Everton coach Ronald Koeman has refused to bow under pressure despite seeing his team fall into the relegation zone after a 5-2 loss to Arsenal over the weekend.
Koeman’s tenure had already came under severe scrutiny before Arsenal’s visit to Goodison Park, with a heated defeat by Lyon at the Europa League mid-week saw the Toffees kept an unwanted streak of winning just two out of their previous twelve matches despite having a squad replenished by almost £140m of new talent in the summer.
Wayne Rooney’s fourth Premier League goal of the season — almost 15 years to the day since his first Everton goal against Arsenal — gave Everton the, but goals from Nacho Monreal, Mesut Özil, Alexandre Lacazette, Aaron Ramsey and Alexis Sánchez brought Arsène Wenger a deserved first away win of the league campaign on his 68th birthday.
The loss was also Everton’s seventh 11 games in all competitions, with Koeman’s team now falling to third bottom in the Premier League, but the Dutchman insisted that he could still lead the team to a reversal of their fortunes.
“Yes, I think I can [turn it around] but now is not the moment and everybody is so disappointed,” he said after the defeat to Arsenal. “It is how you look to the situation. If you start to think negatively, then maybe there is no solution. I am not like that.”
“All the rumours in the newspapers are normal. The team is underperforming, it is in a difficult situation mentally and confidence are struggling. That is what we need to change. I still believe I can change the whole situation but everybody knows how it works in football. That is all I answer about this situation.”
Everton’s major shareholder Farhad Moshiri, who appointed Koeman on a £6m-a-year contract in 2016, was present at Goodison Park and is expected to speak to the Dutch coach on Sunday in what was considered to be a routine for both club hierarch and coach.
“Normally I have contact after every game, speak or text,” Koeman added. “I understand the position is not good for Everton. I have been working in football a long time, I know what can happen but I don’t think it is too late.”