Sean Dyche sees Tony Pulis and says “hold my beer”.


So. We’re off to Goodison Park then, are we? Well. This fixture has been a tough one of late, what with us losing in four of our last five visits, the most recent setback being Dyche’s triumphant debut seven months ago when another Burnley bastard, James Tarkowski, headed home to end our 14-match unbeaten run and signaled the end of our title-tilt. Dyche has his side playing predictiably Pulisian tactics, and we’d do well to prepare for a grueling, gritty affair.

Everton have stumbled out of the gates, it’s true, with three losses (two of those at home) and a draw. Pundits are already pencilling them in as relegation fodder, but that’s arguably the mire in which this Marmite manager loves to wallow. He’s a latter-day Tony Pulis who loves to emphasize the good ol’ days of “proper” British football: keeping eight or nine or ten men behind the ball, hoofing it up the pitch to the big fella, snapping ferociously into tackles, and on and on. It worked well enough for Pulis, who managed to keep Stoke up more often than not, and so the question becomes: will it work for Dyche?

The Pulisian days are largely over. Many of the newly promoted clubs and those hoping to stay up play positive, attacking football: Fulham. Brentford, Nottingham Forest, Leeds, and others have earned promotion and stayed up by getting up the pitch rather than hunkering down. It hasn’t always panned out, but one has to admire their pluck. By stark contrast, Dyche’s Everton, like his Burnley sides, feel like a throwback to late twentieth century First Division football. I can almost picture the Toffees taking to the pitch wearing tall tube socks and too-short shorts.

Having said that, our own recent history should give us plenty of pause. Despite Everton’s atrocius form, we haven’t come away from Goodison Park with three points since October 2017. We’ve taken just one solitary point from five trips. That’s abysmal. Sorry. I’m not in a mood to pull any punches at the moment.

Recent developments should have us feeling even more uneasy. There’s Saka’s apparent Achilles tenderness. Everton’s £26m signing of Beto from Udinese gives their attack a physical presence up top, one that Gabi and Saliba will have to contend with. Beto has already shown signs of being a threat. He scored in his debut in Everton’s League Cup match against League Two Doncaster and earned MOTM honours in his Prem Debut away to Sheffield United.

Sniff or snort as you will against that pedigree, but there are enough echoes of a Pulisian side that parks the bus, hoofs it forward, and hopes for the big guy to do something with it to signal caution. It’s not Crouch, it’s Beto we have to watch out for. There may not be a Rory Delap or a Charlie Adam, but there will be enough old-school, First Division physicality for us to contend thanks to Dyche.

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4 thoughts on “Sean Dyche sees Tony Pulis and says “hold my beer”.

  1. Stuart Wilson

    That’s not a bad post for an opposing fan. Most are just Everton haters. You remember when Arteta took over and your fans hated him,yer now it’s a different story. Imagine being an Everton fan, seeing what has happened over the past 7 years. It’s been abysmal let me tell you. Until we get some form of stability we will never be able to compete at the top table. So far Dyche is providing that albeit with limited resources. We can only hope that somehow Everton will eventually get back up the table and giving all our opposing teams something to think about when they come to face Everton FC.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      Thanks for popping and taking in stride my swipes, most of which are aimed at Dyche himself due to some acrimonious clashes during his Burnley days. Despite my tone, he’s a better manager than his reputation suggests and should do enough to stave off relegation for another season.

      I’ve been watching Everton’s slide with sadness and hope that new ownership allows the club to do more than just stay up. It wasn’t so long ago that the club was a legitimate top-four threat under Roberto Martinez.

  2. Welsh Corgi

    Yepp, terrible stats and quite concerning for tomorrow. Maybe we learnt something from 6 month ago?


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