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Here we go again.


Ronald Koeman

Here we go again.

We’ve had it from the media, opponents, even our own players. There’s few left in football yet to belittle Everton and question the club’s size, ambition and standing.

On Monday, it was the turn of Roy Keane: ‘When was their last trophy?’

However, the biggest shock came on Wednesday when the Toffees’ own manager, Ronald Koeman, effectively claimed the star striker was too good for the club.

‘Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career,’ he said.

The man paid £6million-a year, brought in to return Everton to former glories, claimed Romelu Lukaku’s career would be wasted if he stayed at Goodison Park.

Quite Unbelievable and a real kick in the teeth.


What is Koeman doing on Merseyside exactly, if after only a few months of a new project, he is revealing to a Belgian publication that Everton will not be big enough, not achieve enough, to keep their best players in future?

Yes, it is unlikely Lukaku will remain at Everton – but it should not be the manager, earning mega money, claiming that to the world.

What business, and let’s be honest, that is what football has become, openly puts itself down and admits other rivals are bigger and more successful?

It is a massive own goal for Koeman so early into his Everton tenure. The Blues faithful are fiercely proud and his comments show an apparent lack of respect. It’s expected from pundits, not from you’re own manager tasked with getting results.

Yes, Koeman is a Holland legend who has won the European Cup with Barcelona and he has no prior links to Everton.

However, when a manager is paid so handsomely, he must immerse himself in the club. He can not make such claims that demeans us. Koeman must run the company line.

Having arrived with Everton desperate for European football under the guidance of majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, Koeman’s ambition and view of the club will now be questioned by sections of the fanbase.

If Lukaku is too good for Everton, where does the Dutchman see us, where does he believe he can take us? If it is not back with the elite – that has to be the ambition – then the Toffees are employing the wrong man.

Why did he choose to take charge, leaving Southampton after guiding the Saints into the Europa League, if he believes we can not scale the heights he is convinced Lukaku will reach?


As well, what will potential transfer targets think of the comments? Why would they bother to join Everton when the manager is happy to suggest Lukaku will not get the most out of his career should he stay put?

For too long, during the David Moyes years, Everton were held back. Remember ‘knife to a gunfight’? The limitations were vast and still rooted into the club years later.

What Moshiri’s takeover has to do is change the mentality of the football club, to be big and bold once more, to believe in success and winning silverware.

Koeman’s comments have achieved the exact opposite. Moshiri must pull him up on this and question his reasoning for such a statement. A statement that didn’t need to be said, a statement actually very belittling of the club.

Sure, explain that Lukaku is destined to become one of the greats but add that Everton are determined to become a side capable of matching his ambitions. Don’t discard us as a sideshow in the player’s career.

Ronald Koeman

Why should the fans continue to invest in Everton when the man at the helm seemingly doesn’t rate our chances of competing as a ‘big club’ with Europe’s other giants? It seems a fruitless exercise to back the team if even the manager doesn’t have faith in the club’s aim to reach the top.

So much for progress. Everton have enjoyed a solid, if unspectacular start but the manager undermining the club is a real backwards step for what we are looking to achieve.

For some, Koeman is being realistic and honest with the fans. However, for others, his comments leave a bad taste and will continually be a cause for question marks over his commitment should Everton ultimately fail in their desire for success during his time in charge.

The post Here we go again. appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Lukaku potential to play for a bigger club than Everton



Ronald Koeman reckons Romelu Lukaku has the potential to play for a bigger club than Everton, and thinks if he doesn’t move before the remainder of his career that he would not have fulfilled his potential.

Koeman: “I think he can emulate Patrick Kluivert, who also rose to prominence at a young age and enjoyed a fantastic career,” Koeman told Dutch newspaper HLN.

“He eventually played for Barcelona and I can see Lukaku doing the same.

“Everton should normally not be the end for him.

“Romelu will not have made the most of his career if he plays for Everton for the remainder of his career.

“He has the potential to play for a bigger club than Everton, but nobody knows what will happen after this season.”

The post Lukaku potential to play for a bigger club than Everton appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Moshiri Interview



Farhad Moshiri joined Jim White on talkSPORT this afternoon to talk about a multitude of topics.

We’ll upload a full recording shortly – in the meantime, some comments are below.

Moshiri: “It completely ruined my weekend [Chelsea 5-0 Everton]. It was terrible. Jesus. The sheer pain of the loss at Chelsea was immense. You just get numb.

“The pain was so much deeper than anything I experienced when Arsenal lost. As the majority shareholder you feel responsible.

“I think we shouldn’t forget, last year we were on a terrible run. The club is going the right way. At the beginning og the season our plan was to get in Europe. I think we’re on target”

“It’s not all doom and gloom. It’s a very unpredictable season”

Moshiri also spoke of three priorities, including a new stadium for Everton.

“I think with the stadium, I think the fans must know we’ve done the hard bit. The club are restricted to expand Goodison. We paid the debt, we’re free to do what we want and we have the finances to do it. I went to Liverpool a few weeks ago with Bill. We visited all the sites with the mayor – in our mind, we know where to go. We are committed. I can reassure the fans that we will have a stadium that rewards loyalty. This is my key aim”

The post Moshiri Interview appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Confirmed Everton Team vs Chelsea


Ronald Koeman

Confirmed Everton team vs Chelsea;

Stekelenburg, Oviedo, Jagielka (C), Willians, Funes Mori, Coleman, Barry, Cleverley, Barkley, Bolasie, Lukaku

Subs: Joel, Deulofeu, Lennon, Valencia, Davies, Holgate

🔵 | Team news is in! Here's our XI and subs to face @ChelseaFC! #EFCawayday

— Everton (@Everton) November 5, 2016

The post Confirmed Everton Team vs Chelsea appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Koeman: Improving on last season wasn’t so difficult


Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman is happy with the improvement of Everton’s defending of set plays.

Koeman: “It was a big issue to change this, to have better defending and also better offensively set plays.

“They conceded 14 goals out of set plays last season. That’s crazy.

“We showed clips from last season and did a different organisation. We are giving more attention to set plays, at least twice a week. This morning we did a meeting about Chelsea only about set plays.

“The players need to be involved. They need to talk among themselves about the best ways to defend them.

“You can win or lose out of a corner or free-kick. I’m really happy now, but we need to continue. Maybe if you concede a lot of goals you are a little bit afraid to get corner kicks given against.

“It’s good to hear we’re doing better than last season – but that wasn’t so difficult.”

The post Koeman: Improving on last season wasn’t so difficult appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Injury Update vs Chelsea


Leighton Baines

Ronald Koeman has provided an injury update ahead of Everton’s upcoming fixture with Chelsea.

Koeman: “Maarten Stekelenburg is back. He’s ready and fit to play.

“[Leighton] Baines not, he’s close to be back but ok, we don’t take any risk because after the weekend we have the international break and then if everything goes well he will be back after the international break.”

Earlier, despite his international call up – Koeman had also insisted James McCarthy was “not fit” and admitted his side will miss Idrissa Gueye who is suspended for the game.

“Of course it’s always a miss because the boy has really a lot of energy and wins a lot of balls in midfield but ok, it’s not about one player. Our squad is strong enough, we have enough choices to who will replace Gana at the weekend”

The post Injury Update vs Chelsea appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Koeman: “The player is not fit”


Everton v Crystal Palace - Premier League

Ronald Koeman has advised James McCarthy to withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad for the upcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier against Austria.

Despite missing Everton’s previous six games due to a groin injury, McCarthy started both 2018 World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova, playing the full 90 minutes and 81 minutes respectively and his involvement led Koeman to claim the midfielder was ‘massively overloaded‘ before accusing Republic of Ireland manager of ‘killing the player’.

McCarthy is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained in training but, despite managing just 57 minutes for Everton since the last international break, he has been included in the Ireland squad for the trip to Vienna on Saturday week.

Koeman, however, insists the player is not fit and has urged him to remain in England and work on his fitness rather than travel to Austria with Ireland.

Koeman: “The player is not fit. The player is not involved in team sessions. I think to have a call-up he needs to be close to be fit but it’s a little bit of the same story to what happend last time, we spoke to James – my advice to James is stay here and train and be fit as soon as possible but the final decision is by the player.

On being asked if Koeman had spoke with the Republic of Ireland manager, Koeman said: “No it’s not necessary because we have contact between medical staff and if the managers don’t take the right decision maybe he could take the good advice of the medical staff”

The post Koeman: “The player is not fit” appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Chelsea vs Everton




We knew you had it in you, Everton. The flames of dissent were dimmed for the week and the right team took to the park and did mostly what was required. It won’t ever stop the groundswell of previous seasons discontent but you pointed the pointy end in the right direction and pulled the trigger. When you didn’t see the match first hand you rely on the many words bandied about after and it can be difficult to grasp the meaning in the grand scheme of things. We know that, in this day and age, even most facts and opinions can be as polarising as a U.S Presidential Election; and the ability to take the current temperature of the team and to judge it before and against is the best we can do to understand where we are. Where we are going. Do you subscribe to style over substance? Is it even something you can teach? Every Evertonian has a basic understanding of the very laws of footballing nature and where we sit in any given mix is often viewed collectively and with a fair amount of context.


When everyone does their thing and that thing includes beating West Ham with two and not conceding three it’s a good day. It’s par for the course so pipe right back down Hammers. Your new gaff is going to look ace in the Championship. Two don’t make a team but if they’re Rom and Ross heading into the latter part of 2016 then history should tell you it was probably the start of something beautiful. If anyone hasn’t watched yet then do yourself a favour and click that. If you’re like me you’ll remember every single one of them and reaffirm to yourself what a talent we have and who we pinched him from. He’s said some nice things about us and Ross this week too, probably to balance the inevitable International Break want-a-way sound bite. Man of the Matchley had a much better game this time round, influencing proceedings as we have so oft willed him to do. It’s still a work in progress, a penciling in edging closer to confirmation, but we can now see the parts of his game coming together like Voltron with Slash playing the backing track.


Ronald Koeman, with the kind of face you’d spend billions of pounds racing Russia to get to first, has his fledgling Everton side on 18 competitive points from a possible 30. It sits right up there with even the most competent of the first 10 games in our history although using 3 points for a win we’d be on 25 points in 69/70. That’s the limit of my research on that, so It’s nothing to be sneezed at as the last couple of seasons have shown; and continuing the current trajectory will have us biting at the heels of the more expensive squads heading to Europe the following year. Too soon? The Footballing Fathers of Form can be equally as Fickle as Fortuitous so we’ll now see where we’ve Fallen to at Festivus and and meet back here then.


But ahoy Captain, thar blows another of the behemoths of the deep, closing in, over yonder and yet in our path. Chelsea, the KFC of modern football, all legs and breasts yet with tiny meaningless historical wings are next up. Roman Abramovich FC are the archetypal modern success story, in the right place at the right time. United in the day had some brilliant kids, a shrewd Boss and quality additions but Chelsea were created right out the box. A modern myth branded and packaged for the masses, sold to the international generation of consumers to google on their smart phones and bleat about on the interwebs. Their lack of European Football this season has surely hurt their pride, currently are on a four game winning run and out to humiliate. Out of the Cup and with only two trophies left to play for the pressure is on them to produce something this year other than a tremendous amount of wages.


Antonio Conte, Jan Michael Vincents half brother and co-pilot of Airwolf in his spare time has taken up the Special ones reigns and had the stones to switch to a 3-5-1 after back to back defeats. Known for his direct play and minimalist, hardline approach, a Spaghetti Ferguson; this will be a tough game. The cavalcade of handsomely paid World Class Super Villains at his disposal will be as fresh as us and looking to trade blows, while we look to leave them smarting and fist waving as we hope to be the Penelope Pitstop to their [Poor language removed] Dastardly.


In goal should see the giant Belgian, a head like it was drawn by Chuck Jones for a 1957 Pepe Le Pew cartoon and is he playing well? Probably. Defence should see a continuation of three at the back with Azpilecueta, Cahill and Luiz providing the comedy, midfield of Kante, Moses, maybe new sensation Alonso and Matic, with the tiny Belgian Hazard, Pedro and Costa forming the attack. You could also see Willian or Oscar in for Alonso, and John Terry most likely sulking on the bench. Fabregas? Has he still a footballing pulse?


Sergio Leonie couldn’t have dreamed up a better foe than Diego Costa. He sits atop the scorers charts and is probably the biggest snide bar Suarez in World Football and I could actually see him wearing a black cape around his house and peering over it with crazy eyes taking selfies in the mirror. Whatever Boo’s we’ve been banking it’s time to make a withdrawal. There’s more passion on his face than after an evening with Nacho Vidal so the defence better be on alert.

Eden Hazard is back in Oscar contention after a shocking season fluffing his lines and it was to be expected when your name is just a giant oxymoron. He’ll need to be watched closely as he’s making things happen again and I hope somebody wears the shorts with the big pockets to keep him in.

The ghost of Victor Moses continues to haunt football pitches up and down the Country and recent sightings have speculated he is actually taking human shape. Not unlike Cirque De Soleil in the nineties. To be seen to be believed.

John Obi Mikel actually still plays for Chelsea.

Lukaku Lite Batsushayi is not worth a paragraph let alone a sentence, or even correct spelling for that matter. Did he mug us off? Were we ‘in’ for him? No? Okay.

Everton then. They pick themselves nowadays but the one name rubbed off the whiteboard this week is probably the most difficult to replace. If there was one name you’d have suggested be irreplaceable 10 games in you’d say Lukaku, and you’d be right, but up there elbowing him for space in the current hearts of Evertonians is our very own Idrissa Gana Gueye. Spotted by @Zatarain 2006 on the Sun Hewn desert pitches of Saly in Senegal kicking a makeshift ball made of stuck together Arsenal shirts and ferociously shepherding satanically possessed Lllamas into touch he was first plying his trade for Diambars until he was sent to Lille and then to Aston Villa. After that purgatory and with time off for good behavior he’s ours and he has finally made a name for himself at the ripe young age of 27. He is though, through the fault of every Referee who carded him now suspended and needs replacing. Cleverley? Gibber? Is McCarthy fit? You know it will probably be the former. Should Davies be thrown into deep end of the baths in among the Pool Bullies to float for himself? A false move in the Premiership gunfight can tend to leave a player scarred for eternity and Koeman has momentum to build. I’ll leave it up to you to discuss, but therein lies this vaguely worded set up.

We always give them a good go, and I have tried to again here despite one hell of a shadow, so up and at them, Everton.

Toe to toe.

The post Chelsea vs Everton appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Lukaku on transfer talk and Ross Barkley



Romelu Lukaku has downplayed transfer speculation and reckons Everton have done great work with him.

Ahead of a return to Chelsea and talks of a new contract for Lukaku at Everton, Lukaku stressed his agent, Mino Raiola is ‘looking after all that stuff’ – and the Belgium international has no cause for regret that he never ended up returning to Stamford Bridge.


“If clubs are interested in you, it is a compliment to the club you are playing for.

“It means that Everton have done great work with me. It is just a normal game.

“We are just going to try and go there and give our best. We will see what happens.

“I want to win the game. I want to be a part of a team that is going to be successful and that is what we are trying here.

“I’m just trying to help my team as much as I can. There are going to be ups and downs sometimes but at the moment I think I am doing really well.”

Lukaku also reckons Ross Barkley has the potential to be the best player in English football.

“At the minute, the players who play in his position – like Dele Alli and Wayne Rooney – they have got goals in them,’ said Lukaku.

Barkley vs Arsenal

“I think Ross has to get more goals and more assists than he has been doing. If he does that, then he is going to play.

“If Ross fulfils his potential, you are talking about the best player in English football. He has got everything.

“He can got power, he has got technique; he can shoot with both feet. He is fast, he can pick a pass. The manager has been working with him so he makes the right decisions on the pitch.”

The post Lukaku on transfer talk and Ross Barkley appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

[WATCH] Romelu Lukaku’s 50 league goals for Everton.


Deulofeu: "Rom is an animal! I want him to score a lot of goals this season,”

Romelu Lukaku netted the opener in Sunday’s 2-0 win over West Ham to take his tally to 50 for the Blues in the Premier League.

Only Duncan Ferguson, with 60, and Tim Cahill, with 56, have scored more Premier League goals for Everton than the Belgium international.

A twitter account has tweeted a video containing all 50 of his league goals for Everton – enjoy!

Romelu Lukaku's 50 league goals for Everton. Well in lad @RomeluLukaku9 #EFC

— Everton Pictures (@evertonfcpics) October 31, 2016

Good win today! Happy to have scored my 50th in the PL for @everton and 100th in the league 33 in 🇧🇪 67 🇬🇧

— R.Lukaku Bolingoli10 (@RomeluLukaku9) October 30, 2016

The post [WATCH] Romelu Lukaku’s 50 league goals for Everton. appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Barkley “I came through a difficult spell”



Ross Barkley reckons he has come through a difficult spell after his man-of-the-match performance in Everton’s 2-0 victory over West Ham.

“It meant a lot to me [His goal]” Barkley told Sky Sports.

“I haven’t scored for a few games now.

“I came through a difficult spell. I’ve just been working hard and today it paid off.”

The post Barkley “I came through a difficult spell” appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

Koeman on Barkley



Ronald Koeman has praised Ross Barkley’s work-rate during Everton’s 2-0 win over West Ham.

Koeman: “It was one of his best (performances) of this season. I think he was working hard, he was tackling, offensively he was important in the game.

“The West Ham goalkeeper Adrian made an incredible save in the first half and he scored the second goal.“He was really the player between the defence and the front to create and that is what you like to see.

“That’s what you need to do and then, normally, these kind of players, with the individual qualities that they have, they make the difference.”

“It was a total team performance today. Ross Barkley had more impact in the last part of our attacking, not only in scoring but he was dangerous throughout. That’s what the team needs.

“He can be very good, but it is all about knowing what you need to do. Sometimes I have to shout too much, he needs to run more.”

The post Koeman on Barkley appeared first on GrandOldTeam.

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