Why Sean Dyche is the Perfect Appointment for Everton
Everton are rightly one of the favourites to be relegated from the Premier League at 8/13 as they are 19th in the table and failed to bring in any new additions during the January transfer window, while receiving £45m for Anthony Gordon from Newcastle United.
This was a disastrous move from the club itself, as while fellow relegation battlers strengthened, they lost a key player and also allowed several youngsters to leave on loan, while Eldin Jakupovic’s contract expired and Salomon Rondon’s contract was terminated two weeks before the transfer market opened. All in all, their shock recall of Ellis Simms from Sunderland was as close as the Toffees got to signing a player in their time of need.
However, Dyche’s appointment in itself could be the best signing that the club has made in a long time, having previously showcased his managerial talent at Burnley, while his style of football has often been misconstrued. He will make Everton a tough team to play against, quite the opposite of what they were under Frank Lampard as they won 12, drew eight and lost 24 matches during his 44-game tenure.
Understandably, Lampard’s task was a tough one though, while his open communications to fans of the Toffees was much appreciated amidst unrest between the supporters and the board at the football club. But, with there being the potential of playing out Everton’s final season at Goodison Park in the Championship, a managerial change was needed, both in the dugout and at the top of the hierarchy, naturally culminating in the sacking of the Chelsea legend rather than all of the culprits that have contributed to the Toffees' woes.
Many have Dyche down as a typical old-fashioned English manager who uses a 4-4-2 formation and only plays ‘hoof ball’. This isn’t the case, in fact, the 51-year-old uses an unconventional 4-4-2 system with plenty of flexibility as he has frequently explained that formations are only separated by “yardages”.
In terms of defensive shape, when going up against a 4-3-3 formation, one of his strikers will drop back to cover the defensive midfielder/deep-lying playmaker of the opposing side while the other presses the player in possession, with two central midfielders marking man to man with their opponents in an attempt to stifle this formation.
On top of this, this attracts opposing teams to use the wing areas of the pitch as that’s where the space will naturally become available, with Dyche’s teams typically pressing in an aggressive fashion in order to regain possession or to force an error. When Burnley played against the ‘big six’ they tended to defend in a compact manner that would make it extremely difficult for opposing sides to create chances, while defending the penalty area manfully.
Dyche likes a goalkeeper that is quick in his distribution, meaning that Jordan Pickford’s fine distribution skills will be of great use, on top of the fact that he is an established high-quality Premier League goalkeeper, hence why he is England’s number one.
The ex-Watford manager likes his centre-backs to play out from the back in varying ways, utilising James Tarkowski well at Burnley, due to the 30-year-old’s good passing range. Dyche likes his defenders to progress the ball into the strikers while utilising their hold-up play, meaning that Dominic Calvert-Lewin will be vital to his system, as Chris Wood was at Turf Moor.
Burnley’s central midfielders were vital to their structure, as the likes of Jack Cork and Ashley Westwood would drop out wide in a close-to full-back position, while their partner would come narrow, with the winger from the opposite side of the pitch acting as a third central midfielder in order to break the press of a three-man midfield.
In order to prevent quick transitions, Burnley often used an aggressive narrow shape when on the ball to make it hard for the opposition side to break through, as the Clarets looked to kill the space for opposing players to run into.
There is the chance that Dyche could utilise a 4-4-1-1 formation having previously used it at Burnley. This could potentially be forced at Everton due to the fact that the Toffees only have three strikers on their books in Calvert-Lewin, Neal Maupay and Simms with the latter being fairly un-Premier League proven despite scoring seven Championship goals this season for Sunderland.
During his time at Turf Moor, Dyche played Jeff Hendrick as an attacking midfielder in order to give the midfield more protection away from home, as during the 2016/17 season, it took the Clarets 18 Premier League away matches to get an away win, doing so by a 2-0 scoreline at Crystal Palace.
Something that was vital in this formation was the presence of Steven Defour as a playmaker who had an exceptional passing range. The Belgian was vital in the first half of the 2017/18 season when the Clarets managed to finish seventh place and qualify for the Europa League qualifying rounds.
Last updated 31/03/2023
The Fixture List
Everton have 18 Premier League matches left to steer themselves away from danger of which their home form will be vital.
It is worth mentioning that Dyche’s start is as tough as it gets though, with a home fixture against Premier League leaders Arsenal, as well as a trip to Anfield for the Merseyside derby. However, their next four matches after the aforementioned games will be vital, as the Toffees face Leeds United (H), Aston Villa (H), Nottingham Forest (A) and Brentford (H) before a trip to Chelsea.
During his time at Burnley, Dyche proved that he can pull off a series of shock results, drawing or beating the ‘big six’ in the Premier League 28 times. This includes memorable victories at home to Manchester City in 2014/15, as well as away to Manchester United in 2019/20 and a 1-0 victory away at Liverpool in 2020/21 thanks to an Ashley Barnes penalty which ended Jurgen Klopp’s side’s 68 games unbeaten run at Anfield.
Ultimately there were some great times at Burnley, featuring now Everton players such as Michael Keane, Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil, having finished seventh in 2017/18 and tenth in 2019/20. These players’ familiarity with Dyche will likely make a big difference, having all had their best years under the Englishman at Turf Moor.
Dyche arguably has a better squad than that which he left at Burnley when all players are fit and available, while his struggles towards the end of his time with the Clarets ultimately boil down to the fact that the transfer business during the summer of 2020 left him short, with Dale Stephens of Brighton being the only notable arrival, meaning that he couldn’t significantly freshen up his project and rejuvenate a squad that had punched above its weight.
It was only once Alan Pace and ALK Capital arrived at the club, that Burnley changed to their new and exciting transfer strategy that has seen them thrive in the Championship under Vincent Kompany. This, unfortunately, came a little too late for Dyche, as following the shock departure of Wood to Newcastle, new signing Wout Weghorst failed to settle in quickly enough to make the impact he was capable of.
There is every chance that if Dyche hits the ground running, he could be a successful appointment for Everton, even in their current predicament. He is a Premier League-proven manager unlike Nathan Jones and Gary O’Neil at fellow relegation-battling clubs in Southampton and Bournemouth, while at Turf Moor he showed signs that he can get the best out of a side, should they work hard, show great team spirit and quality on the ball.
Should Dyche lead the Toffees to Premier League survival, there is the chance that he will provide them with a stable platform to progress for years to come, having seen the club try and fail with several high-profile managers of varying styles since the days of David Moyes.
STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST FOOTBALL PREDICTIONS & TIPS AT FOOTY ACCUMULATORS