After a shocking start to the season which sees Everton sit above the relegation zone and a poor start to their European campaign, the buzz that was around Goodison Park at the beginning of the season seems long gone. But where does the blame lie?
The blame should start with the back four and especially the shambolic performances of Cucu Martina and Ashley Williams. After being awarded a partnership with Michael Keane, Ashley Williams was expected to light up the top flight in his new defensive duo but it has been far from that. His bad temper and poor decision making has led to his place in Koeman’s xi to be put in doubt. His poor play out from the back has proven costly for the toffees as it is usually the way the blues are conceding. But his poor performances don’t just lie in Merseyside. Ashley Williams was the player who’s blunder led to a James Mclean strike which would knock Wales out of contention to reach their first world cup in over half a century. And these poor passing mistakes are possibly seen five or six times a match, they’re not just a one off thing. His temper has also shown in recent weeks with him snapping at Lyon Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes possibly being the final straw. This outburst on the Portuguese shot-stopper led to a mass brawl which ultimately ended with a fan receiving a lifetime ban for hitting Lyon Players. Every time the Welshman touches the ball in his own final third it fills you with anxiety knowing that his next move could be costly.
We all know that filling the boots of Seamus Coleman will never be easy but Cucu Martina has made it seem impossible. The Dutchman is currently filling in for the Irish full back who has been recovering from a double leg break which he suffered on International duty in March. But it seems like as soon as Coleman arrives back Martina plans on going else where. His below par performances are that of a player literally filling in and not of one looking to challenge Coleman when he returns to full training.
Now a lot of blues fans stick the blame on the manager for his tactics but it was his transfer activity over the summer that is really to blame. Of course losing Romelu Lukaku is going to be tough so Koeman’s priority should have been a striker but he focused on the midfield. So instead of buying a replacement for Lukaku he invested in three number tens for over sixty million. Koeman spent over half of the money earned from the transfer of there striker on three players who do the same job. Koeman did invest in Sandro Ramirez who scored 14 goals in La Liga last season, it isn’t really enough. So instead of testing out Ramirez, Koeman has spent the past month testing a 32 year old Wayne Rooney out as a striker. Of course he is then replaced by Dominic Calvert-Lewin but for obvious reasons he isn’t going to be the blues saviour this season.
For Everton to have any chance of making it back to Europe they will need to be heavily invested in, in the upcoming January window but until then Ronald Koeman will continue to tred on egg shells until they pull some big results out of the bag.
Who does the blame lie with? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!