Sean Dyche’s stunning Everton squad transformation has benefited two key players

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Since Sean Dyche’s appointment, some players have thrived and some haven’t, but two stand out for different reasons.

Sean Dyche’s appointment has seen an upturn in performances and results so far, but he’s also had a huge impact on the fortunes of individuals in his new squad.

Under Frank Lampard, certain players were entrusted with more game time than others as he favoured a different style of play to Dyche, meaning he required certain attributes to perform his philosophy. But with Dyche earning two wins, three losses and one draw from his first five games in charge, we thought we’d focus on two players in particular who’ve experienced an upturn in fortunes.

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Those two players are Dwight McNeil and Abdoulaye Doucoure.

In the case of Doucoure, he had only started two league games prior to Dyche. Following his appointment, he’s started every game and been one of Everton’s best players during his tenure so far.

For McNeil, he was in and out of the team for Lampard and only completed 90 minutes on two occasions in the league before Dyche. It’s been quite the turnaround as the former Burnley winger has completed the full game in all but one Dyche’s games so far.

But what exactly has changed?

Abdoulaye Doucoure

The midfielder previously enjoyed a strong run in the side during Carlo Ancelotti’s reign in charge and Dyche is using him to a similar effect here, as his physicality and workrate have given them some added steel and presence in midfield.

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Since coming back into the team he’s managed nine key passes, eight tackles, managed 80% pass success rate (201 total passes) as well as scoring once in six games.

Granted, he doesn’t possess the best quality in the final-third but he’s helped to drive Everton forward. He also only has a 44% ground duel success rate which is something he needs to improve to help his team stave off attacks.

Given that there are a lack of options off the bench, Doucoure will continue to receive minutes. Although, with his deal running out in the summer, he may be playing for his place at the club.

But there’s no doubt his presence has helped Everto so far under Dyche and he will continue to be key in their fight against the drop.

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Dwight McNeil

McNeil struggled under Lampard for any sort of consistency, as most of the team did, but it’s been all change since his former manager walked through the door. He’s become a staple in this Everton side and it was theorised that Dyche would lean on his former players to help him acheive results quicker.

Michael Keane has also just played back-to-back games for the first time since May and it’s clear Dyche understands these players. McNeil’s energy and work-rate, plus his delivery from set-pieces and in-play have helped Burnley to be more productive going forward.

Of course it was his corner that James Tarkowski headed in to give them a much-needed three points against Arsenal at the start of February and it looks like Dyche has re-instilled a strong amount of confidence into his game. Plus, he rewarded that faith from the manager by winning the penalty against Forest over the weekend.

Managing nine key passes across his last four games shows he’s being more influential, with the bulk of those coming against Aston Villa (4) and Leeds United (3). If Dominic Calvert-Lewin was fit and firing then McNeil would have that presence up front to link-up with and deliver for, but without that, he can only do so much given he’s never been a profilic scorer.

There’s no doubt Dyche is starting to get the best out of the 23-year-old and he will continue to be a key player for the forseeable future.

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