Thursday 20 September 2018

Ronald Koeman admits his future is out of his hands after a stormy Europa League defeat for Everton

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Ashley Williams of Everton (2L) clashes with Lyon players after a challenge on Anthony Lopes of Lyon during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Everton FC and Olympique Lyon at Goodison Park on October 19, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Ashley Williams of Everton (2L) clashes with Lyon players after a challenge on Anthony Lopes of Lyon during the UEFA Europa League Group E match between Everton FC and Olympique Lyon at Goodison Park on October 19, 2017 in Liverpool, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Ronald Koeman admits the Everton board may decide to bring down the curtain on his reign as the club's manager after a stormy 2-1 defeat against Lyon at Goodion Park.

Everton remain bottom of Group E, without a victory in the group stage and have endured a troubled start to the Premier League season, with Koeman admitting his future is now under the spotlight.

"The final decision is by the board not myself," Koeman said of his position. "If the board thinks I am not the right man they will tell me."

Meanwhile, Ashley Williams and Everton could both be sanctioned by UEFA after a brawl instigated by the Welshman saw a fan holding a child appear to aim a punch at a Lyon player.

Toffees skipper Williams' shove on Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes after the hour mark sparked heated confrontations between several rivals players.

As they moved to the advertising hoardings, a supporter holding a child in one arm appeared to push Lopes in the head and seemed to aim a punch in the direction of the keeper.

Meanwhile an incensed Williams seemed to raise his hand to Lucas Tousart's face but only received a yellow card, along with Lyon striker Bertrand Traore, for the incident.

Williams would later go on to score, cancelling out Nabil Fekir's penalty, but Traore's 75th-minute winner earned Lyon a 2-1 success.

"It's what happens, it's football. It is what it is," Williams told BT Sport 2 of the incident.

"It's high emotions. We want to win the game, they want to win the game and stuff happens. That was just one of those times."

The loss to Lyon left Everton with just one point from their three Europa League ties this year and heaped further pressure on Koeman.

The Toffees boss claimed his players' hot heads were caused by referee Rob van de Ven's officiating.

"I think the irritation grows in the game for our players and in my opinion that was the problem by the referee," Koeman argued.

"The referee was Dutch but he didn't do anything against the theatre of some of the Lyon players. Fekir in the first half dived 10 times.

"I understand with my players, that comes out of frustration. I don't know what happened but I can understand it."

Lyon boss Bruno Genesio had no complaints about how the fracas was handled.

"I think everyone did their job in that situation," he said. "We could then get on with the game and thinking about football, which was the main thing."

Koeman made five changes to his starting line-up, leaving out a number of experienced players, and it was youngster Mason Holgate who naively slid in on Marcal to concede a penalty.

For the remainder of the first half, Koeman accepted his players looked bereft of confidence.

"(It was) really stupid," he said of Holgate giving away the spot-kick.

"I think the performance was under the level in the first half, a lot of mistakes, a lot of doubts, players without any confidence."

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