Toffee Talk

Eager for a new start under old manager Koeman

Morgan Schneiderlin became the second player to sign for Everton in the January transfer window. In this exclusive column, he says it is the Toffees' ambition, and the chance to play again for Ronald Koeman that lured him to Goodison Park.

When I decided my time at Manchester United was over and Jose Mourinho gave me the green light to leave in January, it was important that I find a club with big ambition.

I wanted to be at a club that have the hunger to achieve big things, and that is what I have found here at Everton.

This is a club with a big history, a great tradition, and they are run by passionate people who want to get Everton back to the top of English football.

That's why I was keen to sign from the moment I knew Everton wanted me.

I was also attracted by the prospect of working with the manager, Ronald Koeman, who I know well from our time together at Southampton.

I played some of my best football in that season we worked together, so it was an easy decision to play for him again.


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This is a club with a big history, a great tradition, and they are run by passionate people who want to get Everton back to the top of English football.

That's why I was keen to sign from the moment I knew Everton wanted me.

When he became the manager of Southampton, I won't pretend it wasn't difficult in the first few weeks because there were lots of speculation linking me with different clubs and I did try to leave.

But the manager sat me down and told me: "You're going to improve, you're going to enjoy your football, and I'm going to make you the key player in my team, so go out there and do your stuff on the pitch."

From that moment on, I played with freedom and with my mind free.

I know the manager has big ambitions for this football club, and he wants me to put my mark on this team and show the Everton fans what I can do - hopefully starting against Manchester City this weekend.

When you look at the Premier League table, there is a gap between Everton and the top six but we will do everything we can to close it over the next few months and I am sure we will in the years to come. This is what we are working towards and you can see it in the quality of the players we have at the club.

If we can have a strong second half to the season, it will give us a great platform for next season.

Ultimately, our aim must be to compete for the Champions League places and win some silverware. That's why the club are investing in new players.

As for challenging for the Premier League title over the next years, we saw it was possible last season when Leicester won the title, so why not?

We know success won't happen overnight. We need to take things one step at a time, but the fans expect success here - and rightly so.

It's up to us as players to live up to their expectations.

EVERTON V MAN CITY

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 15, 2017, with the headline 'Eager for a new start under old manager Koeman'. Print Edition | Subscribe