Koeman put out to pasture after disastrous start leaves Everton in relegation zone

Former Dutch football international Ronald Koeman has been sacked as manager of Everton after the club’s disappointing start to the season.

The 54-year-old’s departure was confirmed on Monday in a statement by the Liverpool-based club’s chairman, Bill Kenwright, and major shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Koeman had a successful first season in charge at Goodison Park last year as the team finished seventh and qualified for the Europa League, but despite being given £140 million (€157 million) to spend over the summer the team currently languishes in 18th place, having won just two out of 13 games.

Three weeks ago Moshiri insisted the Dutchman had his ‘total support’, but the team’s results failed to improve and Sunday’s 5-2 defeat to Arsenal proved to be the final straw.

Koeman won 78 caps for the Netherlands during a 12-year international career and was part of the team that won the 1988 European Championship. After the semi-final against West Germany he famously pretended to wipe his backside with Olaf Thon’s shirt, having scored the equalising goal from the penalty spot.

The high point of Koeman’s illustrious club career came when he won the 1992 European Cup with Barcelona, scoring the winning goal with a trademark free-kick.

Despite playing in central defence he had a better scoring rate than some strikers, netting 193 goals in 535 appearances for club and country. After retiring from playing he became assistant coach to the Dutch national team and wen on to manage clubs including Ajax, Feyenoord, PSV and Valencia.

In 2014 he moved to England as manager of Southampton, guiding the club to seventh and sixth place finishes before moving to Everton for a reported salary of £6 million a year.