Belfast Telegraph

Everton boss Ronald Koeman trying to get the best out of his struggling players

Everton boss Ronald Koeman is holding regular meetings with his players in a bid to arrest their Premier League slump.

Koeman's side started the season brightly but have won only one of their last 10 matches in the Premier League, leading to dissatisfaction from the club's supporters and a slide towards mid-table mediocrity.

In that period the Toffees have salvaged draws against Manchester City and Manchester United, but Koeman is not hiding from the reality ahead of Tuesday's home match against another title challenger, Arsenal.

"Of course you need to work behind doors about the future of the club but the problem is now. We need to win now," he said.

"Every week there are several meetings about this. This type of meeting is normal much more when you are in a difficult situation.

"It's all about commitment of players, bringing your quality to the team and that's why we spoke together about how we can do it together to get a better run of results.

"But finally the answer is on the pitch, not between the four walls in a meeting room."

Koeman, who was warmly welcomed by supporters when he replaced Roberto Martinez, is fast falling from grace in the stands.

A social media faux pas over a Christmas tree decorated in the red of Liverpool notwithstanding, he understands the growing frustration.

"That's not so easy (to take) but I know most of the opinions because if I'm an Evertonian I will also be disappointed about one win out of 10," he said.

"That is not what we need to do. Of course we will not win every game but one out of 10 is underperforming for everyone and also for me."

Yet there was a hint from the Dutchman that merely increasing physical exertion, which always goes down well in English football, was not a panacea.

"You need to understand sometimes these kind of situations and it's not an easy answer like 'fight more, run more'. It's not all about this," he said.

"It's about quality on the ball, movement, creating chances. You need to play football to understand these kind of situations."

An Arsenal side with a fine record against Everton and an unbeaten run stretching to 14 games in the league are hardly opponents Koeman would have wished for.

"This Arsenal team is better than it was," he assessed.

"I have the experience with Southampton of beating Arsenal several times but I think this Arsenal is more in balance between attack and defence. In my opinion this season Arsenal are really one of the favourites to win the title."

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