When Everton announced the appointment of Ronald Koeman not so long ago as they managed to lure him from Premier League rivals Southampton, there was a reason for a new lease of hope and optimism at Goodison Park. However, after yesterday’s 5-2 humiliation at home to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal, the club announced that his time at the club has come to an end.
As the club’s hierarchy no doubt begins their search for their new manager, we take a look at three reasons behind Koeman’s dismissal.
Substantial investment in the summer marks no improvement
After a successful season last time out, which saw Koeman guide Everton back into the Europa League with a seventh-place finish, he had earned the trust of the club’s hierarchy and therefore received a sizeable transfer budget this summer.
The club invested around £140 million into the playing staff this summer acquiring the likes of Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Davy Klaassen and more. There was real hope and optimism around the club that they could really push on this season with these marquee signings and potentially even challenge for a place in the top four of The Premier League.
However, as is often the case, these new additions have struggled to gel with the original crop of players, and this has resulted in some poor performances. Koeman is of course not entirely to blame for these additions as the transfer policy of the club involving a Director of Football also must come under scrutiny. The fact that the club has invested such a significant amount of money and seen no improvement in the league is undoubtedly a key factor behind Koeman’s departure.
Romelu Lukaku remarkably never replaced
It was well-known that Romelu Lukaku would not be remaining at the club this summer after he announced in March that he would not be signing a new contract. The club should have begun looking for a replacement for their 25-goal striker at this point, but instead, they went the entirety of the transfer window without finding one. The club did complete deals to sign Sandro Ramirez from Malaga and Wayne Rooney from Manchester United, but neither are on the same level of Lukaku.
Everton’s primary transfer target to replace Lukaku was said to be Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud. However, they had left this deal to the last minute which ultimately resulted in it not going through and left them with a significant gap in the squad. This is a decision which left Koeman’s squad very unbalanced and is another key reason for his dismissal.
A horrific start to the season
There is no doubt that it has just not worked out for Koeman at Everton this season. They are currently sat in the relegation zone having only won two of their opening nine league fixtures. This includes a whopping five defeats and two draws. For a club that was hoping to challenge for a place in the top four this season, this is simply not good enough. Sunday’s game against Arsenal was an excellent opportunity for Koeman’s side to make a statement and show that they are still playing for their manager. However, they put in another dismal performance which has ultimately proved to be the final nail in the coffin for Koeman.