Under-pressure Everton boss Ronald Koeman has been assured that his future is secure after being handed a vote of confidence by the club’s largest shareholder Farhad Moshiri.
Koeman has come under increasing scrutiny following Everton’s inauspicious start to the campaign and a series of poor results; the Toffees’ 1-0 home defeat to Burnley on Sunday was their fifth loss in eight matches across all competitions.
Everton’s poor early season form follows a summer of considerable expenditure at Goodison Park which has seen an outlay of £140m on new players, although the goals of striker Romelu Lukaku have simply not been replaced.
Koeman insisted in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat to Burnley that the commitment shown by his players was compelling evidence that his reign as Everton manager should not be in doubt. Moshiri, for the time being, agrees.
“We are in a bad moment. But we have played the four title contenders, three away,” said Moshiri, who owns a 49.9 per cent stake in the Merseyside club. “Burnley was the only unexpected loss.
“The four pre-qualifying Uefa games and two [Europa League] group games on Thursdays haven’t helped. There is mental and physical fatigue and seven injuries.
“These are early days and Koeman has my total support. We have great fans and they deserve better. We know the honest and objective expectations of our supporters and will not let them down.”
Defeat by Burnley was met by a chorus of boos from Everton’s fans and left Koeman’s side 16th in the Premier League, two places and two points above the relegation zone after seven matches.
The Toffees’ Europa League group-stage campaign has offered little respite. Everton are rock bottom of Group E with a solitary point from two games following a 3-0 thrashing by Atalanta and 2-2 home draw against Apollon Limassol of Cyprus.
Koeman’s tactics have also been questioned with the Dutchman so far unable to solve a lack of pace throughout his team, while he dropped former England skipper Wayne Rooney to the bench at the weekend.
Despite heavy investment, which has seen Everton recruit the likes of Rooney, Gylfi Sigurdsson, Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Michael Keane and Sandro Ramirez, a lack of firepower has blighted their campaign.
Everton have scored just four Premier League goals this term and have failed to replace the striking threat posed by Lukaku, who departed for Manchester United for £75m in July.