Everton show they have everything Chelsea lack as Dyche makes light work of incohesive Blues

Jason Soutar
Jordan Pickford celebrates after Everton's win against Chelsea.
Jordan Pickford celebrates after Everton's win against Chelsea.

Everton have a clear plan every week, are cohesive, and have players who suit their manager. Chelsea are the complete opposite and that was once again evident at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Other than to keep the ball and hope for the best, Chelsea have no evident style of play under Mauricio Pochettino. Off the pitch, their philosophy is equally as baffling, signing players based on their Football Manager potential, and not how they will suit a Pochettino system.

The Blues have a squad full of individuals and in a season without European football, they ought to be doing a lot better.

Had Everton avoided a points deduction, they would have gone into Sunday’s clash above Chelsea in the Premier League table. A perfect embodiment of the work Sean Dyche is doing at Goodison Park, and further proof that it isn’t all groovy at Stamford Bridge.

Neither Everton nor Chelsea looked like a £1billion team on Sunday but the former certainly looked more like one. You have Jack Harrison and Dwight McNeil outperforming Mykhaylo Mudryk and Cole Palmer, Vitaliy Mykolenko looking like the best left-back in the league when compared to £60m Marc Cucurella, and a pivot of James Garner and Idrissa Gueye/Amadou Onana winning the midfield battle against £200m+ pairing Enzo Fernandez and Moises Caicedo.

There are two key factors to focus on: coaching and recruitment. Dyche has not been in his Toffees post for long enough to fully consider this team to be his but it looks like they have been playing under him for years. He is bringing the best out of a fairly average Premier League squad, making sure the fundamentals are there, which they just aren’t under Pochettino at Chelsea. Sorry to go Lampardian on you there.

Against the bigger sides, the Blues have been impressive this campaign. They were unlucky not to beat Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal at home, but are repeatedly coming unstuck against the weaker teams in the top flight, with all due respect to the Brentfords, Evertons and Nottingham Forests of Our League.

Every negative trend we are witnessing from Pochettino’s Chelsea was on show at Goodison Park on Sunday.

The lack of a focal point up front with Armando Broja given the chance to lead the line this time, the lack of urgency on the ball, and the inability to break down an organised defence has worried Pochettino for months and were all evident in the 2-0 Toffees victory.

Another worry is Reece James – who limped off in the 27th minute. A fabulous player, but a conversation has to be had about his availability. Not right now. But that chat is necessary.

Chelsea captain Reece James at Goodison Park before a Premier League match.

Chelsea’s ineffective game plan saw them come unstuck at Everton – who were happy to soak up any pressure from the Blues’ forwards to try and punish them on the counter, which is what they did to help themselves go four points above their opponents in the top half, if we ignore the 10 points they have been deducted, of course.

Sunday’s result means the Blues have lost more on the road than they have won in 2023/24, and Everton have not even been that impressive at home. They have away from Goodison Park, though, sitting fifth in the away table.

Chelsea have got so far to go under Pochettino and you have to say it is pretty impressive that an owner has spent so much money and made a team so much worse.

Everton, on the other hand, have evidently got a perfect manager for the situation the club has found itself in. They did exactly what they had to do to ensure they would make Chelsea’s journey back to London a miserable one. It wasn’t difficult to do so in the end. It is crazy what a bit of competence can do.

The counter-attacking opener from Abdoulaye Doucoure was the sort of goal you would expect the Toffees to score against Chelsea and the sucker-punch from Lewis Dobbin – what a moment for him, by the way – from a corner was hardly a surprise as well. It was all so predictable.

No cohesion, no bite in the final third, sideways passing, exposed on the counter, Mudryk arguably being their most dangerous player but still being pants, Chelsea’s performances are so concerning.

Ironically, the most fight they showed at Goodison Park was after the full-time whistle when we were given some pathetic handbags involving Nicolas Jackson.

Everton fans will be happy (that’s not a common sentence) to see their team impress under Dyche, who is a man with a plan, and has players who can execute his plan. They are having a better season than Chelsea and there are no signs of that changing. Even with their points deduction, they could still finish above them. Mad, that.

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