Sean Dyche has called on his Everton players to be more clinical while maintaining consistency ahead of Sunday’s clash against Arsenal.
In Friday's pre-match press conference at Finch Farm, Dyche emphasised the need for his team to capitalise on their attacking opportunities, suggesting making the most of the “key moments” has been his side’s biggest challenge so far this season.
The Toffees welcome the Gunners to Goodison Park for Sunday’s game (4.30pm BST kick-off), and it’s a fixture that holds history for Dyche, who, in February of this year, steered Everton to a 1-0 victory in his first game in charge of the Blues.
Despite strong performances so far this season, Everton have been unlucky to collect a point from their opening four matches. Discussing what is needed to earn a result this weekend, Dyche explained: “We want the performance levels to stay high and the basic structure of the team has to be good, of course. The work ethic of the team has to be good against all sides, and particularly sides like Arsenal.
“Equally, finding your key moments. I think that’s probably been the biggest challenge we’ve faced so far this season. We haven’t been clinical enough to take hold of games at the key times.
“Last season [against Arsenal at Goodison Park] we were in good shape and stayed committed to cause. At that stage, it was a big game, a big moment, and every player’s nose was pointing in the right direction. They were all playing on the edge. That’s what we want. We want every player doing that all the time.”
Suggesting how a result against Mikel Arteta’s men could reflect positively on previous performances, Dyche added: “The oddest thing so far this season has been the performance level against the points on the board.
“If we can get the result we all want, then all it does is reinforce all the good performances so far this season. You get your payback for the consistency.”
The need to take chances has been a common theme for Everton during their opening four league matches, in which the Blues have netted twice despite totalling the fourth most shots on target so far in the Premier League.
The efforts on goal are from dangerous areas too, with the Blues recording the league’s fifth highest non-penalty expected goals figure.
Dyche and Evertonians alike will be hoping the addition of Beto could help to improve the Toffees’ goalscoring attempts.
Signed in August of this year, the Portuguese striker could be set for a Goodison debut on Sunday, and Dyche has been impressed with attitude of the 25-year-old.
“I think he’s added a different feel,” said Dyche on Beto’s impact at Finch Farm. “He’s quite quiet, actually, but the way he goes about it, and the way he trains – he’s got a lovely rawness about him so far and he just wants to take everything on. He’s very open-minded and I think he’s shown that in his performances so far, and he’s shown that in training.
“We certainly want to allow him to build on that because, the strange thing about football is, you want players to be polished, but you don’t want them to lose that raw edge.
“I think he will become more polished as a player, but he’s definitely got that rawness and that desire to do well. I think that’s a great thing to have, especially coming into the Premier League.”
A few hours before the press conference began, Everton released a statement to announce that 777 Partners has signed an agreement with Farhad Moshiri to acquire his full stake in the Club.
Asked for his reaction, Dyche replied: “The news this morning was breaking to me as well. I knew some noise about it, but not the actual details. I’m sure, in due course, I will speak to whoever I need to, but at this stage, it’s too early for all of that.
“There’s no impact on me or the players at the moment. I was aware something may be happening, but I know as much as you from this morning. I know there’s ongoing checks from the Premier League, and the likes, so that’ll take some time.”