By James Johnson
Have you ever had a job where you didn’t get on with your boss? You have an argument, you fall out, you leave and your new boss is great? Then, a month or so later in he calls you in (It could be a she of course) I am leaving he says and you groan because he is joining the firm you have just left. About a month later you get called in to the big boss, who introduces your new boss….. yes, it’s your old gaffer from the job you just left!! Next thing you are on to your old new boss……
Life can be full of twists and turns, forks in the road, the unexpected, those little ironies, some call them coincidences, others fate. To quote Bob Dylan a ‘simple twist of fate’ occurred last weekend. The characters were all in place, Ronald Koeman, the coach, Oumar Niasse the player. The stage was set, a home game at Goodison against a side struggling to get a foothold on the season but had just come from behind to win its first game against another struggling side Brighton. A nervy Goodison knowing that all excuses had been made, all get out of jail cards had been used up, this was simply a must win game for Everton against poor opponents.
Enter stage left a couple of villains, Simon Francis who clumsily put Wayne Rooney out of the game with his wafting arm winding the Goodison crowd up against Martin Atkinson who duly waved play on. If this was Formula 1 it was a ‘racing incident’, well that’s how MOTD pundits interpreted it but the Goodison faithful desperate for something else saw red. Come half-time a bleak Goodison expecting a half-time talk and a response got something else, a Joshua King goal. King a player that many Bluenoses would have liked to have seen in a blue shirt has not had a good start to the season but given a free run at the Blues defence produced a goal and sent the crowd into despair.
Enter, stage right the hero, the unassuming, and technically awkward Oumar Niasse, who with perfect timing delivered victory on the plate, assisted by substitutes, Tom Davies and Jonjoe Kenny. The superhero Oumar ‘Lockerlessman’ strikes back, the old adage ‘you couldn’t make it up’ springs to mind.
How ironic that just six games into the new season the great Ronald Koeman, Dutch master, pupil of Johan Cruyff, mate of Pep Guardiola should become favourite for the sack after another Dutch master Frank De Boer had beaten him to it just a couple of weeks before? How ironic that after Mr Martinez had departed the front-runner to replace him was Frank De Boer and how relieved Evertonians were when Ronald Koeman was appointed! This week another ex-Everton player Gary Lineker referred to Cruyff as a ‘know it all’ whereas Guardiola does know it all but is rather less arrogant.
Those expecting Coach Koeman to change are likely to be disappointed, he is cut from that same Dutch belief that he is right and everyone else must be wrong. It’s stubborn and with apologies to any Dutch folk, very Dutch! Koeman knows what he believes, he has a plan, a way of playing and he will follow it. Like Cruyff he believes that his methods will eventually work if the players do what he says. There is no room for half-time screaming matches, with fist pumping players coming out ready to get ‘stuck in’, this is about getting the right players to play the right method.
The unanswered question is can Evertonians hold their nerve and can Coach Koeman deliver?