When Ronald Koeman walked into his post-match press conference on Saturday afternoon, it was easy to expect he would not be in the best of moods. He had just seen his side throw away a 1-0 lead at home to Leicester City and subsequently exit the FA Cup. Even worse, they had done so in inexplicable fashion. The Blues should have won this one and they knew it.
What followed may have been borne out of his frustration at the result but it was certainly surprising to many of the assembled journalists. His complaints about transfers, or the lack of them, was not quite a tirade but certainly showed his frustrations. The Dutchman was angry and rightfully so.
Seven days into the January transfer window and Everton’s only signing so far has been Ademola Lookman from Charlton Athletic. It’s hardly inspiring. That is despite the fact that Koeman has made it clear for at least the last two months that he wants Morgan Schneiderlin and Memphis Depay from Manchester United as well as several other signings.
The movement should have been swift; in fact, both players should have already been at the club for this game against the Premier League champions. Instead, the club haggles over £2million for the Frenchman while the Depay rumours have died down considerably.
Compare that with Claudio Ranieri’s side, who moved swiftly to conclude a deal for Wilfried Ndidi and had him for this game, and you can understand why Koeman is annoyed. While they had a young energetic midfielder in the centre of the park, the Everton manager had to work with Gareth Barry and youngster Tom Davies.
The 18-year-old may have performed superbly once again but Barry did not. Time is rapidly catching up with him and it was almost cruel to have him play for 90 minutes. What is Koeman supposed to do when his options are so clearly limited? One suspects he was promised more than this when he joined in the summer.
In a week when the club’s AGM proposed a very bright future for the club, the old failings came back to haunt them just a few days later. As one journalist put it on Twitter, it’s all well and good Everton bragging about the new money coming in, but why not just pay the asking price for Schneiderlin?
Everton’s history of struggling to get deals over the line quickly is something that has long held them back. If they intend to compete with the big teams in future, it is something that must be changed.
Koeman is right to be frustrated and demand that change on his watch. It is a complaint that many of the fans will back him on. It has to happen in this January transfer window otherwise, all of the positive news that came from that AGM will be empty words for frustrated Evertonians.