So it’s official. Ronald Koeman has been announced as the new Everton manager, taking over from Roberto Martinez, who was sacked at the end of the season.
It looks to be like a great appointment given his track record in the Premier League, which must leave Everton fans licking their lips with excitement ahead of the new season.
Koeman spent two years at Southampton and twice had to rebuild them. When he joined the club in 2014, following Mauricio Pochettino’s departure for Tottenham Hotspur, he lost Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, and Dejan Lovren to Liverpool in quick succession and Luke Shaw to Manchester United.
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By the following season, Nathaniel Clyne had joined his old team-mates at Liverpool and Morgan Schneiderlin joined Shaw at Old Trafford.
Koeman has led Southampton forward despite suffering two consecutive seasons of his team being stripped of its best players. When so many expected them to be battling for survival, Koeman turned them into a strong unit, adding good, strong signings like Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea and Italian striker Graziano Pelle from Feyenoord.
Shane Long’s arrival from Hull City, along with Sadio Mane, strengthened the attack and gave Koeman a platform to begin rebuilding the Saints.
Koeman did so well at St Mary's Stadium, with this season's highlights being impressive wins against the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, and Arsenal.
So will Koeman continue his impressive Premier League record at Goodison Park? Here are three reasons why the Dutchman will continue to enjoy success in England, but from now on, with Everton.
Koeman adopts strong, attacking tactics, something Evertonians will welcome after a few seasons of underwhelming performances and bizarre tactics from Martinez.
He has used a quick back-to-front approach, hitting teams hard on the counter attack. Strong defenders in loanee Toby Alderweireld and Jose Fonte stop opposition attacks, before offloading to Victor Wanyama, who protects the back four and plays it off to a three-man midfielder consisting of stars such as Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic, and James Ward-Prowse, who constantly deliver creatively to the front men.
This tactic has worked time and time again throughout the season and is one of the main reasons Southampton have ascended to their final position in the league.
It’s also important to have a strong goalkeeper, which Southampton have in Fraser Forster.
Koeman can easily keep this style of play at Everton, with John Stones and Phil Jagielka at the back, with Gareth Barry, James McCarthy, and Ross Barkley playing in front of them, supplying lone striker Romelu Lukaku.
Fearless and Clinical
Southampton have displayed some clinical performances in the last 12 months. They dispensed with a Manchester City side, who were chasing top four like a team scrapping for survival.
They also saw off Chelsea 3-1 and beat a strong Arsenal side going into Christmas second, by a ridiculous 4-0 score line.
This sort of form remained with Southampton throughout the whole of last season and it will be this sort of form that Everton fans will expect to see Koeman getting out of the likes of Barkley, Aaron Lennon, Lukaku and Gerard Deulofeu.
Koeman has proved that he can be resilient and bounce back quickly when things don't go his way.
He has twice had to rebuild his squad at Southampton after losing star players and has grown in strength, managing to get the best from his players.
His motivation and guidance to the current players have helped the Saints create a great platform for the next manager to build on.
Ronald Koeman will breathe new life into Everton’s under-performing stars and have them playing the sort of football Southampton have been playing under him for the last two seasons.
It might not be too long until the Premier League is seeing the Merseyside club back to their best and pushing for a top four spot.
If anyone can do it, Ronald Koeman can.
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