Friday 21 September 2018

Dyche, Moyes and Unsworth all linked with Everton job as Koeman is sacked

Ronald Koeman has been sacked
Ronald Koeman has been sacked

Ronald Koeman has been sacked as Everton manager, leaving an expensively assembled squad in the Premier League relegation zone.

The Toffees sit 18th in the Premier League after winning just two of their opening nine league games, as well as bottom of their Europa League pool, and the Dutchman has paid the price.

Koeman led the club to a seventh-placed finish last season, his only full campaign at the helm after arriving from Southampton, but has had a torrid time of late.

Two home defeats in four days, 2-1 to Lyon in the Europa League and 5-2 against Arsenal on Sunday, and the chorus of boos which greeted each result proved the end of the line for 54-year-old.

He arrived at the club's Finch Farm training base as usual on Monday morning but within a matter of hours was out of a job.

A statement from the club read: "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."

That brief note did not state who would take interim charge, nor confirm the likely exit of Koeman's brother Erwin from the staff, but under-23 boss David Unsworth is expected to step up for Wednesday's Carabao Cup clash at Chelsea.

Unsworth, who briefly acted as caretaker when Roberto Martinez was sacked at the end of the 2015/16 campaign is also considered a candidate for the top job. Burnley's Sean Dyche is seen as an attainable option from within the Premier League while former Toffees favourite David Moyes, eager for a top-flight return after leaving relegated Sunderland, spent 11 largely successful years on Merseyside before an ill-fated move to Manchester United.

Whoever eventually takes over at Goodison Park will inherit a squad with just two wins and eight points from nine league matches.

They will also find a squad many consider to be poorly balanced, with a surfeit of creatives in the number 10 mould and no adequate replacement for their former front man Romelu Lukaku.

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Davy Klaassen cost almost £70m between them and Wayne Rooney was brought back from Old Trafford on a high-profile free transfer but Lukaku's fire power is sorely lacking.

A further £55m was spent on goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and defender Michael Keane, yet the Toffees have conceded 18 goals in nine league games and only rock-bottom Crystal Palace have a worse goal difference.

Leon Osman, a Toffees stalwart between 2000 and 2016, believes Koeman's fate had become inescapable given the unsuccessful restructure of the playing squad.

"It's not just results, performances of late have been really below par, really worrying and I think it was pretty inevitable this was going to happen," he told Sky Sports News.

"Having someone like Lukaku up front last season and losing him...it sort of changed Ronald Koeman's style of play. Players need to be brought in slowly, this season he's had 10 new players and it's showed on the pitch."

Press Association

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