Ronald Koeman becomes third Premier League sacking
After only 16 months in charge, Ronald Koeman has been sacked as manager of Everton. The 54-year-old was relieved of his duties on Monday after Sunday’s 5-2 home defeat to Arsenal which left the Merseyside club in the bottom three of the Premier League.
The dismissal of Koeman comes just a few weeks after majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri gave his backing to the Dutchman. However, in that time Everton have been winless, drawing against Brighton and suffering humiliating defeats against Burnley and Lyon as well as the heavy loss at Arsenal.
Everton have only managed two victories in 13 games and Koeman becomes the Premier League’s third manager to lose his job following Frank de Boer at Crystal Palace and Craig Shakespeare at Leicester.
Although Koeman does have a slightly better win percentage (40%) than his predecessor Roberto Martinez (38%), Everton backed Koeman heavily in the transfer window but have seen little return of the investment of almost £140 million that went in to the playing staff. The club’s patience finally ran out when they were totally outplayed at home to an Arsenal team who were also in indifferent form.
A club statement announcing Koeman’s departure said:
Everton football club can confirm that Ronald Koeman has left the club. Chairman Bill Kenwright, the board of directors and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri would all like to express their gratitude to Ronald for the service he has given to the club over the past 16 months and for guiding the club to seventh place in last season’s Premier League campaign.– Spokesperson, Everton Football Club
The seventh-place finish achieved by Koeman last year seemed unobtainable this season, with many fans blaming the failure to replace Romelu Lukaku as a contributory factor. Lukaku, who joined Manchester United in a £75 million deal in the summer, scored 53 goals in 104 league appearances for The Toffees.
It was no surprise that Lukaku left Everton as he had publicly declared his desire to play in the Champions League. What is surprising is the failure to buy a striker that could replace some of the firepower missing from the departure of Lukaku.
Wayne Rooney has been re-signed for Everton but it’s a 32-year-old Rooney they have acquired and in all fairness to Wayne, who did score in Sunday’s 5-2 defeat, he doesn’t pose anything like the constant goal threat he did when he made he made his debut against Arsenal 15 years ago.
Who is likely to replace Koeman?
With no immediate successor announced, unsurprisingly, social media has been ablaze with speculation on who will take over at Everton.
Here are the top five names that have been touted as likely replacements for Koeman:
Sean Dyche – The 46-year-old manager is having a fine time at Burnley. In his five years with the club he took them out of the Championship and into the Premier League in the 2013-14 season. Although Burnley were relegated the next season, they jumped straight back up after winning the Championship. Dyche guided Burnley to safety with a 16th place finish in the Premier League last season, this season Burnley are currently in eighth place. Dyche is the bookies favourite to land the Everton job.
Thomas Tuchel – Thomas Tuchel is a name that is mentioned on many Everton fan sites as the man they wish to replace Koeman. Tuchel took over from Liverpool-bound Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and has a reputation as a fine coach. In his first year at Dortmund he guided them to second in the league but fared much worse in his second season with Dortmund when they finished 18 points adrift of winners Bayern Munich. He did win the DFB Pokal Cup with Dortmund but was sacked after two years in charge after a public falling out with the CEO of Dortmund, Hans-Joachim Watzke.
David Unsworth – David is the current manager of the under 23 team at Everton and has been put in temporary charge of the first team after the sacking of Koeman. The 44-year-old played for The Blues from 1992 – 1997 as a centre-back. His lack of managerial experience at the highest level may well count against him though with the club’s hierarchy keen to appoint a big name.
David Moyes – Former Everton manager David Moyes is an intriguing name to be linked to the Goodison Park hot seat. Moyes was manager of Everton for 11 years and his win percentage of 41% is the highest of any Everton manager for over 30 years. There can be little doubt that Moyes galvanised Everton in his spell at the club but would he take them to the next level which the new owners of Everton will demand?
Ryan Giggs – Giggs has publicly stated he would be interested in the Everton hot seat but like Unsworth, Gigg’s lack of experience is likely to be too much of a gamble for Everton. Giggs was Louis van Gaal’s number two at Old Trafford and had previously took charge of Manchester United for four games after David Moyes was sacked in 2014.