Dyche dismayed by 'soft' Everton

21/08/2023 10comments  |  Jump to last

Sean Dyche said he was surprised by the nature of Everton’s heavy defeat to Aston Villa, admitting that he thought he and his staff had largely eradicated the kind of psychological collapses that had been too common over the past couple of seasons.

The Blues lost 4-0 at Villa Park and sit bottom of the Premier League after the opening two games of the season without a goal or a point to their name.

It has signalled early alarm among supporters still mentally scarred by last season’s battle against relegation that went right to the wire, with the horrendous defensive performance the most worrying aspect, particularly as the focus of the club’s summer transfer business has been on the attack.

Dyche lost Dominic Calvert-Lewin to a facial fracture after 38 minutes and then Alex Iwobi to a hamstring injury early in the second half but Arnaut Danjuma provided welcome impetus in the final third after coming on a substitute, leaving the rearguard as the most concerning aspect.

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“We were a long way off after playing very well last weekend. That was a surprise,” Dyche said after a result that equalled the worst reverse of his tenure so far, the 4-0 defeat at Arsenal in March.

“We conceded a goal and then the group go soft very quickly. Then you concede another one and it’s like everyone is looking at everyone else to do something. We had a couple of moments like that after I got here last season but generally, we stopped that feeling.

“It looked too lackadaisical, people waiting for others to ignite. The body language and intent in and out of possession just weren’t there. Simple as that.”

James Tarkowski was even more blunt, admitting that the Blues simply capitulated.

“I saw poor body language,” the skipper said. “I don’t think it was lack of effort, as such. Maybe just poor discipline in our shape and we just got opened up and then every goal, for me, is awful.”


Reader Comments (10)

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Paul Hewitt
1 Posted 21/08/2023 at 20:58:48
Well this wasn't a surprise to me. I've seen this gutless cowardly display many times over the years.
Pat Kelly
2 Posted 21/08/2023 at 21:09:52
Dyche can't have been that surprised. He recently said “we have adapted to what we are”.

What sort of message did that send to the players? We're no better than what we were?

Any surprise it's business as usual! So much for motivation.

Ian Riley
3 Posted 21/08/2023 at 21:21:32
Two relagation battles may tell the story. Unless reinforcements are brought in ASAP then really 3rd time lucky won't happen.

I never thought a club could be so bad for so long but there you go. If you don't win the battle, it's over! Stop thinking strikers will make it right!

Defence and midfield is not good. No fight and no supply. Seriously, this squad would struggle in the Championship. A long hard winter coming up for everyone.

Ray Smith
4 Posted 21/08/2023 at 22:32:22
Current signings:

Young, played 2
Danjuma, played 1 as sub
Chermiti, played 0 (for the future! What future?)
Harrison, played 0 )purchased injured)

So 2 of our 4 signings have appeared.

Adam's we shall see if he signs and starts against Wolves, a better alternative than Maupay.

Gnonto, probably will never happen.

Hudson-Odoi, why would he join a sinking ship?

I'd take Maguire plus cash for Onana; unlikely, but he is good mates with Pickford.

Let's just wait for deadline day, again!!!!

Barry Rathbone
5 Posted 21/08/2023 at 22:59:20
If you've played football and had the good fortune to play with good players, and the misfortune to play with duffers, you will know the impact it has on your own game.

Peak Messi could come here and within a month look ineffective; it isn't psychological, it's lack of talent about you that drags you down.

You can make limited players effective by giving them simple instructions but they must be complemented by players who can actually play to progress. The Leicester title team was a perfect example: they had Robert Huth at centre-half doing nothing more than blocking and hoofing but Vardy and others creating.

We have McNeil and Gray with the rudiments of ball control; the others couldn't trap a bag of cement.

Nothing to do with psychology – it's all down to ability.

Andy Crooks
6 Posted 21/08/2023 at 23:19:18
If Dyche selects Keane again, he deserves all that will follow. Michael Keane has a lot to offer at the right club but not at Everton. I feel sorry for him (Keane) and I don't think there is any harsher comment that can be made.

Hung out to dry by a bewildered coach. However, Dyche is it, we've rolled the dice for the last time.

Mick O'Malley
7 Posted 22/08/2023 at 08:14:41
Dyche has got the full-backs too narrow as well.

I thought Ashley Young was hopeless on Sunday, no way is he a better defender than Mykolenko. He might be better going forward but defensively no way is he an improvement.

We all know Keane should not start again. Weak and prone to errors. If Dyche persists with him, he deserves any flack that will come his way

Jerome Shields
8 Posted 22/08/2023 at 10:58:24
In the relegation run-in, Dyche achieved better individual stats from players, making Everton more effective. But this was derailed a bit by player errors. But Dyche did make changes and improved the stats further. This was the main reason that Everton survived.

Against Fulham the individual stats were good and Everton looked effective, but their finishing stats were poor. The goal against resulted from players' errors regarding positioning and awareness.

Really against Villa we got a collapse in individual players' stats, with an increase in player errors, one similar to the Fulham game.

There is no doubt that Keane is error-prone and always will be, so he has to be dropped for the next game, because of team confidence issues.

Dyche, like most of his predecessors, was on the touchline wondering why all of what was coached on the training ground and fitness training had disappeared.

My reason is that, having put on a good performance against Fulham and being caught by an easily avoidable goal, they took it easy at Finch Farm and were caught out by their own arrogance against Villa. Increased player errors materialised. They are not far below the surface at Everton, especially when players think they have done enough.

Welcome to Everton, Sean.

Roger Helm
9 Posted 22/08/2023 at 20:28:06
I disagree Barry. Talent is good but mentality is at least as important. We can all name very talented young players who never make it because they don't have the mental tools.

I have said for years that Everton players seem psychologically frail. We never seem to have leaders on the field. Of the present lot I think only Tarkowski and Coleman are the right stuff. It is all down to recruitment.

David Moyes (of blessed memory) wouldn't sign a player without extensive research into his character, and the results spoke for themselves.

Charles Brewer
10 Posted 23/08/2023 at 08:37:03
Roger. No question. Napoleon knew that the mental state of soldiers was the deciding factor in most battles.

Under David Moyes we knew that going one down was not the end of the game, there would be a fight even with inferior players. In recent seasons, the fans have realised that going one down in the 29th minute meant “Game over” (to quote the only man to be killed by an alien, a terminator and a predator). Everton is not mentally weak, it is mentally deceased.

Recruiting Tarkovski and Coady was sound, recruiting Alli was a disaster, keeping him anywhere near the team is even worse. The problem with Lukaku was his mental state and he was pretty poisonous at Goodison.

Calvert-Lewin is an enigma. How a young man can be injured for so long and so often is not a testament to the kind of resilience required for a high pressure competitive sport, and Sunday’s incident doesn’t help. The trouble is that the crowd - who are excellent judges of a footballer’s worth - saw him going off yet again after half an hour thus objectively failing once again to contribute to the team for the length of a match.

That said, the absolute worst course of action Everton could take now is to sign Gnonto. He appears to be the very worst sort of mildly talented halfwit with a grossly overinflated understanding of his own importance. He’s in a team that got relegated for being uniformly crap - it’s not as if he’s Messi leaving a team that just won the World Cup, after all. To introduce yet another third rate misfit into the team - one who has already demonstrated his utter lack of being someone the other players can rely on would make even the regular signings of drunken, lazy failures from Manchester United look good.

Still, I’m sure Kenwright will be there to welcome him.

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