Former Everton manager Ronald Koeman has revealed that Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud would have saved him from getting botted at Goodison Park after the Toffees disastrous start of the seasons.
Giroud sees as Arsenal break the bank to bring in Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon over the summer, which Koeman feels that the France international as an option for replacing departed Romelu Lukaku at Goodison Park, but the 31-year-old changed his mind last minutes and he decided to remain at Arsenal
The Dutch coach Koeman discussing his reason for his failure at Everton, explained how aware he was of his own impending sacking and how, in his own mind, Giroud’s last-minute decision cost him so dearly.
“Last Thursday, after our defeat to Lyon in the Europa League, I knew it was crisis time,” Koeman said speaking to Dutch football magazine VI. “I am not daft, I know how the football world operates.”
“I could figure out how things could go. I was sure I would be on the bench against Arsenal on Sunday. But another defeat against Arsenal and I could see that anything would happen. And if things did not improve in those last games, I had worked out what would happen.”
“Maybe there was a chance to coach against Chelsea in the EFL Cup and maybe I would be able to do Leicester City away and Watford just before the international break.”
Despite recently scoring a screamer in the Europa League, Giroud has been a bit part player for the Gunners this season and is yet to start a Premier League fixture. Speaking about the striker, Koeman explained how his late change of heart regarding a move to Goodison Park was a key factor in his eventual demise.
“I had Olivier Giroud in the building,” explained Koeman. “He would have fitted perfectly, but at the very last moment, he decided that he’d rather live in London and stay at Arsenal. That was really hard to swallow. You tell me, where you can get a better striker?”
Lukaku was so important for us, not just because of his goals, because the certain way of playing as a striker — strong. He could hold the ball, he always had an eye for the goal, he was fast. If things were not going well in a game, if we could not play the way we were used to, there was always the option to use the long ball towards him.
“All of a sudden [after Giroud’s decision], we were missing such a player. With Nikola Vlasic and Wayne Rooney, we had attackers who want the ball at their feet.”
“When you are struggling as a team with the build-up from the back, and we no longer had the option to kick it long, you know you have a problem.”