By 90Min
October 13, 2017

Roberto Martinez could be described as an incredibly inconsistent manager for Everton Football Club. His reign started well, guiding the club to sixth and fifth-place finishes during his first two years. 

The fans could see improvement; they had a solid squad and things were looking up. But he came unstuck. His final two seasons saw 11th-place finishes and frustration instilled into each and every Toffees fan. 

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Fast forward to today, and that same frustration is coming back again. Ronald Koeman looked to be getting Everton back to being a team you don't want to face. That gritty team that, no matter how well you're playing, it will be a tough test at Goodison. 

A seventh-place finish last year saw the Toffees qualifying for the Europa League, and doing so led to mass spending in the summer. Koeman received a lot of his kitty from the sale of Romelu Lukaku, but that sale was the start of his problems. The Belgian became the club's record signing back in 2014 following a successful loan spell the year before, costing them £28m. 

He went on to score 68 goals in 141 appearances for his side. Lukaku was Everton's identity. His physical presence and sky-rocketing confidence meant sides went to Goodison not so fearful of facing Everton, but fearful of Lukaku. 

He scored big goals, motivated his teammates and guided his side to a Europa League finish. But Everton were not the ceiling for Lukaku. He was always going to seek a move back to one of the big boys, and Everton knew that. 


The Belgian eventually moved last summer to Manchester United for an initial £75m, leaving the Toffees with a gaping hole up front. Everton were now in the position to spend serious money for the first time in most fans' history. 

They had £75m from Lukaku's sale and a manager seeking to progress his squad and kick on for this season...but thus far, the project failed miserably. Everton currently sit 16th, with two wins from their opening seven games. They have lacked any guile up front and appeared vulnerable at the back - but this shouldn't be the case after spending £141m. 

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Koeman's summer signings are as follows: Gylfi Sigurdsson (£45m); Michael Keane (£26m); Jordan Pickford (£25m); Davy Klaassen (£24m); Nikola Vlasic (£9m); Henry Onyekuru (£7m); Sandro (£5m) and both Wayne Rooney and Cuco Martina on free transfers. £141m. 

Admittedly, Pickford and Keane are the stand-out signings, and both have performed the best of the lot thus far - but it's not been nearly good enough. 

Pickford looks to be in a similar position as he was at Sunderland - facing a ton of shots because his back four aren't protecting him well enough. Davy Klaassen performed well for Ajax last year, but he simply doesn't have the right characteristics to shine in the Prem. 

The two main forward thinking signings are Sandro and Rooney. The former enjoyed a wonderful campaign for Malaga last year, earning him a switch to the Premier League. However, he remains goalless and lacking support from his teammates. 

As for Rooney, the move seemed too sentimental if anything. Everton are striving to reach the top four, and Rooney proved last year he couldn't compete in a side with the same goal. 

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So where do they go from here? With Omar Niasse reinstated up front, things don't look good for the Toffees on the goalscoring front. 

Koeman is running out of time to save his job and possibly Everton's season, as they face a number of tough fixtures over the next month. His side must find an identity, a leader, someone to take this underperforming dressing room by the throat and shake them into believing. If not, Koeman will be gone, and Everton will continue their downward spiral. 

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