Thursday, March 30, 2023

3 Things Ronald Koeman Has Got Spot On At Everton So Far

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When Everton dispatched Sunderland at the Stadium of Light after an excellent second half display, Ronald Koeman showed the Everton fans exactly how he earns his money after being regarded as one of the best managers around. The change was evident in the gameplay of the visitors not only in the way how they responded to stir things up as needed in the second 45 minutes but also over the fact that the same team which was embarrassed by the same scoreline at the same venue four months ago changed so much in their compactness while retaining their attacking philosophy.

With 10 points from their 4 games, Everton sit third in the Premier League table. Let’s look at the three things Ronald Koeman has got spot on at his new club so far this season

Buying A Specialist Defensive Midfielder

Perhaps one of the best decisions of Koeman so far, new recruit Idrissa Gueye was brought in to solve the biggest problem the Toffees encountered under Roberto Martinez from his second season in charge. With Gareth Barry becoming older, he desperately needs someone to provide the cover for him and Gueye is just the player who fulfils that role.

Against Sunderland, the former Aston Villa man provided one of the best defensive midfield displays with some brilliant tackling and positive, purposeful passing. The Senegalese even bagged an assist for the first goal in the game. With him in the team, Gareth Barry is able to function a lot better as the two cover for each other and the younger Gueye leads the charge with his stamina and work rate. Balancing and solidifying the deep midfield at the same time is a masterstroke which will reap rewards for the Dutch manager this season.


Keeping Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku divides opinions amongst the fans but he is a goal scorer. Lukaku has many flaws in his game but he knows where the goal is and most importantly has got a good understanding with his teammates which helps him a lot in his forward play.

Lukaku has scored 20 goals or more in each of his last two seasons at the club and has been one player who has settled nicely finding his rhythm at Goodison. Chelsea tried re-signing Lukaku in the summer but the arrival of Koeman played a significant part in the transfer saga with the manager successfully convincing the striker of the upcoming project helping him stay put.

The advantage of having a potent goal scorer well versed with his teammates was on show at the Stadium of Light when the Belgian struck 3 goals in 11 minutes to put the tie to bed.

Replacing Stones With Williams

When Koeman allowed John Stones to leave for Manchester City, he had a clear idea that Williams was going to take his place in the squad. The former Swansea City captain has been an established defender in the Premier League for the Swans and has earned praises with his consistency and leadership.

At 32, Williams was never the long term option but is an effective short-term fix to provide the backbone of the team which needs rebuilding. The first two years will be very crucial for Koeman at Everton and the duo of Jagielka and Williams are good enough to hold the backline together for that duration as the Dutch manager will slowly try to add more quality replacements.

Having an experienced, Premier League tested central defensive pairing is absolutely vital for the clubs in the Premier league, Everton has managed to do that which is already starting to show as the Toffees look much more compact defensively.

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