With the news breaking that Dutch manager, Ronald Koeman, has signed for Everton, we put it to you: did Arsenal have a lucky escape by not signing him?
There is no doubt in my mind that heading into the final match of the 2016/17 season, we were lining up Arsene Wenger’s replacement in the form of (at the time) Southampton manager, Ronald Koeman.
Of course, you’re totally free to disagree because other than tabloid rumours and a gut feeling, I have no proof. Maybe we hadn’t approached him formally but I believe there was something in the works that made Koeman turn down the Everton job when they first approached him.
His contract with the Saints was set to run out at the same time as Wenger’s and, although he insisted that he wouldn’t use Southampton as a stepping stone back in 2014, he’s gone back on a lot of things he’s said. I truly believe he was at least waiting for us to offer him the Arsenal job.
Ronald Koeman has promised he will not 'do a Pochettino' by using #saintsfc as a stepping stone. My copy in sunday people tomorrow.
— Alex Crook (@alex_crook) August 16, 2014
— Artur Boruc (@ArturBoruc) June 14, 2016
As soon as Ivan Gazidis confirmed that, if the Arsenal board had their way, Wenger would be around for the foreseeable future, Koeman snapped up the Everton job. The candle, no matter how vibrant, had been finally snuffed.
When we were approaching the final game of the season, I was completely on board with getting a new manager. Although I’m not the type to bring sign to a match or insult a man who, for the most part, has done great things for our club over his 20 years in north London, it’s not unreasonable to want something to change. And I’m pretty sure I was in the quiet majority when it came to that opinion.
However, coming second (lol) completely papered over the cracks. The signing of the talented Granit Xhaka, as well as rumours heavily linking us to other highly rated players has turned the tide slightly for many, including myself.
I never wanted Wenger to leave; I wanted him to change. And when it didn’t look as if he’d ever change, I wanted him to leave.
Now that it does look like he could be changing, I’m willing to completely go back on what I was saying but this time I’m skeptical.
Meanwhile, Koeman is looking like a bit of a hypocrite after his comments on loyalty earlier this season. Individually, he may be ambitious – a winner even. But he’s clearly not what we’re looking for right now.
At the time this column was written, 81% of Daily Cannon’s Twitter followers were with me. Some admitted they voted ‘yes’ because they want him after Wenger, not now, while some were considerably less polite.
What do you think?
[POLL] Everton appointed Koeman as their new manager, do you think Arsenal should have signed him?
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) June 14, 2016