Blog Details

Home   /   Dyche-ball: The tactics behind Everton’s resurgence
Embed from Getty Images

‘If you have the ball, keep it. The opposition cannot score’ is an idea that Vic Buckingham, an English manager in the 1960s, implemented that more Premier League managers are adopting.

One of those managers who isn’t however is Sean Dyche.

Dyche’s constant wants for his sides to impress off the ball instead of on it shows the type of character he is. Defending can be described as what you do off the ball, with it requiring discipline – something that Dyche’s sides contain.

During his time at both Burnley and Everton he’s hardly experimented with alternative game plans, sticking to a traditional 4-4-2, and not being overly reliant on possession. FBRef shows that Everton rank 17th in terms of average possession. They also recorded the second least amount of possession in a single Premier League game against Liverpool with just 17% of the ball.

In a recent podcast he said the media suggests you must play good football – and that everyone should play the ‘modern’ way. But combatted this by saying that ‘hard work brings an edge’ suggesting you can just work hard and be rewarded for that.

From a tactical perspective, he likes his teams’ defences to sit back along with the midfield to make it difficult to break through two barricades of 4. However, he likes his strikers to work off scraps, where they will aggressively press to try and create chances for midfield turnovers.

An example of this is Abdoulaye Doucoure, who ranks in the top 1% of ‘forwards’ for Blocks Tackles and Interceptions per 90. Why this is unique, is because Doucoure is traditionally an attacking midfielder or even a central one. However, Dyche’s adaptability to play him as a second striker has worked for him.

This is one of the most interesting things about ‘Dycheball’ is the 4-4-2 to 4-4-1-1 variation. This was expertly displayed in their shock 5-1 win against Brighton last season. His thinking behind his tactics was that transition kills you. So, when you lose the ball, everyone is out of position so you can exploit gaps.

So why haven’t Everton done as well as other teams? The objective for Dyche last season was to keep Everton up, and for Burnley to keep them afloat in the league. However, he wasn’t backed. With his biggest purchase being Beto this season at 25 million, and Wout Weghorst the second but claimed it was funded by the sale of Chris Wood. Although it’s a big chunk of money, it’s not always that simple with transfer opportunities.

Dyche stated on the High-Performance podcast that after the 19/20 season, Burnley could only afford to sign Dale Stephens in a deal worth 750k. In comparison to other Premier League clubs, other clubs around their standing at the time (Sheffield United) spent 60 million pounds in the same transfer window, so to adapt to restrictions, he’s one of the best.

Overall, it’s clear to see that Dyche is a productive manager, who prioritises getting the job done more than winning in an entertaining way, showing how he stands out amongst the rest of the established Premier League managers.

Leave a Reply

Follow Overtime on Twitter

TikTok Feed


May 2024