Fans have been loving hearing from Everton manager Ronald Koeman, mostly because he hasn’t minced his words so far. He addressed the collected media once again in his Sunderland pre-match press conference. This was also the first time he was speaking publicly after the deadline day debacle of last week, so his comments were highly anticipated.
| We are LIVE at Finch Farm for Ronald Koeman's pre-Sunderland AFC press conference!Posted by Everton Football Club on Thursday, September 8, 2016
Click above to hear the whole interview, and below are some select snippets from the press conference.
“Overall it was a positive window because we signed some good players like Maarten Stekelenburg, Ashley Williams, Idrissa Gueye, Yannick Bolasie and Enner Valencia,” said Koeman.
“I think that is really positive. Of course, we had a disappointment on the last day but that happens in football. You don’t always get what you like to have and that was not in our hands.
“The player Sissoko chose finally for a different option, but I can’t say anything against the club, the board, the chairman because he did everything to get the player.
“I did not do the meeting with his agents, but from the outside it was difficult. I spoke to the player 10-days before the last day of the window and the player showed his interest in coming to Everton.
“Then, finally, everyone knows what happens. He was the player for us that we needed at the moment – then the picture was totally perfect. But still without that player the picture is very good.
“I am happy with the squad and the signings. We need to keep going.”
Koeman also talked about the difficulty now of bringing in players with all the Premier League television money doing the rounds.
“For everybody it was more difficult to sign players.
“The money, the salaries, the agents – it is all about money and sometimes it makes the business very difficult.
“That is not just for Everton. Overall, it was a difficult time because if you saw what happened on the final day, with clubs signing players and doing big transfers, then you can ask why today and not three weeks ago?
“Everyone wants the squad arranged by the start of the season but it is not always like that.”
He also mentioned about the challenges of persuading players to switch without the carrot of European football to dangle.
“I had that experience when I was with Southampton. It is difficult but you want to show to them that they can develop. The club wants to win titles but that is not done in one year that takes time.
“It's up to us how we perform this season. If we reach Europe, it will be easy to get these kind of players."
On star striker Romelu Lukaku’s international performances -
"I expect a lot. He’s still 23 and he knows he can improve, to develop himself, the technical stuff to make him a better player. He's an important player, normally our top scorer, and he showed that with the Belgium national team. I hope he scores again on Monday.
“Strikers always need goals to have confidence. But don’t forget he had a difficult pre-season, he came in late. Now he is close to his best performances and we will see that.”
On new signing Enner Valencia -
“To bring competition, it’s what all the players need. Now including Valencia we have seven strikers for the three front positions. It’s a long, difficult season, they need to give competition. The best eleven will start, they need to accept and fight for the best chance to play.
“I can’t say what the situation was for him at West Ham United. We were interested in Valencia earlier on.
"He wanted to come to Everton, we were interested. He was an option for a new front player early on. He can play nine, behind the striker, diff options."
On the ‘unwanted’ forwards like Oumar Niasse and possibly Arouna Kone -
“They know they can go on loan, but maybe now we need to wait until January.”
Staying on the topic of the squad depth -
“I’m happy about signings, I’m happy about the squad we have at the moment. We need to keep fighting, we need the spirit, the training is a bit different to what they are used to and it needs time.
“What I saw this morning was very positive, everyone had a lot of energy to show their qualities. Make it difficult for the manager, that’s what the manager likes to have.”
Koeman also expanded on the injury status of midfielder James McCarthy, which can be found here. He also commented that defender Seamus Coleman was fit for selection this weekend, along with Darron Gibson and Tom Cleverley.