It is never easy to admit you are wrong, but it took Ronald Koeman just 35 minutes to do just that at the Hawthorns on Saturday as the Dutch legend provided clear evidence that he isn’t afraid to make quick, decisive and difficult decisions. James McCarthy was the unlucky man to fall foul of the new Everton manager, but Koeman quickly identified he had got it tactically wrong and introduced the fit again Lukaku in place of the Irish international to give Everton balance, presence and a goalscoring threat.
In fairness to Koeman the same starting line-up played well against Tottenham last Saturday but the Blues looked disjointed against the Baggies until the changes altered the the flow of the game in Everton’s favour. If our former manager lacked tactical flexibility, Koeman has already revealed his plan B, with C, D and E ready to be used when required.
3-5-2 quickly became 4-4-2 and with flare and pace backed by defensive resilience (further improvement still required) Everton will become a force to be reckoned with.
We were treated to a glimpse of the next exciting talent from the Barnsley academy. Mason Holgate was excellent and although it is too early to get carried away, he could quickly fill the boots of the departed John Stones. If I was Steve Walsh I would ensure one of my scouts had a season ticket at Oakwell with the South Yorkshire club boasting one of Everton’s most prolific production lines.