Last season saw the Merseysiders finish an impressive seventh place in the premier league after securing the services of ex-Dutch international Ronald Koeman in June 2016. They were back in Europe and the future looked bright. Koeman had left Southampton and signed a three-year contract replacing Roberto Martinez. However, this season things have not gone well. Everton is a side that is notorious for their slow start to the season but this is on another level.

Summer signings

Problems for Everton began in March 2017 when it was clear to everyone that top scorer, with 25 goals, Romelu Lukaku would not be returning to Goodison Park for the new season.

That departure, confirmed when he signed for Manchester United, should have seen the management team at Everton falling over themselves to find a replacement. The progress was slow. Everton made signings of goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, England defender Michael Keane and of course Wayne Rooney. They eventually secured Gylfi Sigurdsson after the season started, but, still did not find a replacement for Lukaku. They went on a fruitless pursuit of Arsenal's Olivier Giroud and when he didn't sign the transfer window closed and Everton was left very much with egg on their faces and a huge Romelu Lukaku - sized hole to fill.

Everton this season

So far this season Everton have looked directionless. Koeman has struggled to find his best team and with three strikers vying for the number 10 shirt he has found it hard to satisfy everyone.

The team's start to the season has been a tricky one though with games against Manchester City, United, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal as well as games in the Europa League. But after giving Koeman his support after a 1-0 defeat by Burnley, majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri could have had little option after his side drew at Brighton and lost to Lyon before being thrashed by Arsenal.

The awful run of form sees them sit in the relegation zone with only 8 points.

The problem with Koeman

Koeman was brought to the club with a fanfare to restore order after Roberto Martinez' chaotic years, but it is no secret the job Koeman really covets is coach at Barcelona where he was assistant for two years in the late 1990's.

One of the main issues with Koeman was that he had no vested interest in the team. He was always seen as rather cold and calculating and lacking emotion. This approach, of course, is fine when you are successful but once you start to lose then it becomes a problem.

Who can replace him?

There are a number of names in the frame and Everton will have to move quickly before they lose more games. Possibles for the post are; Carlo Ancelotti sacked by Bayern Munich after one season, Eddie Howe, currently managing Bournemouth but a lifelong Everton fan or maybe David Moyes, an outside choice after his dreadful record since leaving Everton. Possibly Sam Allardyce could step in, he does, after all, have experience of taking on a challenge. Whatever happens though, in the long-term Everton need to find someone to put a steady hand on a team that seems to have lost its way.