I can’t say I was surprised when I saw the news on Monday that Everton had parted company with Ronald Koeman. I asked Mark Lawrenson on Premier League Live last Saturday if Koeman was a dead man walking and Mark thought Koeman might be given more time but he did say that Everton fans would be expecting a big performance against Arsenal. The real worry about Sunday was that it could have been more than 5-2, only for Jordan Pickford.
There has been very little for Toffees fans to get excited by this season, apart from the 1-0 win over Stoke on the opening Saturday of the new campaign and the 1-1 draw at Manchester City the following week. Wayne Rooney scored in both those games but it was quite evident early on that they were lacking a real attacking threat without Romelu Lukaku.
It was always going to be hard to replace the Belgian when he left to join Manchester United for huge money but Everton missed a trick with their recruitment this summer. Liverpool did something similar when they sold Luis Suarez to Barcelona in 2014. Everton have a better squad than they did last season when they finished seventh in the Premier League but the starting 11 is weaker without Lukaku.
There was talk of Olivier Giroud moving to Goodison Park which didn’t happen but there must have been plenty of other options out there, especially if Farhad Moshiri was willing to splash the cash. Koeman even had to recall Oumar Niasse, a player he loaned out to Hull last season. Everton forked out almost £50 million for Gylfi Sigurdsson but he hasn’t settled in just yet and hasn’t played in his preferred role.
Irish fans will know how big a loss Seamus Coleman is and it’s no different for Everton who are without one of their best options going forward. The Ireland captain is so often a catalyst for Everton attacks and they really miss his pace in the side. Koeman admitted last week after the 2-1 defeat to Lyon that the players didn’t have the confidence to play the ball out from the back anymore. I wouldn’t have had Ashley Williams or Michael Keane down for ball playing centre halves.
There are some really talented young players in the squad such as Tom Davies and Dominic Calvert-Lewin but there are some ageing players that need to be moved on. David Unsworth has put his hand up for the job on a permanent basis and he knows the club inside out but I wonder if Everton fans will be expecting someone with more experience in the Premier League or in another top European league. Sean Dyche is the obvious choice and has been linked with a few jobs lately which is understandable given how well he’s done at Burnley. Whoever gets the job will have to deal with expectation because once a club spends money during the transfer window, the board and the fans want to see results and Koeman couldn’t give them that this season.