In a crazy transfer market, backed by the Everton board, Ronald Koeman has brought in an arsenal of summer signings that saw Everton spend a net amount of £142.38m. It was a statement of ambition from the Merseyside club.
The board expected the team now to challenge the ‘top six’ of the English Premier League; to fight for a European spot this time. Twelve matches into the season and Everton are languishing at the bottom half of the table with twelve points in their kitty.
The summer began with great joy with the return of their boyhood star Wayne Rooney but things have gone horribly wrong since. They have just collected a grand total of one point from their five big matches against Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, with the 1-1 draw at the Etihad the only positive result. While the results itself do not create many issues, it is the spineless nature of these defeats that have left the Everton fans devastated.
Their Thursday night outings in the Europa League have been in sync with their disappointing domestic form with Koeman’s side claiming one point in four matches. It included a 2-2 draw against Apollon Limassol at Goodison Park and a 3-0 defeat to Atalanta. In the double-header against Lyon, Everton lost both matches 3-0 and 2-1.
The Everton squad hosts a team of players of great calibre. The squad has a good mixture of youth and experience. The likes of Rooney, Sigurosson, Schneiderlin, Coleman, Baines, Williams have a collective experience of 1000 Premier League games and have always maintained a top level of football whichever club they have played for.
Add to the mix the youthful exuberance in the likes of Pickford, Barkley, Ramirez, Klaassen, Keane, Calvert-Lewin and Everton have few of the brightest prospects of European football at the club. The likes of Bolasie, Mirallas and Niasse also play for the Merseyside club, giving them plenty of cover in their attacking third.
It is now being reported that Everton are seeking to appoint Louis Van Gaal. The Dutchman has had a decorated career with several clubs and country alike. His biggest achievement was when he took charge of his home country Netherlands and led them to the semi-finals of the 2014 FIFA World Cup and eventually finished third in the tournament, beating hosts Brazil 3-0 in the third-place match.
In his club career, he has managed Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Barcelona and AZ Alkmaar. His illustrious career has seen him earn 20 trophies and now Everton are looking to bring in the high-profile manager to Merseyside.
Van Gaal’s last expedition ended on a confusing note as the manager was sacked by Manchester United immediately after winning the FA Cup. Whether it will be wise to bring in a manager of Van Gaal’s profile who, despite his failure in England, will want to set his own new rules at the club, will be something to think about for the Everton board as new owner Farhad Moshiri will not want any other alpha at the club challenging his authority, something Van Gaal is known for doing.