Talking Tactics

Dyche's style bringing stability to Everton

By Adrian Clarke 26 Mar 2023

Adrian Clarke looks at how new manager's efficient brand of football can help Toffees stay up

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Adrian Clarke looks at the impact of new managers in the relegation fight, which is the closest ever at this stage of the season, with only four points separating the bottom nine clubs.

Sean Dyche (EVE)

Dyche has wasted no time in transforming Everton into a team in his own mould.

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The former Burnley manager made an immediate impact when inspiring a 1-0 home win over leaders Arsenal on his debut, and while results since have fluctuated, their style of play is now defined and consistent.

Prior to his arrival Everton had experimented with seven different formations across the campaign and their tactical approach was sometimes varied.

Dyche came in and made his mind up that 4-5-1 was his preferred shape and his side has lined up that way in all eight of his matches in charge so far.

Clear vision

His vision for the side features three powerful, athletic central midfielders in Idrissa Gueye, Amadou Onana and Abdoulaye Doucoure, while Alex Iwobi and Dwight McNeil provide the pace and technical quality out wide.

Those five players have started every match under Dyche so far, with the recalled McNeil and Doucoure especially prominent.

Between them they share six direct goal contributions from the seven Everton have scored across these eight matches.

Everton under Lampard & Dyche
  Lampard Dyche
Distance covered/90 108.9km 111.3km
Long pass % 16% 20%
Passes completed/90 290 228
Open-play crosses/90 10.4 12.5
Touches in opp. box/90 19.6 22.5
Duels won/90 51.0 55.1

Dyche has extracted a higher level of work-rate from his players, who have covered on average an extra 2.4km per match than they did for the previous manager.

Efficient football

Even without target man striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin, there has been a significant rise in the number of long passes Everton make.

Had Calvert-Lewin been available for more matches, their 20 per cent share would likely be higher.

As the stats above outline, Everton are in essence playing a more aggressive, less complicated brand of efficient football.

They are winning more duels, playing fewer unnecessary passes, and whipping more crosses into the box from the wings.

Because of this more direct approach, and the relative success of it, they have touched the ball inside the opposition box more frequently.

Set-piece focus

Dyche has made two distinct personnel changes since taking charge at Goodison Park.

Michael Keane has come in for Conor Coady at centre-back, with Ben Godfrey replacing Vitalii Mykolenko at left-back.

Those two players add valuable height at set-pieces inside both boxes and Dyche is likely to have factored this in when losing Calvert-Lewin to injury.

Three of the seven goals scored since Dyche took over have been from set-pieces.

Doucoure's goal v Chelsea

A pair of McNeil corners towards the far post yielded goals against Arsenal and Chelsea, while a long diagonal free-kick from halfway also saw Doucoure score from a knockdown at Nottingham Forest.

All three strikes featured headers from James Tarkwoski, who has been a regular target for ex-Burnley team-mate McNeil.

If Everton can maintain their 1.37 points-per-match ratio under Dyche, they will comfortably secure their top-flight status.

Also in this series

Part 1: How Gracia has given Leeds width and greater control
Part 2: Positive approach paying off for Lopetegui
Part 4: How Hodgson's return will change Crystal Palace

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