Everton have got their Premier League campaign off to a worst start possible amid problems on and off the field.
The Merseyside outfit have picked up just one point from their opening four games, leaving fans in an uncomfortable situation once again. They ended the run of three successive defeats with a point against Sheffield United following a 2-2 draw at Bramall Lane just before the international break.
After back-to-back relegation battles and with Everton’s financial problems worsening, a lot has to change at Goodison Park. However, it is becoming almost impossible to see how Sean Dyche is meant to turn the club’s fortunes around while the off-field issues continue to rumble on.
Regardless, here are three things he must quickly do at Everton to get the season back on track.
- Sort out the defensive problems
Everton already find themselves in the relegation zone after four games and things don’t get easier for Dyche. His next game is at home to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal after the international break.
After four games, three losses and a goal difference of minus six, it is apparent where the immediate problems lie. Jordan Pickford arguably being their best player so far this season speaks volumes about the turmoil the Toffees are in, with the England shot-stopper notably making a series of key saves to help his side get a point away at Sheffield United.
Ashley Young has endured tough opening weeks since joining the club, while James Tarkowski looks lost in defence following Conor Coady’s departure in the summer. Dyche must make bold decisions to bring some spirit and confidence back into the team, and if he feels experienced players like Young and Tarkowski needs dropping against Arsenal, so be it.
- Goalscoring conundrum
Most of the scrutiny has been on Everton’s leaky defence after eight goals conceded in four games; however, there is an argument to be made that the squad’s main problem lies in attack.
Scoring goals was a major problem last season and it still persists, despite the Toffees spending big on strikers such as Youssef Chermiti and Beto. They have scored only two goals and that came in the 2-2 draw with Sheffield United. This goalscoring record does not make for good reading and must be addressed by Dyche.
If needed, the Everton boss must unleash Chermiti or mix up things in the attack that looks weak and toothless at this moment in time.
- Demand more from Amadou Onana
Amadou Onana was among the rare bright spots in an otherwise torrid 2022/23 campaign for Everton. The combative Belgian midfielder showed flashes of his potential but failed to bring consistency to his game, particularly due to the players around him.
Onana is a highly talented player with great potential—and maybe the way to coax him out is for Dyche to give him more responsibility, more expectation. At times the 22-year-old is unplayable. He can carry the team on his back—allow him.