By 90Min
October 24, 2017

It's the "chicken and egg" question when it comes to football managerial sackings.

Is the manager solely to blame for being handed his P45, or do his first-team squad deserve a portion of the blame?

Ronald Koeman could well be asking himself something along those lines after he was relieved of his duties just 16 months into his seemingly inevitable three-year Everton tenure.

The Dutchman has always been supremely confident in his own abilities, that much is obvious given that he took training on Monday morning with no idea that he would be sacked by the Toffees' board.

His managerial record wherever he's gone, regardless of length, has always been fairly decent too. You don't win trophies and lead the likes of Southampton to sixth and seventh placed league finishes without a knack for football management.

So just what went wrong for Koeman at Goodison Park? After a summer bathed in optimism and backed up by a £140m spending splurge, how has the 54-year-old found himself out of work?

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In answer to the above conundrum, first of all, it would be extremely short sighted to lay the blame at the feet of Everton's talented squad.

Unlike Koeman's predecessor Roberto Martinez, the Blues' senior stars were still grinding away for the Dutchman until the last moment. They were still pressing, carrying out orders and tactical plans - no matter how confusing they were - and had backed Koeman to turn things around.

Leighton Baines, one of Everton's most thoughtful players, spoke on Sunday about how he and his teammates believed Koeman was the man to turn around their wretched form. Compare that to comments the left-back made about Martinez towards the end of his reign and it's like chalk and cheese.

If not a lack of effort, desire and downing of tools from Koeman's squad, then, what is the reasoning behind his sacking?

Everton's inability to secure a replacement for Romelu Lukaku has been written about more times than the Blues have shipped goals this term, but there is more than just a failure to replace him with a suitable striker up top.

Koeman's tinkerman approach to his starting lineups, half-time substitutions and tactical tweaks showed a boss who was struggling to find an identity for his team, and even his best 11 players.

Granted, it takes time to bed in nine new faces into a squad but even then it's arguable that some of those new signings weren't necessary and added further bloat to already well stocked areas.

Koeman shouldn't bear all of the blame, then, with regards to transfers. Director of Football Steve Walsh was brought in for such a purpose, and scrutiny has increased on his position at the club as a result.

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The Barcelona legend was at fault, however, for failing to buy into Everton's ethos. It's a stick that Evertonians have beaten him with in recent times, and was merited for his stand off nature and cool demeanour at a club that is lauded for its inclusion, togetherness and community work.

And so the buck ultimately stops with Koeman. Unable to get the best out of a talented team, strange matchday plans and a decision not to immerse himself in Everton Football Club fully brought the axe down on his tenure.

For Everton's players, a stay of execution. Questions will be asked of this group if things don't improve under the next incumbent, however.

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