It is not easy to be an Evertonian. As it too often the case we are witnessing boring football and very few goals. We don’t have single player who is exciting to watch.

But…

After halting the rot with a run of three draws, Sean Dyche has managed to win enough points for us to sit in joint 11th place and only two points behind huge spending Chelsea.  In a typical season, we need only another 8 points or so to stay up.

Of course, a corrupt Premier League trying to pretend its house is in order had docked us 10 of our 29 points.  There’s not a great deal Sean Dyche can do about that.  With the present playing staff, he’s done a remarkable job in the time he’s been here – and though it won’t be pretty, he certainly gives us a very good chance of staying up despite the wildly disproportionate points deduction.

Based on comments on various threads / the live forum etc, I am not sure that fans quite appreciate just what an extraordinary job Dyche has been doing. I think many fans are under the impression that, because "we are Everton" we surely must have better players than traditionally smaller clubs. Unfortunately, that is just not the case.

Make no mistake, based on levels of investment and quality of squad, we should have been relegated last season (and possibly the season before).  Southampton, Leeds and most certainly Leicester had better squads.  That is because we have been dismantling a very badly assembled squad over the past 3.5 years.

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In June 2020 it became clear the money had run out and a mid-table / bottom half squad then began selling what it could and reinvesting very little into the playing staff. 

  • 2023/24 season: -£40m net spend (lost regular first teamers of Iwobi, Gray and to some extent Mina and Townsend)
  • 2022/23 season: -£25m net spend (lost regular first teamers Richarlison, Gordon, Allan and Sigurdsson)
  • 2021/22 season: -£5m net spend (lost regular first teamers Digne, Rodriguez, Bernard and Walcott)

That represents negative investment of around £70m in the past three years and a total of 12 players sold who were first team regulars. And that masks the actual outlay on players like Chermiti (actually £1.8m) and Beto (£0m) in year one due to our inability to spend (no money and premier league financial rules).

That is how teams are forced to behave after they have been relegated.  We are not competing financially as a top-flight club and haven’t been for some time.  It is extraordinary that we remain in the Premier League.  It is even more extraordinary that a club in this scenario can have 10 points deducted and still retain a very good chance of staying up.

What has happened to us since June 2020 would have absolutely broken any other club. 

Let’s look at others over the same 3 year period.

  • Leicester: net spend -£20m in player sales despite being relegated.
  • Palace: net spend £180m.  Lost just one first teamer of note (Zaha) and added the likes of Henderson, Guehi, Anderson, Richards, Wharton, Olise, Edouard and Doucoure.  They have a better squad than us.
  • Bournemouth: net spend £200m despite being in the Championship for one of those seasons.  Not really sold anyone of note and added Zabarnyi, Kerkez, Aarons, Adams, Scott, Traore, Tavernier, Ouattara, Sinisterra, Kluivert and Semenyo.  Again, they have a better squad than us.
  • Forest: net spend £240m despite being in the Championship for one of those seasons. I won’t list all the players they’ve bought because it is a ridiculous number but in Gibbs-White, Awoyinyi, Montiel, Sangare, Danilo and Murillo there’s plenty of quality as well as numbers.  Transfermarkt considers their squad to be worth £40m more than ours but a 10 point deduction (that they plainly deserve if we do) would absolutely ruin them.
  • Burnley: net spend £185m despite being in the Championship for one of those seasons.  This shows just how much they’ve invested post-Dyche. In fairness they’ve lost Collins, Cornet, McNeil, Pope, Wood and Tarkowski too.  But even this January they have added genuine quality in Esteve, Assignon and Fofana.  Okay, these are not household names, but they are two of the biggest young defensive talents from France and one of the most promising u21 strikers in world football.  I think they’ve accepted relegation as part of a longer-term plan to develop these players under Kompany.

I won’t even bother going into the situation somewhere like Villa because sadly they are different gravy given the investment in the playing squad. Emery is lucky enough to be at a club which added four Champions League quality players (Pau Torres, Diaby, Tielemans and Lenglet) to an already talented squad last summer.

And if you are struggling to think what a difference even £100m makes, then visualise our team now with Olise (£7m), Gibbs-White (£25m), Kudus (£40m) and Joao Pedro (£28m) instead of Harrison, Dele Alli, Danjuma and Dobbin.

It is plainly obvious that outside of the richest clubs, there are 5 managers doing extremely good jobs.  They are (annoyingly) Rob Edwards at Luton, Sean Dyche at Everton, Francesco DeZerbi at Brighton, Gary O’Neill at Wolves and Thomas Frank at Brentford.  

Indeed, if Dyche were doing anything less than an exceptional job, we’d be doomed already.

 

Personally, I hope we stick with Dyche and give him time to build a squad and a dynasty at Everton. Once the financials are resolved and we can start to sign fast, talented players in forward positions then the football and goal count will improve markedly.  And for those still holding their nose at his appointment, at least consider the context in which the guy is operating.  If you want to blame someone for the bad football then blame Kenwright and Moshiri for destroying everything good about the club through utter stupidity.

Reader Comments (51)

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Dave Abrahams
1 Posted 03/02/2024 at 20:04:42
I think Sean Dyche is doing an incredible job at Everton considering the way you've highlighted the circumstances he is operating under since he has been here and more than likely will have to continue work under these conditions for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for taking the time and trouble, Robert, to show how difficult it has been for Dyche and his coaching staff to get where Everton should be without the ridiculous penalty they have temporarily been given.

Jeff Armstrong
2 Posted 03/02/2024 at 20:29:52
I have my moans and groans about Dyche's narrow formation, late subs, lack of imagination at times, but today typified his, and indeed his players' approach to our situation: gritty, determined and dogged in every game.

This is Dyche's MO and basically he's keeping us in, or close to keeping us in, the Premier League — no mean feat considering Robert's excellent article above.

Dale Self
3 Posted 03/02/2024 at 21:03:06
Nice breakdown of the long-term situation, Robert. Dyche will not get credit for what he is doing. Thankfully, he isn't the type to get sensitive about it.

I don't really care if people can get behind him but those criticizing him tend to sweep away the fundamental reasons for his methods. And then they slag him relentlessly, seems unfair.

Dave Cashen
4 Posted 03/02/2024 at 21:21:28
He gets credit from me, Dale.

People complaining, or worse still, just realising, that we are not an attractive team, must have been asleep for years. We haven't played regular pretty football since Baines, Pienaar and Osman were strutting their stuff.

Well done, Robert, for highlighting just how poisoned the chalice is that Dyche has been handed.

Right now, I would not trade him for anybody.

Derek Thomas
5 Posted 03/02/2024 at 21:32:25
When things go wrong with your league position, then the second option – the first usually being the dreaded 'Vote of Confidence' – is to sack the manager.

Now we might get relegated, but in weighing up contributory factors, Dyche's sin of omission and commission won't be at the top of the list.

Peter Mills
6 Posted 03/02/2024 at 21:34:51
Our football is unattractive at home, a bit better away, and the players fight.

In our current predicament, that is very acceptable. If Sean Dyche keeps us up, he will have earned the opportunity to show us if he can be a little more expansive.

John Charles
7 Posted 03/02/2024 at 21:35:14
Dyche is absolutely the right man for right now. It remains to be seen if he is the man to take us forward.

At some stage, the hope is things improve off the field. The question is then: Can Dyche produce a brand of football that is entertaining and successful? I am unconvinced but would be happily proved wrong.

For the time being – well done to Dyche and his team.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 03/02/2024 at 21:46:05
I was disappointed with our second-half performance because I thought we played very rushed football which definitely suited Spurs but you can't fault the spirit and my opinion is that Everton Football Club has always been built on having a massive spirit.

I won't go down my usual road because yesterday has definitely gone but, if a team doesn't have any real craft, then it's imperative that they work very hard on being difficult to beat so I am another supporter, who is glad we have got Sean Dyche as our manager right now.

Robert Tressell
9 Posted 03/02/2024 at 21:59:17
John #7,

We don't know how Dyche would fare with better quality. But for the sake of argument, if today's sides swapped Godfrey for Porro, Maddison for Harrison, and Ashley Young for Brennan Johnson, I reckon Dyche would have had us knocking the ball about pretty well with Spurs struggling hard to get into the game.

Larry O'Hara
10 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:06:33
Robert,

Well said, I agree.

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:12:47
Yup, good article, Robert. You never quite know how managers will meld with a team or the fans but I had a good feeling when we appointed Dyche. It felt like a manager who really fitted our squad and our aims — for the first time in a long while (Martinez or Silva?).

The annoying thing is it should be so much better if it weren't for the deductions and some terrible finishing. The Xpoints table has us in 7th, which is pretty remarkable and a sign of the incredible job Dyche has been doing in the circumstances.

As I've said elsewhere, I do feel that, if we can stay up and secure a new (even moderately capable owner), next season might be a real breath of fresh air under Dyche.

Stu Darlington
12 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:19:32
A sobering article indeed, Robert. I also think Dyche has done a remarkable job. He is obviously an excellent man-manager, motivating the squad to fight to the final whistle, and building a strong spirit in the dressing room, with a squad we all know lacks real quality.

A sentence in your final paragraph starts “Once the financials are resolved” implies that you think this is a foregone conclusion, but for me it is the financials that may be our undoing despite Dyche's efforts.

Supporters should not dismiss or underestimate the seriousness of our financial situation. We have massive debts at punishing rates of interest to a variety of lenders and are having to borrow even more to finance the day-to-day running of the club. Our income nowhere near matches our expenditure. This situation is unsustainable and the day of reckoning will come sooner or later.

If we are pushed into the Championship by this corrupt Premier League, I believe there is a real danger we could end up in administration.

The only hope seems to be if some acceptable buyer comes along… anyone think of one?

By the way, Moshiri seems very quiet in all this; after all, it's his investment that will go down the tubes.

Kieran Kinsella
13 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:23:48
Good article, Robert, I totally agree.

I also agree in the other managers mentioned, especially O'Neill, who inherited a shambles – though nowhere as bad as ours.

Don Alexander
14 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:41:48
Sean Dyche was no doubt delighted to get the job and was no doubt aware, like everyone else in football (except those sad bastard clubs who allegedly relied on Kenwright to put them right), that we were a playing and financial shambles. I'd wager he had no idea of the true depths to which we were "led" in the years before he arrived though.

To me he extracts close to the max from our very dysfunctional squad, and good on him for that, but I fear that he nor anyone else will be unable to sign anyone of quality for some seasons yet, given the hideous predicament our so-called top brass have inflicted on us.

Robert Tressell
15 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:43:37
7th place, Sam?! That's absolutely extraordinary. And perhaps adds weight to the idea that, with a bit of extra quality, Dyche might do very good things.

Unfortunately, Stu, you are quite right. Hard as they are, on the pitch matters are the least of our worries. Everything but the football being played is completely unsustainable.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:49:25
And this is something that a lot of people will probably hold against him, Don, although if we could predict the future, we would all be millionaires!
Iain Crawford
17 Posted 03/02/2024 at 22:52:43
Good article Robert. Here’s some stats which offer a comparison with previous managers and show how good he is doing. Even more impressive considering the financial restraints upon him and the never ending swirling distractions from all quarters.

It may not always be pretty but he is getting the best he can out of the players and is not one bit shy to play to our strengths regardless of any criticisms of style.

Amount of games with 2+ non-penalty xG created for recent Everton managers in the Premier League:

Marco Silva - 6 in 53 - 11.3%
Carlo Ancelotti - 9 in 58 - 15.5%
Rafa Benitez - 1 in 19 - 5.2%
Frank Lampard - 1 in 38 - 2.6%

Sean Dyche - 10 in 41 - 24.4%

John Raftery
18 Posted 04/02/2024 at 00:33:29
A manager's job is to make the best of the resources available. Sean Dyche has done that for the last 12 months. Magnificently.
Mal van Schaick
19 Posted 04/02/2024 at 09:32:14
Considering the crap that we have had in the recent past, I would like Dyche to stay at Everton on a long term contract.

Win some points back on our appeal, retain our PL status, get the books in good order, and let the new owners bed in, with a new stadium on the horizon.

The future could be rosy, but all of that is on the lap of the over zealous PL officials, who appear to want to destroy our club and all of its proud history.

Robert Tressell
20 Posted 04/02/2024 at 09:47:48
Iain, that seems to add to Sam's incredible statistics.

The tactics are plainly working and a good fit for the team.

Realistically though our chance conversion stats are going to remain very poor. That's down to lack of quality - and as a result of the striker having to sacrifice himself for the team (first line of defence, isolated, working hard to run channels, force mistakes, force set pieces).

But one of these days there's a good chance we give someone a good hiding - especially if we score early.

Paul Tran
21 Posted 04/02/2024 at 09:50:18
Spot-on, Robert. A year ago I put a piece on here, calling him the obvious choice. Only those in denial at the state of this club would disagree.

He gets the best from up to six managers' worth of unwanted waste. He has a transfer budget based on the deals we can put together rather than who he actually wants. He has been the face of the club, answering questions because the people running the club have disappeared.

Good football? Apart from Martinez's first season and couple of months under Carlo, its a long-time since I've seen it.

I was derided for saying he have us midtable.
That's where we'd be before the deductions.

That's his performance. When he keeps us up he'll deserve manager of the year.

David Vaughan
22 Posted 04/02/2024 at 10:08:32
Good to know we are not alone (and that in adversity a smile can be found)...

An equally desperate Palace fan (Marc with a C) posted this morning...

"BREAKING: Roy Hodgson has stepped down as manager of Crystal Palace. The 77 year old, who saved the club from relegation last season, will be replaced by 78 year old Roy Hodgson. Owner Steve Parish said “i realised Roy was available from the moment I sacked him, so why not”

Brian Harrison
23 Posted 04/02/2024 at 10:59:26
I don't think anyone could argue that the points deduction has made our position in the league distorted, and Dyche has got the team working extremely hard. As many have said we would be sitting around 11th without the deduction which would be a fairer position on which to judge what Sean Dyche has achieved.

But I do have some reservations about team selection and substitutions, which at times leave me baffled. I have to say I am not a fan of Harrison he lacks quality both in possession and in his inability to put in a decent cross. When we signed him it was said he was quick well I have very rarely seen him go past a fullback and yesterday he was put through on goal yards ahead of any Spurs player and still the defender got back to make a challenge before he got his shot away. The golden rule when you are clear of all defenders and you are running into the box you cut across the defenders path so he either gives away a penalty or you have a shot at goal.

The refusal to make subs till very late in games really puzzle, me most managers voted for the number of subs to go from 3 to 5 as they said that we now play 4 or 5 minutes extra in the first half and sometimes as much as 13 in the 2nd half. Also the game gets quicker every year and most clubs seem to be having more and more players out injured. So I just don't understand Sean Dyches reluctance to make changes, not only can players be having a poor game and need replacing but also the plans the manager had made are not working and needs a change of personnel.

Finally the last couple of weeks have seen him switch between Beto and Danjuma as alternatives which don't seem to be working and Dobbin who scored a few weeks back is hardly getting a look in and in the last couple of matches Dyche has chosen to bring on Chermetti ahead of Dobbin.

Rob Jones
24 Posted 04/02/2024 at 12:09:07
Robert, I couldn't agree more.

Dyche has done, and is doing, an exemplary job with the meager resources at his disposal. Paper-thin squad, injuries, non-scoring strikers, and officials who give us nothing, and take away EVERYTHING they can.

Nobody else would exceed his performance, so it's hugely frustrating when the Football Manager fans drop their loose change into the debate, and do nothing but gripe.

Raymond Fox
25 Posted 04/02/2024 at 12:48:31
Spot on Robert.

Managers cant do it without the players, its no coincidence that the usual top 5 or 6 clubs attempt to try and buy the very best players available each season to stay top of the pile.

To that end they usually can afford to spend more than the rest of us.

I think the quality of managers is a very subjective matter, how much success is due to the manager and how much is because of the players ?

My guess is 85% players and 15% the manager.

Danny O’Neill
26 Posted 04/02/2024 at 13:07:37
Dyche has has done a very good job with the tools and situation he inherited. He has protected the players and kept them focused on the pitch.

Despite frustrations with tactics and late changes, we do actually play some decent stuff.

The right man for the job at this point in time.

Andy Crooks
27 Posted 04/02/2024 at 13:14:01
Good point, Raymond. A bit of a reputation goes a long way and attracts better players. There is a merry-go-round of coaches who are always in the frame for jobs and nothing dents their reputation.
We will never know how Pep,Klopp, Pochettino etc would do at Everton but they would not be chasing champions league places. Ancelotti found out soon enough just how tough it is.
I like Frank Lampard but wish we have got Dyche instead of him. In my view, there is no alternative. We could do with a bit of luck, though.

Brian Williams
28 Posted 04/02/2024 at 13:56:38
Dyche, IMHO, has done what none of the previous recent incumbents managed to do and that's instill (most of the time) a never say die attitude. I used to mention regularly on here, seasons before he was in the frame for the job, his mantra "Minimum requirement is maximum effort." I think he gets that more from the players than any other recent manager.
And I disagree totally with those who accuse us of continuously playing hoofball.
I hope he, and the club, get some luck and he gets the chance to take us out of the complete and utter shitshow we're in and into the new stadium with something positive to look forward to.
Rob Jones
29 Posted 04/02/2024 at 16:18:58
Pretty football is completely subjective. I like Dyche's football. It's hard, aggressive, and gives no quarter.

Some people wanted Graham Potter. I'd remind you that until they caught fire, his Brighton team played the same flaccid keep-ball that so annoyed people by the end of Bobby Brown Shoes' tenure.

So frankly, you can shove your pretty football. It's a luxury for those clubs with elite players and a Champions League budget.

As it is, we're competing with a Championship squad, on a Championship budget, and are subject to the bias Championship clubs typically face when playing against media darlings.

Sean Dyche has instilled courage and grit in a team who were easy to play against. He is our best chance of thwarting oblivion. I honestly wonder which manager the more deluded of our fanbase think could exceed his performance as Everton manager/figurehead/spokesman.

Dave Evans
30 Posted 04/02/2024 at 17:28:18
Some impressive comments to a grounded article.

For me, given our recent history, the only realistic definition of success is to experience watching the team in a new, wonderful and complete state of the art stadium and seeing two premier league teams walking out on the pitch.

Then I can allow myself to dream of beautiful football, winning something and nil satis nisi optimum. If Dyche gets us there he will deserve his chance to prove himself with something a bit more than passion and bare bones.

David West
34 Posted 04/02/2024 at 19:29:26
Excellent Robert !!

To keep us up this year with the biggest point deduction in PL history would be some task. To keep this squad up without the deduction would be a good job.

He's got us playing better than lampard or Benitez with a weaker squad.
Hasn't spent a single penny apart from the loan fee for Danjuma.
Improved players like Mcneil, Branthwaite, Mykolenko & Garner.

You can't expect revolution with these kind of numbers.
I'd prefer a manger to sustainably Improve us over a period of time, rather than the boom and bust we have had.


Bill Hawker
35 Posted 04/02/2024 at 20:31:35
Gotta take the bad with the good. He's instilled a work ethic in the club and the players seem to have responded.

However...

...he really needs to learn how to make a substitution when it warrants. He waited way too long against Spurs to make some attacking substitutions and he's done this quite a bit this season.

He needs his assistant coaches in his ear on this or they're no good at tactics either.

I also think he has a blind spot for certain players and that needs rectifying as well.

Overall, he's done a decent job with what was handed to him but there must be in-game improvement.

Ian Pilkington
36 Posted 04/02/2024 at 23:03:50
I agree wholeheartedly with Robert's article although, like several others, I find Dyche's substitutions frustrating and his team selection often baffling.

I do not think that there is any possibility that the 10 points reduction will not be reduced; there was never any justification for its severity and our current position of six places below where our actual position should be equates to an £11M reduction in prize money, making it even more disproportionate to the alleged overspending offence.

The further charge announced last month makes even less sense considering the greater reduction in net spending. I have every confidence whatever the outcome that Dyche will comfortably keep us up.

My biggest worry is the thought of 777 Partners taking control of the club and for once we might be grateful to the Premier League if they deem them to be unsuitable owners.

Stu @12 enquires about acceptable owners. How about the Kominski consortium? Moshiri mysteriously pulled out of the takeover deal in summer 2022, suddenly stating that rather than sell the club he wanted to attract investment and keep control. I have little doubt that Kenwright was complicit in that particularly stupid decision to save his himself from being booted out as chairman.

If Kominski is still interested, Moshiri would have to accept a massively reduced price but he will have no choice if 777 Partners are not approved. In any case, it is hard to believe that other potential bidders are not waiting to make a move.

Craig Walker
37 Posted 05/02/2024 at 08:52:10
Good article, Robert. I agree with every word.

If Dyche had the funds that Koeman was given then I we would categorically have a better team that the Dutchman assembled and we'd be more entertaining to watch.

Apart from the brilliant mid-80s team, how many times have we played really good football? Some good performances and players under Moyes.

Martinez's first season was memorable but it all petered out. We briefly looked decent under Silva and the first few months under Carlo with James Rodriguez but that proved to be yet another false dawn.

One of the best periods as an Evertonian was the Dogs of War era where we were hard to beat, dangerous from set pieces and we didn't fear any of the top sides. I'll settle for that rather than some of the debacles in recent times (the Watford at home capitulation under Benitez, for example).

There's some decent players in this side. Mykolenko has massively improved under Dyche. Tarkowski and Branthwaite are the best centre-half pairing for years. Pickford is a superb goalkeeper. Garner is a good player.

When you think that Dyche has had two January windows and bought nobody. The guy deserves a lot more credit with the fans than he gets.

Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 05/02/2024 at 09:30:50
Craig, as much as I've slated my relative over the years, we did actually played some decent stuff for a couple years under David Moyes.

I finally snapped after the Wigan cup match and the semi final when we surrendered against them was the final straw.

I personally didn't like watching us under Royle. I know some did and we won a trophy. But I didn't enjoy it.

Dyche intrigues me. He may have a reputation, but he has got the team playing for each other under the shadow of difficult circumstances and uncertainty.

Right now, with the circus going on around the club, he is the right man for the job in my opinion.

Mark Murphy
39 Posted 05/02/2024 at 09:34:03
I don't see negative football – I see pragmatic football.

We are a good playmaker and a better winger than Harrison away from a good side. UTFT

Danny O’Neill
40 Posted 05/02/2024 at 09:41:53
Agree with that Mark.

Random one though. I wish he would stop dressing like he's going to a funeral. It makes me nervous!!

Put a tracksuit and bubble jacket on!!

Jim Wilson
41 Posted 05/02/2024 at 11:31:17
Good article, Robert.

Just think if the refereeing and the VAR had been fair to us all season as well as having no points deducted, we would be competing for Europe and the knock-on effect is that the team would be playing with even more confidence and who knows where we could be?

The Premier League have done a hatchet job on Everton in every way. But the only complaints come from across the park.

It is an unbelievable situation.

John Pendleton
42 Posted 05/02/2024 at 15:19:07
Dyche seems to relish the many and varied challenges he faces. How many top managers would test themselves in his situation as opposed to walking in to a yet another Champions League squad with a zillion quid budget?

And it's not always about survival - didn't he get Burnley to 7th one year?

Thanks to Dyche, we're now the cockroach those EPL Jimmy Choo shoes can't kill.

Dave Lynch
43 Posted 05/02/2024 at 15:54:14
No manager can be judged until he builds his own team.
Im not a fan of Dyche but understand that until he is given money to buy his players his hands will be tied.
I sincerely hope he keeps us up and is given funds to build his own team, Burnley weren't big spenders but with a new stadium on the horizon and more sponsorship money along with new owners...eventually, if he keeps us up he may well get that chance.
He'll be judged on his own team imo but until then he's the best we've got for all his faults.
Jamal Hassim
44 Posted 05/02/2024 at 17:41:18
Good summary of where things stand with regards to the job Dyche has done so far, Robert.

The most important transformation that he has implemented in my view has been some semblance of identity with regards to the football that Evertton play: "agricultural" but effective.

It reminds me a little of the Moyes era. There is fight in the team now and they have the ability to grind out results when the match seems lost. Everton for me has never been about stylish football; we tried it and failed.

Ajay Gopal
45 Posted 06/02/2024 at 08:44:17
Excellent article, Robert. The numbers that teams in and around us in the league table have spent relative to Everton are staggering. As you say, we can't even talk of the spends by the Top 6 and the new kids on the block - Aston Villa and Newcastle. You could also add that David 'knives-to-a-gunfight' Moyes has apparently spent upwards of 450 million in the 4 years he has been at West Ham.

While there is no doubt about Everton's wastefulness in the Moshiri years, that alone does not explain why we have fallen so far afoul of the PSR. My opinion is that the Premier League has shafted Everton, especially taking the demise of Bill Kenwright as an opportunity to overlook the glaring mitigating circumstances - the interest on loans taken for the stadium build, the Sigurdsson affair, the disproportionately severe toll that the pandemic took on Everton., etc.

Anyway, given all that has been happening, Dyche deserves enormous credit for keeping us well in the hunt for survival. I also do believe that we have players in key positions who are better than the corresponding players in teams around us. Pickford, Mykolenko, Branthwaite, Tarkowski, Onana, Garner, Gueye, Doucoure, McNeil, Calvert-Lewin - even though he is on a goal drought now - are far too good to be in the bottom 3. Dyche needs a bit of good luck with refereeing/VAR decisions, and players staying injury free, and I believe that he will comfortably keep us in the 14-17 position at the end of the season, even with the 10 points deduction.

Jim Bennings
46 Posted 06/02/2024 at 12:04:50
We were a bad team before Dyche got here and the players that left before Dyche arrived would walk into the side now, Richarlison and Gordon two glaringly obvious choices.

I'm not chuffed to see Everton dogfight things out every week but, until we sign better players, it's a case of this is our lot.

Ian Jones
47 Posted 06/02/2024 at 12:51:36
Thought-provoking article and some equally interesting comments. Have enjoyed reading this thread
Peter Hodgson
48 Posted 06/02/2024 at 16:10:31
The fact is that we have got a good manager for the position we are in whether we are a fan of Dyche or not and we should be grateful for that no matter what some people say.

How he will adapt his style if things improve is a discussion for another circumstance on another day.

I thought he was absolutely the right man for the job and fortunately, by his very hard work with the squad at his disposal, have been proved right. Well done to him and his team.

However I still maintain that a lack of confidence which is not doing anyone any good is badly affecting DCL and he should seek pastures new in the summer. Maybe not everyone would agree with that but that is my view.

We would know then and find someone else to take on his mantle as our main striker. We need goals.

A good piece Robert. Thank you.

Peter Mills
49 Posted 06/02/2024 at 16:29:30
No nose-holding here - Sean Dyche and his team are doing an excellent job in the most testing of circumstances. It isn’t pretty, but that is irrelevant this season, when survival is the sole aim.

Good article, Robert.

Mike Gaynes
50 Posted 06/02/2024 at 16:53:39
Jim #46, I'm incredibly "chuffed to see Everton dogfight things out every week" because, to quote Mark Twain, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog."

This Everton side frustrates the hell out of me, but it also makes me very, very proud. And in my book Sean Dyche gets a huge share of the credit.

Jay Harris
51 Posted 06/02/2024 at 17:09:07
Good article Robert.

Personally speaking I have no doubt Dyche has improved a number of things at the club.

The training methods

The confidence and motivation of the players

The balance in the squad

The identification of areas for improvement

Straight talking no nonsense PR together with politely making the point about unfair officialdom.

I look forward to the day we can address the lack of goalscorers throughout the squad and the opportunity to give him some quality to work with.

David West
52 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:18:12
Oh and I'd say it isn't just Dyche who deserves credit. Thelwell has been operating with a Lidl budget, with the fans wanting a waitrose players.

He's done some good business imo:

Onana’s deal was an excellent deal, minute outlay per year he's been here.
Tarkowski has been excellent, for nothing.
McNeil, although not cheap, has given us value.
Garner looks a snip at £15M in today's market.

Hes also got alot of the bigger earners of the books, a couple still lingering but that's hardly his doing, to put using better shape long-term.

He's had a few misses also, maupay never looked a good fit, Jury still out on beto and danjuma hasn't caught fire.
.
I'd like to see a stat for our net spend since he arrived though, sold Gordon, Richarlison and Iwobi with little outlay.
Compared to other clubs around us he's doing the equivalent of Jesus with his 2 loaves & 5 fishes feeding the 5,000.

Thelwell’s had to sell all the jewels.
Would Palace be okay without Olise and Eze?? Fulham without Paulinha and Willian?

They all would struggle, we have got more points than them this season (with deduction)

Next summer, providing we stay up and don't have more points deducted next season, will surely see us being able to invest. If that's selling big players to buy reinforcements, then it's the reality of our situation.

With a few quid to spend Thelwell and Dyche together could put us on track to bigger and better things.

Robert Tressell
53 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:40:24
I'd expected this to be a fairly controversial article but the comments suggest otherwise.

It's hard to be satisfied with Everton at the moment and Dyche (along with a few unpopular players) gets a lot of stick on match days and aftermath because of that. However, maybe it is just pent-up frustration at the club more than anything.

If the comments are anything to go by, people do seem to realise that he (and Thelwell too, David West) is doing a very good job in extremely difficult circumstances.

I really would love to see him get the chance to build on what we've got; improve the right flank and (as effective as Doucouré is) add a genuine talent at Number 10.

By way of follow-up, I'll do another one of those daft articles of speculative transfer targets we might get at very low cost. That should ensure a few critics!

Trevor Powell
54 Posted 06/02/2024 at 19:47:00
I am consistently hearing that Dyche can't really take Everton really forward in the future. On his record, I must agree.

However, remember how far he has come already. An average lower-division defender to two Premier League management posts. I am sure he has not been sitting in the dugout for the last 10 years learning nothing at all about the gameplay of the top teams.

He has to know as he has been playing at the wrong end against them. So, if we believe there is a rainbow waiting for us, why is it assumed that Sean Dyche has not been evolving? In reverse, does Guardiola have the ability evolution to save a relegation-threatened team?

Dyche has learned in a harsh environment, he seems a decent and dedicated man and would love the chance to manage a positive Everton team in the future!


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