Everton: Football 'unfair' says Koeman; hint at strengthening in January; Dyche complimentary
After witnessing his side slump to a 2-1 defeat at Turf Moor to struggling Burnley, Everton boss Ronald Koeman only addressed the press at the post-match conference for less than two minutes, answering only one question. His face said all in terms of his mood and reaction, and probably mirrored that of the Everton fans present at Turf Moor that afternoon.
“Sometimes football is really unfair,” the Dutchman declared. “You don’t always get what you deserve.”
Of course one could argue that the Toffees were simply punished for their profligacy in front of goal. Against the tougher sides in the Premier League, of course you can expect to be given just desserts for failing to capitalise, but Everton forgot on Saturday that any team in the Premier League is capable of dishing out the same treatment, and they will head back to Merseyside with a reality check and plenty of reflection on a missed opportunity.
“Of course it is very hard to take,” said Koeman. Everton could have seen themselves into the top four with victory in Lancashire, but as it is their run of games without a win now stands at four games, understandably to Koeman’s frustration, but his side’s lack of killer instinct will also be much to his lament here, especially after Scott Arfield punished them in the dying seconds after spending much of the game camped in the hosts’ half, whilst Burnley’s opener would be enough to have any manager tearing their hair out. It was much reminiscent of something one would witness in a game of FIFA.
“To be going home with no points, it hurts,” Koeman said. “But OK, that’s football.”
Backtracking to Everton’s last defeat away at Bournemouth, Koeman sounded this out in his post-match press-conference at the Vitality Stadium:
“I like several aspects of the team, I don’t like some and we will change that.”
Annoyed by what he felt was unjust criticism by Ross Barkley that day and obviously seething at his team’s performance, his manner here blew that afternoon out of the water.
Koeman has hinted at changes and he will know that his squad needs adjustments, both in terms of January recruitment and on the training ground, with particular topical issues being where to get the best out of Ross Barkley and how to ignite the consistency in Kevin Mirallas.
Despite all the early promise, having gone as high as second in the table already this season, Koeman will need his players and the leaders in his squad to step up if they are to curb the issues that linger within the cracks that have started to show.
“I think we started the game well,” Koeman said. “(Kevin) Mirallas had two good opportunities in the first 5 or 10 minutes, but after 20-25 minutes, I think we dropped a little bit in intensity.
“And you know, when you face direct play, second balls, it is always difficult.
“We went 1-0 down, but I think the reaction of the players was really good in the second half. We scored a good goal, and then we needed to continue.
“They tried, but then Burnley waited for one moment, and they got that one moment.”
In his own press-conference, Sean Dyche was complimentary about the way Everton played at Turf Moor:
“They’re a fine side, a very, very good side” he said addressing the press– but that will prove little solace to Everton fans.
Teams with European ambitions find a way to win these games, but Everton failed to do so. Their form is not that of a club who are looking to become European contenders and surely January cannot come soon enough, when Koeman must provide the extra quality that his team is crying out for. They showed no patience in breaking Burnley down, and were happy to decrease their intensity as the Clarets gained their own foothold in the game.
And the half-time lead was a gift for Burnley, defensive mix-up after mix-up before Maarten Stekelenburg, so impressive in Everton’s 1-1 draw at the Etihad last week, palmed the ball straight to the feet of Sam Vokes who from nowhere had the simple task of tapping home.
Toffees fans will be used to games like this from the tenure of Roberto Martinez, where they would so often fail to turn dominance into results, and once again they proved their own worst enemies on Saturday. It is now up to Ronald Koeman to strengthen in January where his predecessor, much to his detriment, failed to do so.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved by Serg Hoholok.
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