed Theo Walcott. Silva has began to fix issues Ronald Koeman should have but due to his football arrogance, aloof nature and dinosauric attitude did not see to fix these issues of pace and balance.Everton may be on the up with the new, modern progressive football attitudes of Marco Silva but Everton fans must not forget the wretched era of Ronald Koeman yet, he is the cause of the cataclysmic 2017/18 campaign not Sam Allardyce or David Unsworth.

– Owen

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