Everton: 3 players reborn under Sean Dyche after resilient Arsenal win

Everton (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images) /

Sean Dyche’s era at Everton is off to a blistering start as a rapturous Goodison Park celebrated the club’s first win since October as the Toffees secured a 1-0 victory over Arsenal. With the coherence that Everton had, it was hard to fathom that Dyche came on board just six days ago. Players like Dwight McNeil were reborn and could be influential under the former Burnley boss.

Ahead of the game, negativity was spreading like wildfire. Everton had failed to sign a single player in the winter transfer window, in fact, they were the only Premier League club to not have a January signing. The fans were frustrated and demanded answers and planned a protest at the stadium.

Not many were expecting a positive result against the leaders Arsenal especially when there has just been a managerial upheaval and the incoming boss hasn’t got any backing in terms of new players from the board. It was no surprise when Dyche lined up his side in a 4-4-1-1 formation. When the game kicked off, the team showcased passion, determination and panache and saw the game out with resilience.

Dyche seems to have invoked a new life in some of the players. There were players in the team who were underwhelming under Frank Lampard but are reborn.

3 Everton players reborn under Sean Dyche

Dwight McNeil

Without a doubt, McNeil could be adjudged as one of the worst signings of the summer. The Englishman was signed for £20 million from Burnley in the hopes that he will provide something magical from the flank and ease the departure of Richarlison.

McNeil looked lost in Lampard’s system, failing to settle at the club and struggling to get any attacking output. In comes Dyche, a manager who knows the winger well from his Burnley days. Dyche did get the best out of McNeil in the past, so the hopes were high and the Englishman instantly delivered.

McNeil was unstoppable from start to finish. His work ethic and commitment was unquestionable as he drove forward, tracked back and delivered delicious crosses in the box. It was McNeil’s delivery through the corner that James Tarkowski headed home so the 23 year old also registered an assist. It just seems that McNeil’s redemption under Dyche is on the cards.

Abdoulaye Doucoure

Abdoulaye Doucoure has seen far too many ups and downs during his time at Goodison Park. From being an indispensable player under Carlo Ancelotti and Rafa Benitez to being a mere bench warmer under Lampard, Doucoure seemed to be heading into an uncertain space as his deal runs out in the summer. With Lampard in charge, the Malian midfielder was up for sale with Fulham taking interest in the midfielder.

He also had a falling out with Lampard and the former Watford man was asked to train alone. With Dyche’s arrival, the slate was wiped clean and Doucoure started training with the first team. From the looks of it, Doucoure’s profile suits Dyche’s system. The 30 year old is tall and energetic in the middle, operating tenaciously and making his presence felt in the attack.

Dyche deployed Doucoure behind Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Now, the Malian is no playmaker but Doucoure’s presence allowed Everton to switch to a 4-5-1 and have extra bodies in the midfield when Arsenal applied pressure and were going forward. The 30 year old was superb against Arsenal and looked the most comfortable, giving his all during the entire 90 minutes.

Idrissa Gueye

Idrissa Gueye was arrived for a second spell at Everton in the summer of 2022 and was instantly drafted into the starting lineup. After a few satisfactory performances, his weaknesses started to seep in and the Toffees were getting exposed in the middle of the park.

At times, it also forced Lampard to drop Gueye but the injury to James Garner meant that the Senegalese would continue to feature in the No.6 role. Gueye is an aggressive ball winner and a presser of the ball. The 33 year old lacked composure and application at times alongside poor choice of passes.

Against Arsenal, Gueye looked like a different player altogether. The midfielder had a 100% pass completion rate, completing all 25 passes he attempted, which is a huge improvement. He registered 10 recoveries and was dribbled past just once in the entire 90 minutes.

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