What can FPL managers expect from Sean Dyche’s Everton?

4-4-2, “touch and go” team news updates, nicknames that end in ‘y’…

There’s always been a degree of mirth around Sean Dyche, his supposedly primitive tactics and his gravelly utterings but he was a hugely effective manager for Burnley for the best part of 10 years.

Now he takes the Everton manager’s job after the departure of Frank Lampard, signing a two-and-a-half-year contract with the Toffees.

He inherits a team sitting 19th in the table and a squad almost completely overlooked by Fantasy Premier League (FPL) managers.

So, can Dyche transform Everton’s fortunes and put the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) back on the FPL radar? This Scout Report outlines the Herculean task that awaits him.


After an 18-year playing career came to an end in 2007, Dyche joined the coaching staff at Watford. Spells as both the under-18 manager and the senior team’s assistant boss preceded him taking the head coach role at Vicarage Road, where he was to last just one season.

Dyche guided the Hornets to an 11th-place Championship finish in 2011/12, their best in four years, with some initial teething problems giving way to a run of just six defeats in the final 30 fixtures of the campaign.

That wasn’t enough to save his job: enter the Pozzos and their hire-and-fire approach, with Dyche becoming their first victim before a ball had been kicked in 2012/13.

Watford’s loss turned out to be Burnley’s gain, with the Clarets getting promoted to the Premier League in Dyche’s first full season in charge.

Demotion from the top flight happened in 2014/15 but an immediate promotion back to the big time followed the next year, with Burnley then enjoying five relegation-free seasons under Dyche in the Premier League before they finally dropped down in 2021/22. The Clarets dispensed with their long-serving manager’s services in April 2022, in a failed last-ditch attempt to beat the drop.

Season Division Played Won Drawn Lost Scored Conceded Points Position
2012–13 Champ 46 16 13 17 62 60 61 11th
2013–14 Champ  46 26 15 5 72 37 93 2nd
2014–15 Prem  38 7 12 19 28 53 33 19th
2015–16 Champ  46 26 15 5 72 35 93 1st
2016–17 Prem 38 11 7 20 39 55 40 16th
2017–18 Prem 38 14 12 12 36 39 54 7th
2018–19 Prem 38 11 7 20 45 68 40 15th
2019–20 Prem 38 15 9 14 43 50 54 10th
2020–21 Prem 38 10 9 19 33 55 39 17th
2021–22 Prem  38 7 14 17 34 53 35 18th


Season Goals conceded (rank) Clean sheets (rank) Shots conceded (rank) Shots in the box conceded (rank) Big chances conceded (rank) Expected goals conceded (xGC) (rank)
2016/17 55 (11th) 10 (=11th) 672 (19th) 369 (18th) 52 (7th) n/a
2017/18 39 (6th) 12 (7th) 570 (19th) 330 (18th) 58 (8th) 52.36 (13th)
2018/19 68 (16th) 8 (=12th) 653 (20th) 387 (19th) 84 (15th) 62.69 (19th)
2019/20 50 (=9th) 15 (3rd) 539 (=14th) 320 (11th) 64 (=6th) 50.62 (8th)
2020/21 55 (15th) 11 (=11th) 570 (18th) 358 (18th) 73 (=12th) 55.56 (15th)
2021/22 53 (10th) 9 (=10th) 603 (19th) 394 (19th) 71 (12th) 64.91 (15th)

The story here is that Dyche-era Burnley tended to concede a lot of shots but not nearly as many ‘big chances’, so there were plenty of clean sheets and save points to go around.

It led to the likes of Nick Pope and Tom Heaton racking up some tidy FPL scores, with Pope’s return of 170 points in 2019/20 – from a starting price of £4.5m – a memorable one.

There was even mitigation for a porous 2018/19 campaign, with Dyche later admitting that he had underestimated the effect of European football on his squad: an uncharacteristically high 41 goals had been conceded by the halfway point of that season.

Season Goals scored (rank) Shots (rank) Shots in the box (rank) Big chances (rank) Expected goals (xG) (rank)
2016/17 39 (17th) 392 (18th) 214 (19th) 38 (17th) n/a
2017/18 36 (15th) 378 (=15th) 245 (12th) 43 (=18th) 32.80 (18th)
2018/19 45 (=14th) 360 (20th) 253 (16th) 67 (13th) 45.19 (15th)
2019/20 43 (12th) 387 (18th) 264 (=15th) 80 (7th) 48.47 (11th)
2020/21 33 (18th) 384 (17th) 234 (17th) 56 (16th) 39.97 (16th)
2021/22 34 (=18th) 407 (17th) 264 (17th) 54 (17th) 45.24 (16th)

Burnley never scored more than 45 goals in a single Premier League season under Dyche, while they were generally bottom-half material for most of the key metrics listed above.

But from a Fantasy perspective, the good thing was that we generally knew where the goals were coming from: in all five seasons from 2016/17 to 2020/21, at least one of his forwards hit 10 goals or more.

No midfielder scored more than three goals in any of those campaigns, meanwhile.



Above: How Everton could line up in Gameweek 22

This one’s easy…

From his very first match in charge of Watford in August 2011 to his last fixture at the helm of Burnley in April of last year, Dyche has almost exclusively favoured a 4-4-2.

There have been variations and slight tweaks (a 4-4-1-1, for example) but barring the very, very occasional dalliance with a wing-back system, Dyche has remained faithful to his Mike Bassett-approved set-up for over a decade.

There’s even a detailed Masterclass video devoted to Dyche’s use of a 4-4-2, which is embedded below.


Season Goals scored (rank) Shots (rank) Shots in the box (rank) Big chances (rank) Expected goals (xG) (rank)
2022/23 15 (19th) 198 (19th) 129 (17th) 28th (=16th) 20.44 (16th)

Season Goals conceded (rank) Shots conceded (rank) Shots in the box conceded (rank) Big chances conceded (rank) Expected goals conceded (xGC) (rank)
2022/23 28 (=11th) 320 (19th) 220 (20th) 42 (12th) 36.98 (19th)

Everton’s numbers this season actually already look quite Dychean.

At the back, lots of shots are being conceded but not quite as many big chances or goals.

And up top, the goals have been in short supply. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers have scored on fewer occasions than the Toffees in 2022/23 so far.


We’re almost certainly not going to get free-flowing attacking football with Dyche in the Everton hotseat, something that may have happened if Marcelo Bielsa had taken the job as initially rumoured.

“We want to put out a team that works, that can fight and wear the badge with pride, beyond the tactical and technical.

“I’m not questioning any manager who has been here before, I’ve got to imprint my feeling and my style on it and that’s part of what I do.

“But it starts with hard graft, literally the hard yards. We have to fast-track it. We want truth and honesty and they will certainly get that from me.” – Sean Dyche

With Arsenal and Liverpool up first for Dyche, expect the bulk of the work to be on going back to basics off the ball (“hard yards”, “keep them one side”, “how crunched can we make the pitch” etc) in Gameweeks 22 and 23.

As for who might prosper in FPL in a Dyche-led Everton squad, there’ll be hopes that Jordan Pickford (£4.4m) can become the latest goalkeeper to benefit from the ample save/bonus point opportunities and occasional clean sheet that Burnley custodians enjoyed under their former boss.

On past evidence, there’ll be little of note to interest managers in midfield or at full-back. Dwight McNeil (£5.1m), who now reunites with his old boss, did provide seven assists in 2019/20, but in most part it was industry rather than invention behind the strike pairing.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.9m) and an ‘out of position’ Demarai Gray (£5.3m) could well be Dyche’s front two at Goodison Park this weekend, with Gray taking on the support striker role occupied by the likes of Jeff Hendrick and Maxwel Cornet at Burnley, although Neal Maupay (£5.9m) is of course on the books if Dyche desires for a more orthodox strike pairing.

Calvert-Lewin’s aerial ability seems like a good match for his new manager.

Burnley were top-seven material for headed goal attempts/goals in each of Dyche’s last five seasons in charge – and when you bear in mind how unremarkable the rest of their attacking numbers were (ie 20th for goal attempts in 2018/19), it’s clear how much they relied on this approach:

Headed goal attempts (rank) Headed goals (rank)
2017/18 110 (1st) 11 (=6th)
2018/19 100 (2nd) 14 (=2nd)
2019/20 93 (6th) 9 (=5th)
2020/21 93 (=5th) 9 (=7th)
2021/22 100 (2nd) 11 (5th)

Gray, responsible for many of Everton’s set pieces this season, could also benefit, with the corner-taking Ashley Westwood and Johann Berg Gudmundsson racking up the assists at Burnley in previous campaigns, helped by their roles at dead-ball situations.

All of this is well and good but the question has to be asked about just when Everton assets would be under serious FPL consideration, as they don’t really get a sustained run of favourable games between now and the end of 2022/23.

In fact, they meet all of the current top 10 over the coming 15 Gameweeks, with an-as-yet unscheduled rematch against Arsenal to throw in somewhere too:

Gameweek 24-27 doesn’t look bad, with a guaranteed fixture in Blank Gameweek 28 as further incentive, but Dyche would really have to hit the ground running with his new troops for the Toffees to be considered a transfer priority over that period.

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