Tag Archives: Sean Dyche

Let's make Sean Dyche miserable!

Ha. Joke’s on me. He’s already miserable, and that’s not a joke at Everton’s expense. I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a more-miserable manager. Then again, I’d be miserable too if I had spent the last ten years of my life trying to manage Burnley, who somehow succeeded in making me fond for the good old days when it was Stoke’s players who were maiming our players. That felt like a good old-fashioned rivalry, full of top-shelf bantz and good-natured…wait. Somewhere in the midst of taking the piss out of Dyche, I lost track and missed the mark. Let’s re-focus here. Dyche may have been appointed on Monday, but that will have been enough time to instill his, um, tactics in the squad.

Those tactics, such as they are, may worry us more for their potential to literally injure our players rather than figuratively damage our title tilt. It might be good news then that Thomas Partey may not be available. Even with the signing of Jorginho, we can ill-afford a long-term injury to the Ghanaian. Heightening the risk is the idea that this Toffees squad is new to those “tactics”, which, paradoxically, makes those tactics more-dangerous: playing rough does actually require some practice and familiarity. Add clumsiness to ruggedness and you have a recipe for disaster. I’d almost prefer Dyche had more time to explain to his new charges the subtle, nuanced differences between a bone-crunching tackle and a bone-breaking one.

Speaking ahead of the match, Dyche had this to say:

We want the fans to reconnect with us, but that’s easy to say. I’ve got to earn my spurs. I’m a marmite manager anyway – not everyone wants you. We’ve got to put the hard yards in. We want them to support us from the off, even the ones who have angles, questions, if they can park it for a little while and hopefully reconnect with us.

For those unclear, Marmite is something people either love or hate; there’s no in-between. There’s a certain defiantly old-fashioned British-ness to it

Dyche, despite failing to keep Burnley up a year ago, may be the better choice than Bielsa if Everton want to avoid relegation. Even without new signings, Dyche will (eventually) get the Toffees’ defense on firmer footing and may even instill enough of his defiant siege-mentality into this squad that the players start to actually care enough about winning, or at least not losing, to stave off relegation. That of course is none of our concern.

We know that only three points will do, and if that means throwing an anchor at a drowning man, then so be it. I’m actually quite relieved at Dyche’s hiring. Had Everton hired someone like Bielsa, someone who enjoys positive, attacking football, I might have felt a twinge of guilt at battering Everton and sending them one step closer to relegation. Dyche prides himself as the Marmite manager, though, and seems to enjoy being the miserable knob that he is. Some people, as I’ve said before, are only happy when they have something to complain about. That description fits Dyche to a t. It would therefore be impolite of us give him any reason to feel anything remotely resembling joy. Let’s make sure we’re well-mannered guests to Goodison Park and give Dyche exactly what he craves: another reason to crab and grouse and complain.

If you dislike Arsenal's January business, read this…

Some folks, it must be said, are only ever happy when they have something to complain about. It’s as true as it is paradoxical, and Gooners are hardly immune to it. Hell, there are Chelsea fans who are apoplectic about their club’s dealings, and Boehly’s spent close to £600m in the last six months. Apparently, signing enough players to field an entirely new starting XI just isn’t enough for some people. Perhaps they can freak out over the fact that they can only register three of those new signings for their Champions League squad. However, that’s not what we’re here to discuss. We have an actual match to prepare for, and our visitors, already joint-botttom of the table, have decided to sell rather than buy and—get this—hire Sean Dyche (speaking of people who are only ever happy when they’re complaining…).

Everton, sitting bottom of the table and facing relegation for the first time since 1951, made the brave decisions to (a) sell Anthony Gordon for £40m, (b) not spend any of that to sign any new players, and (c) replace Fat Frank with Snipin’ Sean (sorry, best I could do).  Having been appointed on Monday, Dyche probably didn’t have any input into any possible signings, but we’ll still have to keep an eye on what we’ll generously and politely call his “tactics”.

While many of us might be disappoint at our own business in the this window (again, some people are only ever happy…), even the most-pessimistic among us has to admit that Trossard and Jorghino are savvy signings. Having spent something on the order of £30m for the two may feel underwhelming, but each man shores up numerous positions and adds veteran leadership and vital experience. 
Everton, currently starting relegation straight in the face, hired the manager whose club at the time trailed none other than Everton in the relegation squabble just a year ago. Why do I bring all this up? Well, I want to reassure those who are only ever happy when they’re complaining that there’s frequently a gap between an owner’s profligate spending and the squad’s performance on the pitch. Everton’s Farhad Moshiri invested heavily if not wisely (taking notes, are we, Mr. Boehly?), spending £560m on transfers since assuming control of the club in 2016. £560m in seven years seems almost quaint, like something from the olden days. Mr. Boehly, make sure to add that to your notes.
None of this is to suggest that we can simply waltz into Goodison Park on Saturday and have three points handed to us, even if the Toffees have scored a grand total of 15 goals all season and have won just three times. There’s always that new-manager bounce to think about as well as the fact that Everton are now managed by a miserable sod who likes nothing more than for his players to play a little bit rough. 
Given the disarray Everton are, there’s no precious at all on them to do anything but roll over and accept the hiding we’re expected to give them. They’ll sit back, pack the 18 with players, and dare us to find the openings. Mr. Dyche, may I introduce you to Leandro Trossard? The Arsenal tried this novel strategy of signing players who add dimensions to the squad, and Mr. Trossard is really quite good with the ball at his feet, quite good at finding the openings and seams in the parked busses that relegation fodder frequently offer. That’s what happens when you go for players who are available and interested and, it must be said, capable. Of course, he’s the latest addition to a squad whose development has been guided by an overarching vision and long-term planning. Sean—I can call you Sean, can’t I?—the alternative to your stubborn Neanderthal tactics was none other than the mercurial Marcelo Bielsa. If that doesn’t suggest that absence of a plan, I don’t know what will.
We’ve done some sensible business over here. It may not be as sexy as what they’ve done over at Chelsea, but even that amount of spending and “ambition” isn’t enough to satisfy everyone. Some people, Sean, are only ever happy when—well, I’ve said it enough times already for one day. You know where I’m going with this, and I suspect you’re as happy as a pig in—well, this is a family-friendly publication, but you know where I was going with that. We’ll see you on Saturday, yeah? Before you do what you do, just keep in mind that Everton have spent £716m on transfers since 2016, just a few ticks behind Arsenal’s £722m. 
Arsenal are arguably one of the few clubs whose performance has exceeded its expenditure over the last decade, and that holds true even as we’ve “splurged” in the last few windows. The difference between us, Chelsea, and Man U, among others, is that there’s been an actual strategy to the spending. It’s hard to point to many transfers aside from Nicolas Pépé as an out-an-out flop. By comparison with Chelsea, Man U, and, yes, Everton, Arsenal have been prudent, avoiding the splashy signings like Mudryk or Caicedo.
So if we do somehow find a way to win, our critics, be they Dyche, our own fellow Gooners, or anyone else, they can’t (or at least shouldn’t) point to our spending as wasteful or excessive.