Lacklustre Everton not at the races as Koeman rails at display

Everton's Kevin Mirallas leaps over West Ham goalkeeper Adrian as the latter makes a save. The Premier League match ended goalless, and puts a dampener on Everton's charge for a European spot.
Everton's Kevin Mirallas leaps over West Ham goalkeeper Adrian as the latter makes a save. The Premier League match ended goalless, and puts a dampener on Everton's charge for a European spot.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON • Ronald Koeman admitted he would have made 10 substitutions at half-time after his Everton side were held to a goalless draw at West Ham on Saturday.

With sixth-placed Arsenal on FA Cup duty and Manchester United, who lie fifth, not due to face Burnley until 24 hours after Everton's visit to the London Stadium, Koeman's side had the opportunity to move up to fifth.

But a poor performance meant they only moved a point above Arsenal, who have played three games fewer than the Goodison Park club, into sixth.

Koeman had attempted to inject life into his side's display by introducing Gareth Barry and Ademola Lookman for Idrissa Gueye and Tom Davies at half-time, and the manager admitted he would have preferred to make a complete overhaul.

"The half-time substitutions were tactical, I made a signal to the team to change," said the Dutchman.

"I feel sorry for Tom, I feel sorry for Gana, because if it was allowed to change 10, I'd have changed 10 players after the first half.

"I'm disappointed about the performance, we were not the team that we can be, far away from the level in every aspect of football. One positive thing: A clean sheet."

Everton striker Romelu Lukaku had scored in his nine previous meetings with West Ham, but managed just three touches in the Everton box on Saturday.

The Belgian international - and the rest of the Toffees - failed to record a shot on target. Lookman took Everton's first shot in the 70th minute.

Hammers manager Slaven Bilic was pleased with the way his side contained the threat of the 24-goal Premier League leading scorer.

"It wasn't just about stopping Lukaku, but he has scored 24 goals and is a major threat of course," he said.

"We stopped the service to him. And when he got the ball, we tried to double him up. The whole team but in particular the three centre-backs did an amazing job on him."

But the hosts also offered little going forward.

The drab affair featured more yellow cards (five) than shots on target (three).

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 24, 2017, with the headline 'Lacklustre Everton not at the races as Koeman rails at display'. Print Edition | Subscribe