Speaking after Everton kicked off its adventure in the Europa League’s group stage with a 3-0 defeat at Atalanta, Koeman admitted to being “worried” and said it’s time for the Toffees’ “experienced players to stand up.” The Dutch manager also confessed to holding a meeting with certain players. The result marked their third straight defeat in all competitions after falling 2-0 to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and 3-0 to Tottenham Hotspur at Goodison Park, and next up is an away day at Manchester United in the Premier League.
“What I don’t like is to go out and tell the media what I tell the players,” Koeman said, according to the Guardian’s Andy Hunter. “Later on after this press conference I will have a meeting with most of the players, with the key players. Not a young talent of 18 or 19 because it’s time for the experienced players to stand up.
“I am worried about what I saw yesterday. I wasn’t so worried after Chelsea. It starts with the reaction in the second half against Tottenham. That 45 minutes and the first 45 minutes of yesterday are enough reason to be worried.”
After Koeman made six changes to Everton’s starting lineup, Atalanta scored three first-half goals for which the Toffees had no response. The tactician threw Davy Klaassen, Sandro Ramirez, and Kevin Mirallas into the match, but none of them could beat Etrit Berisha.