Dyche receives immediate praise for reviving Everton ‘connection’, as Ferdinand feels survival in reach

Sean Dyche, Everton, February 2023

Rio Ferdinand has praised Sean Dyche for reviving the “connection” at Everton, as he detailed the keys to the Toffees’ survival hopes.

The last couple of seasons have not been the best for Everton. They scraped to Premier League safety by the skin of their teeth last season, avoiding the drop by four points.

Since then, Frank Lampard has been sacked and the divide between fans and the owners has grown.

That the Toffees brought nobody in during January will have done little to solve those problems. What’s more, second-top goalscorer Anthony Gordon was allowed to leave for Newcastle United.

New boss Dyche tried his hand at bringing some new talent to the club in the little time he got in January. But despite a number of promising links, nothing came of the manager’s efforts.

That has left the club staring down the barrel of relegation with half the season to go, wedged in the bottom three, having won just three times all season.

Whether or not a turnaround is on the way remains to be seen, but Dyche has started in fine fashion. A game against the Premier League leaders Arsenal should have been quite the challenge.

However, it seems he’s managed to inspire his troops, as they came away from the massive game with just a fourth league win of the season.

Ferdinand praises Dyche for reviving ‘connection’

Ferdinand feels the Dyche has already got fans back on side, and that’s a key ingredient in the Toffees’ fight for survival.

“But you’ve got to give Sean Dyche and his his coaching staff the credit. These fans and this place, the atmosphere they created was phenomenal today but the players had to really start that with the performance, with the high intensity, with the pressing, the aggression,” he said on BT Sport.

“This is all down to hard work and graft from this Everton team. You look at the players out there now celebrating with the fans, there’s a connection again that you need if you want to survive in this league.”

Indeed, having the fans on side will be important for the remainder of the season. The encouragement that they bring will no doubt inspire the players to better performances.

If the players want to win for the fans, they’ll put in more effort than previously they might have.

Defeating Arsenal is a statement

Winning a game against the Premier League leaders, who have only lost once in the league all season, is a huge statement from Everton.

Indeed, they’ve shown they’ve got what it takes to get back to winning ways. If they can do it against top of the league, they should be able to do it against anyone.

Ferdinand feels the Toffees took the game to Arsenal, and they weren’t a match for their fight.

“They asked Arsenal them questions: can you deal with fight, can you deal with aggression, can you deal with people leaving bits on you in individual battles and duels?” he said.

“The Arsenal team today, they didn’t live up to that, so they [Everton] got their just rewards in that sense.”

Should they continue to play with that sort of fight, Dyche’s men could well escape the drop again.

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