Is Europe a Realistic Dream for Everton?

by   |   31/03/2023  0 Comments  [Jump to last]

Not too long ago, Everton’s ambition every season before a ball was kicked was securing a UEFA Champions League place. Of course, that is not the case right now, as the Toffees seek Premier League survival once again. However, can Sean Dyche keep them up and take Everton back toward the top six?

Champions League the Place to Be

For club sides in the top leagues, it does not get any bigger than the Champions League. Everton qualified for UEFA’s elite club competition back in 2005, which seems like a lifetime ago these days. As for the Champions League odds for this season’s edition, the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea are in the mix. City is available at just 9/4, while you can get Champions League winner odds of 12/1 for the west Londoners to lift the trophy again.

Everton would much rather be in the race for the top four than in another relegation scrap. While the Toffees languish towards the bottom, the likes of Brighton & Hove Albion, Fulham and Brentford find themselves in the mix for Europe. Can the Toffees survive this season and be one of those clubs next term and beyond?

Staying Up the Priority

Before thinking about the possibility of returning to Europe, or even securing a top-ten finish, ensuring Premier League survival this term is imperative. Frank Lampard kept the Toffees up last term by the skin of their teeth. Lampard failed to kick on and was sacked in January, and his replacement Sean Dyche has done a good job so far.  

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Wins were extremely hard to come by for Everton in the first half of the season, but the Merseysiders have picked up a few crucial victories under new boss Dyche. In his first game in charge, Everton stunned Arsenal, and the Toffees have also beaten Leeds United and Brentford at Goodison.

Dyche the Right Man for the Job?

So far, so good for Dyche at Everton. However, the former Burnley boss will be judged at the end of the 2022-23 season. He was brought in to keep Everton in the top tier first and foremost, and there have been encouraging signs thus far.

Dyche had a great record with Burnley in his ten-year stay at Turf Moor, guiding the Clarets to two promotions to the Premier League. In their second season in the top flight the second time around, Dyche took Burnley to a seventh-place finish, which was enough for a UEFA Europa League spot.

Burnley failed to reach the group stage, losing to Olympiacos in the play-off round. Everton was in the Europa League the year before, though they collected just four points and were eliminated in the group stage.

A club of Everton’s stature should be competing for European places in the Premier League. They should certainly be nowhere near the bottom three. Dyche worked wonders during his decade at Turf Moor, but can the likeable Midlander bring the glory days back to Everton just in time for the stadium move?

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