Ah. The old dreaded vote of confidence.
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Reports about Ronald Koeman‘s future at Everton have been plentiful in recent weeks as the defeats racked up and after the Toffees’ home loss to Burnley on Sunday suggestions he could be fired intensified.
However, one man is backing Koeman to turn it around and, quite crucially, it’s his boss.
Speaking to talkSPORT radio in the UK, Everton’s billionaire owner Farhad Moshiri has said Koeman has his “total support” despite the Toffees sitting in 16th place in the Premier League table after a summer which saw them spend over $190 million on new players.
“We are in a bad moment. But we have played the four title contenders, three away. Today was an unexpected loss,” Moshiri said following the defeat to Burnley. “The four pre-qualifying UEFA games and two group games on Thursdays haven’t helped. There is mental and physical fatigue and seven injuries. These are early days and Koeman has my total support. We have great fans and they deserve better. We know the honest and objective expectations of our supporters and will not let them down.”
Moshiri is right to point out Everton’s tough start to the season.
They had games at Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United and then a home game against Tottenham all in their opening five matches. But the manner in which they were beaten by Chelsea, United and Spurs was the most concerning for Everton’s supporters.
Add in a 3-0 thrashing at the hands of Atalanta in the UEFA Europa League, and also drawing at home against Cypriot minnows Apollon Limassol in the group stages, and the pressure is mounting.
The main problem for Everton has been scoring goals as Romelu Lukaku was not replaced and the No.10s brought in to chip in with goals have yet to flourish with Wayne Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen failing to hit their best form with just four goals scored by Everton in their opening seven games of the season.
Rooney was not only dropped to the bench against Burnley but also charged with DUI after an incident in September and many are already questioning Koeman’s faith in the Manchester United and England legend.
With Oumar Niasse brought in from the cold to score important goals in their win against Bournemouth last weekend, some of Koeman’s decisions to ostracize players from his squad have been questioned by fans and pundits. Ross Barkley has been criticized heavily by the Dutchman and so has Kevin Mirallas. There’s a feeling that Koeman is creating his own problems at Goodison.
Koeman led Everton to a seventh-place finish last season, his first in charge of the club, but after making sweeping changes over the summer it appears the expensive rebuild has not only added more pressure on his shoulders with increased expectations but it has also seen his team regress.
Up next for Everton are two very winnable Premier League games in the month of October against Brighton and Leicester City, as well as a clash with Arsenal. Failure to get anything less than four points from those three games will surely pile even more pressure on Koeman, not matter what his boss says.
Especially when Carlo Ancelotti and others are waiting in the wings.