It’s been a tough few years to be a blue. Two eleventh place finishes, a manager with a penchant for using the term “phenomenal” to describe a few passes moving forward and the sight of supposedly good players appearing to play like a bunch of kids.
Now, Ronald Koeman has quite a job on his hands. He has inherited a team that has felt collectively lost for a while. He has players who are now on the wrong side of thirty with serious question marks as to whether they are still good enough to propel Everton beyond mid table; think Phil Jagielka, Leighton Baines and Gareth Barry. He has players who, despite a big build up, are still yet to prove that those gushing about their incredible potential, are anything more than flashes in the pan; think Ross Barkley, John Stones and even Romelu Lukaku. There are a few whispers that Lukaku might only be a slightly better version of Yakubu. A player who can prod, poke and bum goals in from anywhere but who offers little else. Lukaku also proved in both the Carling Cup semi-finals, FA Cup semi-finals and Euro 2016 quarter final that he can’t necessarily be relied upon when the heat is turned up. He seems to have a knack for going hiding. His goal scoring record saves him from a lot scrutiny. Mourinho obviously figured that out at Chelsea. If he heads off to PSG, they might have a rude awakening.
As for Barkley, the last year or so has been a rather worrying time. He “looks” good; nice touches, short and sharp forward bursts and the strength to hold off opponents. However, there is still a certain degree of uncertainty as to whether he can pick and play killer passes on a regular basis, whether he has the skill or positional sense to play in a number 10 role or the tactical nouse to play in a deeper role either. Being a scouser and British can make up for a lot at a club like Everton. If Barkley can’t convince he has that X factor, Koeman has the money to replace him with players of premium quality, which would be a real shame. Every Everton fan is desperate for Ross Barkley to be the Steven Gerrard of Gladys Street, but perhaps this is wishful thinking.
If Barkley can’t convince he has that X factor, Koeman has the money to replace him with players of premium quality, which would be a real shame.
John Stones will leave, probably to Manchester City. One of two things will happen there. He will turn into Rio Ferdinand or he will continue to be John Stones. If It is the former, he will learn how to actually defend. He will learn how to position himself properly, when and where to play passes and most importantly, he will begin to understand t