Ronald Koeman

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Ronald Koeman lifts lid on Giroud deal, Everton problems

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Ronald Koeman has been talking about his 16-month spell in charge of Everton and where it all went wrong.

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And the failure to sign Olivier Giroud over the summer is clearly his biggest, and most damaging, slip-up as Everton boss.

Speaking to Dutch magazine Voetbal International, Koeman revealed how close he came to getting the final piece of the jigsaw.

“I had Olivier Giroud in the building,” Koeman said. “That was hard to swallow. That would have been perfect but at the very last minute he decided he’d rather live in London. You tell me where you can get a better striker.”

I understand that Giroud’s hold-up play would have been ideal for Everton, but was there really no Plan B for Koeman and Everton’s Director of Football Steve Walsh in the transfer market? Chris Wood? Fernando Llorente? Islam Slimani?

Hardly household names but all three players were available in the summer and would’ve done a similar job to Giroud to replace the Romelu Lukaku-sized hole in their attack.

Koeman also, predictability, pointed to the summer sale of Lukaku as the main reason for Everton’s struggles and defended spending a club record $55 million on Gylfi Sigurdsson as well as spending big on numerous other No.10s in Wayne Rooney, Nicola Vlasic and Davy Klaassen.

“Lukaku was important to us, not only because of his goals, but because of his way of playing – strong, quick, direct,” Koeman said. “There was always the option of the long ball to him. Now we missed such a player, we had Nicola Vlasic and Wayne Rooney, players who want the ball in to feet.”

“We sold Lukaku for £90m. Our most expensive purchase, the Icelander Gylfi Sigurdsson, cost half. It’s a lot of money, but in England you work in a world of different numbers. Players here all cost a lot more than they are actually worth. That’s how the market works.”

Again, Koeman’s defense of Everton’s summer of spending seems like he is making excuses for failing to find a striker.

Yes, Everton had been handed a tough schedule to start the season but it was the manner of the performances rather than the defeats which were most concerning for the fans and the board.

“I was on holiday when I received the Premier League fixture list by e-mail,” Koeman said. “I looked at it and saw that five of our first nine games would be against clubs from last season’s top six: Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City, Man United and Arsenal. I looked at it again and I said to myself, ‘Phew! That is not going to be an easy run, in particular with a Europa League run at the same time’. And, most of all, because I had lost my striker Lukaku.”

All in all, when we look back at his time in charge of the Toffees we will think about how different it would’ve been had one man decided to swap London for Merseyside.

Giroud will not be on Koeman’s Christmas card list for quite some time…

Ronald Koeman releases statement after Everton exit

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Ronald Koeman has spoken for the first time since leaving Everton.

On Monday the news everyone expected arrived as the legendary Dutchman saw his 16-month reign at Goodison Park come to an end.

Koeman, 54, oversaw a huge rebuild of Everton’s squad in the summer with $190 million spent but his side lost five of their opening nine games in the Premier League and are currently in the relegation zone.

Here’s what he had to say about his firing.

Everton finished in seventh place in the PL last season in Koeman’s first campaign in charge and showed plenty of promise as they pushed for a top four finish until late in the season.

The failure to replace Romelu Lukaku‘s 25 goals in attack for last season was the main reason for Everton’s poor start to the season, but Koeman’s combative nature with multiple members of Everton’s first team didn’t help matters and the Dutchman looked a dejected figure in recent weeks.

Adding to their woes in the Premier League, Everton also failed to win any of their opening three games in the UEFA Europa League group stage and are struggling to make the knockout rounds of the competition.

With plenty of promise upon Koeman’s arrival in the summer of 2016, plus heavy spending over both seasons, Everton’s progress has hit a considerable speed bump.

Suggestions that Koeman’s ego (fueled by his illustrious playing career) got in the way at Everton seem close to the mark as he failed to properly connect with the club and its fans and seemed to only be using it as a stepping stone for a move to his beloved Barcelona.

That won’t happen anytime soon for Koeman.

As for Everton’s future, the favorite for the job is Burnley’s Sean Dyche with Thomas Tuchel also mentioned, but caretaker boss David Unsworth is understood to be a frontrunner to land the job on a permanent basis.

Who will replace Koeman at Everton?

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Where will Everton turn in search of their next manager?

U23s coach David Unsworth is the front-runner to take over, according to several betting sites — not that we’d partake in such madness — and the 44-year-old boasts 312 career appaearances for the Toffees.

[ MORE: Everton sacks Ronald Koeman ]

As for who else could be in frame for the gig, there are names (quite) familiar and new.

David Moyes — This one is an eyebrow-raiser, as Moyes has had little if any success since leaving Everton and ended his time at Sunderland with a sexist takedown of a journalist. But the 54-year-old Scot spent more than 11 years at Everton before leaving for Manchester United, and it’s not like the Toffees wanted him to skip town. He was thrice League Manager of the Year at Goodison Park.

Sean Dyche — The Burnley boss has overachieved time and again at Turf Moor, and the Clarets are one of the smallest outfits the Premier League has ever seen. A move to Everton could be a big and safe enough step to warrant his affection.

Carlo Ancelotti — He’s said he’s not returning to a manager’s seat this season, but the Italian may relish the chance to take a skillful team and organize it into its rightful potential. And we think he’s do a magnificent job.

Chris Coleman — He’s waffled on staying in his position at Wales, and the club’s absence from this summer’s World Cup must have him eyeing the club scene. He’s hasn’t led a club since 2012, having led AEL, Coventry City, Real Sociedad, and Fulham.

Phil Neville — The Manchester United and Everton playing legend doesn’t have first chair experience, but may be able to rally the troops. His latest stint was as an assistant in brother Gary’s tough, short campaign at Valencia.

Although… his recent prediction record isn’t hot.

Longshots: Mikel Arteta, Luis Enrique, Eddie Howe, Thomas Tuchel, Sam Allardyce, Manuel Pellegrini, Frank De Boer.

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Everton fires Ronald Koeman

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A 5-2 home loss versus Arsenal sent Everton into the Premier League drop zone, and that’s apparently a bridge too far for the Toffees when it comes to their managerial position.

Ronald Koeman is out at Goodison Park.

[ MORE: Who will replace him? ]

Everton sits 18th in the Premier League with eight points, it’s minus-11 goal differential second-worst in the top flight. Its 18 goals conceded are third-worst, and only three clubs have scored fewer goals than its seven.

The Toffees won two rounds in the Europa League, beating Ružomberok and Hajduk Split, but have lost to Atalanta and Lyon while drawing Apollon Limassol in Group E play.

Everton faces Chelsea in League Cup play on Wednesday before a critical early season match at Leicester City on Sunday.

[ MORE: Mbappe named Golden Boy ]

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Vote of confidence: Bilic expected to remain West Ham manager

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Nine games into the 2017-18 Premier League season, Slaven Bilic and Ronald Koeman find themselves in a neck-and-neck race to (not) be this campaign’s next manager fired.

[ MORE: Spurs break the hoodoo, thrash Liverpool at Wembley ]

After suffering home defeats of 3-0 (to Brighton) and 5-2 (to Arsenal), respectively, this weekend, from this point forward every breath taken could be their last in their current job — unless the results begin to change, quickly. With Everton having only played on Sunday, no final decision is believed to have been made regarding Koeman’s future.

Having played on Friday and had the weekend to mull things over, though, West Ham United’s owners have reportedly decided that Bilic will remain in the job for at least another two games, a period during which he must secure his job long-term, according to a report from Sky Sports.

Up next for 16th-place West Ham is a trip to Selhurst Park to take on bottom-of-the-league Crystal Palace on Saturday. 18th-place Everton visit Leicester City on Sunday.