Ronald Koeman has said that his criticism of the Everton players is all part of his plan to improve them. Speaking to Gary Lineker on The Premier League Show on BBC2 yesterday, the Dutchman said -
“It (football) is not always good. To improve every player you need to be critical – that’s the best way for the player to improve.
“I love football. I think it’s one of the best things in life. The worst, still, is if you lose a game - that feeling affects me badly. I can be angry in the dressing room and that is what you need to show.”
As for his ambitions at the club and how he sees progress -
“This season, Everton will fight for European football. But to finish above the big teams in the Premier League will be difficult.
“For next season we need to improve and we will get new signings in which will make the team stronger.
“The third year, we need to be close to playing in the Champions League.
“It’s all about we win and we get a high position. We want to reach that.
“At the moment I think we are maybe at 60 per cent of the whole project. If we qualified for Europe (it would make me happy). Also, how is the team, playing? Are the changes we are making to the team improving us until the end of the season?
“But finally it's all about if you win, that you get a high position and that's the target we have."
He also spoke about star striker Romelu Lukaku -
“In my opinion, we have the best striker.
“He can’t improve any more in his finishing in the box. I think he will always score goals.
“He can improve in his defensive positions and he can improve a little bit more in his work-rate to help midfielders and defenders press, but he really is a fantastic striker.”
Lineker, for his part, recommended Koeman as the right choice to lead his old club -
"He’s very tactically astute. He’s also a strong personality, which I think is important, especially in this day in age and he’ll automatically get respect because he was a fabulous footballer who’s had a successful managerial career and he’d done a really good job at Southampton under difficult circumstances.
“I thought it was a good appointment. He got off to a great start, obviously results haven’t been quite as brilliant over the last few weeks, but you can see he’s making progress, it’s early days and I think he will do a really good job here.
“I’ve met Ronald a couple of times and worked with him on a couple of Champions League games so I know he’s a good guy, a football person and, as I said, he was a great player as well.”