Everton manager Ronald Koeman addressed the media ahead of Friday’s spotlight Premier League game against Crystal Palace.
He started off by addressing the whirlwind last few days that British football has experienced with the Telegraph sting operation.
“If you like football then it’s a bad story. For football in general it’s a black mark, and that’s not good. But that’s my opinion.
I don’t know if this is unique to British football. In my managerial role in the Premier League, it was no different than in Holland, Portugal, or Spain. My advice to do a transfer is always about the technical aspect of the player. I am not involved in the business of a transfer. I can’t speak for others, other managers.”
On the subject of Sam Allardyce -
“I am disappointed for the man himself, He had the opportunity to be the manager of the national team, and then this happened. In the end I think the FA took the right decision."
He spoke about moving on from the defeat last week at Bournemouth.
“After a good game you need to analyze what happened, it’s not so easy straight after a game. Sometimes your opinion is a little different when you watch the video later.
“I think the problem in the first-half is that we tried to do high pressing and not the whole team did the high pressing. Then you get space between the lines. It looks like your opponent is more aggressive, but the distances on the pitch were not what we want. That was our main problem.
“We did everything in the second half, they had one shot on target, it was a fantastic goal. Sometimes you need to accept a defeat. But, we will try to do it better in several aspects, what we did not in the first half.
“Tomorrow is a different game. We play at home, against a different opponent, with a different style of play. We had a good week of sessions to prepare ourselves in the best way for tomorrow.”
Is he considering making changes for tomorrow?
"That's possible. But it's always possible. You don’t need to make changes only when you lose the game. Sometimes it’s a technical choice between some players.
“It was the team performance that wasn’t good enough in the first 45 minutes, it wasn’t just one or two or three players.”
How is Yannick Bolasie handling playing against Palace, his old side?
“He is like always, very committed to his team-mates. Working hard, of course it’s special you’re playing against his old team. It is a special game but do your job, that’s the advice I gave to Yannick.
We knew what kind of player he is, that was one of the reasons we signed him. He’s physically strong, can play out of different positions up in front, and can create problems for the opponents, that was what we needed in the team.”
On the challenge of playing against Alan Pardew -
“It’s not the manager against the manager. Crystal Palace had a difficult start, but they’ve won the last three in a row. They have a physically strong team, they are very dangerous out of set plays, have some individuals with quality, and it’s always difficult to play against Palace.
“It’s a tough game, they are a team who can play football but most of the time they play very direct, they’re aggressive in second balls. We need to be at our best tomorrow night, and I expect the team to play at their best tomorrow night.”
What has the team learned from the loss last weekend?
“You learn every day about players, about wins, about defeats. You like to see a reaction. Talking about one defeat in six in the Premier League, that’s not bad. Tomorrow if we get a very good result, everyone will be happy about the first seven games. A win tomorrow will take us to second in the Premier League table. That’s more than anybody expected, but that’s football, it’s so close.
“When you don’t win its different. At the start of the season we wanted to play a bit differently than the last few seasons. Sometimes it doesn’t go well then you need to analyze what happened. You learn from players and their characters. Maybe you need some time, maybe two months to see what we need and what aspects we need to improve.”
How is the close relationship between Bolasie and Romelu Lukaku helping their games?
“You need understanding between your players. If they have a better relationship off the pitch and it’s better for the team then I love it.”
Injury update on Leighton Baines, Lukaku, Darron Gibson and James McCarthy -
“If tomorrow was the last match of the season then he would be starting. But it’s too risky and after tomorrow is the international break. We won’t take the risk of starting Leighton tomorrow.
“It’s still painful (Lukaku’s toe injury), but he did the training sessions this week, and he will start.
“Darron normally would be part of the sessions next week. James is also close, normally he would be in the sessions next week too, but the national team have called him up after six weeks of not playing and the FIFA rules say the player has to go. I hope they will protect the player, and realize that he hasn’t trained with the team for that time.
“The same happened with Seamus Coleman too. Four or five weeks after his surgery he played, it went well luckily. Its always a risk, as he had an operation four-five weeks ago.”
Koeman also added that Gareth Barry has a slight hamstring problem, possibly the same issue from last weekend.