Ronald Koeman opens up on failed Everton spell

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Ronald Koeman, Manager of Everton speaks to Leighton Baines of Everton and Wayne Rooney of Everton during the Premier League match between Everton and Arsenal at Goodison Park on October 22, 2017 in Liverpool, England
Photo: Tony Marshall/GETTY IMAGES

Ronald Koeman has reflected on his short spell with Everton , three years on from his sacking at Goodison Park.

The current Barcelona boss was appointed as the Toffees' manager in June 2016 after an impressive two years at Southampton.

However, despite some promising results in his debut season, the Koeman regime hit the rocks just a few weeks into his second campaign at the helm.

With Everton languishing in the bottom three of the Premier League, the Dutchman was given the boot in October 2017.

Looking back on his tenure, Koeman explained to Alan Shearer for The Athletic why Everton were a challenge to manage.

It was difficult, that period, because Everton are a club - and also the fans - who expect sometimes too much. I think sometimes they are still living in the past about the great seasons that they had at Everton.

Koeman's debut season with Everton was positive with the club finishing seventh and qualifying for the Europa League.

The club spent around £150 million on new recruits the following summer but somehow failed to replace the goals of Lukaku, who joined Manchester United for £75 million.

My first season was a really good one. Romelu Lukaku scored 25 league goals and we had great home games against Manchester City, who we beat 4-0; we beat all the big ones and it was great.

But to do the next step, that's the most difficult one. We spent a lot of money, we signed Jordan Pickford, we signed Michael Keane, we signed Gylfi SigurĂ°sson and some more players but the big miss was that we did not have a striker like Lukaku. That was really painful.

We were close to signing Olivier Giroud at that time. Finally, we started with Dominic Calvert-Lewin as the No 9. At that time, he was too young, but if you see him playing now, he's really a good player and I like him.

That was a really difficult situation - when we lost Lukaku, we lost 25 goals. That was difficult and when we signed Wayne Rooney, maybe we had Davy Klaassen and some other players in the same position at that time. That was difficult, but what we missed at that time was really a goalscorer.

Everton are historically one of the most successful in England with nine top-flight league titles, behind only United, Liverpool and Arsenal.

Their last title win, though, came in 1987 and the club have struggled to compete with their traditional rivals in the Premier League era.

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