Ronald Koeman is certainly no stranger to elite European football, making over 190 appearances for Barcelona and managing the likes of Ajax. But the question remains, is this Dutchman the right man for Everton?
Sure, 4 games in to the new Premier League season, and Everton are flying. Unbeaten in the league and lying in 3 rd , only 2 points behind leaders Manchester City, Everton seem to have found a winning formula. However, you only have to look back to previous manager Roberto Martinez’s first season in charge at Goodison to see why fans are still cautious.
Martinez was sacked at the back end of last season after leading Everton to two straight 11 th places finishes. This was surprising to some, as Everton seemed to flourish under the Spaniard in his first season in charge, placing 5 th in the league. This travesty is a huge part of the Everton fans caution towards Koeman, and the transfer window didn’t help the Dutchman either.
A lacklustre transfer window
In February 2016, Iranian businessman Farhad Moshiri invested heavily into Everton Football Club. Then, when Koeman took over, the fans were promised an exciting transfer window, with the promise of marquee signings due to the enhanced budget. Despite managing to complete bargain deals, such as the £7.1m signing of Idrissa Gana Gueye, who was 2 nd to Kante statistically last year, and the £9m signing of defensive unit Ashley Williams, the Evertonians were disappointed as the marquee signing was nowhere to be seen. This left some asking the question, is Koeman going to improve this squad at all?
SOLID START HAS INCREASED EXPECTATIONS
Some of this pressure was immediately alleviated during the first half of the opening fixture vs Spurs. Everton went 1-0 up early on, and dominated the game throughout the first half. New fitness coach Jan Kluitenberg, who was appointed by Koeman, received heaps of praise as the players seemed to be fitter than they ever were after Martinez. This continued, and although the Toffees only managed a 1-1 draw, they have gone on to beat West Brom 2-1, Stoke City 1-0 and Sunderland 3-0. With the unbeaten start not really being threatened at the moment, many believe that Everton are dark horses for this year Champions League places.
Koeman has made changes, that is clear, but is the former Barcelona star going to be a success on Merseyside? Or is he about to become another hopeful manager who fell at the feet of Goodison Park?