Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Everton suffer heavy loss to Atalanta

Everton FC v Hajduk Split- UEFA Europa League Qualifying Play Offs Round First Leg Getty Images
Elias Hubbard | 16 September, 2017, 01:11

The Toffees were bad in their Europa League group-stage opener, producing another limp display after losing 3-0 at home to Tottenham on Saturday.

Hope has sprung eternal that United could sustain their strong early season form, although Jose Mourinho has never beaten Ronald Koeman as a manager in five meetings between the two.

Hardly ideal preparation for a trip to United, the Premier League leader and highest-scoring team in the division.

Ronald Koeman's side, who began the season with some positive results, are on a awful run of form.

What they subsequently delivered prompted plenty of boos from Everton fans who had travelled to the Mapei Stadium, and when asked in his post-match press conference if he shared the supporters' anger, the Dutchman said: "Yes of course".

"So I still think that Marcos has in front of him probably a couple of months".

He wanted to play more than he did [last season].

"We have other players with doubts".

Everton spent around £133 million in the offseason transfer market, with a large chunk of that amount coming from the sale of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United.

"It's easy to criticise the players, the team, and individual mistakes, but finally, the team was not prepared judging by what I saw in the first half", he said. He is still a great player, a great personality, and I am lucky I have played with him.

Sandro Ramirez and Rooney were forwards signed by Koeman in the offseason but neither player is in the mold of Lukaku, a powerful target man who stretches defenses with his pace.

Rooney (or Schneiderlin) could become the eighth different player to score against Manchester United having already played for them in the Premier League (Hughes, Dublin, Ince, Gillespie, Berg, Campbell and Welbeck). "As soon as we knew that Rom would be on his way - and Ross [Barkley] has also not figured this season, so we have lost a few goals - we had to spread goals around the team and it's all about everyone else now". That said, key players have departed, and Atalanta have made a modest start to this term. Rooney despite what many have said is still probably our most risky goal threat but the one big change that needs to happen is that Calvert-Lewin needs to start. I think fans recognise that.

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