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Can Dyche recreate the Burnley magic at Everton?

Mark Orlovac 1 Feb 2023
Sean Dyche appointed Everton manager

As former Clarets boss moves to Goodison Park, we take a look at his immediate tasks

Having returned to management with Everton, the next task for Sean Dyche is to maintain the Toffees' status as one of only six clubs to have been ever-present in the Premier League.

Everton lie 19th on 15 points from 20 matches, level with bottom-placed Southampton but only two points from safety.

As he takes the reins at Goodison Park, we take a look at the key issues Dyche needs to address.

Can he repeat Burnley miracles?

On a limited budget, Dyche did an impressive job during his nine-and-a-half seasons at Burnley.

He joined them in 2012 and, although they went down in 2014/15, Dyche immediately led them back up to the Premier League.

In 2017/18, the Clarets ended the season in seventh, ensuring they claimed European qualification for the first time in 51 years.

Dyche's football was built on organisation and graft, elements that were shared by the celebrated "Dogs of War" Everton team that Joe Royle created in the 1990s.

After being appointed by Everton, Dyche alluded to this as one of his first objectives.

"What I would say is we want to put out a team that works, that can fight and wear the badge with pride, beyond just the tactical and technical side," Dyche told evertontv.

See: Dyche - I can improve Everton without signings

"Of course, they're massive parts of the game but - I've got to learn this - the feel of the fans here, they don't mind the ball being put at risk or playing forward.

"But they want people who are going to work and run. So, I've got to put that in. It's not that it's not there, but I've got to imprint my feeling and my style on it and that's part of what I do.

"Hopefully, with a bit of hard work from my staff and the players, we can reignite that passion of the fans because it's still there, you've seen it."

Getting Everton firing

A lack of goals and of creativity have been major factors in Everton's struggles this season.

They have scored 15 goals in their 20 PL matches. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers, with 12, have scored fewer in the competition this season.

Bottom six

Pos Team Pl GD Pts
15 EVE 28 -18 26
16 NFO 27 -27 26
17 LEI 27 -9 25
18 WHU 26 -10 24
19 BOU 27 -29 24
20 SOU 28 -23 23
See full table

Everton's struggles in front of goal have not been helped by the injuries to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, which have restricted the striker to only 10 appearances and one goal this campaign.

Dyche will also hope to find a way of getting Neal Maupay back into goalscoring form. The 26-year-old summer signing from Brighton & Hove Albion has yet to make his mark at Goodison, with only one goal from 13 appearances.

In fact it is Anthony Gordon, who has been sold to Newcastle United, and Demarai Gray who are leading the goalscoring charts for Everton, with three goals apiece.

Scoring goals is not just the responsibility of the forward line, though, and Dyche will be aiming to improve his side's creativity from midfield and beyond.

This season, Everton have created 21 big chances, the joint-fifth lowest total in the league. Only Crystal Palace, AFC Bournemouth, Wolves and West Ham United have fewer.

Fewest big chances 2022/23
Club Big chances
Everton/Forest 21
Crystal Palace 20
AFC Bournemouth 17
Wolves/West Ham 16

Dyche faces a tough start, with leaders Arsenal visiting Goodison on 4 February before a Merseyside derby with Liverpool at Anfield on 13 February.

Everton can take heart from the fact that they have beaten Arsenal in three of their last four league meetings, although Dyche has a poor record against the Gunners, winning only one match in 14 league meetings.

Everton's record in Merseyside derbies has also improved, with only two defeats in their last five.

Their schedule eases up thereafter, with home matches against Leeds United and Aston Villa preceding a trip to Nottingham Forest.

Friends reunited

Dyche will also be reunited with some familiar faces at Goodison Park. Defenders James Tarkowski and Michael Keane as well as winger Dwight McNeil played under him at Turf Moor and fulfilled key roles in Burnley's run in the top flight.

This season, Tarkowski in particular has delivered strong displays in an Everton defence that has acquitted itself relatively well.

They have returned four clean sheets in their 20 fixtures and shipped 28 goals.

Only West Ham, with 25 goals conceded, have let in fewer among the teams in the bottom eight.

Seventh heaven?

Dyche is the seventh manager appointed by owner Farhad Moshiri since he arrived at Everton in 2016.

Of his six predecessors, it was Carlo Ancelotti who had the best record, with 25 victories from 58 matches in charge and a win percentage of 43 per cent.

Everton's past six managers
Manager Dates Played Pts/ match Win
Ronald Koeman Jun 16-Oct 17 24 1.5 40%
Sam Allardyce Nov 17-May 18 19 1.4 38%
Marco Silva May 18-Dec 19 47 1.3 36%
Carlo Ancelotti Dec 19-Jun 21 58 1.5 43%
Rafael Benitez Jun 21-Jan 22 38 1.0 26%
Frank Lampard Jan 22-Jan 23 53 0.9 24%

When compared with the records of Rafael Benitez and Frank Lampard when they were at Goodison, Dyche's Premier League performances at Burnley stand in good stead.

Dyche's PL record
P W D L Pts/ match Win
258 72 68 118 1.1 28%

However, over the next four months the 51-year-old will need to improve upon the points-per-match record he enjoyed at Burnley.

If he maintains the same rate he achieved at Turf Moor, Everton would end the season on 34 points, a total that has been enough to avoid relegation in only two of the last eight seasons.

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