Koe­man calls player pow-wow as Ever­ton seek an­swers

The Guardian - Sport - - Football - Andy Hunter

Ron­ald Koe­man has held a cri­sis meet­ing with se­nior play­ers at Ever­ton af­ter ad­mit­ting he is wor­ried by the weak­ness, doubts and loss of de­fen­sive or­gan­i­sa­tion in his team.

Ever­ton spent al­most £150m in the sum­mer trans­fer mar­ket yet “are not at the level of last sea­son”, ac­cord­ing to their man­ager, who was scathing in his con­dem­na­tion of the Europa League de­feat at Ata­lanta on Thurs­day. The woe­ful per­for­mance came af­ter Koe­man had de­manded a re­ac­tion to the 3-0 de­feat by Tot­ten­ham last Saturday, and the man­ner of the third con­sec­u­tive loss prompted clear-the-air talks with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Phil Jagielka at Finch Farm yes­ter­day.

Koe­man, who took re­spon­si­bil­ity for the 3-0 loss at Ata­lanta, said: “I will have a meet­ing with most of the play­ers, the key play­ers. Not a young tal­ent of 18 or 19 be­cause it’s time for the ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers to stand up. I wasn’t so wor­ried af­ter [the 2-0 loss at] Chelsea. It starts with the re­ac­tion in the sec­ond half against Tot­ten­ham. That 45 min­utes and the first 45 of yes­ter­day are enough rea­son to be wor­ried.” The fail­ure to ad­e­quately re­place Romelu Lukaku, whom Ever­ton con­front

Al­berto Lin­gria/ Reuters

Ron­ald Koe­man said the younger mem­bers of the Ever­ton squad would not be in­cluded in the meet­ing, be­cause ‘it’s time for the ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers to stand up’

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