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Everton boss Ronald Koeman: 'Precise, pragmatic and likes different coloured pens'

Match of the Day 2 analysis

I got an idea of how precise Everton boss Ronald Koeman is as a manager when we did our coaching qualifications together in the Netherlands in 1998, and he got his pencil case out.

I had just been sacked as player-manager by Chelsea and, along with Ronald, Frank Rijkaard and Marco van Basten, I went on a special fast-track course that the Dutch FA had put on for former top international players that allowed us to get our badges in only a year.

Koeman, who had retired in 1997, had always wanted to become a manager when he was a player and you could tell then he wanted to make the most of this opportunity.

We were all enthusiastic but even his note-taking was extremely systematic - it still makes me laugh that he wrote everything down very carefully using lots of different coloured pens.

How you train is how you play - true then, and now

Ronald Koeman takes an Everton training session

That course was 18 years ago but Koeman is still a very pragmatic guy who loves to have a structure in place, which is part of the reason he has made a successful start at Everton after his impressive two-year spell at Southampton.

One of his sayings is "how you train is how you play", which has been his mantra since we played together for PSV Eindhoven and the Dutch national team in the 1980s.

I was always used to that approach too. It was rule number one under the best coaches I played for and the idea is that during the week you mimic the conditions you will play under on Saturday, so you get used to them.

I am sure Everton players have found out already what is expected of them - Koeman will not let them switch off during training games or think they can only give 70% effort. It has to be 100%.

He has increased the intensity of their sessions but there is more to his approach as a manager than just hard work and discipline.

Technically and tactically he is very strong too, and part of that is linked to how he was as a player.

Koeman always thinks ahead

Everton have conceded two goals from set-pieces this season

Koeman was a brilliant defender but he was not very quick. If you are the slowest player on the pitch then you always have to be thinking what will happen next.

He needed to anticipate things all the time, but he did it so well he never made any slide tackles because he never had to, he always saw things coming. In fact, he saw slide tackles as a last resort.

So I know he always understood the game very, very well. He was always in the right place so he never got in any trouble.

That made him a very intelligent player and it is also why he is such an intelligent coach - he thinks ahead.

One example of that is when he took charge at Everton in the summer, he knew how they had conceded too many goals from set-pieces last season, so he has been trying to improve that, and it has worked.

Leadership is one of his strengths too

He is quiet, considered and thoughtful and his whole personality is like that - even away from football too - although he is not afraid of raising his voice when he has to with his players.

Those communication and man-management skills were obvious when we were players. I was captain of the Dutch team that won the 1988 European Championship, but we had a couple of players who took responsibility for their area of the team and he was one of them.

Koeman was captain of our defence and leadership was one of his strengths.

Gullit and Koeman celebrate winning the 1988 European Championship

In that era, we had a lot of strong personalities right through the Dutch team. People now say that we were always fighting but that is not true.

We could argue at times, though, because ultimately we always wanted to win and, if somebody did not do their job at the back then I needed Ronald to tell him that.

How Koeman tried to sting Barkley into action

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Sometimes I watch Premier League games here and when people make mistakes they say nothing to each other - they just let it go and it is like happy families. I don't understand it.

If you want to win, you have to wake people up and I have seen Koeman do it already at Everton. With his treatment of Ross Barkley in the past few weeks,