April 11, 2024

Strangely enough, it always felt like Everton were a club destined to be managed by Sean Dyche.

After his heroics with Burnley, in which he led his plucky, tireless outfit into Europe against all the odds, the links have persisted.

However, all it took was a second straight relegation battle for the Toffees to give into the rumours, with Kevin Thelwell selecting him as the man to lead them into a brighter future laden with the stability they have lacked.

With a hard-working philosophy built around a solid defence, his ideals mirrored that of David Moyes, who earned great success across his 11 years at Goodison Park.

Well, having been at the helm for nearly 12 months now, it is fair to say that the foundation for success has now been built, with one pundit heralding the key things that have heralded such a turnaround.

Pundit Pat Nevin told BBC Sport: ‘Last season there was a moment at Goodison against Fulham when I thought they were in real danger of relegation, with a pronounced lack of spirit and a dislocation between the fans, the club, and the players, but somehow, they clung on.

‘The idea of any lack of spirit is unimaginable now under Sean Dyche. He has got a staggeringly consistent work ethic from every player, even if Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Garner have shone brighter than most.

‘A few weeks after the 10-point deduction – they would be comfortably mid-table and looking upwards without it – and they are already on the tails of fourth-bottom Luton, but they can not dial it down for a second.

‘The upcoming games are tough, so the battle is still on, but it does look like it might still be three from four with the improving Burnley and Luton alongside struggling Sheffield United slugging it out with the Toffees.’

How has Sean Dyche made Everton better?

It is fair to say that, under Dyche, Everton are a better team all across the board.

Often accused of having too many passengers, or players who were more bothered about their contract than the club, this current squad could not be further from that notion.

The core of the team is built on a relentless group of leaders, starting at the back with Jordan Pickford. He has still been busy, but sees his goal threatened far less often under this new regime.

As a result, they currently only allow 1.43 goals per Premier League game, a significant drop from the 1.74 goals they allowed per game in the 2021–2022 campaign.

Such solidity is further supported by the steely combination of James Tarkowski and Jarrad Branthwaite, while James Garner and Amadou Onana provide additional protection and contribute to the stat that tops the rankings.

Then, after just 14 games, their predicted goal total has soared to 23.92 thanks to a strong combination between the returning Dominic Calvert-Lewin and the rejuvenated Abdoulaye Doucoure at the other end of the field.

That means that by the end of the campaign, they should finish with 65 goals scored, nearly double their tally of 34 from last term.

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