April 19, 2024

Everton’s progression this season has been meteoric, and completely unforeseen.

Many commentators predicted that the Toffees would suffer through another season beset by relegation issues, as they did in the previous two years.

The trend indicated that they were regressing and that this year might be their last in the Premier League despite their survival by four and then two points.

Fortunately, Sean Dyche has quickly corrected that belief, leading his team to put eight points separating them from the bottom three.

Then, handed the harshest punishment in the top-flight’s 135-year history, the 52-year-old would take it in stride to immediately move from 19th to 17th.

Given that he has lost his first five league games this season, he is deserving of his roses. Former Everton winger Pat Nevin has now pleaded on English football to treat him with the decency he deserves in an interview with BBC Sport.

If not for their recent 10-point deduction, Everton would presently only be four points out of European football, he said.

‘Right now, there is a decent argument for Sean Dyche to be manager of the season alongside Ange Postecoglou and Unai Emery. They have struggled against relegation for the last two years solid and suddenly they are solid themselves. What a job.’

How has Sean Dyche improved Everton?

The improvements made under the former Burnley boss are stark, and clear for all to see.

After all, the recent run of form they are enjoying is unlike anything they have seen since Carlo Ancelotti was at the helm, having won nine of their last 13 across all competitions.

Everton v Chelsea - Premier League
Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

His work in solidifying a threadbare and confidence-shy backline has been integral in building the foundation for such success, thus transferring that proficiency further up the field.

Even if they have at times been blighted by their profligacy in front of goal, their record of 20 goals scored after just 16 games has them on track to demolish last season’s tally of 34 league goals.

Similarly, the five clean sheets Jordan Pickford boasts are second only to Arsenal and Newcastle’s six.

To have this kind of figures with a side that has narrowly escaped relegation is an achievement surely worth putting beside a Tottenham Hotspur side who last season finished eighth, now moved to fifth, or an Aston Villa side going from seventh to third.

Should they maintain this vicious upward trajectory, the sky truly is the limit for Dyche and his revived Everton side.

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