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.