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What went wrong for Ronald Koeman at Everton?

Tuesday 24th October 2017
Rich with optimism, hopeful for the future and a genuine ambition to progress - those were the things coming out of Goodison Park before this season began. So, subsequently, what mistakes did Ronald Koeman make?

Failure to replace Romelu Lukaku



Everton was never going to find an adequate replacement for Romelu Lukaku. He represents a different breed of striker, one suited to the game's upper echelons. In all honesty, Everton was fortunate to have the Belgian during his developing years. Having said that, the club could have at least tried to replace Lukaku's qualities last summer.

Sandro Ramirez joined the Toffees in July, but he's of a different ilk to Lukaku. The Spaniard's performances up to now haven't justified the hype surrounding his arrival.

For all the glittering signings purchased in last transfer window, which totalled £135 million, Everton failed to land the player most required: a strong, agile centre-forward capable of holding up the ball and running in behind. Consequently, Lukaku's presence has been sorely missed.
Not signing a striker in the same mould as Lukaku has stifled the Toffee's creative forces. It also proved fatal to Koeman's Everton career.

What style did Everton hope to implement?



If that's evident, you either have contacts within the club or are sprouting pure conjecture. Everton has no discernible style this season. Bringing in creative players such as Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and Wayne Rooney suggested they would look to play an aesthetically pleasing brand of football. based on movement. The Toffees have the pace to do so - Kevin Mirallas, Ademola Lookman and Dominic Calvert-Lewin all possess the ability to complement teammates who spot gaps and feed their wingers. Yet, instead, Koeman's side mainly played a stale, slow and tedious style.

If a team lacks direction, failure is almost a certainty.

Before the Arsenal match, Ronald Koeman was seen barking orders of 'long balls' in training, leaving his players bewildered. Telling, really.

Koeman's stepping stone



Perhaps Koeman saw Everton as a stepping stone to his nirvana: at the helm of Barcelona. His playing days in Catalonia were filled with success, glory and silverware - he remains a Barca icon, and rightly so.

Yet, the love for his former club hasn't diluted. Koeman's car registration plate is stencilled with BAR, an obvious allusion to his favourite team, and his social media is often awash with pro-Barcelona tweets and messages.
With sights set on the Nou Camp, was Koeman fully-committed to the Evertonian cause? One who has higher aspirations can never truly connect and embed themselves into another club's culture. So, maybe the Dutchman's aloofness cost him.

Conclusion



Koeman's sacking, so early in the campaign, seems like a sensible one. Everton lacked purpose and wasn't reflective of the city they represent. A community predicated on passion and drive were greeted with terse, mathematically (supposedly) designed football.

Therefore, although it appeared a shrewd acquisition at the time, the former Southampton boss was never a good fit. Everton's incoming manager must understand the club's culture and translate such identity into the team. Something that Ronald Koeman never attempted, let alone succeed in doing.
Michael Jones

Football & political writer with a predictable love of everything retro. English Literature undergraduate at the University of Exeter, looking to pursue a career in sports journalism. For a collection of my work, visit. http://mikejonesmedia.wordpress.com

Follow me on twitter: @jonesmichael_97


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