In the short-term focused world of the Premier League, managers rarely get a chance to breathe before they’re under pressure these days. It’s something Ronald Koeman is quickly learning at Everton.
Four defeats in four games have got the natives restless, with some calling for the Dutchman to go the way his compatriot, Frank de Boer, did at Crystal Palace did.
Those people are the ones who will tell you they didn’t like him from the start, who thought he was the wrong appointment entirely. They are also likely to have been signing his praises during Everton’s run in the second half of last season.
Football fans are a fickle bunch in general and so are some Evertonians. It’s just the state in which modern football finds itself.
If Twitter had been a thing during the early days of Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United, it likely would have been a shocking place to be.
Those calling for Koeman to be sacked are as foolish as those who would have called for Ferguson to be sacked would have been.
Sure, Everton have started the season poorly and yes the performances have been more than disappointing but there are mitigating circumstances.
The start to the season the Blues were handed was as hard as they come, arguably among the hardest set of opening fixtures the so-called random generator has ever thrown out. Even Jose Mourinho thinks they were unfair.
There is also the fact that this squad is still becoming acclimatised to one another and their manager to them. The level of change has been extensive at the club this summer and it was always going to need time to settle down.
No side that has ever changed the playing squad so drastically in such a short space of time has ever hit the ground running. Just ask Tottenham how they did after selling Gareth Bale. These things take time.
The failure to sign a striker is also a major issue, in case you weren’t aware already. Koeman is essentially working with his hands tied behind his back because the biggest piece of his jigsaw isn’t in place.
Instead, Koeman has to try and rejig the plan he had to try and make it work without the striker he had thought he would have. That’s a tricky task make no mistake.
Trying to do all of those things against four of last season’s top six made the task almost ten times harder.
The fact the club spent so much this summer is a moot argument also. They may have spent millions but so did the six clubs above them. Everton’s spending was always an attempt to narrow the gap, not close it completely.
Jose Mourinho may think otherwise but he spent vast sums last summer and couldn’t get a United squad that was already brimming with talent into the top four.
The signings they did make were all of the long-term variety too. £140m was not spent on top, readymade players but long-term investments such as Jordan Pickford, Michael Keane and Sandro Ramirez.
Of course, Koeman is not entirely blameless. Some of his tactical decisions have been baffling, so too has his decision to completely omit Jonjoe Kenny from the squad.
But the blame for the current situation cannot rest solely on his shoulders. The forces that have been working against him are massive; any manager would have struggled to deal with them.
Similarly, he cannot do anything for individual mistakes, such as Mason Holgate’s teeing up Raheem Sterling or Ashley Williams’ gifting Manchester United a second. No manager can.
Everton now have four home games in a row, all of which would have been marked down as wins by the management team and fans alike this summer. Indeed, six of their next eight should all be victories.
If they aren’t and the performances remain as listless as they have been before the United defeat, then will be the time to call for change.
Before then, though, calls for him to be sacked are naïve and premature at best. Koeman deserves time and patience to turn things around.