Everton have really struggled to get their season going despite some decent signings in the summer. They have started with 2 wins, 2 draws and 4 losses in the league so far. In the Europa League group stage, just a single point to show in 3 games which is not good enough. Koeman has cut a frustrated and confused figure, his constant change of personnel isn’t helping the cause either. We will take a look as to why this is going in the opposite way of expectation for the Toffees.
1.) Lack of a Potent striker: –
The departure of Romelu Lukaku was inevitable even before the end of last season. So, buying a proven goal-scorer should have been Everton’s main aim. Despite that, the early business was done to buy centre-backs, midfielders and goalkeeper. Surprisingly, their transfer committee didn’t focus much to replace the Belgian striker.
They almost got Giroud who could have solved the problem but couldn’t complete the deal. After all that, they got Sandro Ramirez and Wayne Rooney which was never going to be enough. Since the start of this season, Sandro (so called problem-solver) has played 217 minutes and yet to score a goal.
Koeman then started with Sheffield academy man Calvert-Lewin as a central striker in support of Rooney. This combination had good pace and vision but lack of finishing. The manager has even tried out of sight Niasse who brought them a win with a brace but that was all it. He pointed his need of a striker in the squad after Everton’s draw away to Manchester City. The board apparently had other ideas regarding this.
2.) Constant change of Lineup: –
The continual change of shape and personnel is another reason which has disjointed the functioning of the elevens put out on the pitch. Koeman has tried with 3 at the back, 4 at the back, narrow formation and all those stuff. Nothing seems to have clicked for the Dutchman.
Probably, the lack of goals (5 in 8 league games) from the strikers has deterred him to start with preferred 4-2-3-1 formation. This is the reason why he chose 4-2-2-2 in recent games which were justified from his point of view. He wanted 2 strikers and more presence in the box just to have better chance of goals.
The problem of a manager not able to recognise his best eleven is a severity of the bigger picture here at the Goodison. We can compare the Liverpool 2014/15 situation when they sold Suarez and bought quantity over quality. The Spurs situation of 2013/14 with the selling of Gareth Bale was pretty much the same and the end result was the sacking of the manager in charge.
Although, both Koeman and the owners have stated their mutual understanding of being patient with the current situation, there has to be a threshold level before it breaks down. In the modern day era where managers gets sacked after 4-5 games, giving time is never the order of the day.
Results have to come now for the Toffees and Koeman before the saturation level is reached. The Arsenal game on Sunday might be the one which can trigger their season. Both players and manager have to understand the enormity of that fixture and go about in the right way.