The mood around Goodison Park took a nosedive after Burnley ran out winners on Sunday Afternoon. Everton’s early season engine failure has left the majority of supporters clinging to their chairs in despair.
It is quite easy to identify the source of where the problems have been coming from. Ronald Koeman is beginning to be found out and has overseen a start that has left Everton two points above the relegation places. Wayne Rooney’s fairytale return and subsequent winner against Stoke at home in the first game of the season seems a lifetime ago.
Since Rooney’s precision header past a hapless Jack Butland in early August, the atmosphere around the club has soured a drastic amount. Koeman’s squad have only managed to score 3 more goals in the 6 games that followed and have conceded 12. Fans would have been hoping for a great deal more and, whilst their frustration is justified, the fixture list has done nothing to help Everton enjoy a smooth start to the season.
Having to travel to Manchester City, Chelsea, and Manchester United all in the opening 5 games of the season will almost guarantee you have a stop-start opening to your league campaign. Owner Farhad Moshiri said as much himself whilst giving Koeman a vote of confidence.
Moshiri went on to say that ‘Burnley was the only unexpected loss’. Hardly the most ambitious statement but it’s clear to see that Moshiri has his feet firmly on the ground. International breaks are normally detested by the fans but, this time around, the Everton faithful will welcome it.
So too will Koeman as he looks to give his side a shot to the arm and the management they need to start winning football games again. First on his priority list is to get his marquee signings of Gylfi Sigurdsson, Wayner Rooney, and Michael Keane driving the team forward and up the table.
Michael Keane will also be looking to impress Gareth Southgate this month; the player featured in the line-up for England’s recent clash with Slovakia, a match that Oddschecker correctly predicted would be a routine win for the Three Lions, but only as a substitute.
It will be all hands to the pump over the next fortnight at Finch Farm as the Dutchman tries to weave his magic. It won’t get any easier as the first test after the international break is a trip down to the Amex Stadium to play newly promoted Brighton. Brighton boss Chris Hughton will see this as an opportunity to grab 3 points. If the Seagulls do manage to beat Everton it may just be the final nail in Koeman’s coffin.
Everton fan exiled in Michigan. Duncan Ferguson obsessive, history buff, optimist.
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Europa: Thur (18:00); Apollon Limassol at Tsirio Stadium
Premier: Sunday (14:15); Liverpool at Anfield