Realist Koeman gives short shrift to ‘crazy’ Premiership title talk
Everton manager Ronald Koeman has nipped talk of his team’s title chances in the bud, despite their unbeaten start to the season lifting them to second spot in the Premier League standings behind leaders Manchester City.
The Dutchman took over at Goodison Park from Roberto Martinez in June and his impact is apparent in Everton’s new-found defensive resilience and improved work rate.
Everton secured a 1-1 home draw with Tottenham Hotspur in their season opener before winning their next four league games, sparking speculation they might emulate last season’s unlikely champions Leicester City.
Koeman, however, dismissed talk of the title as premature and unreal- istic. “It’s a good start but we know it is very early and there is a long way to go,” the manager told reporters.
“I don’t think we can do a Leicester. I am realistic. If I tell you we will fight for the title I think most people will tell you that man is crazy.
“Even when I mention that it sounds crazy.
“Why would we change our ambition and aspiration after 13 points from five games?
“The big teams have much more qualities and unless it is like it was last season it will be impossible.”
Koeman said Everton needed to get better to hit even that target.
“We need to improve and we can improve if we want to fight for Europe,” he added.
Koeman was, meanwhile, pleased his public criticism of Ross Barkley had elicited the right response after the midfielder gave a strong performance in the club’s 3-1 win over Middlesbrough on Saturday.
“I don’t think we can do a Leicester. I am realistic. If I tell you we will fight for the title I think most people will tell you that man is crazy.” –Ronald Koeman Everton manager Ronald Koeman during their Premier League match against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Sep 12.