When Ronald Koeman took over Everton it was understandable Toffees fans were happy. In fact, even with the loss of Romelu Lukaku you’d say they had a pretty impressive summer.
But so far this season it just hasn’t quite worked for the Dutchman. The club are languishing in 16th with just two wins from eight games and aren’t really showing fancy signs of improvement.
Which begs the question. Is it time for change at Goodison Park?
Should he stay or should he go?
Now, it can’t be argued that change is needed in some form. Their style of play simply isn’t working. They were uninspired in their draw against Brighton and boos rang around Goodison following their 1-0 defeat against Burnley.
They have signed heavily this summer, which suggests the new players just aren’t adapting to his philosophy, but do they have the ability to?
Former midfielder Kevin Kilbane has already called for his head, claiming he can’t see where their creativity will come from until the transfer window.
Confidence is low in both the pitch and in the terraces at the moment, and with seemingly no plan B, the board may have no choice if the club are to climb the table.
The football betting world is already waiting for Koeman to get the chop. He’s already favourite to be sacked next following Craig Shakespeare’s departure from Leicester and bookies have placed Carlo Ancelotti as the number one replacement.
Can he turn it around?
Nobody likes to see a manager sacked so early in a season however, and he does have the players to turn it around.
Results aside, Goodison is an exciting place to be. The return of Wayne Rooney and arrival of Gylfi Sigurdsson and the plethora of quality youth coming into the side suggests they are a top seven team.
The club will come good, and there’s no reason Koeman can’t be the man to do it. He led the side to seventh last season, although this season it has to be done without hitman Lukaku.
His loss is evident by his free-scoring at Old Trafford and Koeman is hoping his new additions can combine to make up that tally.
Old Trafford is probably the place to look when it comes to Everton too. Last season was far from successful in the Premier League for United. But Mourinho has maintained his philosophy, the club have got behind him, and they – so far – look like serious title challengers.
It’s a similar story for Koeman and Everton. You can see he’s trying to build something. The integration of Dominic Calvert-Lewis and Tom Davies has worked really well, with the pair looking real stars of the future, while Jordan Pickford and Michael Keane are nailed on England starters further down the line.
It’s whether Koeman will be given the time to see these players blossom. Toffees fans will certainly be thankful to their manager in a few season’s time when the core of their team is built on homegrown talent.
Football’s a results game though, and it’ll be interesting to see whether he can collect enough points over the coming weeks to save his job and Everton’s woes.