Will losing 5-2 at home to Arsenal and dipping into the early season Premier League drop zone be the end of Ronald Koeman at Everton?
He hopes not.
[ RECAP: Everton 2-5 Arsenal ]
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Koeman said. “I told the players that I believe in the commitment of the players but if you are negative thinking, and everyone is doing it at this moment, I can understand it. You take all the things in a negative way, not even we stayed with 10 men at 1-2. Again, once again all these decisions are not in my hand.
Koeman spoke in relatively relaxed tones after the defeat, clearly flustered but aware that freaking out wasn’t going to change anything.
“It’s difficult,” he said. “It’s not a time to start to be crazy because I’m responsible for this team. We lost 5-2 and it’s a big result even against Arsenal.”
Like fellow Dutch manager Frank De Boer at Crystal Palace, the move is not necessary yet somehow seems inevitable. Will Bill Kenwright and the Everton board be able to avoid itchy trigger fingers with a midweek trip to Chelsea in the League Cup and a visit to Leicester City next?
The League Cup match gives a little buffer, but a relegation six-pointer of sorts against Leicester is probably not the time for a shakeup. And all one has to do is look to the Foxes to see how a managerial change doesn’t fix everything.
If the Toffees squad hates Koeman, and we don’t know much about this, then yes, maybe a change for the sake of change could help before the trip to Leicester.
But there was a moment in the first half, when it was still 1-0 for the hosts, that showed just how slim the margins are for Everton. Gylfi Sigurdsson, the mega money transfer, chipped a ball into the box that any top striker would’ve ran onto and belted home for 2-0.
But there was not a top striker there. Koeman did not sell Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United. Everton, as Arlo White and Lee Dixon said during the broadcast, put all their eggs in Olivier Giroud‘s basket only to see him stay in London for family reasons. Sandro hasn’t done the trick, and the Toffees need January badly. Will they get there with Koeman?