At the time of writing, things are looking rather perilous for Everton in terms of their Premier League survival. Just past the halfway point of their league campaign, the Toffees have amassed a mere 15 points from their 20 games. Currently in 19th position on 15 points, they are only above rock-bottom Southampton on goal difference.
The board acted to sack Frank Lampard and bring in a replacement in the form of Sean Dyche. The question is, can the former Burnley man keep Everton in the top flight, or is the task already insurmountable?
We’ll get to the question of whether Dyche will pull off a successful Houdini mission shortly, but first, let’s take a brief look at who Sean Dyche is and why he’s qualified to lead Everton’s charge for survival.
Who Is Sean Dyche?
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Sean Mark Dyche was born in Kettering in 1971 and began his football career as a youth at Nottingham Forest who were then managed by the late, great Brian Clough. He never made it to the Forest first team, but moved to Chesterfield and played over 200 times, scoring eight goals between 1990 and 1997. He played at centre back for several clubs over the following decade including Millwall, Watford and Northampton Town, before retiring and moving into coaching.
He got his first job as the under-18 coach at former club Watford, then got promoted to assistant manager under Malky Mackay in 2009. A couple of years later, Mackay left the club and Dyche got the nod to fill the manager’s role. Dyche led Watford to a top-half finish in the Championship, but – as has become the Watford way in recent times – the club gave him the axe.
Dyche wasn’t out of a job for long though and he replaced Eddie Howe as the Burnley boss in September. He stayed there for almost a decade and guided the side to the Premier League after finishing second in the Championship in the 2013/14 season. It was tough in the top flight for the relative minnows Burnley and they promptly got relegated, but the Burnley board kept the faith with Dyche.
He repaid their confidence by leading the club back to the Premier League the following season by winning the Championship title. They spent the next six seasons in the top flight and even qualified for Europe thanks to their league placing in 2017/18. Sadly for them and Dyche, they got relegated at the end of the 2021/22 season, though the boss was shown the door a month before the season concluded.
|Team||From / To||Games||Won||Drew||Lost|
|49||17 (34.7%)||17 (34.7%)||15 (30.6%)|
|425||149 (35.1%)||118 (27.8%)||158 (37.2%)|
On the face of it, win percentages of around 35% are not going to install a great deal of confidence in the many nervous Everton fans who fear for their club. But then Lampard only managed a win percentage of 27.3% in his time at Goodison, so it would at least be an improvement on that. And if you convert the win and draw percentages into possible points per game (ignoring the fact that some of those were cup games), Dyche would have earned an average of 1.33 points per game for Burnley. In his time as Everton boss, Lampard earned the equivalent of just a single point per game (and even less than that based on the current league campaign). The question is, even if Dyche does better than Lampard, will it be enough to save Everton?
What Are Everton’s Chances of Surviving in the Premier League?
If the bookies are to be believed, Everton’s days in the top flight are somewhat numbered and they are odds-on to be playing in the Championship next term. But football sure is a funny old game and bookies’ odds have been very wrong on numerous occasions (just ask Leicester fans about that!).
With 18 games remaining (at the time of writing) and with just 15 points on the board, it seems likely the Toffees will require at least another 20 points to have even a chance of staying up. Even that would only put Everton on 35 points, which – coincidentally – was how many Burnley managed last term then they were relegated. But it would have been more than enough the season before when just 29 points were required for survival.
Looking at the last six seasons, 35 points would have been enough to survive in all but one of the relegation scraps.
Minimum Number of Points Required to Avoid Relegation from the Premier League
- 2021/22 – 36
- 2020/21 – 29
- 2019/20 – 35
- 2018/19 – 35
- 2017/18 – 34
- 2016/17 – 35
Indeed, if Dyche is able to perform as well for Everton as he did on average at Burnely, earning 1.33 points per game, the Toffees will be in with a decent chance of staying up. Following that trend would give Everton an additional 23.94 points from their remaining 18 games, but let’s be generous and round it up to 24 points, to give a grand total of 39 points by the end of the season. A team hasn’t been relegated with 39 points on the board since Birmingham City in the 2010/11 campaign. So come on, Everton fans, there’s real cause for optimism, right?
Dyche: Savior or Desperate Measure?
Time will tell whether Sean Dyche is able to guide Everton to safety in the coming weeks and months. But having kept a club the size of Burnley in the Premier League for so long against the odds, we think he certainly has as good a chance as anyone. Oh, it might not be a good idea to mention to Everton fans which team Dyche supported as a child (hint: they play in red!).