What has gone wrong for Everton....
After splashing the cash this summer, much was expected of this ambitious Everton side. Some even backed them to crack the top four. However as we sit here 7 games in to the Premier League season and on a back off another miserable afternoon for the Goodison faithful we sat down with the popular Everton fan page @EvertonBlueArmy to discuss the Toffees' season so far....
Q. So what have you made of Everton's start to the season?
A. It’s been a bit of a disaster so far. We knew the first few fixtures would be tough, but we expected a lot more than what we’re showing currently. We play poor and aren’t getting wins. Simple as that, really.
Q. Of course expectations were high coming into the season however it was all going to take time for the new squad to gel. Does Koeman deserve that time? Or is the issue bigger than the squad failing to gel?
A. It’s a tough one. Some Everton fans think Koeman needs more time and others think he needs to go. Personally, I’m quickly swaying towards saying he has to go. Obviously, we’ve bought lots of new players and they need time to gel, but that doesn’t mean that they forget how to be professional footballers. The performances have been so poor this season and it’s down to tactics, formations, players being played in wrong positions, etc., rather than the squad having new faces in it.
Q. Do you think perhaps the affect of Romelu Lukaku's departure was underestimated?
A. Maybe a little bit. We all knew how much of impact it would have, considering how many goals he scored for Everton last season, but maybe we thought that we had enough signings that could produce goals all over the pitch. A key factor in the Lukaku departure though, is Everton’s failure to find a suitable replacement. Our only strikers are Calvert-Lewin, Sandro and Niasse now and yes, they’re decent options, none of them is a genuine goal scorer. We needed to find one to replace Lukaku with and we didn’t.
Q. I always think it's very rare where football clubs themselves and their fans have the same expectations for their seasons. Where do you believe Everton should be this season? Should they be competing for top 4?
A. Given the amount of money we spent in the transfer window, we should at least be up there pushing for the top 6 this season. We finished 7th last season and if we want to improve, we need to look above us and try to push up. We didn’t spend £140-odd million to get worse.
Q. I see. You mentioned that you were swaying towards wanting Koeman. With that in mind who do you believe is currently available and a better option than Koeman?
A. There are managers available with Carlo Ancelotti and Thomas Tuchel being the two main ones. Either one is better than Koeman I’d say, but the main issue is if they would actually be willing to join Everton. We’re not that attractive at the moment given our position, so if we were to get rid of Koeman, it could be tough to attract someone big. David Unsworth, Everton’s successful U23s manager, has been mentioned, but personally, I’d only want him as an interim manager, due to his inexperience of managing in professional football.
Q. Do you believe Koeman can still turn it around? And if so what do you believe he needs to do?
A. He most likely could, yes, but that would require him changing his system, actually playing players in their correct positions and not trying to shoehorn all of his number 10s into the same system. He’s unbelievably stubborn, so I can’t see it happening, though.
Q. What have you made of Wayne Rooney's return to Everton. Of course he had the incident with drink-driving charge, however he's clearly happy to be back at the club. Is the feeling mutual?
A. I think most Evertonians would say they’re happy to have him back. He started well, scoring 2 in 2, but has dropped off as of late. He might not have the legs he once did, but he’s still got his footballing brain and you can see that when he plays. I’m sure after the team come out of this slump, he’ll go back to the form he was in at the start of the season.
Q. One player I personally was really excited to see was Sandro. It doesn't seem like he's managed nail down a place in the first team just yet. What are your thoughts on him and his start to the season?
A. Sandro hasn’t been great, but I think he deserves time. The same goes for Klaassen. They’ve both come from slower, perhaps easier leagues and it will take a lot of time for them to settle in and get used to the physicality and demands of the Premier League. I’m sure they’ll eventually come good.
Q. One bright spark for Everton has perhaps been the youngsters. What have you made of the likes of Calvert-Lewin and Tom Davies? Important players for the future?
A. Calvert-Lewin has come back this season as a much better player. He’s improved so much since last season and is now being played up front, his preferred position. Davies, although hasn’t had as much chances, is still great for the most part. Both players have big futures ahead of them and I can’t wait to see them improve and get more chances.
Q. Should be very interesting indeed! Could I take some predictions from you? What position do you think Everton will finish in? Your top 4? Bottom 3? Everton top scorer? Everton POTY? Everton breakout star? Will Koeman last the season?
A. I think Everton will probably finish anywhere between 7th-10th. I think the top 4 will be: Man Utd, Man City, Chelsea, Spurs I think the bottom 3 will be: Swansea, Brighton, Palace I think Everton’s top goal scorer will be Wayne Rooney I think Everton’s POTY will be Jordan Pickford I think Everton’s breakout star will be Jonjoe Kenny I’m not sure whether Koeman will last the season. It depends whether he stops being so stubborn and changes his system very soon. If he does, then yes. If not, no.