February 29, 2024

Everton must have been drowning under the direction of Frank Lampard and Rafa Benitez if they are only now treading water.

The former was brought in after Carlo Ancelotti left, and it is possible that he is the one who ignited the once-dreadful Merseyside club’s sharp decline.

He took them from a team that few Premier League teams would have enjoyed playing against and completely destroyed that fear factor, benching his best players and smashing an unmatched home record.

Then, even though the supporters welcomed Frank Lampard’s entrance significantly more, Farhad Moshiri’s appointment of the Spaniard performed little better after he held onto him for an excessive amount of time.

Everton Unveil Frank Lampard as Their New Manager

Sean Dyche had little to live up to when he took over, but plenty of expectations, having to guide the Toffees narrowly clear of the drop before using that frustration as a springboard for the success they are now enjoying

He is head and shoulders above the two managers who came before him, a notion that journalist Christopher Beesley sought to detail in his recent article for the Liverpool ECHO.

During it, he would even outline the one thing that the former Burnley man has already managed to do, which Benitez and Lampard could not: ‘It’s not just personnel who have changed – goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and Abdoulaye Doucoure, scorer of Everton’s second goal were the only survivors in the starting XI from their Selhurst Park thrashing 20 months ago – but a major shift in both attitude and application.’

Crystal Palace v Everton FC - Premier League

He then moves on to talk about how the 52-year-old tactician is different from the rest: ‘Whether it was the failure to come from behind and win a Premier League game throughout Marco Silva’s reign; the collapse under Carlo Ancelotti from being second on Boxing Day to finish 10th and miss out on Europe; getting turned over by a bottom-placed Norwich City side who hadn’t scored a goal or taken a point in their previous six matches that spelt the end of Benitez’s tenure, or Lampard losing at home to not one but two different sides propping up the table in less than a month, the resoluteness of the players at this club has come under serious scrutiny in recent years.

‘Dyche himself acknowledges that Everton’s fans question his team but he has no problem with that given the numbers they turn up in and the support they provide. The difference now is that this Blues side are now providing them with answers.’

How good have Everton been under Sean Dyche?

When dissecting Dyche’s nine months in charge, it is hard to scrutinise last season’s disgrace given the mess he inherited, and the rudimentary last-option plan he put in place to simply avoid the drop.

Crystal Palace v Everton FC - Premier League

Having achieved that goal, already it is becoming clear that he did have long-term goals too, with those positive results finally starting to come into effect despite remaining as meticulous as ever.

Everton now sit 14th in the Premier League, eight points from the drop zone, and having won six of their last nine in all competitions.

A side revived, despite their newfound solidity, it is offensively where they have startled most fans, accumulating an expected goals of 20.80 across just 12 games.

Whilst there are numerous things that Dyche is doing better than both Benitez and Lampard, hence why they are performing at a level so far beyond the misery endured under their leadership, a reignited attacking line is probably the most miraculous change alongside the stability Beesley mentioned.

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