17 September, 2017
The manner in which Everton folded against Atalanta, coming just five days after Tottenham had trampled all over them, has put Koeman in the spotlight and he is anxious that the poor sequence is having a detrimental effect on younger members of the group.
Everton defender Michael Keane has opened up about why he rejected the chance to return to Manchester United under Jose Mourinho in favour of developing under Ronald Koeman. The defender left United for Burnley in 2014, after making just one Premier League appearance for the club where he came through the academy. He also admitted that he isn't as big a United fan as he used to be growing up.
"United were in touch with my agent and showed a lot of interest", Keane said. I thought I would get a lot of game time here, more than I possibly would at Manchester United, and that was a massive factor in my decision.
He added "Of course [people will question it]". Loads of different people.
"A few people are saying they fancy them to be in contention for titles again, and that doesn't come as a surprise with the talent they've got and the manager they've got, so it will be a tough game for us". "If I see how hard they [opponents] make it for our strikers, and how many spaces we give, letting them turn, not following your man, not defending your man..." When I went to Burnley, they wanted me on a permanent [transfer] straight away, I didn't want that to happen because I wasn't sure it was the right move for me at the time, so I went there on loan.
Even though Baines acknowledges that Everton have a big task on their hands when they line up at Old Trafford, the left-back insists that he and his teammates have a plan, and hope to take tips from Stoke City, who restricted United to a 2-2 draw earlier this month.