Each week, ‘In On Goal’ co-hosts Colin Murray and Dion Dublin give your their expert reaction and analysis from the weekend’s Premier League football. Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.
Another club and another manager under pressure recently have been Everton and Ronald Koeman after a run of bad results. Granted, their opening fixtures before this weekend have seen them face Stoke, Manchester City, Chelsea, Spurs and Manchester United, so it’s been a tough start for the Toffees.
With 3 heavy defeats in succession (4 if you count their Europa league thumping by Italian side Atalanta), confidence has been low and the Evertonians have been getting worried.
What they needed was a home match against Bournemouth to get some points on the board, and they did, but it was far from easy for Koeman’s side.
Joshua King put the visitors ahead just after the break, and the worry was that this could be another one of those days, just at a time when Koeman could ill afford it.
However, it was an unlikely hero that came to the rescue, in the form of Goodison outcast Oumar Niasse. Sent on loan to Hull, told by Ronald Koeman that he’d need to leave the club to play football and famously denied a locker according to reports.
The Senegalese striker has now scored 3 times in a week, with his first ever goal for the club coming against Sunderland in the League Cup on Wednesday night, having been at the club for 18 months since former manager Roberto Martinez signed him from Lokomotiv Moscow for £13.5m.
If he can keep the goals coming and give Everton a much needed striking option up from, then the fee will seem like good value, and it’s been great to see a player prove the doubters wrong and take his chance well.
In truth, Oumar Niasse’s two goals on Saturday that snatched victory from the jaws of defeat saved the onslaught of negative headlines for Ronald Koeman and, in many ways, papered over the cracks at the club.
The pressure has been on Slaven Bilic for some time, with the big Croat battling to save his job at The London Stadium.
It gets to a point in modern football (as Bilic rightly points out) where it’s “game by game or two games by two games” in terms of how you’re judged and how much time you have.
Bilic is very much aware of the situation that he finds himself in and when your name becomes prefaced by the words ‘beleaguered’ or ‘under fire’ the writing is, often, already on the wall, and unfortunately Slaven Bilic is very much in a game by game situation at the moment.
It’s a results based business, as Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish reminded Frank De Boer shortly before sacking him a fortnight ago. At the time, the bookies had De Boer and Bilic in a two horse race in terms of who was going to be the first manager out of the door this season.
While Bilic enjoyed a stay of execution on that occasion, you feel now that the axe is looming and it’s very much a matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
The next three games for the hammers, see them face Swansea at home, Burnley away and then Brighton at home, all of which are absolutely must win games for the manager, if he’s given the time to even play them.
The odds would suggest that anything less than 3 points at home to Swansea, would see someone else taking the Londoners up to Lancashire, for a tough claret and blue derby at Turf Moor.
In fairness, they battled hard against Spurs on Saturday, and set up a grandstand finish that could have seen them take a point from the game, but the truth of the matter is that no points is no points, and he needs to turn around the results and fast.
Don’t forget to tune into ‘In On Goal’ every Friday for your weekly football fix with previews and predictions of the weekend’s Premier League action.