Ronald Koeman has revealed his disappointment at being dismissed, a day after Everton relieved him of his managerial duties on Merseyside.
The Toffees find themselves in the relegation zone and on the verge of failing to qualify for the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds after a forgettable start to the 2017/18 campaign. The players have underperformed and defensively look vulnerable, with Koeman partly responsible for their recent struggles.
Everton have since confirmed that David Unsworth is in temporary charge, with the u23 boss set for his first media briefing ahead of their Carabao Cup fixture away against Chelsea.
In a statement Koeman said, “I would like to place on record my thanks to the players and staff for all of their work and commitment during my 16 months as Everton manager.”
“I would like to thank Bill Kenwright, Farhad Moshiri and the Everton board for the opportunity to have managed a great club, and to the fans as well for their passionate support. Naturally, I am disappointed at this moment but wish the team good luck in the future.”
Unsworth himself will be hoping to assert his credentials as Koeman’s successor, after success with the youngsters at u23 level. They’ve got fixtures against Chelsea, Leicester City, Lyon and Watford before the upcoming international break – at which point you’d expect them to have decided who they’re targeting.
Burnley’s Sean Dyche, Watford boss Marco Silva, Carlo Ancelotti and former Borussia Dortmund manager Thomas Tuchel are just a handful of names that have been linked with the vacancy.
Time to reflect
Koeman received plenty of criticism for treating the Everton job as a stepping stone to greater things and his dismissal – while inevitable – is likely to see his managerial stock fall significantly.
Whether he was sacked too early or should’ve been given more time to turn things around, only time will tell. However, transfer-related decisions were baffling for the most part – especially in the latter part of his reign.
Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane are the only two players who’ve regularly justified their ability and price-tag since joining – while still not being immune to criticism themselves.
The failure to effectively replace Romelu Lukaku has cost Everton in the final third, as they’ve struggled to create clear-cut opportunities and equally their conversion rate has suffered. Wayne Rooney’s return has somewhat helped matters but equally, the decision to sign more than one creative-minded midfielder means that they struggle to play everyone at once.
Gylfi Sigurdsson’s £45m move from Swansea was always going to create headlines, but Davy Klaassen has struggled while their formation tweaks do not allow for more than one number ten in the starting line-up.
There are plenty of questions that have been posed in recent months and with the campaign quickly entering the business end, Everton need answers.
Quotes’ source: Guardian