Koeman wants more from Toffees' middle men
Everton 2 Sunderland 0
Ronald Koeman wants more goals from his midfielders and Idrissa Gana Gueye's first Premier League strike was an example of how the Everton manager is working to achieve that.
Striker Romelu Lukaku may be the league's top-scorer with 17 after he netted the Toffees' second in the 2-0 win at home to Sunderland, but it was Gueye's goal which gave Koeman greater pleasure.
The Senegal international had not found the net in 55 previous Premier League appearances, but there was no indication of that as he smashed home Seamus Coleman's cross just before half-time.
"On one side, yes, I was surprised because it is his first one," said Koeman. "The other side, no, because he did a lot of finishing - what we try to do for strikers, we also do for midfielders. We need more goals from our midfielders. It was a great finish. I hope it is not the last."
Lukaku's goal, after a half-pitch sprint against former team-mate Bryan Oviedo, equalled Duncan Ferguson's Premier League club record of 60.
His contribution is crucial to Everton's bid for European football and Koeman is well aware of how key he has become.
"It is a long way from being top-scorer to be winning games and we know we need to work hard," said the Dutchman.
"One of his big qualities is scoring goals, he is strong and fast, and in finishing, he is one of the best.
"He can improve by his runs to give options to the midfielders and the defenders and then you don't need to play the ball back to the goalkeeper, you can push up."
Sunderland boss David Moyes, returning to the club where he spent 11 years, was clutching at straws when he suggested, had video technology not been available, they may have got away with Jermain Defoe's shot which crashed down off the crossbar, but bounced short of the line.
"Jermain makes a great bit of space to try to get it and, but for technology, it may have been given as a goal," said the Scot, whose side are bottom of the table and four points from safety."
The Scot, who had 11 years at the Merseyside club, has yet to take a point off either of his former sides. He had two defeats to Everton while in charge of Manchester United and has three losses so far this season, two to the Toffees and one against United.
"We were really poor in the first half, but I wanted to come here and frustrate the crowd. We didn't play well when we got the ball. I was glad we only went in 1-0 down at half-time because the boy [Tom Davies] hit the post.
"When we were 1-0 down, we were always in the game, but it was never going to be easy."
Sunday Indo Sport