Ahead of Saturday’s visit to Goodison Park, we caught up with Everton fan Joe Strange to get his take on Tottenham, Ronald Koeman and how he think the game will go.
1. A change at the top! Were you pleased to see Roberto Martinez given his cards and what are your views on Koeman?
It was best for everyone involved that Martinez’s time at the club came to an end. He was loved by most after his first season, but he had lost the players and the fans by the time he was sacked. It was undoubtedly the correct decision, just a few months too late.
Koeman is the man I wanted from the start. He has won trophies as a player and a manager, has proved himself with Southampton and speaks a lot of sense – something which was rarely the case with Martinez. He has a big job on but I’m very optimistic that we’ll improve with him in charge.
2. Has the introduction of the ‘Iranian billionaire investor’ into the boardroom resulted in any obvious improvements or changes yet?
Martinez’s sacking, the appointment of Koeman and the arrival of Steve Walsh from Leicester can all be put down to Farhad Moshiri. Without his backing, it’s unlikely we could have paid the compensation or offered the contracts to attract them, let alone convinced them to leave Southampton and Leicester.
Transfer business has been slow but he has made serious funds available, which should be used over the next couple of weeks. He’s also pushing forward with plans for a new stadium, which is hugely important.
3. What are your views on your transfer dealings this summer? Were you expecting more given the talk when Mr Moshiri was welcomed aboard?
Definitely, but there is still plenty of time to get the squad where it needs to be. As I write this, Ashley Williams is having a medical and talks are ongoing over a deal for Lamine Kone. Of course we would’ve loved more players in before Saturday’s game, but it’s been a difficult summer. Idrissa Gueye is a good addition, although we still need a No 1 goalkeeper, two forwards and another central midfielder.
4. From the outside, Stones to City for the reported money seems like good business? Or is it too soon to talk about it?
Ha! It’s a good deal for a player who was very poor last season, but it’s still a shame to see him go. He has the potential to become a world class defender and you never want to lose your best players. Saying that, Williams (and Kone) are the sort of defenders Koeman will need to sort our defensive problems, not Stones.
5. The moving on of Hibbert, Howard, Osman and Pienaar really does signal the end of Moyes’s influence presumably?
There are still some Moyes players in the squad – Coleman, Baines, Jagielka, Mirallas etc. – but what we saw over the last couple of seasons was so far removed from a team managed by him. Defensive solidity pretty much disappeared under Martinez, so it’s up to Koeman to start from scratch and form his own team.
6. Optimism. In terms of fruit sizes where a water melon is ‘Champions League here we come!’ and a grape is ‘I just hope that we’re not this year’s Newcastle’, what fruit describes your feelings about the new season?
Blood oranges are bigger than normal oranges, aren’t they? We will be better than last season and should be looking to qualify for Europe, but the Champions League seems like a distant dream at present. Koeman has too much to do.
7. Any thoughts on Spurs ahead of Saturday?
I was massively impressed by Tottenham last season. You played us off the park during the first half at Goodison last season and we were lucky to get a draw that day – and at White Hart Lane. Pochettino is a great manager, but I suspect a title push will be quite a bit tougher this season. Top four should be the goal.
8. And how do you think the game will go?
I’ve got a bad feeling about Saturday. Our pre-season has been fairly poor and I’ve got a feeling we could be caught cold by a more well prepared Spurs side. 2-1 to your lot.
What is your score prediction? Have your say below
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