Five reasons why Ronald Koeman’s Everton can break into top four after impressive start
Robbie Purves | September 26, 2016
Why Koeman’s Everton can break into the top four
Ronald Koeman’s revitalised Everton have shocked many this season with their opening Premier League performances and only sit outside the Champions League places thanks to goal difference.
The Toffees were beaten at the weekend by Bournemouth, but shouldn’t overshadow their five league game unbeaten streak heading into the fixture that has many Toffees fans dreaming of the elite European club competition.
Here, Coral football writers look at reasons why Koeman’s Everton can break into the top four…
His arrival has led to a transformation in the Goodison Park club’s results and all round feeling at the club. Far from the porous defence that became a hallmark of Roberto Martinez’ side, Koeman has tightened things up at the back.
Everton now boast the second-best defence in the division, the polar opposite to their 14th ranked unit last term that conceded 55 in the league.
Last season Koeman guided Southampton to an incredible sixth placed finish, with a side again pillaged by transfers. But look at his first term in charge and you’ll see something even more impressive.
He arrived on the south coast to find a devastated side, in a 2014 summer window that saw Luke Shaw, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Calum Chambers and Rickie Lambert leave the club.
After Koeman tweeted this, many laughed and resigned Saints to a relegation fight, far from it, he finished seventh.
— Ronald Koeman (@RonaldKoeman) 28 July 2014
The Dutchman has serious managerial talent and the ability to craft successful teams with limited resources and, for that reason, why couldn’t the Toffees break into the top four? Goodison Park is a generous 13/2 with Coral to witness Champions league football next season.
Romelu revels in new era
Romelu Lukaku still managed to net 25 last term under Martinez, but consistent rumours kept emerging from the Belgium striker’s camp speaking of his unhappiness on Merseyside.
However, almost immediately after he returned to training, the speculation vanished and is clearly now back enjoying his football under Koeman.
The big man has four in five league games so far and is one of only five players to score 50 Premier League goals before his 23rd birthday.
Netting 65 in 133 Everton appearances to date, Lukaku has remained prolific through last year’s tough term and possesses the goals needed to maintain a push for European football.
Moshiri money moves club forward
New majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri brings with him untold riches for Everton, a club so long held back by financial restraints.
However, this isn’t a boom and bust project, Moshiri is here for the long-term and chairman Bill Kenwright has done all he can to ensure a smooth handover of power.
Stability aids a club’s endeavour for long-term success and, with this solid base that has been in place for more than a decade, there is no reason why Everton can’t achieve Champions League football.
The Toffees take on fellow in form outfit Crystal Palace at the weekend and are 4/6 odds-on to triumph at home.
Through the years, Everton have developed top talent from their academy or brought sensational youngsters into the first-team fold.
From Wayne Rooney to John Stones, the club has a record of developing youngsters into top players.
However, at present, Koeman’s young core looks ready to excel and push the club further than ever before in the Premier League era.
Bright left back Mason Holgate has already played three league games this term, Ross Barkley (who has seen an uplift in form) and skillful Spaniard Gerard Deulofeu are all living up to the famous Everton philosophy “Nothing but the best is good enough”.
Youth is also balanced well by experience, with Ashley Williams, Phil Jagielka and Gareth Barry all providing cool, seasoned heads.
Every club thinks they have the best fans, but Evertonians are a special breed that turn up through thick and thin.
The People’s Club or the School of Science, whatever you want to call it; the terraces are filled to the rafters with adoring fans that can push the club the forward, proudly protective of their motto “Evertonians are born not manufactured”.
There is sense of tradition and rich history at Goodison Park that pours from the old stadium’s seats and the supporters occupying them.
With their support, Everton can go places – a point dramatically demonstrated last year with Leicester City’s shock title triumph – as the fans acted as the proverbial 12th man.
Do you agree with our five reasons why Koeman’s Everton can break into the top four? Tell us in the comments below.