Five big issues new Everton manager Sean Dyche must quickly solve

Sean Dyche will arrive at a club fighting relegation amid numerous problems on and off the pitch.
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Everton narrowly escaped relegation to the Championship last season but the jubilation and relief that accompanied the last-gasp escape has not resulted in a boost in performance levels this term.

Former Burnley Sean Dyche is expected to be confirmed as Frank Lampard’s successor, after seeing off the challenge of Marcelo Bielsa, and will take control of a team with numerous problems on and off the pitch.

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There won’t be any overnight fixes but a new manager is often accompanied with a ‘new manager bounce’ that can see an instant upturn in results. Here are five key areas Dyche needs to address to help maintain an upward trajectory.

Steady the ship

An obvious one given that Everton have lost their last three games, and haven’t won since October. Table-topping Arsenal at home in a week’s time will provide the first test for Dyche. If anyone can set-up a team to be compact and follow a basic tactical approach, it’s the former Burnley boss.

Lampard tried to make this team play a more pressing 4-3-3 system that often left huge gaps, whilst his 3-4-3 approach lacked any goal threat. For Dyche, it will be a case of trusting players he already knows, such as Michael Keane, Dwight McNeil and James Tarkowski, it’s unclear what formation he will set up with, but he did predominately play with a back four at the Clarets.

After Arsenal, Everton face Liverpool (A) Leeds (H) Aston Villa (H) Nottingham Forest (A) and Brentford (H). After the Merseyside derby they face four games - including three at home - against teams they can take points from.

Get Dominic Calvert-Lewin firing once again

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Dominic Calvert-Lewin has suffered badly with injuries in the last year, but under Carlo Ancelotti during the 2020/21 season he showed he could be the type of forward that can fire Everton to victories with 16 goals in the league, and 21 in all competitions. This season has been stop start for the 25-year-old but it’s just the one goal in 11 games so far this season.

Whilst Calvert-Lewin has struggled, the lack of creative output has been a key reason for his lack of goals. Dyche will surely look to re-invigorate their wide players such as McNeil and Demarai Gray to improve delivery for their leading man. Plus, Calvert-Lewin could benefit from another forward up front with him, as Dyche often utilised a front two with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood during his time at Burnley. An extra figure up front could turn his fortunes around.

Re-invigorate failed signings/Improve goal output

McNeil and Neal Maupay were signed in the summer to replace Richarlison, who joined Tottenham, but neither have settled. McNeil flourished under Dyche as a winger on either side of a 4-4-2 and Maupay had scored 26 goals in the league across the last three seasons for Brighton.

If he can find a way to get the best out of these two, both will improve their creativity and goal threat. The likeliest plan could be to get McNeil in a similar position in a 4-4-2 and perhaps having Maupay joining Calvert-Lewin in a front two, which could help both forwards to re-discover their form.

Sign a forward

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Money is tight at Everton, but Dyche is no stranger to working with limited funds - his net spend was £72m over nine years at Burnley. If Newcastle linked Anthony Gordon leaves for around £50m, that money can be reinvest into their frontline.

Michail Antonio and Marko Arnautovic are two options who could fit into Everton’s plan going forward. But a creative force would also be high on the list if possible, as The Toffees sit 19th for goals scored.

Galvanise the fans

We have seen fan protests, police intervention and players confronted after games outside of Goodison Park in recent weeks. A lot of anger is focused at the owners and board of directors but Dyche will want to bring that good feeling back, as we know how big an effect the fans can have at games at home.

That support helped keep Everton up last season. A single win at this point will help turn the mood. Dyche will get this team working hard and he’ll bring a steel with over nine years of experience battling relegation and upsetting the odds.

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