Koeman Has Four Weeks To Save His Job

One thing Wayne Rooney didn’t like about his final season at Manchester United was the fact that he wasn’t playing every game and he wouldn’t have been happy starting from the bench for Everton last weekend.

Wayne’s Got The Blues
He seems like a player who needs to be training and playing constantly to keep in shape, so coming on for 30 or 40 minutes in games for Everton is not going to be good for Rooney.

He needs to start, he needs to lead and if he’s going to be used from the bench I don’t think they are going to get the best out of him.

He is still their top scorer this season and he will hit double figures no problem but only if he starts regularly.

He certainly needs pace around him and maybe players like Klaassen and Sigurdsson are taking up positions that are too similar to Rooney’s.

Their poor run means Ronald Koeman is the latest manager to come under major scrutiny in the Premier League. Everton’s performances have been terrible especially given the money they spent during the summer but I wouldn’t say his job is under any big threat just yet.

Being on TV shows I see a lot of feedback coming in from fans and of course it’s mostly negative and a lot are suggesting he should be on his way. But you have to factor in the amount of new playing staff he has brought in. It is going to take them time to gel. I wouldn’t want to be too hasty, Bill Kenwright hasn’t been quick to wield the axe in the past and the new majority shareholder has suggested he is right behind Koeman as it stands.

The Burnley result, and performance more than anything, suggests there is a real lack of confidence at the moment at the club.

I do think the one thing they really missed out on in the summer was getting in a real top class striker.

There are plenty of creative players but I’m not sure Koeman got in the player he needed up front. It will take time for the new signings to gel but I was at Goodison for the match against Burnley and the negativity set in really early.

The feeling amongst supporters isn’t great at the moment and if it continues things will get worse. Only seven games into the season I think it is too early to make a call, but if it does continue to get worse there could be a decision to make in three or four week’s time.

Under Pressure
It’s a big weekend for the Republic of Ireland and the pressure is on going into the final set of qualifiers.

Every newspaper, TV channel and radio station is talking about it and there is a constant scrutiny on the side which will be increasing the tension in the camp. Gareth Bale’s absence for Monday night’s match is another talking point that’s been thrown into the mix and it just seems to be increasing expectation and pressure on Martin O’Neill and his squad.


In some ways it’s pressure that you want but speaking as an ex-player it does lead to nervousness. You’re sitting around the hotel all week reading newspapers and it adds to the anxiety, all you want to do is play the game. It is set up for the perfect ending though.

The Republic of Ireland are strong odds-on to beat Moldova on Friday night first but the odds shouldn’t be getting into the heads of the players.

Over the years when we have been heavy favourites we don’t tend to dominate the opposition…

…but given what’s at stake they should be able to overcome Moldova. Some doubts may creep in during the game about the expectation to win, especially if you aren’t playing well. But as boring as it sounds it’s about going out and getting the job done. It may sound clichéd but there are three points to be won against Moldova and Republic of Ireland have got way too much for them so they should be going in with confidence.

The Perfect Ending?
As for Monday, neither Wales nor the Republic of Ireland have been consistent enough throughout the group. We have only lost one game along the way and beating Austria in Vienna is the stand out result, however…

performance-wise we haven’t necessarily reached the level we did at the Euros last summer.

A good win against Moldova sets up a winner takes all showdown in Cardiff. I actually don’t think Wales will beat Georgia, it’s a really tough game even if they had Gareth Bale available. It will set up a great end to a group which has been pretty low key so far and the Irish will travel over in numbers. Plenty will even travel over despite not having tickets because of the allocation so it has the potential to be a memorable night.