Speaking to the media ahead of Everton’s trip to fellow-strugglers Leicester City on Sunday, caretaker manager David Unsworth said that the Toffees’ big money summer purchases would not have any preferential handling or get selected ahead of anyone else in his squad.
Wayne Rooney was the only outfield player who was signed over the summer that got in the starting lineup for the midweek Carabao Cup game at Chelsea, and Rhino was asked if he wasn’t impressed by Ronald Koeman’s signings.
"No, I don’t at all. We came together and I picked a team which I thought would perform and win a game of football.
“It doesn’t matter if they are new signings, or if they have come through the ranks. From my eyes and what I have seen, and what I know, I picked what I thought was the best team on the night.”
When asked if he would take into consideration the hefty price tags some of those transfers came with, he added -
“Not at all. It is just a number. The players don’t determine that either. I will always pick what I believe is the strongest team to win a game of football.
“I think that (a clean slate) is always the case when someone leaves and a new man comes in and takes over.
“I think there will be players that are happy the manager has left because players want to play. Well hopefully most of them do!
“Some will be disappointed because they will wonder whether they will now be in the starting line-up. I think throughout my experience of being a player that is the case.”
Davy Klaassen was brought up by name as one of the high-priced players who has failed to find his feet at the Blues, but as he has already done in his previous press conference, Unsworth refused to single out any players.
“I think as a team everyone has more to show. I think we are where we are and everyone can do more. Not just any individual.
“And I wouldn’t pinpoint any individual. Over the period in time from the start of the season we have underperformed. I think everyone needs to improve and hopefully everyone will while I am here.”
There has been no word from the Club regarding how long Unsworth’s interim stint will go on, but the man himself sounded quite positive about his interactions with majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri and Chairman Bill Kenwright.
“My dialogue with the chairman before this was very good and I’ve spoken to him two or three times a day since. I had a really good chat with Farhad last night.
“There are no secrets or hidden agendas. We are very honest and I’ll continue to be like that for however long.
“We spoke about the team, the performance at Chelsea and the next few games coming up. But there was no indication of a time-frame — not in terms of number of games or anything like that.”