Thursday, February 2, 2023

Everton Season Preview: Can Koeman Bring Back The Good Times?

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Snehanjan Banerjee
Snehanjan used to a former columnist at The 4th Official. Fan of KK, Cricket and Liverpool (in no particular order).

Everton fans should be excited about this season. Roberto Martinez is finally gone from the club after giving them two embarrassing back to back bottom half finishes. It was a major surprise considering how the team performed under him in the first season. Now with the Spaniard gone and an accomplished manager like Ronald Koeman in the back room, high should be the hopes in the Blue half of Merseyside.

With the financial injection from their new billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri and the stewardship of Koeman, the next season could be the dawn of a new era at Goodison Park. The Toffees were expected to storm the transfer market this summer but surprisingly, Everton have failed to attract any big-name player so far.

There is still a long time before the transfer window slams shut but with the Premier League starting this weekend, the lack of early action from the Blues might come back to haunt them. Probably the reason of the lack of activity from Everton is the situation with Romelu Lukaku and John Stones, both in high demand.

Transfers

In

Maarten Stekelenburg – Fulham, undisclosed

Bassala Sambou – Coventry, compensation

Chris Renshaw – Oldham, undisclosed

Idrissa Gueye – Aston Villa, £7.1m

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 02: Idrissa Gueye of Aston Villa controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park on April 2, 2016 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – APRIL 02: Idrissa Gueye of Aston Villa controls the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Chelsea at Villa Park on April 2, 2016 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Out

Leon Osman, released

Tony Hibbert, released

Tim Howard – Colorado Rapids, free

Steven Pienaar – released

Jordan Thorniley – Sheffield Wednesday, undisclosed

Jindrich Stanek – released

Felipe Mattioni – released

Conor Grant – Ipswich, loan

John Stones – Manchester City, £47.5m

Fees courtesy- Sky Sports

A review of the transfers done

In one word, pretty average. Looking at the squad of the Toffees and how they performed last season, Everton should have probably been the most active Premier League club this summer. They do have the resources with the takeover by Moshiri and of course the windfall of the huge TV money. Not doing early business can cost the Toffees big time. The squad Koeman has at his disposal right now is not even a top-half team.

The only good brilliant deal done by the fallen giants of Merseyside was signing Idrissa Gueye from Aston Villa. The Senegalese international offers plenty of industry and steel to the Everton midfield that failed to protect their back four last season. Gueye comes into the team having made as many interceptions per 90 (possession adjusted) as McCarthy and Barry combined (3.32 versus 1.76 + 1.60). Everton have to buckle up really soon and do their business before it’s too late.

Tactics

Ronald Koeman is a manager who wants his side to play a possession-based attacking and progressive football. Martinez, even though he was a big failure at the Goodison, was an attacking-mined manager too and has left a few quality players for Koeman who could play a crucial role under the Dutchman. Players like Barkley, Deulofeu, Baines, and Coleman will all play key roles under Koeman this season. Lukaku’s future at the club is yet to be decided and that will also have a big say on Everton’s future endeavours. Everton are probably 5-6 signings away from assembling a team that could help them break into the top-six and unless they are done, it’s hard to say what tactics Koeman will deploy next season. The signing of Ashley Williams could help the team as he is more experience than Stones who will join Man City.

Expectations and Predictions

Everton should be aiming for a top-six finish next season but achieving it with the squad they have right now is an improbable task. We have to wait and see how much Everton can improve on their first team until the transfer deadline day and then only it would be fair to expect something from them. As thing stand right now, Everton would be lucky to finish in top eight next season.

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