Koeman: Mourinho claim of Everton top-four finish ‘unrealistic’

Everton manager Ronald Koeman says that his Manchester United counterpart Jose Mourinho’s claims that the Merseyside club should be aiming for “at least” the top four this season is unrealistic.

Mourinho made the claim before his side completed a 4-0 win that Everton should be aiming for a top-four finish “at least” after having spent £140m in the summer transfer window.

Both teams were playing on level terms at Old Trafford following Antonio Valencia’s spectacular volley. Everton did not falter but instead attacked openly, with Wayne Rooney leading much of the offensive efforts.

However, a late flurry of goals then came for the Red Devils that sealed the game, starting with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, on 83, Romelu Lukaku, on 89, and an Anthony Martial penalty in added time pushed United to joint-top with Manchester City, both teams having 13 points and 16 goals with two conceded after five matches.

The result condemned Koeman and his team to a fourth defeat in four games in all competitions, and they have failed to score in four consecutive matches in all competitions for the first time since April 2006, including in their 3-0 Europa League defeat against Atalanta on Thursday.

It was almost reasonable that the Dutch manager did not conceal his frustration over Mourinho’s comments.

“I read the United programme and my colleague (Mourinho) told me about Everton spending £140m and so they need to go for the top four,” the Dutchman said. “If there’s anybody in this room and outside and sees this as something realistic for us, please comment. Be realistic. I’m not happy how we started the season, but please be a bit realistic about Everton. We need time, but it’s difficult in football.”

“Every manager in life has doubts. If you don’t win and you have a big number of players in your squad, you have doubts about how you need to start and the system to play. That is normal.”

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