Ronald Koeman displeased with Everton fitness

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With the new Premier League season set to begin over the weekend, new Everton manager Ronald Koeman isn’t happy.

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Ahead of the Toffees’ clash with Tottenham on Saturday, the Dutchman has come out and criticized his team’s lack of fitness due to an unnecessarily long summer vacation.

“In my opinion, the team is only on 70 percent of the fitness of what a Premier League player needs,” Koeman said. “We do testing, runs and sprints. At Southampton, we had a really strong team. In terms of a physical state, the team was high. I don’t know about other teams, but if I compare here it is 70 percent and at Southampton it was 100 percent.

“But they had a holiday of six or seven weeks at Everton. I changed it to start the season three days earlier. I had planned for Southampton to start the season one week or 10 days earlier because it is not good that players get six or seven weeks of holiday. That is one of the reasons why they are not on the level they need to be.”

It’s understandable that players aren’t at peak fitness after a long summer, however, it certainly isn’t ideal for an Everton side that is tasked with facing Spurs on opening weekend.

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Additionally, the recent loss of John Stones presents a challenge for the Toffees on the defensive end after the young centerback moved on to Manchester City for a big payday.