We here at Cartilage Free Captain are, on the whole, rather optimistic about the start of the new Premier League season. We already know, for example, that Pochettino is working his players to the bone to improve their fitness because this will pay dividends down the road when other teams begin to tire out.
New Everton manager Ronald Koeman is known for having his teams put forth maximum effort, and his Southampton teams were almost always well prepared for matches. So let’s check in with him ahead of Sunday’s match at Goodison Park:
'Of course, it's always nice to start the season, but we are not at the level we need to be. Not in terms of players' physical states. Because I think we are, in terms of physical state, 70 per cent of what we need to be.
'We are working hard and we will improve. We need to improve.'
'I doubt that means we will start to play at 70 per cent. But if I compare the numbers of the physical states of the players, it is 70 per cent, and at Southampton it was 100 per cent.'
– Source: Daily Mail
Oh. Well then.
So, this is an invitation for Spurs to run Everton off the park for 75 minutes before plonking four past Maarten Stekelenburg and the exhausted Everton defense, right? Because that’s sure what it sounds like to me.
Everton’s not a team to overlook, though. They have a shiny new coach in Koeman, a shiny new winger in Yannick Bolasie, and will presumably come out and take the game straight at Spurs. However, I’ll gladly take a 70% effective Ronald Koeman-coached Everton over a 100% effective Ronald Koeman-coached Everton.