Sean Dyche has one of the toughest jobs in football right now – keeping Everton in the Premier League.
The Toffees have been in free fall and winless since October, losing eight games and drawing two in that period.
Frank Lampard was sacked, but the manager wasn’t the Merseyside club’s only problem.
Chronic bad spending left Dyche with the task of trying to untangle the mess at Goodison Park.
His welcome gift from the Owners Group… selling one of their most exciting young players to Anthony Gordon and not reinvesting the £40million paid by Newcastle.
If there’s a man to do it, then it’s Dyche. He has been in this situation before and will not accept any nonsense from his team.
If seeing him training at Finch Farm in shorts and a pair of Copa Mundials isn’t inspiring…then who knows what will.
The former Burnley boss will be in the thick of things with a Premier League clash with Arsenal on Saturday at 12.30pm – a match you can hear live on talkSPORT.
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The odds will be stacked against him with the Gunners flying high atop the Premier League.
“The most important thing for me is a performance,” Dyche told talkSPORT ahead of his first test where his side are really the underdog.
“That’s what I’m looking for. If I’m a gamer, I would ask myself ‘what are people going to think about this?’ »
To make matters worse for Dyche, he has an abysmal record against Arsenal themselves – only losing more times against Man City.
He was beaten 10 times by the Gunners and lost every game in his first nine meetings, but that record has improved.
In recent seasons, they have lost just one of their last five meetings.
Lots to think about for Dyche in his first game in charge of the club, with very little time to work with his players.
Something that could work in his favor is that he has already worked with three players at Everton.
James Tarkowski, Michael Keane and Dwight McNeil were all at Burnley with Dyche and he may have to rely on all three.
Goals have been the main problem so far this season for the Toffees, one the new boss will need to address quickly with only Wolves scoring less than them.
Lampard favored a 4-3-3, but Dyche is likely to return to his preferred 4-4-2, no-fuss.
Here’s how Everton could line up to take on Arsenal at Goodison Park on Sunday.
And here are a few things that will be on Dyche’s to-do list in order to turn things around.
Unlock Dominic Calvert-Lewin
Calvert-Lewin has only scored one goal all season, that’s a huge problem for Everton.
He should be their talisman, but struggles to get on the scoresheet.
Looks like it’s been a long time since he scored 16 Premier League goals in the 2020/21 season.
The Toffees need to create more chances for their striker, and McNeil could be the key to that.
Stop losing games
It seems so simple…win games and you’ll stay awake. Job done, Sean, you can ease off.
However, things are going a bit further than that at Everton at the moment, with losing becoming an undesirable habit.
Dyche’s Burnley sides were notoriously tough and awful to come up against. This is what he must instill in his new team.
They have won just three games all season, the fewest in the Premier League. Since Christmas they have taken the lead twice and kept losing – it’s a habit that needs to be stopped.
That’s certainly what Dyche tells his team.
Turn Goodison Park into a fortress
What saved them from relegation last season was the atmosphere at Goodison Park.
Dyche needs to restore the fans’ faith in the team and help create this lion’s den that will make it an impossible place to visit.
At the moment, only Southampton have a worse home record in the Premier League.
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