30 January 2023

How does the new Toffees boss get them out of their sticky situation?

30 January 2023

Everton have appointed Sean Dyche as their eighth permanent manager in seven years.

The former Burnley boss has a tough task ahead of him to drag a struggling team out of the Premier League’s bottom three, with the club facing a second-successive relegation battle.

Here, the PA news agency’s Carl Markham looks at what Dyche will have to address in a very short space of time after replacing Frank Lampard.

Stop losing games

Everton may have had just one win in their last 14 matches but more important at this stage is to stop the bleeding. Nine defeats in their last 12 league games have left them in this hole, but Dyche will note they are only three points adrift of the relative safety of 14th place.

Increase the goal output

Only Wolves have a worse return in front of goal than Everton’s 15 in 20 league matches. They have scored more than once only twice this season and Demarai Gray is the leading scorer with five in all competitions, three of them in the top flight.

Kick-start Calvert-Lewin

The Toffees’ best hope of escaping relegation appears to lie with Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who has struggled with injury since last season, finding fitness and form after just one goal from just 11 appearances. Lampard’s tactics did not seem to play to his main striker’s strengths and he would definitely benefit from more crosses into the penalty area and getting the ball forward quicker.

Sign a striker

Not entirely within Dyche’s control working under a director of football as the club is hamstrung by tight financial constraints in order to comply with profit and sustainability rules. However, they need another option up front in case Calvert-Lewin does not come good.

Tighten up at the back

The signings of experienced defenders Conor Coady and James Tarkowski appeared to have addressed last season’s major weakness but even they are starting to look fragile under the pressure. Everton have kept just four clean sheets this season – and none since October – and on five occasions they have taken the lead and failed to win. Former Millwall and Watford centre-half Dyche will hope to have an immediate impact.

Galvanise the team and fanbase

Anger off the field aimed at the club’s board has started to be directed at players, with Yerry Mina and the now departed Anthony Gordon confronted outside Goodison Park after the recent defeat to Southampton. Fans are rightly unhappy with performances and level of effort and that is negatively impacting on the squad. Dyche has to use the very brief honeymoon period he may have to find a way to establish harmony and get everyone pulling together for the cause, which was a hallmark of his success at Burnley. First up, on Saturday, is a home game against leaders Arsenal.

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