Ronald Koeman endured the worst possible start this season at Everton.
After steering the club to 7th place last year and a Europa League berth, much was expected from an Everton side that had splashed out roughly £150 million on multiple players.
Although they had lost star striker Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, Koeman still managed to secure an abundance of talent in his place: with players such as Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane, Wayne Rooney and Gylfi Sigurdsson all signing for the club.
However, their big summer signings failed to perform, and it was clear that Everton were in disarray both in attack and defence from the opening stages of the season.
As a result, Koeman was in big trouble going into Everton's home tie to Arsenal on Sunday, and after a 5-2 loss that left his side 18th in the table, he lost his job.
Koeman has now revealed the main factor of his sacking, and he has placed a large amount of blame of the club's failure to bring in a striker of a similar calibre to Lukaku.
The Dutchman actually claimed he was extremely close to securing the signing of Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud, but the Frenchman snubbed their approach at 'the very last moment'.
In an interview with Dutch football magazine VI, per Sky Sports, Koeman said: "I had Olivier Giroud in the building.
"He would have fitted perfectly but, at the very last moment, he decided that he'd rather live in London and stay at Arsenal.
"That was really hard to swallow. You tell me, where you can get a better striker?
"Lukaku was so important for us, not just because of his goals. If things were not going well in a game, if we could not play the way we were used to, there was always the option to use the long ball towards him.
"All of a sudden, we were missing such a player. With Nikola Vlasic and Wayne Rooney, we had attackers who want the ball at their feet."
And Koeman has also placed blame on their extremely tricky start to the season, which only exacerbated their problems. However, ultimately, it was the club's failure to replace Lukaku which was the biggest fault.
Koeman added: "I was on holiday when I received the Premier League fixture list by e-mail.
"I looked at it and saw that five of our first nine games would be against clubs from last season's top six: Chelsea, Tottenham, Man City, Man United and Arsenal.
"I looked at it again and I said to myself, 'Phew! That is not going to be an easy run, in particular with a Europa League run at the same time'. And, most of all, because I had lost my striker Lukaku.''
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