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Has Koeman Righted Martinez’s Wrongs?
by Ed Bottomley

With each passing loss for Everton, the feeling of déjà vu grows stronger and stronger. When the Everton faithful began filtering out of Goodison Park after a loss to Sean Dyche’s Burnley there was a sense that they had seen this before.

When the axe finally fell on Martinez in the spring of 2016, it was due to a lack of ability to properly utilise the players at his disposal. The Spaniard’s Total Football philosophy was to be his undoing as Everton leaked goals at a frightening rate.

When Ronald Koeman was appointed he had the blueprint of Martinez’s mistakes to help him steer clear of what had gone wrong in the past. He certainly seemed to take heed of that and Bill Kenwright’s appointment worked wonders as Everton finished 7th in the Dutchman’s first season in charge.

That was a positive start as any and had the fans believing maybe the 2017/2018 season will yield the Champions League football Goodison Park craves. With only 7 games played, it looks as if that dream will have to be put on hold as Everton look as fragile and unconvincing as they have for a long time.

There is a growing feeling that Everton may descend into free fall and will have to fight for their Premier League lives instead of challenging for top honours if Koeman is left at the helm. That has prompted questions about whether the former Dutch defender has been able to better what Martinez did.

After Martinez’s first 50 games as Everton manager, the Spaniard had a win percentage of 54% whilst Koeman has only managed a 44% win ratio in his first 50 games. The Dutchman has now been in charge for 55 games and has the same win percentage that his predecessor had when he was sacked. Martinez went on to oversee 162 games as Everton manager and eventually ended with up with a win ratio of 43%. 

Martinez’s inability to alter his footballing principles undoubtedly cost him his job at Everton, but could he have had made a better run of it had he had access to the funds that Koeman has? In the three seasons that Martinez was manager, he spent just under £100m, whilst Koeman has spent a whopping £221m in just over a season in charge.

Everton have had one of their toughest opening set of fixtures in recent times at the club. There is still hope around the terraces of Goodison Park that normality will be restored after the international break as the fixture list gives the Toffees some much-needed respite. The sooner the Blues can climb away from the foot of the table the better. The threat of a relegation battle is not a concern for now as Betsson’s Premier League odds confirm that they are an outside 28/1 to go down.

Everton historically are not a club that fire managers at the first sign of troubled waters. Bill Kenwright may have his patience tested as he fired Martinez for failing to adapt to the situation Everton found themselves in, and it appears Koeman’s stubbornness is also getting the best of him. With an enormous amount of money spent and the current performances Everton are turning in, it is difficult to see how much of an improvement Koeman has made. 


Written by Ed Bottomley

Everton fan exiled in Michigan. Duncan Ferguson obsessive, history buff, optimist. Follow me on Twitter @Dixies60


Koeman had the best part of a fortnight to reflect upon what changes he needed to make, when he could have consulted with his expensively assembled coaching staff and so it beggars belief that he still plays two defensive midfield players who clearly can’t play with each other, played Rooney and Sigurdsson in position where they would trip over each other and played Calvert-Lewin on the wing! Net result same old crap! We are in a relegation fight and as soon as everyone associated with the club realises it the better .Koeman is not the man to lead that fight(even if he wants to which I doubt).For me Unsworth should be given a Contract until the summer with an option of an extension if he does exceptionally well.Some of us remember Mike Walker and Joe Royle and his “dogs of war” coming in , in november and just saving us from relegation.We need to understand our history!

by Brian Ronson on Oct 16, 2017 at 8:39 pm

@Brian Ronson

You’re right to draw comparison with the 90s. I am reading Jim Keoghan’s ‘Highs, Lows and Bakayokos: Everton in the 90s’ – who knows why? Glutton for punishment or something.

Some of the descriptions of Mike Walker’s team read like he’s watching Martínez’s Everton. Koeman’s team with perceived expensive buys but no goalscorer bares striking similarities with Walter Smith’s team. We’ve seen it too many times before. This is not the time to party like it’s 1999. It’s unbearable!

by Philip Taylor on Oct 16, 2017 at 10:07 pm

The problem in defence is Williams and Jagielka. Both of them are over the hill and have been for some time. Worse than that, they’re affecting the younger players. The sooner both are gone the better. Williams in particular is as terrible as his stupid haircut and beard set. Jagielka isn’t the inspiration you would expect from a seasoned player. Midfield is just a total joke with Schneiderlin now little more than an overpaid bystander and Sigurdsson not even that. Rooney should never have been re-signed. A quarter of the season has gone and Koeman already looks like he couldn’t give a shit because he’ll be trousering millions whatever happens. Forget the top half of the table, never mind the top six, and the idea of us getting into the top four is a very bad joke. In my book Koeman has to Christmas to make things better. But he won’t, he’ll be gone by January. I can’t say I’ll miss him in the least. He doesn’t have any knowledge or affection for Everton or the least wish to treat us as anything other than a stepping stone. The only satisfaction I’ll get after he’s gone is that no other big club will touch him with a barge pole after the mess he’s caused here.

by Phil Williams on Oct 16, 2017 at 10:12 pm

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