Ronald Koeman

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Koeman hits out at English managers, Saints over youngsters

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Ronald Koeman has hit out at other managers who do not give young players a chance to play in the Premier League.

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The Everton manager was criticized during his time at Southampton for not bringing through more young players but since he’s been at Everton he’s made the likes of Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Mason Holgate, Matthew Pennington and Ademola Lookman regulars in his first team.

Ahead of the Toffees clash at West Ham on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) Koeman revealed how his approach differs from that of other coaches in England.

“I see differences in how I like to give young players a chance maybe more than the English managers. They are afraid. I am not afraid to put young players in,” Koeman said. “I know in English football people say you have to look out for young players, that maybe they say they can play 15 or 20 games, not more. But I am not afraid – maybe they are.

“It is all about the talents of the young players. If they have the ­talent you have to give an opportunity. If they don’t have the talent then you have to look ­elsewhere. If I have a second center back and he is 20 and I think he can do the job, then I don’t sign a center back as a third option. My young boy is my second option. It’s the way I like to work.

“I am a ­manager who is giving young players a chance when they deserve it. I am not doubting whether to give a young player a chance instead of an older player. But that was in ­Holland, Spain and Southampton and also in Everton.”

Koeman went on to defend himself about not using youngsters at his former club Southampton and was particularly harsh about the quality of the latest batch of young players coming through at St Mary’s.

“In Southampton they can look at how many players made their debuts in the first team of Southampton when I was the manager – seven, eight, nine?” Koeman said. “But why they don’t play for the first team more regularly? Because they weren’t good enough. Now this season they played in Europe when the manager was using a lot of players to have rotation. Now they don’t play in Europe they don’t play every weekend. Tell me which young player is now in the first team? Nobody. That is criticism but, OK, no problem.”

The legendary Dutchman tells it how it is and his philosophy of playing youngsters has been consistent throughout his coaching career in Portugal, Spain, Holland and England. At Everton he has lambasted the likes of Ross Barkley publicly but seems to be getting results from the talented youngster and he seems to have a knack of getting the best out of young talent in general.

That said, Koeman could’ve been a little more tactful when making this point.

Premier League Preview: West Ham vs. Everton

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  • Toffees won 2-0 on Oct. 23
  • Irons took 4 points last season
  • Everton leads all-time 68W-30D-37L

Everton aims to keep its slim Top Five hopes alive when it attempts to sweep West Ham United for the fourth time in five seasons (Watch live at 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Romelu Lukaku should be a big part of that as he looks to build his 4-goal lead in the race for the Premier League’s Golden Boot. The soon-to-be 24-year-old has 24 goals on the season.

It hasn’t been a great couple months for West Ham, which the club is looking to turn around having picked up four points in the last two weeks (albeit against relegation candidates).

What they’re saying

West Ham’s James Collins on stopping Lukaku“Of course, Lukaku has got a good record against us, and we probably haven’t defended as well against him as we could have done in games gone by. Physically, he has got everything, he is big, strong and he can finish so it’s going to be a tough game. He’s obviously on top of his game, but I’m happy with the way I’m playing at the minute, so I’m looking forward to pitting my wits against one of the best strikers in the Premier League.”

Everton boss Ronald Koeman on away form: “It’s all about the attitude and having that in the same way when we play at home and away. Of course, it’s going to be slightly different because at Goodison we have the backing of 39,000 home fans. When those fans are against you [in an away game], that makes a difference. But we need to start well, start aggressive and try to score. We need a little bit more of that mentality away from home.”

Prediction

Something has to give between Everton’s road form (three matches in 13) and the Hammers being better away from the London Stadium than inside its walls. We expect that to sway toward the better quality on Everton, which wins 2-0.

Dyche wishes managers would stop publicly recruiting Burnley players

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Sean Dyche wishes Ronald Koeman and other managers would keep his players’ names out of their mouths, but knows this sort of quasi-recruitment is the name of the game.

Michael Keane has been a very good defender since leaving Manchester United for Burnley, earning caps with the England national team.

[ MORE: What’s Man Utd’s best UCL route? ]

So it’s no surprise that Dyche would like to keep him around Turf Moor, nor that Everton is among a host of clubs who would love to lure the 24-year-old to Goodison Park.

But where should the recruitment stop? Dyche does not like that managers would openly speak of the spoken for.

“I’ve had it with many players and it’s a balance in the sense it’s a compliment in the sense that people think there must be life at Burnley so they think let’s go and have a look and when they do look they think there are some really good players there and then there is that edge of worry that eventually when someone comes in, who are way more powerful than us financially and start pushing the boundaries,” Dyche said.

In some cases, managers are just responding to the media’s questions, but in others there’s a bit of “tapping up” involved in the comments. A player of Keane’s age, skill set, and nationality is always going to be in demand, and a smaller club like Burnley sure would prefer every advantage in keeping them.

Keane has also been linked with an Old Trafford return, too, and he’ll be in demand should he have any desire to leave Burnley.

Koeman: Keep winning and hope for Arsenal, Man Utd to stumble

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Ronald Koeman didn’t love Everton’s start against feisty Burnley, but he did feel much better once his Toffees turned up the heat.

Scoreless at halftime, Koeman’s Toffees scored thrice in the second half to climb into fifth place in the Premier League.

[ RECAP: Everton 3-1 Burnley ]

Everton won’t be looking too hard at that standing given that Manchester United and Arsenal have played three less matches, but the Toffees also aren’t closing the door on keeping their standing.

“It’s a difficult one for Everton but we are in good position at the moment,” Koeman said. “We need to wait. Maybe they lose some more points than they did the last few weeks. Then everything is possible.”

Everton finishes with West Ham, Chelsea, Swansea, Watford, and Arsenal. They’d likely need to take at least 13 points and have the Arsenal match be a win in order to finish higher than 7th.

If they play the way they did in the second half Saturday, that’s a possibility. From EvertonTV:

“Not a 90 minutes good performance. It took 25-30 minutes in the first half to understand what we had to do better. Burnley started with more aggression.

“After the first 45 minutes, with the substitutes we made brought more aggression in the team and maybe more football in the midfield.”

Koeman slams Klopp’s behavior in Merseyside derby

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Ronald Koeman is not happy with Jurgen Klopp at all.

During Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Everton at Anfield on Saturday, there were several flashpoints which saw both managers have words on the sidelines.

Tackles from Ross Barkley seemed to be at the center of things, as Klopp and his coaching staff complained to the officials on multiple occasions.

Speaking to Sky Sports Koeman, who said he was “proud” of his team, was far from impressed with those antics.

“Tackles are part of football I saw some tackles from Lucas. It’s all about football but we don’t make a show from the bench like Liverpool. It’s football – a hard and fair game,” Klopp said. “I don’t like coaches from the bench the whole time shouting to referees and linesmen, making a big show about tackles. They were crazy. They didn’t need the physio on the pitch. It’s a man’s sport.”

Tells us what you really think, Ronald…

Even if Liverpool’s bench was animated, like it always is with Klopp on the sidelines, Koeman surely cannot hide the fact that Barkley was very lucky to stay on the pitch in the first half as he caught Dejan Lovren with a high tackle which only got him a yellow card.

This game was a feisty Merseyside derby and there was always going to be plenty of fallout after injuries and hefty challenges.