The times are certainly a’changin at Goodison Park. Everton announced the appointment of Ronald Koeman earlier this week and rumour has it their new manager will be handed a £100million transfer budget for the summer window, provided by Fohrad Moshiri.
But money doesn’t always guarantee success and the Toffees will have to translate their new-found wealth to performances on the pitch – which is never an easy task in the ever-competitive, ever-unpredictable Premier League.
But giving us an inkling of what might happen during Koeman’s first campaign on Merseyside is the Premier League fixture list, which was officially released earlier today.
You’re probably tingling with excitement as much as we are; there’s nothing quite like running through a season’s fixtures for the first time in anticipation for the first kickoff in August.
So here’s the FIVE fixtures that could decide whether Koeman’s first season as Everton boss reaches euphoric or catastrophic proportions.
Everton’s young players are as talented as Tottenham’s but they abundantly failed to prove it last season and haven’t actually beaten the Lilywhites in their last seven attempts. The Toffees need to claim a win against the London club at home.
Ronald Koeman developed a really strong record against the Premier League’s title chasers during his time at Southampton and Manchester City are the first will encounter next season. The Dutchman will be keen to carry that over his to Goodison Park tenure.
If Ronald Koeman is to succeed where Roberto Martinez failed, his Everton side need to pick up points against teams like Southampton – who also plan to be knocking on the door of Champions League qualification – away from home. The Dutchman’s association with the south coast club adds an intriguing sub-plot.
Everton haven’t beaten Liverpool in their last seven attempts, albeit five being draws, and suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at Anfield last season. Claiming a win in the Merseyside derby will kick off the Koeman era with a fresh sense of optimism.
Any top four push from Everton next season will almost certainly come down to the final day of the campaign – when they face Arsenal. The Gunners are no easy customers but have a knack of capitulating at key moments.