Arsenal’s pasting of Toffees leaves manager in a sticky situation
EVERTON manager Ronald Koeman insisted yesterday that it is not the time to start being “crazy” and believes he is still the man to turn around the club’s failing fortunes.
A 5-2 defeat at home to Arsenal dropped the Toffees into the bottom three after just one win in their last eight league matches and increased the pressure on the Dutchman.
He remains adamant he can still arrest a slide which has seen his side win just twice in 13 games in all competitions — with a League Cup game at Chelsea up next on Wednesday.
“It is not a time to start to be crazy. I am responsible for this team. We lost 5-2. It is a big result,” he said. “The final result is really poor but all these kind of decisions [about his future] is not in my hands.”
Asked in his post-match press conference if he could turn it around, Koeman added: “Yeah … If you start to think negative then maybe there is no solution. I am not like that. All the rumours in the newspapers is normal.
“The team is underperforming, it is in a difficult situation mentally and struggling for confidence.
“That is what we need to change. I told the players that I believe the players, I believe in the commitment of the players.”
Everton took an early lead against the run of play when Wayne Rooney recreated a version of his first Premier League goal as a precocious 16-year-old against the same opposition 15 years and three days later.
However, it could not last and Nacho Monreal equalised before the break, after which Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette put the visitors 3-1 up.
That followed Everton midfielder Idrissa Gana Gueye being sent off for a second bookable offence.
A shambolic finish saw Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sanchez score either side of an Oumar Niasse consolation in added time as the Gunners registered their first away win of the campaign.
It was put to Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger it was his side’s best performance of the season so far.
“Maybe the most complete defensively and offensively yes but [in other games] we were punished for every mistake,” he said.
“Sanchez was on fire and has worked very hard after coming back from injury, Mesut as well.
“The two of them were sharp physically. If you have that individual quality, it makes them dangerous against any defender.”
Ozil “was superb, agile, quick, intelligent, always at the service of the team. He is an exceptional player.”