They say that at the end of a 38-game season, the Premier League table doesn’t lie, but the 2023-24 version, flecked as it will be by asterisks near the bottom of the rankings, won’t tell the whole story. As it stands, Everton should be sitting on 44 points, level with much-vaunted Brighton & Hove Albion and with an outside chance of finishing in the top half.

Of course, because of an unprecedented double sanction, the Blues have eight points fewer than their 12 wins and eight draws would ordinarily have earned them. Thanks to Sean Dyche and the efforts of his players, however, the Club won’t be involved in another last-day battle to stay in the top flight. Indeed, with three games left to play, Everton are safe and a beleaguered fanbase can breathe a collective sigh of relief. (At least where matters on the pitch are concerned — the takeover saga remains a thorn in the psyche but is largely beyond the supporters’ influence.)

A fortnight ago, there can’t have been many Evertonians who were confident that we’d be in this position after three games in a potentially gruelling six-day spell, two against teams scrapping it down there above the relegation zone with us and one a Merseyside derby against a Liverpool outfit still trying to beat Manchester City to the League title.

The 6-0 defeat at the hands of Chelsea was the second heaviest defeat Everton have suffered in the Premier League era and, coming on the heels of a winless run of 13 matches that eclipsed the infamous record of 12 set by Mike Walker 30 years ago, it set the alarm bells ringing among fans wondering if this season would prove to be a relegation battle too far and if the man at the helm could muster the powers of motivation needed to prevent the team imploding.

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Everton were a shambles at Stamford Bridge. Worse, some of the players appeared to lack fight and appreciation for the gravity of the Club’s situation, Dyche looked bereft of answers, and the whole situation felt very much like Groundhog Day: another manager overseeing a horrendous run of results and players taking flak from some quarters for appearing to down tools, all while the catastrophe of relegation loomed like a spectre ahead.

Rafael Benitez and Frank Lampard were sacked under similar circumstances. Sean Dyche, dubbed by some the luckiest manager in football, probably remained in his post for a few important reasons, among them the proximity of the end of the season, the fact that there was no one sufficiently engaged or empowered at the top of the Club to make such a big decision and Everton couldn’t afford to pay him off anyway.

In the final reckoning, it was just as well because Dyche, his staff and the Blues’ players pulled off something quite remarkable in those three games following their humiliation in the Capital. Three wins. Three clean sheets. An exorcism of a Goodison derby victory that drove a huge nail into the coffin of Liverpool’s title dreams. And Premier League safety before the calendar had flipped to May.

It’s a narrative that reinforces the adage that a season is played over 38 games and that there is an argument for steeling your nerve and sticking by a manager, even if all logic and gnawing fear are screaming the contrary. It has to be the right man, though. There was almost nothing to suggest that the deeply unpopular Benitez or the increasingly hapless Lampard would have arrested the slides in the team’s fortunes over which they were presiding by January 2022 and January 2023 respectively.

Dyche, for all his apparent limitations but to his enormous credit, was able to do what neither of his two immediate predecessors could once things started spiralling out of control – reset and refocus a struggling group, re-instill their confidence and tinker just enough with his own approach and methods (right down to his match-day get-up!) to get the right response from the team at the perfect moment.

The clash with Nottingham Forest, perhaps the most important result of the season given what it would have meant had Everton lost, was won on the back of a return to basics and the defensive solidity that had been ebbing away in the matches before the trip to Chelsea before evaporating completely on that harrowing Monday night. Key also was the return to central midfield of Idrissa Gueye who has just had, arguably, his best week as a Toffee, and the return to the scoresheet of the ceaselessly industrious Dwight McNeil.

Their goals lifted the Blues over Forest and set the stage for the magnificent conquest of Liverpool in midweek in which every player to a man raised their game. Saturday’s win over Brentford was several shades less dramatic but was important nonetheless in that it ensured mathematical safety from relegation and further underlined the transformation Dyche has overseen in such a short space of time.

It was a restorative week in terms of the manager’s standing with many of the fans; the kind of turnaround that erases much of the doubt that he should retain the reins for the final year of his contract and get the chance to earn the right to lead Everton to Bramley-Moore Dock.

That’s significant, because that painful winless run between mid-December and early April was galling, made worse by the debacle at Bournemouth and the ugly, yard-dog fare served up during the hugely fortuitous victory over struggling Burnley despite having had the ideal conditions to prepare a revival with three weeks off in March and a training camp in Portugal. All of that was then compounded to a horrifying degree by the embarrassing showing in West London two weeks ago.

In those circumstances and the mood they created, it was not unreasonable to argue that if Dyche was going to employ such one-dimensional football and maddeningly persist with certain players then, at the very least, he needed to get results. And if he couldn’t, even if the Blues remained in the Premier League for 2024-25, the arrival of any new owners would allow for a sweep of the decks and perhaps the appointment of their own man to rebuild something more long-term.

Taking more of a “30,000-foot” view, though, there is some evidence gleaned over the course of the season to suggest that Dyche could yet implement something more akin to the Everton Way given a transfer budget and a more settled environment than the chaos that has typified this season of seemingly never-ending negative news.

He may not get either.

777 Partners’ attempted buy-out remains as far away from fruition as ever but the reported £200m they will have loaned the club by season’s end has further complicated the situation vis-à-vis alternative investors by deepening the sea of debt afflicting the Club.

It also means that far from providing a war chest for the manager and Director of Football to build the squad, any sales will go towards alleviating the threat of yet another PSR sanction next season and either lessening that outstanding debt or going towards the final construction costs of the new stadium.

If nothing else, they will be familiarly choppy waters. By Dyche’s own admission, the job he has been asked to do was not the one pitched to him when he joined the Club in January last year. No doubt, the lack of any money to spend on new players to allow him to back up the stern words he expressed in the aftermath of the last-day escape from the drop a year ago was a factor behind that assessment, likewise the hefty penalties from the Premier League.

But his remark to reporters after the Saturday’s win over Brentford that “you wouldn’t imagine half of what I’ve been managing,” hints at deeper challenges behind the scenes, over and above a threadbare squad, his No.9’s lengthy goal drought, a seemingly ill-suited striking acquisition from Portugual, a mis-firing attack in general for much of the campaign, and the unquantifiable effects on the team's morale of two separate points deductions.

Whatever happens next, despite the curiously streaky nature of the results he has overseen this term — the Toffees failed to win any of their first five League games, won eight of the next 12, went 13 without tasting another victory and has now picked up all three points in three of their last four — and the at times perplexing vagaries of Everton’s form, Dyche has proved that he represents a rare element of much-needed stability at a club still wracked by an uncertain future.

Reader Comments (122)

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Brian Williams
1 Posted 29/04/2024 at 07:14:31
Dyche has had loads of detractors on here over the season. Some ridiculously calling for his head in the latter part of the season.

Shows you how short sighted some are and, as I've said many times on here, shows you how some only turn up for a whinge and a moan.

Without the points deduction we'd be sitting pretty in 11th place. I say "sitting pretty" because 11th place has to be regarded as real progress compared to the the previous few seasons, immaterial of the style of football.

Yes we'd all love open, attacking, stylish football like Luton play.

Ask them in a couple of weeks if they'd swap with us.

What this club has had to endure this season is unprecedented. Against all the odds we've come through it, and it's in no small way due to Dyche.

Lee Courtliff
2 Posted 29/04/2024 at 07:25:19
He is what we need, given the massive uncertainty around the club, the merry-go-round of managers and lack of money to invest in a limited squad.

But, he is damn hard work at times with the dour football and bizarre persistence with his favourites!

I was on his side during the first half of the season but then he reverted to his Burnley ways and served up some absolute dross for months. The selection of Ashley Young at home to a struggling Palace team will mystify me forever when we had Dobbin and Patterson on the bench!

Let's hope he can repeat more of the stuff we saw between September and December last year next season with a few clever acquisitions. This season has been hard in many ways, and it's a real relief to be looking up the table rather than contemplating League One football... because, imo, we definitely would have dropped again had we gone down to the Championship!

A huge well done to our manager and all involved. Maybe he does deserve a song of his own?

Derek Knox
3 Posted 29/04/2024 at 07:25:51
Another good article, Lyndon.

I know it's hypothetical, but my mind wonders what if we had got Sean Dyche say after Moyes left? I know he may not have even been in the reckoning, but he was doing okay at Burnley back then.

My imagined reflections encompass a lot of factors, we would have had some money then, far more than he was given at Burnley. I do believe, if in such a position, he would spend wisely. I also believe, if given the tools, the football would be more attractive, with better results.

The managerial compensations alone would have seen us well within the PSR Rules. That is even before we talk about paying over the top for some players and dishing out lucrative long contracts to them.

Still, 'the clock and water under bridges can never be reversed' and we are still not out of the woods yet, although safe for another season while even having the opportunity to make ourselves more safe by picking up more points from the 3 remaining fixtures.

Having said that, not only do I expect little from the Arsenal game, because a lot will depend on their position v Man City in the table. I doubt whether either will slip up in their remaining fixtures and it will go down to the wire.

All in all, I for one am pleased we have Mr Dyche at the helm, I just wish we had got him sooner than we did!

Laurie Hartley
4 Posted 29/04/2024 at 07:29:27
I think taking the "30,000-foot view" is good advice, Lyndon. I am not sure if I voiced it on here but I was certainly having my doubts about our manager and, for the reasons you mention, understood why quite a few of our number wanted him gone.

He has to take an equal share of the praise with the players for what they have achieved this season. I think he deserves to at least see out his contract in my opinion – he has earned it.

Because of the unexpected change in our fortunes over the past three games, my perspective has changed. As the saying goes (and has been proved) "life is full of surprises" and maybe, just maybe, we will have some more good news on the ownership issue in the near future. I live in hope.

Dave Williams
5 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:02:40
Sean has performed a near miracle. The derby for years has seen us accept the superiority of our neighbours.

This time, we showed them no respect whatsoever and how Sean rallied the squad to produce a performance of that level and intensity is a mystery but a marvellous example of proper man management.

In the past we would have reverted to type against Brentford but we dug in, worked our way into the game and here we are!

The owner should be thoroughly embarrassed- whoever he is- and let's hope Sean gets the chance next season to play without losing points. I'd love to keep Branthwaite for one more year though I can't see it – let's hope we have someone lined up to step in!

Tony Abrahams
6 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:05:54
Ancelotti got us to finish 10th playing a style of football that was less pleasing on the eye, with some much better footballers in his squad, Brian W.
Jerome Shields
7 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:13:02
Dyche was the only one that was prepared to take on the job. He proved the right fit. Sticking to his system of Dycheball.

He nearly became undone by getting carried away in the Carobao Cup and FA Cup, not having the depth of squad. But the other side of the coin is, had he continued to progress over that period, Everton would have had more points available for deduction. Such was the Premier League's maths skills. He did get more revenue in from the fixtures and Everton did not disgrace themselves.

The players were capable of producing under Dycheball. If they didn't, they got another chance, because it was more of the same. Dyche was, more importantly, lucky. Dycheball is based on fine margins and the coin did come up heads for him on enough occasions.

The players seemed to gain confidence from this, which was important since the squad can be questionable in this area. Even Evertonians realised it was Dyche or bust, since Everton were headless.

Yes, Dyche was the man needed to get a headless chicken over the line.

John Keating
8 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:16:30
“The right man at the right time” — Well, love him or hate him, the above statement is undoubtably true

Since Moyes, look at the number and type of managers we've had? Working for this basket-case of a club, all have either failed or saw the light and walked.

With our mish-mash squad, no money, no leadership at the top, points deduction and uncertainty of new owners, Dyche, in my opinion, has done a great job.

I very much doubt Dyche will have little, if anything, to spend in the Summer. I also think he may, reluctantly, have to give present squad members either extensions or short-term deals. How can we afford to buy replacements?

Until the Club is stabilised, both ownership and finance-wise, I don't think we have any other option other than to keep Dyche and his team here.

Ernie Baywood
9 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:20:01
So we have to judge him over a season. That sounds fair.

But three games ago, he was indefensible. Three games later, he's the Messiah? That's not a 30,000-ft view, it's a 3-ft view.

He could have gone the way of his predecessors a month ago. In any reasonably run club, he would have done. That long-term form was dreadful and the lack of a response was well worth the sack, even noting the limitations within the squad.

Then we'd laud the new guy for keeping us up and make statements like "Dyche couldn't turn things around". That same statement about Lampard has pretty much become a fact on here... couldn't he have turned it around? He was on the exact same trajectory as Dyche was. And he kept us up previously.

I can understand the "Dyche is the man for right now" sentiments. Right now is about survival and seeing another season.

But at some point, we will have to think differently. If all we ever try to do is survive, then we're just slowing down our eventual decline. And even I can agree that Dyche is the right man for that mission.

We seem to be waiting for a miracle. And praising small mercies in the meantime.

Jerome Shields
10 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:28:30
Lampard was a nice guy.
Dave Williams
11 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:36:20

The miracle will be new owners who will sort the club out, run it professionally with a business plan and decent financial controls, leading to young players breaking through so we can avoid spending money on players past their peak.

Not much to ask, is it??

Brian Williams
12 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:47:52
Not like you to look for the negative, Ernie.
Dave Carruthers
13 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:48:00
Great article, Lyndon, and some very perceptive comments.

To those non-believers would also add that Dyche fronted up the majority of the media communications after October, had no Owner or Board to speak of, had to put up with some shocking decisions mid-season as well as the points deductions, and took it all in his stride, as well as doing what he was supposed to do.

I would suggest that the points deductions and ownership issues all contrived to deliver the poor performances from January to March. It must have had a huge dampening impact on morale.

With no points deductions and a touch more luck on some of the decisions, why would we not be even higher than mid-table?

Perhaps that's hoping for too much but all the evidence of the outstanding job Dyche has done and, with any other manager since Moyes, I think we would have been a lot closer to relegation.

In passing, I would also add I would be willing to take a “small” points reduction at the start of next season if it guarantees we keep Branthwaite!

Danny O’Neill
14 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:53:25
He is the man for the task at hand. Without overstating, it's in the title of this article. The best manager for the position we are in and have been in.

Not everyone's preferred choice, but he's done the job. Without the points deductions, out of his control, he has us on 44 points. It isn't always easy on the eye to watch, but he's done the job he was brought in to do.

Eddie Dunn
15 Posted 29/04/2024 at 08:57:03
It is true that we went on a very poor run but, because it wasn't Dyche's fault that we were missing 8 points, we would never have been in fear of relegation. For this reason alone, Dyche had already improved on last season.

Now he has conjured these results against good opposition and, on the whole, he can argue that he has done a very good job in awful circumstances. The uncertainty of ownership and points deductions have undermined the coaching staff and players.

It is to Sean's immense credit that he has managed to guide them through the most difficult period in the club's history.
Next season, I hope he is given the benefit of the doubt when we hit more stormy water.

We live in a world where memories are short and you are only as good as your next game. No manager is perfect, and we all know his subs and tactics can be frustrating but the same can be said for any manager.

We need stability; he has kept faith with his core of trusted players, and now we need the ownership issue settled, our finances planned sensibly — and we need to hold onto Branthwaite.

Russell Smith
16 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:03:46
Irrespective of which body eventually buys the club, we already know that we have a major problem to comply with PSR next season. Just like Newcastle, it doesn't matter how wealthy they are, they cannot just pump in monies.

The reality is that we will likely sell Onana or Branthwaite or both to attempt to balance the budget, with that budget being strained by massive interest charges if 777 Partners are successful.

We will then recruit free transfer or out-of-contract players who are likely to be journeymen like Young (now). I think Dyche will cobble together a squad that will be functional rather than pretty and we will have a similar season to this one but without the points deductions.

This will be the start of a long slow journey back to financial stability – and only after that has been achieved will we have a chance to again challenge on the field.

hank you, Kenwright and Moshiri.

Rob Jones
17 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:05:37
Ernie, that was a long piece to write "Yeah, I'm not convinced".
Ian Jones
19 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:06:26
One thing I guess we'll never know is what the impact of the points deductions were on the players, management and club as a whole.

Mathematically, we would have had more points, but I assume the manager and players would have probably approached the matches and the whole season differently if we hadn't received the deductions.

Gareth Williams
20 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:12:30
I was calling for Sean Dyche's head after the Chelsea game but he has turned things around. Well done!
Paul Hewitt
21 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:22:18
Everton have given 777 Partners till the end of April to complete the takeover or it's off. A new bidder is waiting apparently
Mike Hayes
22 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:26:36
That echos my sentiment, Ernie – 13 games without a win and with a stable club, he'd have been following Lampard.

But somewhere along the line, the players and Dyche pulled off some great wins. Hopefully we can win our last three games.

Bill Fairfield
23 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:34:53
It's was a massive sigh of relief on Saturday. Well done to Sean Dyche and the team.

Thoughts turn now to the massive black hole Moshiri has dug for us.

Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 29/04/2024 at 09:41:20
Brian, 'negative' is what an optimist calls a realist.

We've had loads of positive posts. Maybe it's time to consider that the negative ones had more of a point because the club is an absolute basket-case.

We do, however, continue to narrowly beat the drop. And we credit whoever is on the line in a tracksuit at the time.

Personally, I think I'd rather credit the people who are there for every one of those escapes and somehow summon a massive effort from players that hadn't looked capable of it previously.

For me, that's the positive at our club. Our fans deserve much, much better.

If you're finding positives at the moment, then I'm pleased (and a bit concerned) for you.

Rob Jones
25 Posted 29/04/2024 at 10:11:53
Ernie, yes and no.

If we're going by the data, then yes, we've had different people involved in terms of the escapes. But the third escape has been different from the first two.

Escape one was on match 37 (against Palace).

Escape two was on match 38 (against Bournemouth).

Escape three was on match 35 (against Brentford).

The data is skewed by the points deductions. Minus the deductions, we are (theoretically) safe by matchday 33. We've had the 9 points won last week, which skews the data the other way. Playing under the cloud of the deduction (prior to getting 4 points back) skewed the data as well.

The club is a basket case. But Sean Dyche, in his first full season, has outperformed the previous seasons. Vastly. Better xG, better points total, more clean sheets, less goals conceded.

Are we where we want to be? No. But are we ahead of where we were the past two seasons? Yes (on the pitch, at least). What you see as realism, others do see as negativity.

The last three seasons have been one long season of negativity. People are, right now, catching the breath, after three long years of the fans trying to inspire the team to safety.

Criticising someone for trying to find a scrap of positivity about this club, after 3 years of desperation, is like criticising a man gulping for air after being trapped in a windowless room.

Mike Doyle
26 Posted 29/04/2024 at 10:17:31
Given the forced sale of players (some of which he wanted to keep) last summer, it seems to me that Sean Dyche started the season with a weaker squad than he finished last season.

Add in two separate points deductions, the fact that we have avoided relegation – more comfortably than the previous 2 seasons – means he and his coaching team deserve massive credit.

But, in just a few weeks time, we reach the loan and contract expiry dates for Danjuma, Dele, Harrison, Gomes, Gana, Coleman, Young & Lonergan.

A batch of others: Calvert-Lewin, Doucoure, Godfrey, Keane, Dobbin, Virginia, will enter their final 12 months.

Then of course we have the likely sale of either or both of Branthwaite and Onana before the end of June to satisfy PSR and cash flow requirements.

Next season is already looking tougher than this one.

Trevor Powell
27 Posted 29/04/2024 at 10:36:15
I can understand a love-hate relationship with Sean Dyche from sections of our fantastic supporters. This is a manager who was a journeyman defender in the lower leagues, a man who took a job at Watford and was soon shown the door quickly.

He then goes to Burnley, a town of less than 100,000 population with Blackburn and the Manchester clubs to compete with, and comes out of it with a pub named after him and a reputation of punching well above his weight.

He moves to a dream job at Goodison and ensures we stay in the Premier League against all the odds — some achievement.

I often think that those who criticise his game may not realise that he is clearly such a pragmatic rather than romantic manager, whose style should see him filed away with Allardyce as never being a manager expected to excel and inspire!

Is it possible to think of Dyche having so much more in his arsenal than shown in his career. I cannot believe that, after so many years in the hotseat, he has not been watching our top teams, top players and managers enviously without learning about how a more expansive game can be achieved with a bit more money etc.

Could Guardiola et al get a tune out of our bereft squad of players?

Pete Fishwick
28 Posted 29/04/2024 at 10:45:20
In my opinion, Sean Dyche cannot be judged negatively in what him and his team of coaches have achieved with this squad, its injuries, its points deductions, the lack of ownership and direction – and much more we probably don't know about.

Yes, it wasn't pretty at times but when has it been the last few years? If he actually had money, do you think he would do a Koeman? Wrecklessly spunking money cos he could…

As other have said, we would be matching or ahead of Brighton — the best-run club in the country and with plaudits suggesting that De Zerbi is good enough for some of the biggest clubs in football. If I was Dyche, I'd take that.

This is our building block as far as I am concerned – it's not easy. Football fans are rarely happy (West Ham, Spurs to name a couple) and it's easy for stuff to go wrong.

Leicester City won the Premier League and, some years later, were elegated and most likely will get a points deduction on their return… 5 games ago, Liverpool were contenders to take the Premier League title; nothing is guaranteed. Everything has to be just right and it's so easy to get offline.

One more season, the last season at Goodison Park assuming all gets finalised on the new stadium front – and I thank Dyche for that.


Pete Clarke
29 Posted 29/04/2024 at 10:49:57
Kenwright and Moshiri are totally to blame for the situation the club is in and that includes the poor football. Even Ancelotti struggled to get decent football out of the riff-raff squad because it takes a joint effort from all involved to get that.

My thoughts are that Dyche was allowed to continue this season because there was no club leadership and also us fans were so fearful of the implications, we dared not muster a protest against results because it could have made things worse still.

Looking back in time, we could also have stuck with Martinez or Silva because it could have turned out better. Quite a few of us wanted Kendall gone many years ago and yet look how that turned out.

Regardless of the football served up by Dyche and his team this season, I would argue that it's possibly the greatest achievement outside of Leicester City winning the title in the short span of the Premier League. Just look at the shit they have had to deal with.

Zero leadership at the club's boardroom level, the Premier League deducting points from us despite no formula for doing it and also us having to sell our best players in times of need. Added to that, we still brought in some of the worst players I have witnessed play in the blue shirt, so it's actually hard to understand how we survived.

I remember standing in Goodison back in the early '80s with only 12,000 fans present on a freezing night. Those stay-away fans had every right to remain at home because we were awful at that time.

This brings me to the single biggest factor in how we have managed to stay up and that's the fans' unwavering support despite the poor football and turmoil going on at the club.
Take a bow, Evertonians, with a little nod to Sean Dyche and the players.

Barry Williams
30 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:11:46
Ernie Baywood @9,

Dyche wouldn't have taken Everton down – the 'premier league' would have.

They don't deserve capital letters!

Edward Rogers
31 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:14:56
Shock News!

The BBC Gossip page (via The Sun) state that Everton may be forced to sell Jarrad Branthwaite to satisfy PSR requirements, who knew?

Not exactly Woodford & Bernstein is it?

Anthony Dove
32 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:14:58
I agree with the headline. Also he conducts himself well and
is a credit to the club.

I am not a fan of his present style but he has earned the right to show he can be more expansive given the right tools. He hasn't had that here nor at Burnley.

Whether we will ever have enough money to test that
is obviously up in the air at the moment.

John Raftery
33 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:28:28
Bad runs of results are often not quite as bad as they seem. They are sometimes rooted in factors such as injuries, suspensions, loss of a key player to an international tournament, a fixture glut, the relative strength of opponents and that much underrated element, luck. All of those factors were in play during our winter of disappointment.

On top of all that this season Dyche and the players were challenged by the unprecedented points deductions which at a stroke changed the conversation from one about mid table aspirants to one about relegation strugglers.

One of the biggest tests of a manager’s credentials is that of pulling a team out of a run of poor form. Dyche has passed that test with flying colours. Most of the managers below the elite clubs face that challenge at some point during the course of a season.

De Zerbi is facing it currently at Brighton. Not so long ago he was being linked as a possible candidate for some of the top European jobs and the RS. Now it is being asked who would touch a manager without a win in six games, ignoring the reasons for that run include injuries to several key players.

Equally a good sequence of results can mask deficiencies as well as raise unrealistic expectations about what can be achieved in the longer term. I suggest Dyche will be the last person in the club to be carried away by what was achieved last week.

Inevitably at some point next season with our limited squad and a host of issues outside the control of the manager we will suffer another poor run. It may even be at the start of the season if we yet again are unable to fill squad vacancies before the end of August.

Taking the 30,000 ft view and supporting Dyche through such a run will be critical if this club is ever to achieve the stability it so badly needs.

Sam Hoare
34 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:31:28
Ernie @24

"We do, however, continue to narrowly beat the drop."

This is where you are tipping into unashamed negativity, not 'realism' as you claim.

The 'real' truth is that, without the points deductions, we'd be in 12th with 3 games to go; 19 points off relegation and only 10 points off Europe. That is not narrowly beating the drop.

Despite having the thinnest of squads, Dyche is on target to beat 47 points which is what Martinez achieved for 2 years with a better squad and Lukaku at his disposal.

If you can't find positives in that, then it is you who is deserving of concern.

Of course the financial and ownership situation is disturbing but, on the pitch, we are matching Brighton, who everyone loves to rave about. Dyche and the players have done a great job this season. You'd hope even his detractors could acknowledge that.

Dave Lynch
35 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:35:39
Was the football easy on the eye... No!

Has Dyche earned a shot at it next season... Most definitely!

Get a couple of proven strikers in and unload some high-earning bench-warmers and I reckon a comfortable season awaits next term.

The club though, will only move forwards when it is finally sold.

Barry Rathbone
36 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:38:03
The Dyche stock will have risen considerably in footballing circles after dealing with this season's chaos. I can see him walking to take his chances elsewhere rather than have another season moving the deck chairs around the Titanic.

Especially as the 777 lifeboat seems holed below the water line…

John Raftery
37 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:39:07
Trevor (27),

I think there is a snobbish element among football fans which looks down upon managers who previously played and managed at unfashionable clubs, especially if they were centre halves like Dyche, Moyes and Allardyce.

Larry O'Hara
38 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:39:20
An interesting article and responses.

I certainly think Dyche is right for the moment and maybe longer.

Regarding the Burnley match, he set us up to win ugly and we did. Which implies strongly he might want something better in principle.

Now, I know xG is maligned but would really welcome a view from somebody who watched all our games at season start, when we couldn't buy a win:

1) Were we really playing good football?

2) If so, was it at the expense of defensive solidity?

3) Had we an in-form striker: not Haaland but maybe Simms, would we have been able to convert our chances?

It now seems Dyche has us as a counter-attacking team; given some excellent sides (Real Madrid?) operate the same way, is that necessarily bad?

Michael Lynch
39 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:44:49
Dyche should get a knighthood for what he's achieved. When you're in the state we are in, the aim is to win enough games to survive, and he has done far more than that. 52 points won so far is incredible in the circumstances.

As he said after Saturday's game, the job isn't the one he was sold. That says it all. The guy has got on with it, despite being given false assurances by our owner.

He hasn't moaned, he's just held steady and produced a team capable of picking up more than enough points to keep us in the Premier League. It's been horrible to watch, but that's the hand he was dealt.

If I was him, I'd be looking to move to a less fucked-up club. He deserves better, just as we do as fans. The difference being, we can't leave.

Pat Waine
40 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:48:31
Brian Williams. I agree with most of your comments.

But it is interesting to note that Martinez was sacked when he finished 5th, 11th and 11th and was not in any relegation battles, reached 2 semi-finals and had a good Europa League run.

He also played a good brand of football that hasn't been seen since under multiple managers; he also spent very little. And if the balance sheet is now damaged, Martinez did very little of that damage.

The School of Science was on its way back until long ball, hoof ball Koeman got his hands on the club.

Alastair Donaldson
41 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:54:23
Right man for the job at the moment, couldn't agree more.

Let's not assume he wants to stay next season either, he will be looking for some clarity from the Club and just when will that be there?

Personally, I've not been to a game since 2005, it's overpriced and a waste of good, hard earned money IMHO. So I'm probably not qualified to comment on the style of play, MotD highlights and occasional live games are about it.

At the end of the day, the record books don't speak to how beautifully or otherwise a team has played, just where they finished. So I am happy we have survived again, despite ridiculous odds recently. We would be solidly mid-table without some of the dramas this year. Not great but solid and representative of our size and business "acumen"!

A solid base for development, proper cup runs and being competitive in every game is what I see as our most likely, reasonable objective.

If Dyche stays and is given some stability, then we can more reasonably judge how good he is or whether he is the best man for the job. But not now.

For now, I am happy enough with him, he has remained calm and balanced, which is more than can be said of many.

Neil Lawson
42 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:54:28
Ernie @9. I do tend to agree with your viewpoint.

In the short term, stability is crucial. We are never going to be able to consistently compete with the Top 6 if and until we are bought out by Qatar or similar.

Quite honestly, I am not convinced that that would be enjoyable or acceptable. What we need is to be competitive each and every time we play, with the reasonable prospect that we could win regularly.

Dyche did, in my opinion, deserve to go when it got to 10, 11, 12 games winless and the football was dire. However, I cannot argue with the greater opinion that he has earned the right to carry on.

I do fear though that his instincts are such that age and experience, albeit with a level of mediocrity, is preferable to progress – particularly with younger players who will continue to struggle to get any proper opportunity.

Our Player of the Season, Branthwaite, should have started from Day 1. There could be other jewels but is he the man to polish them?

I have to join in with everyone giving him appropriate praise in particular for the last 3 games. In the scheme of things, is 3 wins better evidence than 13 winless?

Take away the external issues, then No. With them, quite possibly. 12 months into the future, we ought to know. Let's just hope for a stable and generally positive and enjoyable 12 months.

And he has to keep the tracksuit.

Rob Dolby
43 Posted 29/04/2024 at 11:59:49
All of these comments about the manager reminds me of the Monty Python sketch in Life of Brian:

"What have the Romans ever done for us?"

It's not like we are dripping in wealth and talent. Give the man a break and let's just enjoy another season in the top division.

'Dycheball', 'hoofball' – all pretty derogatory comments and very unfair given the situation we are in. I don't recall too many 'hoofball' comments after the Newcastle and Chelsea home games.

We have been bad good and ugly this season but I wouldn't expect any different – and don't expect anything different next season.

Mark Murphy
44 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:10:04
As I've said, I'd had enough at the end of the Chelsea away – I'd given up – but this week has turned me right around and I'll happily give Dyche another season to see what he can do with a settled squad in a “normal" season.

Regarding the football, I must be easily pleased. I thought we played some decent stuff on Saturday in a cagey game and, even until we caved in at Chelsea, we were trying to play football.

The fact that Doucoure can trap the ball further than I can kick it and Beto's second touch is usually a tackle, is the issue. It's quality we lack.

Granted, I got pissed off with Pickford launching it so often on Saturday but again, we don't have the quality to play out from the back and I'd rather Dyche resisted the impulse to go all Kompany and insist on it!

Wednesday's performance was 100% what I want from Everton!

"The ball, the ball, we barely touched the ball – We beat the shite on Wednesday night and we barely touched the ball!!!"

Rob Jones
45 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:18:16
Regarding style of football, look at the statistics from this season. When we've dominated the ball, we've generally lost. We don't have the creativity or flair players required for possession football. When we've played on the break, and concentrated on defensive solidity, we've either won or drawn.

The possession sweet spot has been around 36-40%.

I want a manager who works with what he has and uses the limited resources to the best advantage of his players, not an idealogue who would see us relegated because he prioritises style over results. Dyche is the man right now.

Ernie Baywood
46 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:30:41
Sam, we weren't exactly flying when the points deductions were made. We'd had a gift of a start in terms of fixtures and we'd blown most of those opportunities.

We did narrowly avoid relegation. That's the reality. Where we would have been without the points deductions (which immediately preceded a great run of form) is a reality that doesn't exist. I believe that, when this club and its support is tested, it responds. It's always been the case. Often against the odds, many times against any reasonable expectation.

I'll give Dyche credit. When he was appointed, I posted on here that I thought he was the wrong choice. We had a defensive record that was decent and a goalscoring record that was abysmal.

My take was that Dyche would focus on defence and there was more reward in finding ways to score... based on the notion that to improve we'd need to improve to an incredible defensive record.

Well, he actually did it – our defensive record stacks up with teams around 4-6 in the league. If his strategy was to concede fewer goals, then he's implemented it phenomenally.

So we avoided relegation for another year. Dyche as manager screams same again to me. That defensive record can't keep on improving.

Hard workers and seasoned pros incoming. I'd say we'll get rid of anyone with a bit of flair but they're all gone and we won't be signing any more when there are the Jack Harrisons of this world available for less.

When does it stop? There's a basis to build on. That basis is Tarkowski, Braithwaite and Pickford. Add Garner, Onana and Calvert-Lewin and there's actually a spine worthy of being in this league. Who would you trust to build on it?

Tom Bowers
47 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:30:54
Although Luton are in a bad run, I am glad we don't have to face them on Friday with survival still on the agenda.

We can relax at last after a torrid season but obviously still want to do well – although that last game may be the game the Gunners need to win for the title.

Tony Abrahams
48 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:35:52
Trevor @27, this is exactly how I feel but will we ever find out?

I remember a fella telling me he was a watford fan, on holiday, so I asked about Dyche, who had just been sacked for Zola. Very unlucky to be sacked, was the man’s reply, before explaining to me that he thought Dyche, had done a very good job in difficult circumstances, and could only be getting pushed out, because it looked like the new owners wanted a name. (We learned about those new owners, over the years, because they must have made more managerial appointments than Moshiri)

He then got the Burnley job, and got them promoted, then relegated, before getting promotion again, and consolidating them in the premier league.

I used to go to Burnley’s training ground, a couple of times a year to watch my stepson, playing academy football, and over the years, I was immensely impressed with the work that constantly seemed to be getting done to upgrade what now looks to be a tremendous facility.

His Burnley career expectedly fizzled out, for the reasons Ernie mentions. You can’t just keep punching, without having any real ambition, but the one thing that appeared evident, was that he seemed to have put some great foundations, into Burnley football club, and this must have made Kompany’s job a lot easier when he took over, and took them straight back up? (I expect Kompany to do what Dyche did, and get promotion again with Burnley, and use the experience of this season, to also consolidate Burnley’s position in the EPL. We will see?)

Onto Everton, a basket case of a club, with no money, no stability, a very unbalanced and seemingly fragile squad, which probably wasn’t being helped by the club not even looking like it was being governed.

He kept us up against the odds, but maybe that’s just me being optimistic, when most realistic people, could see Frank Lampard, would have also kept us up🤦‍♂️ Brighton at home, and Everton were gone, gone, gone, and I think even the most die-hard of Evertonians could see this?

Onto this season, he’s just about kept us up again, (if you want to distort the truth) despite the problems from above, being ten-folded, except it now appears that he’s given a fragile squad, some fight and some belief, but maybe the realistic people could already see our squad possessed both by the bucket load?

Dyche has earned the right to manage Everton again, and until the club’s problems start getting solved, I just hope he keeps trying to lay some foundations around the quicksand.

Raymond Fox
49 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:40:45
Pat @ 40, you are right about Martinez but expectations then were much higher following on from Moyes who had us up there with the best most seasons.

I had a soft spot for Martinez mainly because I was born in Wigan and his connection there.

If he had an owner that could have afforded better players he could have made a fist of it allright.

I stuck with him, but the majority of fans wanted a change because of the goals conceeded which obviously was reflected in the results.

His was the opposite of Dyches approach, but I am fully behind what Dyche is doing for us.

It would be folly of gigantic proportions to let him leave now.

Tony Abrahams
50 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:46:03
I'd trust Dyche, Ernie, but only if he can offload Onana!

Seriously, though, who would you trust to do a better job under the present climate, Ernie?

Peter Moore
51 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:53:09
Dyche is not at all a one-trick pony in my view. If he was, he could not succeed as a manager in the Premier League, with its huge array of top players and top managers at other clubs. He is a top manager. In the true meaning of the word. Getting the best out of the resources you have.

He does not have an abundance of riches in terms of the quality of his resources here at Everton.

Early season, I was properly shocked at the quality of the football and dominance achieved in the games. We battered teams, had them on the ropes with a barrage of body shots.

Then we got knocked out stone cold by late sucker punches. Game after game, to my eye, we were let down and undone by the profligacy of our 'finishing'. All that matters are points on the board. Necessity is the mother of invention.

A more pragmatic, ugly, winning way had to be found. It was found sufficiently well to get us well clear (11 points clear) of the drop, despite 8 points deducted! There are still 3 games left! What a massive improvement on the previous seasons. Richarlison and Gordon had to be sold, Calvert-Lewin forgot how to score, yet we did way better!!!

Is Dyche a good manager? No. He is much, much better than that. In reality, with the total shit show the club is off the park, we are damn lucky to have him. Nothing but praise and sincere thanks to Sean Dyche, Ian Woan and Steve Stone from me.

The squad deserve credit too for being able to implement the training ground work to get the results we desperately needed. They and we should be very proud. In the circumstances, it's a remarkable result indeed.


Colin Glassar
52 Posted 29/04/2024 at 12:54:30
The jury is out in my case. I'd like to see him have a stress-free summer with the ability to mould the squad as he sees fit.

I am certainly not going to jump on the ‘Dyche for sainthood' bandwagon. I appreciate the job he's done under incredibly difficult circumstances but I want to see progress and imagination on the field before I throw my hat in the ring.

I got burned before with Martinez and Silva. I'm not doing it again.

Peter Moore
53 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:01:53
I hear ya, Colin,

But Bobby Brown shoes and, to a lesser extent, built their houses without enough focus on stable foundations. I have faith that Dyche never neglects the importance of keeping things tight at the back.

Having quality defenders is paramount of course. Really hope we can keep Jarrad Branthwaite, but will need a wealthy buyer to come forth pronto I suspect, to prevent the vultures swooping.

Andy Crooks
54 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:02:37
Barry @36, that's an interesting post.

I will be surprised if Dyche is manager come September. I think he will resign and move on. He has shown that he can manage without money and he will not gripe about it.

Two weeks ago, I was agreeing with Ernie; the Chelsea game made me refer to him as 'bewildered'. I was wrong, totally. 'Fickle', is the word I would use.

Ernie, you've been posting here for quite a while and have always been astute enough to make your views worth taking on board. This time, I think your 'realism' is missing perspective. Being able to relax about our on-field concerns, even for a short time, is a small but hugely welcome mercy.

Steve Brown
55 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:05:16
Ernie @ 46,

“Where we would have been without the points deductions (which immediately preceded a great run of form) is a reality that doesn't exist.”

That is some contorted logic right there.

It is quite easy to quantify where we would have been without the 8-point deduction – in 13th place behind Brighton on goal difference. Given we surrendered leads to that team home and away to an 84th-minute own-goal and a 95th-minute header, we could comfortably be in the Top 10.

Therefore, your claim that Dyche's only achievement this season is to avoid relegation is self-evidently nonsense.

One of the great rules of ToffeeWeb is to know when to stop digging when your argument is stretching credulity.

Dave Carruthers
56 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:15:30
Just want to agree wholeheartedly with Peter's previous post. The extenuating circumstances have been huge as all posts have been emphasising.

Two points:

1) To the ongoing comments of his one-dimensional play, we played some very nice quite expansive stuff early on but kept missing chances. He adjusted, tightened things up, had us playing more on the break during the October & November successful period.

Even during the bad run, we managed to scrape draws and keep our head above water. He was pragmatic against Burnley and admitted it, and went back to the October & November model for these last three games. That is a lot of flexibility and adjustment, whilst taking the pragmatic approach.

If you look at the successful periods this season, by the way, Gueye is the absolutely common denominator. He was injured in December vs Burnley after playing the previous 3 months, was missing for most of next 3 months whilst both injured and away at Afcon. We play so much better when he is available.

2) To some comments about Branthwaite, don't forget he started training late because of his England U21 commitments, was carrying an injury and, only when 100% ready, did Dyche put him in, so he missed two games at the start of season, for heaven's sake!

It was certainly not because of a short sighted loyalty to Keane.

Kevin Edward
57 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:16:14
It's been an extraordinary season for our club, probably there will never be another one like it.

Next season may be similar on the pitch, but now we know where we stand with Dyche. Off the pitch it's just so uncertain that it's hard to see what impact it will have.

I would expect that we will need to sell one or two of our best players, but if ‘the management team' can find some clever signings within budget who are consistent, match fit and have a positive impact to add some quality and goals, then the overall squad can be improved.

So, for me, give Dyche the credit he deserves and let him manage. The last week has been truly magnificent and could go down as pivotal in our history, if we arise from the mire of the Moshiri era and return to being competitive in the Premier League again.

Rob Jones
58 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:17:37
So what, we're just meant to ignore the points deductions, and pretend that the team didn't earn those points?
Ernie Baywood
59 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:25:30
Steve, you've got us in the Top 10.

Did you watch us this season?

Credibility, really?

Sam Hoare
60 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:29:09
Ernie @46,

I think you're stretching a bit now. As you well know, the points deduction has nothing to do with Dyche or the players. On the pitch, they have won 44 points so far. An impressive return.

Even including the deduction, we are still 11 (12 with superior goal difference) points clear of relegation. To call this 'narrow' and compare it to previous escapes is inaccurate. If the season ended now, would you say we narrowly missed out on the Top 10, which is 12 points away? I don't think so.

Next season will be tough, I expect, with some better teams likely coming up. It's quite possible that we will be hit with more deductions and that we will once again have to sell at least one of our best players.

I was pleased when Dyche was appointed as he has an excellent record of surviving without spending and making teams tight. Something he has continued at Everton, as you say. The remit will probably be the same next season unless new ownership surprises us.

Once our PSR issues are behind us and we have the new stadium hopefully boosting revenue, that could be the time to show more ambition. Till that time, I can think of no better person than Dyche to continue grinding out results.

It's worth pointing out that history suggests it is teams with tight defenses (like us) that survive relegation and entertaining teams capable of scoring (like Luton or Holloway's Blackpool) that go down.

For what it's worth, I also think he could take us higher up the table. Let's not forget that he once took a very limited Burnley team up to 7th. It may not be pretty but it can be effective. If we had Diego Simeone grinding out results, he would be lauded to the rooftops but Dyche is unfashionable and so gets less credit.

Ernie Baywood
61 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:37:56
Tony 48 – I don't know if Frank would have kept us up.

But the form was dreadful so we had to act.

A few wins at the end of the season doesn't change the fact that thirteen (13) games without a win is typically sacking and relegation form. Anyone claiming now that it was a good decision not to sack Dyche is ignoring the fact that it wasn't a decision, it was a club that couldn't make a decision.

Gareth Farrelly wasn't a particularly good player for us. And Dyche isn't suddenly the guy who will improve us. He gets a little entry in the 'big end of season games' list for me alongside his predecessor.

I'll happily put my tin hat on. Our support appears to be generally craving the stability of late season safety. No, it doesn't sit well with me.

Jimmy Salt
62 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:40:08
Without wanting to repeat any of the above… I'm with Ernie.
Donal Armani
63 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:41:29
Steve @55,

Right in one…

Ernie, you are simply playing to your biases.

Sam Hoare
64 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:53:23

"And Dyche isn't suddenly the guy who will improve us."

Too late. He already has improved us. Lampard was winning us under 1 point per game. Dyche has us up to 1.3 (it's 1.38 for just this season). That's a 30% upswing despite having to sell two of our best players. Maybe with a bit of stability and (pray to God) investment, that number may continue to grow.

Scott Robinson
65 Posted 29/04/2024 at 13:55:09
The suggestions that Dyche should've been sacked but for the financial condition of the club is, with all due respects, quite frankly, difficult to comprehend.

It is the hire-and-fire strategy that contributed to the current situation the club has found itself in. The end product of the last few games has proven that the decision to not fire him was the right one.

It's all well and good to sit there as an armchair football critic. It's another thing to actually manage a Premier League club, under the most difficult of circumstances.

Peter Mills
66 Posted 29/04/2024 at 14:12:02
In a season when there has been a dreadful lack of leadership at our football club, 2023-24 should go down in our history for the magnificent support (once again), and the presence of Sean Dyche.

Our staying in the Premier League was essential to the very existence of Everton FC. Our remaining there as we move to the new stadium is just as vital. The last thing we need is further instability. There is going to be plenty going on over the next 12 months - leave the managerial position alone.

Colin Malone
67 Posted 29/04/2024 at 14:18:03
Dyche's football philosophy is get the ball up top as soon as possible. To me, that's ugly football.

The defence and set-pieces got us out of jail, a special mention to Pickford. Defence-splitting passes are a thing of the past. Headless chickens without guile are guaranteed their place in the side.

What worries me is this ugly football will be the direction of the academy. I'm afraid, in my own opinion, we are not going far with the, same old, same old.

But hey, we got there. Well done, Dyche and the team.

Tony Abrahams
68 Posted 29/04/2024 at 14:19:52
I don't think Lampard would have kept us up, Ernie, because the players looked like they had lost belief in what they were getting asked to do.

I'm actually having a few fights with my partner right now because I thought Millwall were right to sack Joe Edwards (after he had just signed her son and looked like he was going to give him a chance). After watching his team play, his players looked like they also lacked belief and had no confidence or conviction with what he was asking them to do. It was like genuinely watching déjà vu.

Neil Harris hasn't given her son a chance but he has kept Millwall in the Championship, which didn't look possible (to me) after Edwards's last game. I keep telling her that keeping Millwall up is a lot more important than giving her precious child a chance!

I think Andy has shown a lot of perception when he says you're choosing to lack perspective on the absolute mess that Dyche has got to try and manage. That's why I asked you who you would choose to manage Everton in our current circumstances?

I believe that the job would have been way too hard for anyone who has never had the experience of managing in the top league with both arms tied around their backs.

Maybe I'm making the job Dyche has done sound incredible, and also I lack a little bit of realism myself?

Michael Connelly
69 Posted 29/04/2024 at 14:27:15
For me, Onana is the clear weak link in the team when he plays. Offers nowhere near the protection that Gueye gives us, and generally just ambles about the pitch playing simple sideways passes and occasionally using those long legs to win the ball back in the tackle.

Doesn't assist or score goals with his foot (has scored a couple this season, both headers I think).

Hopefully some naïve suitor pays big bucks for him this summer.

Christopher Timmins
70 Posted 29/04/2024 at 14:48:37
I wouldn't underestimate the impact of our finances and the lack of interest shown by our owner may have had in keeping the manager in situ.

Wind the clock a couple of years and Moshiri would have pulled the plug either before the Newcastle game or immediately after the Chelsea one.

Sean Dyche deserves great credit in turning things around over the past 6 games, 13 points gained, and should be allowed to see out his contract. He should also be allowed some time to bring in his own players once our finances are on a sounder footing, hopefully, the summer of 2025.

Lee Robinson
71 Posted 29/04/2024 at 15:21:13
I have absolutely no doubt Dyche has been the right man for the job, and hats off to him and his staff for the job they have done under very difficult circumstances. With the performances in the last week he has made it very difficult for any new owner to sack him before for next season.

However, now the dust has settled on a fabulous week, I still have huge doubts over his tenure going forward. The way he sets us up, style of play have got to evolve at some point, his current style is unsustainable long term in this league and in my opinion he hasn't shown anything to give me confidence that he can change.

If it wasn't for the magical 3 (Pickford, Tarkowski, Branthwaite) and the 11 clean sheets, we wouldn't have had the opportunity of winning games we did from moments e.g set plays, percentage football.

My big concern is recruitment, this summer we will see probably the last of the big earners from the spending spree era on big contracts going, and no doubt having to sell a few assets. Who is he going to be able to attract with his style of play, his lack of use of players with any technical ability/flair (Danjuma). His lack of use of developing and giving game time to some of the younger players (Patterson, Chermiti, Dobbin etc). At least Frank had pull power. Granted this is Thelwell's job you could say but they would still need convincing of what they are coming in for.

Even with the financial constraints, there will be a level of re-build required this summer, is he the man to do it? not for me.

Rob Jones
72 Posted 29/04/2024 at 15:29:23
Lee, the fact that Dyche signed off on the transfer of Maxwel Cornet tells me he has no issue with flair.

His issue is if that flair is tied to a complete lack of team ethic and hard work, which has certainly been the case with Danjuma, whose cameo appearances have shown he is a player who puts his stats before the team.

Frank Crewe
73 Posted 29/04/2024 at 15:48:48
You only have to look at Dyche's managerial career to know he's the right manager at this point. His previous two clubs were Watford and Burnley. Clubs with small squads and smaller budgets.

He is used to selling his best players and finding decent replacements. Yet he did well with his limited resources. Which is exactly what we need.

The style may be a bit workmanlike. But we don't have a team of silky superstars so first priority had to be defence. If you don't concede too many you don't have to score too many either, and that's exactly what Dyche did.

We have an outstanding keeper and centre-back pairing and that is the triangle Dyche has built his side on. He has made us hard to beat.

We have leaders in Pickford, Tarkowski, Coleman, Young, Gueye and some decent younger players in McNeil, Onana, Garner, Chermiti, Dobbin, Mykolenko, and especially Branthwaite – who will only get better.

I don't see why we shouldn't do okay next season. I'm sure Thelwell, Dyche and his team are looking at two or three loaners and freebies. With maybe the odd cheap buy thrown in which would help pad out the squad.

As long as we don't get carried away and start fantasizing about European football and a high league finish. I would be happy with a nice quiet panic-free season of mid-table consolidation to take us through to our move into the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock. Then we can see how the land lies.

It was trying to buy our way into the Champions League that got us into this mess so let's wind our necks in and back Dyche. He has done well for us and deserves more time to improve the squad.

Eddie Dunn
74 Posted 29/04/2024 at 16:07:15
Onana when in our midfield without Gana, leaves lots of space.He might fit into a team with more mobility but his skillset certainly leave much to be desired in our team.

Gana Gueye had been criticised by some on here, but the veteran, has managed to keep his standards up and even scored three goals. Unthinkable!

Our drop-off in form coincided with his awful penalty miss versus Fulham. I would like him sold instead of Branthwaite, who will become an England regular, even if he stays with us.

Mike Gaynes
75 Posted 29/04/2024 at 16:08:59
Pete #66 and Frank #73, amen. In simplest terms, Dyche has done the job.

But here's the thing: The job isn't done.

The objective here, the only objective that matters right now, is to keep us in the Premier League long enough to walk out into the new stadium. We need to survive one more season. Nothing else matters. Not style. Not excitement. Survive through '25.

Is there anybody here who wouldn't have Dyche in charge of making that happen? And if so, who would you have instead? Who has better proven to the world that he can keep a team up under the worst of circumstances? Twice?

There is no one else in the world I would have for this particular job.

Niall McIlhone
76 Posted 29/04/2024 at 16:09:51
Thanks to Lyndon, as this article needed to be written: the consensus appears to be that most ToffeeWebbers are in favour of Dyche seeing out his contract, which is, in my view, the very least he deserves for the upturn in results and performances at the business end of the season.

I have not felt such a feeling of elation after the derby win since the nail-biter of that Palace game. Typically, the manager was focussed and measured when interviewed after the game, and what we then saw a very canny win against Brentford, after which their manager openly expressed his frustration at the game as a spectacle. As with the Burnley game, Dyche employed stifling tactics, using counter-attacking to good effect.

Whilst the style is often not easy on the eye, I feel results could be improved no end if we had a consistent goalscorer, a creative midfielder, and a settled right-back.

I know quite a few don't rate Young, but he has played in four positions for the club this season, and in my view was an astute signing by the manager. He may not have the legs to scuttle up and down the wing anymore, but he does have a winning mentality and has played his part in our club staying in the Premier League.

Robert Tressell
77 Posted 29/04/2024 at 16:17:05
In December 2022, it was pretty clear that Lampard was taking us down unless we got some much needed firepower into the side to replace Sigurdsson and the injury prone Calvert-Lewin and support the likes of Gordon and Richarlison. As it was, we sold Gordon and bought no-one.

It was at rock bottom that we appointed Dyche.

From there, we shouldn't really have stood a chance given how each of Leeds, Leicester and Saints recruited heavily in that window – and all finished the season with better squads than us.

We remain in a situation where the playing staff is very much relegation struggle in quality. Very few of these players would get in a Moyes Top 8 side, or indeed a Silva Top 8 side.

But we are not going to get genuine talent any time soon – and as I repeatedly say, there's a good chance our next regular first teamer from the academy is currently no older than 14 or 15. The quality just isn't there to promote from the academy.

So those holding their nose at Sean Dyche really baffle me. It is like a pot-bellied short arse with no money holding out for a date with Dua Lipa.

In due course, it would be nice to see some Champagne Football under a guy like DeZerbi (although they have really faded of late) – but in the meantime, I'm quite interested to see what Dyche can do with more pace and quality in the side. I expect it is along the lines of what Eddie Howe delivers at Newcastle but with better defensive organisation – a cross between a lot of what we saw under Royle, Moyes and Ancelotti.

As to quality, I think it is interesting that Dyche has got more of a tune out of Gomes than any manager since his loan spell under Silva. And this from a player who looked completely finished at Premier League level.

The issue we need to address is the playing staff, not the manager.

Dale Rose
78 Posted 29/04/2024 at 16:33:41
Frank 73. Good post, by silky superstars do you mean like the red shite..?

Agree with every word.

Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 29/04/2024 at 16:52:13
Dyche can inspire. Even an indie rock band.

Guest starring in a music video intro with the Blossoms:

Julian Exshaw
80 Posted 29/04/2024 at 17:46:36
I think it was reasonable of Everton fans to question Dyche given our record after Christmas until early this month. Yes, there were myriad excuses for the results but the heads of previous Everton managers have rolled for a lot less.

I am not his biggest fan and I wouldn't post on here saying I always have been. The style of football has been dire at times, let's be honest. I would, though, give him all the credit in the world for tightening up our defence but the issue of our lack of flair has to be addressed. The wins sufficed for the latter part of this season but whether this will satisfy those who remember the 'School of Science' remains to be seen.

All that being said, I totally agree that he deserves another year to show what he can do without the stress of points deductions and with a coin or two to spend.

Well done to Sean and all the team for keeping us afloat; that's really all that matters for now.

Phil Friedman
81 Posted 29/04/2024 at 18:04:44
I agree with Mike @75… nothing matters more than getting to the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock while still in the Premier League, with the excitement and added revenue that will bring which will help a lot. Also, settling the ownership issues (one way or another).

So next season is critical, and to make it a success, I believe we must absolutely find a way to keep Branthwaite. I doubt we will be able to afford a decent replacement, and aren't in a position to bring in a young, inexperienced one. As someone above mentioned, I'd accept a small points deduction next season to keep him.

Iain Johnston
82 Posted 29/04/2024 at 18:54:30
Frank Crewe, excellent post, mate.

I have a gut feeling that a lot of fans want us playing like Man City or Brighton and everything else is just rubbish.

It's not a statto possession-based, chuckle brothers passing based pretty game. It's simply about results.

Historically no-one gives a shit that we were the better team in the '85 FA Cup Final, they just look at the result and who got the silverware.

Look at our defensive record this season and ally that to a striker such as what Martinez had in his hands. I'd wager that Dyche would have had us on 53 points now even with an 8-point theft considering the amount of sitters our strikers have missed.

Billy Shears
83 Posted 29/04/2024 at 18:59:00
Easy now... let's just see if we keep our winning run going for the next two games (both very winnable) and we don't get another spanking down at Arsenal!

We must keep hold of Branthwaite, at least for another season, but things must change at our beloved club, like improving our home form, buying a decent striker, buying a pacy winger would help too.

A top-half finish is a must as well as is going deeper in both domestic cups, the overall picture will be clearer then when we finally move to the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock.

John Chambers
84 Posted 29/04/2024 at 19:05:35
Just taken a quick look over our last 3 seasons.

In the 53 games since Dyche took charge, we have earned 65 points. In the 53 games before he took charge, we earned 44 points.

I think that shows how good a job he has done in his 15 months at the club.

Robert Tressell
85 Posted 29/04/2024 at 19:31:18
Billy #83, sadly none of that will happen.

The damage done by idiotic club management between 2016 and 2020 means it's not just about financial rules – it's about holding off insolvency. We almost certainly will sell Branthwaite whether the fans like it or not (and even if Branthwaite would prefer to stay).

It is infuriating, yes, but we are going to have to get used to developing players and selling them on for a few seasons yet. The only way we are going to get out of this cycle is by aiming to have a Europa League quality side within 2 to 3 seasons. There is no shortcut. In 3 years time, a 16-year-old bought this summer could be a fixture in the First XI. We have to start thinking that way.

The preparations start this summer. We have to be prepared to recruit our next Neville or Howard from richer clubs' reserves; our next Cahill, Baines and Jagielka from the Championship; our next Barry and Tarkowski as free transfers; our next Branthwaite, Stones and Calvert-Lewin and low-cost teenagers; our next Oviedo and Coleman from cheap, weak leagues; our next Arteta and Pienaar from overseas reserve sides; our next Lukaku and Deulofeu as exciting young players who need an opportunity on loan.

We may need to speculate on more of the likes of Vlasic, Onyekuru and Lookman. And we also need to recruit our next Richarlison but at source from South America.

Until then, we will be glad to have a manager who, as John @84 points out, has completely reversed our downward spiral in a very short space of time (and with less than no money to spend too).

Christy Ring
86 Posted 29/04/2024 at 19:32:43
Dyche should stand back and take a bow, after the Chelsea result, we were all really worried, but 9 points in 3 games, including the superb win against our bitter neighbours, and we can sit back and enjoy the last 3 game.

Hats off to Dyche, managing with one hand tied behind his back, having to sell players, bring in players with no money to spend upfront, and being deducted 8 points by the corrupt Masters and Co. who actually wanted to deduct us 17points.

Meanwhile, Man City with 115 charges and still nothing happening; Chelsea, £90M over the PSR, and the money they brought in for selling two hotels to themselves, which they think is covered by a loophole.

And the takeover still hasn't been approved by Masters and the Premier League – why is it taking so long to decide? He couldn't wait to throw the book at us.

Can you tell me any other manager, against all that was thrown at him, by the actions of Moshiri and Kenwright and Masters and the Premier League, who can sit back and come out smiling at the far end.

Sean Kelly
87 Posted 29/04/2024 at 19:56:48
Firstly, I would like to congratulate Dyche and his staff for getting us over the line. I'm not his biggest fan but he carried himself through the last 18 months or so with a lot of dignity.

To get us to the promised land of the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock in 2025, he will have to get his magic going again come August. Thelwell and Dyche will have to scrimp and scrape for additions. I hope we can hold on to Branthwaite somehow as he is key to our survival next season as those pricks like Master will keep their agenda for next season.

As I say, well done Sean Dyche for the job you have done despite no leadership or guidance in the boardroom. Thanks for sparing us the ultimate stress of the last day of the season at Arsenal.

Bill Hawker
88 Posted 29/04/2024 at 20:55:50
It's amazing to me that Evertonians have historically short memories. It never ceases to amaze me really.

The fare served up prior to Chelsea and the 13-game winless streak just has magically disappeared in the heads of Evertonians?


Listen, I'll give the man credit for what he's done over the past week but I haven't forgotten how bad it was since the start of the year. If you have, let me remind you. It was worse than poor.

That being said, he has upped his standing in my view from where he was just last month but we need to see some consistency. I don't mean I require him winning 10 matches in a row, I mean being in with a shout every match, even if we lose or draw.

I also haven't forgotten how he persisted with Ashley Young when Patterson was healthy. Credit to Young for having had a few good matches in a row but, between this and lack of tactical subs, or just switching a few players when they're clearly out of gas, has to be the norm and not the exception.

My hope is that he's learned quite a bit over the past week and will make necessary changes rather than trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. Managers must be flexible and adaptable (look at the chap over a Spurs, zero flexibility) and my hope is that Dyche has turned a corner where this is concerned.

I was firmly in the "Dyche Out" camp, as most Evertonians were, but fair play to him and credit where credit is due. It seems he's earned much goodwill in the past week – and who wouldn't have with those results.

Ernie Baywood
89 Posted 29/04/2024 at 23:17:49
Bill, I'd like to think that the Chelsea result stung him. We've been pretty much set up to not take a beating and take the odds on keeping enough games being in the balance until something goes our way.

Mind you, the Forest performance was very much more of the same, even if it's now been rewritten in history as the rising of the Phoenix.

The Liverpool performance was exceptional. I don't buy the "we had less possession than both opposition so they were the same" theory. That performance against Liverpool was unlike anything that had gone before, save for maybe the last 30 minutes at Newcastle.

For me, it's just evidence that we can throw punches of our own. We just choose not to in most cases. Against Liverpool, we were Ali against Foreman. For that dreadful run, we were Harrison against Haye.

Jamie Crowley
90 Posted 29/04/2024 at 23:48:18
This thread has been an enjoyable read.

There's valid points from both sides. Ernie isn't totally wrong and rightly points out some concerns about Dyche's managing.

The majority point out the results driven mindset, the extenuating circumstances, and backs Dyche.

Neither is that far from the truth. Which is why I'd argue to just get behind this manager and squad.

One thing everyone forgets, and Sam @ 60 eluded to it when he stated Dyche took Burnley to 7th place, is this:
Sean Dyche took Burnley to Europe.

That, in my opinion, is shockingly amazing.

Dale Self
91 Posted 30/04/2024 at 02:31:24
Events have made Dyche evaluation very difficult. No one really knows his value because there are so many moving parts. It should be noted that some parts moved to better money and other parts moved south in terms of performance. The key to understanding Dyche's value is in the consideration of mitigation

We were on the road to hell, make no mistake about that. His players from Burnley were wobbling and we lacked a true leader and enforcer on the field. No slight to Seamus but the leader must be a regular starter. Dyche never whined and some slammed him for some press babble. That was a dude jumping on a fucking grenade for us. He knew he was spending his reputation to keep any more pressure from breaking the team.

Now, he is in the clear and speaking as honestly as he can without breaking stuff. Seems to me he has endured as testing a situation as any manager ever in this the most difficult league on planet Earth. He passed his test. Getting right with him is yours as an Evertonian.

Dale Self
92 Posted 30/04/2024 at 02:50:25
Oh yeah, and he may have just improved the quality of potential owners shopping us.
Shaun Lacey
93 Posted 30/04/2024 at 03:42:11
Like many supporters' comments, I am also not a fan of 777 Partners.

I have researched this entity and they seem to have tentacles in all sorts of areas and being unable to secure funding to complete the takeover is an obvious red flag.

Now over here back in Australia they get another mention having been involved in a budget airline that's heading for administration. IMO, 777 Partners saw an opportunity to potentially grab a bargain by taking over a club that is broken financially (let's be honest, we are).

They don't really care about the club at all but the potential windfall of revenue once the stadium is complete was an ideal grab for them to get their sticky fingers into.

I wish they'd just go away and we find a more solid financially backed buyer to take us forward and we can do it. 777 Partners will put us in reverse.

Laurie Hartley
94 Posted 30/04/2024 at 05:15:25
Dale # 92 - without a doubt. Guaranteed Premier League status has made us a much more viable proposition.

Jason Li
95 Posted 30/04/2024 at 07:50:48
Stuck to what works with this squad and did a fantastic job.

For example, many teams favour 3 attackers these days but it leaves massive gaps if full-backs also overlap and the move does not lead to a goal.

Having a back four that hardly overlap means you keep people like Salah and Olise quiet. If both teams can't score in open play, then the best set-piece team wins.

Tony Abrahams
96 Posted 30/04/2024 at 08:09:01
I think if we had gone to Chelsea and set up not to take a beating, then we wouldn't have got mullered. I hate watching this Everton team trying to play open football, but that's because we never seem to relax enough when we create good opportunities with the ball, the Manchester United away game being the perfect example.

To be fair to our players, though, the pressure that they have been playing under has been absolutely immense, and you could see the pressure beginning to lift towards the end of the Forest game.

Anyone who goes to Goodison (I'm not being disrespectful to those that don't) will have known how nervous and exasperated the crowd has been getting and you could really sense the nerves around the stadium during that pivotal game against Forest.

My own view was that we had to win; otherwise, the pressure would have become too much for a team that would have had to face the same crowd twice more in the next 6 days… but luckily we won and you could feel the anguish lifting instantly.

Suddenly, everyone relaxed for the Liverpool game (very unusual, but something we must immediately learn from, imo) and suddenly we looked a much “freer team”.

Jerome Shields
97 Posted 30/04/2024 at 09:36:09
Tony, I think in the Chelsea game, Everton were set up as the Liverpool game. The difference was a lack of confidence. Even defensively it went haywire in the Chelsea game. Chelsea were set up to break down Dycheball and on the day found acres of space. They could not believe their luck.

The Forest game was pivotal. It gave the players confidence in the system and I believe that game ensured our survival. In the Brentford game, the players did focus on defence, something that was apparent in the Forest game, having got a lesson for not doing so against Chelsea.

I expect a Silva-like end to the season with relentless offensive displays. Everton at their best. COYBs

Tony Abrahams
98 Posted 30/04/2024 at 10:24:11
I disagree with you, Jerome, and thought Everton were much more compact against Liverpool although I thought we went a bit too deep and compact after we scored our first goal. This allowed Liverpool into the game by giving them a bit of time on the ball that just wasn't there for them before Everton had taken the lead.

We never really won a fifty/fifty ball against Chelsea, the players looked mentally tired, weak even, and we left too much space in the space between our defenders and our midfielders, whereas Liverpool's only real tactic (apart from one great Arnold pass) was to play in front and across us, before constantly hitting the long diagonal, because we never left those spaces that Chelsea exploited, in the derby.

All about opinions, Jerome, although I'd definitely agree with you on the confidence issue because, as soon as Chelsea scored, we looked drained.

Chris Williams
99 Posted 30/04/2024 at 10:45:45

Gana and Harrison made a difference too.

Tony Abrahams
100 Posted 30/04/2024 at 11:14:22
I think Harrison proved against Brentford that he has been asked to do too much at times this season, Chris.

He was brilliant against Liverpool. My youngest son said to me on the way home from the derby that he never knew that Harrison had that much skill. Then he was back to being tired again on Saturday, which was the right of a few of our players considering the effort they put in last Wednesday night.

For the first time in my life, I'd take quantity over quality, but this is a different topic, and these are different times.

Lee Robinson
101 Posted 30/04/2024 at 11:15:47
Bill @ 88, really good post.

Surely we need to change the mentality here, some of the posts I'm reading about getting Burnley into Europe and what he did with Watford. We should have much bigger expectations than that, even given the last 3 years we have had and everything that has gone on this season.

Dyche is rightly taking a lot of plaudits but, apart from the week after the first points deduction and the last week, it has been way below standards what we should be accepting as Evertonians.

I'd also say that all the games in the last week could have gone either way, had it not been for some officiating mistakes, great defending, and a few well-worked set-pieces... so a very fine line of him being a hero and the pitchforks are back out.

Just going off short memories, Lampard's reign is looked at as an absolute failure. Let's not forget without the benefit of Calvert-Lewin, Beto and Chermiti, we went toe to toe with Liverpool at Goodison last season and were millimetres (post twice and VAR) from a great victory.

We went for them at Anfield and should have had a penalty to get in front. Same for Man City at home with the Rodri handball, beat Chelsea, Man Utd put together a few 3-0 performances. He didn't have the luxury of surviving a 15-game no winning streak and 6-0 defeat. So let's not re-write history like we can't see what he's served up most of the season.

Is there a glass ceiling with Dyche? I guarantee, after the next poor run of results next season, there will be loud calls for his head, due to all the factors which come from a Dyche brand of football.

Chris Williams
102 Posted 30/04/2024 at 11:26:04
I agree about Harrison being knackered Tony. McNeil too. They pretty much disappeared after the Christmas programme.

These guys have the joint responsibility of attacking and defending the whole time. No real opportunity or players for rotation.

Hopefully had a bit of a blow by Friday.

Can anyone remember Everton having 4 consecutive matches on Sky before?

Anybody might think they wanted to show us getting serially tanked, including by our neighbours, and being relegated in full view.

That went well! Now we must complete the sequence on Friday, with a clean sheet and give them the finger.

Fuck them!

Frank Crewe
104 Posted 30/04/2024 at 13:35:47
I must be missing something here. People going on about what is and isn't an Everton style of football.

I don't remember anyone complaining about the style of football when Joe Royle's "Dogs of War" won the FA Cup. A virtue was made of effort over skill then. Maybe the manager's name had something to do with it.

The fact is, Everton haven't played swashbuckling football since the 1980s side broke up. Moyes was just Dyche with hair and apparently his brand was too dour even though he kept us away from relegation for most of his 11 years in charge. Personally, I'd be quite happy if he was still our manager now.

None of the managers since him have been around long enough to play any particular style of footy at all. Now we have Dyche. His football may not match that of Man City, Barca or Real Madrid but right now it is what works for the the players he has – remnants left over from all the other managers that got the boot.

So I think he is entitled to some leeway until he has brought in some players of his own. Then, as long as he keeps us away from the trapdoor, he can play whatever style he wants and he won't hear any complaints from me.

Jimmy Salt
105 Posted 30/04/2024 at 13:44:07
Sigh, when you become conditioned to eating crumbs you inevitably savour the mouldy cheese.
Peter Dodds
106 Posted 30/04/2024 at 13:52:08
The fact that Dyche is now basking in fans' adulation after three wins from three has led to the narrative that he was "always the man for us, there was never any doubt" etc etc.

This misses the fact that it was only a catastrophic 6-0 reverse at Chelsea that led to him sitting down and questioning his methods, and finally accepting that some things had to change (the tracksuit being one visible sign of this). Without that drubbing, Dyche would have persisted with the same tactics, week-in & week-out, that resulted in the no-win-in-15 run.

We've seen this stubbornness and intransigence many times before, eg, when it took a miserable run of bad form from Michael Keane before the manager would let Branthwaite have a run in the side – something all fans had been crying for for weeks.

In some respects I think he's been lucky in the last week or so – it wasn't his managerial nous that led to the three victories so much as recognising a clear need to *finally* do something different.

Credit to him for finally seeing the light – but let's not pretend it was his managerial vision and brilliance that has led us to this point. Next season, I just pray he will be more open to new ideas, be more proactive and less stubborn.

David West
107 Posted 30/04/2024 at 14:01:45
The main positive in this sqaud is the defence.

If we could add goals while staying tight at the back we could progress quite quickly.

I've said before sometimes you sacrifice a bit of defensive solidity to be more attacking but even a modest upturn in goals scored would have a massive effect on our league position.

Evolution not revolution is the key now in my opinion. Branthwaite and Onana may be sold but a few key additions would help us progress.

Craig Walker
108 Posted 30/04/2024 at 14:14:26
I think he should be named Premier League Manager of the Season. I think what he did last year was amazing but this season is even more impressive. I know I keep saying it, but would Klopp or Guardiola do as good a job with the players and the circumstances?

Even the winless run doesn't tell the whole picture. We beat Burnley on 16th December but then lost to Spurs, away. Everybody who saw that game said that Everton were superb and were unlucky to lose. In fact, we should have won the game and had decisions go against us.

We then lost to Man City but were winning at half time and gave them a more decent game than most opponents managed. We got draws against Aston Villa (h), Fulham (a), Spurs (h), Palace (h), Brighton (a), Newcastle (a). We threw the game against Bournemouth away.

Of course, there were frustrating results (Luton at home, for example) but every season brings those. I can remember a relegated Bournemouth beating us on the last game of the season at Goodison under Carlo.

If Dyche had a decent goalscorer, we would have comfortably finished in the top half without the points deductions.

Alan J Thompson
109 Posted 30/04/2024 at 14:49:06
As I've said before, I was not enamoured when he was appointed and I feel the same way about his style of football, or more precisely his commitment to the long ball being the dominant feature and his preference to defence.

As for the praise he is getting for the turnaround following the 6-0 drubbing, I have to ask why if he has this ability did he not do it during the almost disasterous 13-game run without a win.

However, I do think that where we could have been without the points deduction and where we will finish should allow him to start next season but I would like to see us have more options on style of play, that is being able to play out from the back, through midfield, organized set pieces and the occasional long ball. It doesn't have to be School of Science football although that would be nice but it must have enough variety to make life at least a little more difficult for the opposition to prepare for.

Trevor Powell
110 Posted 30/04/2024 at 14:55:54
Who knows whether Sean Dyche has the football brain to take EFC onto an attractive, successful 'School of Science' game?

With owners like Moshiri and others dazzled by 'Hollywood' or trendy foreign managers, Dyche clearly hampered by his football CV as a player and a manager has hardly got much of a look-in.

How do we know whether he has the ability to organise a team into real attack minded force? Simply, we don't because he has always been fighting the odds!

One day, he might be able to surprise us all. He will already be planning how he is going to ensure that EFC walk out at Bramley Moore as a premier league team!

Brian Williams
111 Posted 30/04/2024 at 14:57:12

It's good to see a measured, realistic post.

This hoofball, long ball, call it what you will is a bit of a fallacy in my opinion as I don't think we predominantly played that.

Some posters seem to jump on the latest buzz phrase and just take it as gospel.

But hey. that's life these days. If some see it in print it must be true, even when it isn't.

Dyche has greatly improved our position compared to the last few seasons, taking into consideration the points deduction, some just won't or can't accept that.

I shouldn't be surprised though as it's well proven on here that more people come on to moan than to compliment.

Trevor Bailey
112 Posted 30/04/2024 at 15:11:08
Lee @101.

Expectation is one thing, reality and accepting the situation is another.

For fuck's sake, cut the guy some slack, and any game can go either way.

Not being argumentative, it's all opinions at the end of the day, but for me with all the off-field shit and a load of injuries with a small squad, he's done an amazing job.

Expectation for next season depends if we go into administration or not.

Dave Lynch
113 Posted 30/04/2024 at 15:11:38
Brian @111.

The biggest exponent of hoofball are Liverpool imo, the difference being they have very quick players who can execute it.

They invite teams on and, when they gain possession, get it up the pitch very quickly to Salah, Nunez et al.

Eric Myles
114 Posted 30/04/2024 at 15:58:45
Too true Dave #113, I remember reading a report on the most long range passes in the PL being by a certain Steven "GBH" Gerrard. Only instead of calling it hoofball as they do when Allardyce or Dyche employs it, they likened it to a quarterback directing play.

In those days it was The Rat taking possession and running into the box only to fall over and win a penalty. These days they have Salah doing it.

Lee Robinson
115 Posted 30/04/2024 at 18:43:13
Why when you raise concerns about Dyche's style of play, does the alternative always have to be play like Man CIty or Barca, which no one is asking for.

Not booting the ball to an isolated striker's head for 90 minutes, maybe proper use of wingers with overlapping full-backs, or mixing it up sometimes with some passing through midfield (Garner ex-Man Utd academy, Gomes ex-Barca, Gana ex-PSG and Onana, Belgium international) would be a start.

I'm just saying if he doesn't evolve even slightly we will get found out, we must be the most predictable side in the league.

Ernie Baywood
116 Posted 30/04/2024 at 21:03:50
Correct, Lee. No-one is asking for open, expansive' football with this group of players.

My criticism hasn't been the long ball. It's the long ball to a player who has no-one in blue around him because they're all being 'defensively responsible'.

It's not something that is beyond our players.

Rob Jones
117 Posted 30/04/2024 at 22:04:51
For God's sake, any time any manager in the past several years has attempted to play any level of "decent" football, the team's results have gone to shit.

We've had our most successful season since 2020-21. Why in balls are we even having this conversation?

Robert Tressell
118 Posted 30/04/2024 at 22:19:24

I think everyone's familiar with the breadth and depth of your complaints about Sean Dyche. There's certainly been enough of them (and no doubt there'll be plenty more).

Ultimately though you've been telling us repeatedly that his tactics and approach would see us relegated. On this, you have been proved plain wrong.

James Hughes
119 Posted 30/04/2024 at 22:23:28
Robert T,

That has made me laugh… thank you.

Ernie Baywood
120 Posted 01/05/2024 at 02:31:52
Robert, I think I repeatedly said that I thought we would stay up this season. I might be wrong about what I think I thought; can you check for me?

But you enjoy your moment, the high fives and the back slaps.

Robert Tressell
121 Posted 01/05/2024 at 09:20:44
Fair enough, Ernie, we must all have collective amnesia.

Or maybe you're really a parody account? Maybe one and the same as Victor Wu from the Live Forum??? Keep having fun with it anyway.

Ernie Baywood
122 Posted 01/05/2024 at 09:51:07
Are you putting yourself in some sort of ToffeeWeb gang, Robert?

I don't think you get to speak for all, some of whom may well actually recall what I've posted on here rather than making it up to have a dig at me.

My position for some time has been that I thought we'd stay up. Early in the season, I was very concerned, then we had that run around November. Even before the second deduction, I was reasonably confident we would stay up.

I absolutely didn't think we'd beat Liverpool. But I was far from alone in that.

Barry Rathbone
123 Posted 01/05/2024 at 10:29:52
Peter Dodds @106,

What were the change of tactics you identified?

It all looked the same to me but we got the run of the green.

Brian Wilkinson
124 Posted 07/05/2024 at 12:23:06
I think Ernie has made some valid points; not everyone will agree with his views, but the last few results have overshadowed the period from 16 December to 6 April without a Premier League win.

We can also say that, without the 8-point deduction, we would be on so many points but, at the same time, we could argue that, straight after the points deduction, the fans and team responded and we picked up 12 points out of a possible 15 in our next 5 games.

It's all swings and roundabouts; under the circumstances of no new owners, the points deductions, the unbelivable amount of penalties we have not been given – then for that reason we have to give Dyche and the team a huge amount of credit.

Dyche's test will come when the ownership is sorted, we sort our finances out, and are able to move into the transfer market.

For now, he is the best man for the job… but those praising him and those with a different viewpoint – I think both have valid points.

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