Sean Dyche emphasised the importance of going back to basics after his tenure as Everton manager began with a surprise 1-0 win over Premier League leaders Arsenal.
James Tarkowski’s 60th-minute header was the difference as Everton ended an eight-match wait for a Premier League win at the first attempt under Dyche on Saturday, dealing a blow to Arsenal’s title bid.
Dyche thus became just the second boss to beat the Premier League’s leaders in his first match in charge of a new club in the competition, after Alan Curbishley’s West Ham upset Manchester United in 2006.
Speaking to BT Sport after dealing Arsenal their first defeat in 14 Premier League outings, Dyche backed his side to improve as they become more accustomed to his approach.
“It gives us a platform to move forward,” Dyche said. “The performance was key for me. We’ve crammed a lot in this week, and the performance was the first marker.
“We managed to press the game well, I still think we can deal with the ball better, but that comes with confidence and belief in doing the basics well.
“That’s my style, if you like. I want them to understand the basics of the game, but we’ve got some very good players here.”
2 – Sean Dyche is just the second manager to beat an opponent starting the day top in his first Premier League game in charge of a club, after Alan Curbishley’s West Ham beat Man Utd in December 2006. Grit. pic.twitter.com/2mbKpcYalV
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 4, 2023
Everton adopted an aggressive approach from the off at a raucous Goodison Park, and Dyche was delighted with his team’s application in their hard-fought win.
“I’m not knocking what they were trying to do under the last manager, I’ve got my style of working, that’s all it is,” Dyche added.
“We want to make sure everyone knows we are committed to the cause and giving everything.
“For the players, the basic requirements never change. You have to win your battles, win your races, win with commitment to the cause.
“I still think we could improve on our play, but that comes with confidence and confidence usually comes with results.”
Tarkowski’s winner represented his first Premier League goal for Everton, with all eight of his strikes in the competition coming under Dyche’s management (seven for Burnley).
The defender echoed Dyche’s thoughts in his own post-match interview, praising Everton’s determination and describing the win as a potential turning point in their battle for survival.
“It has been tough for us and the fans and for all the staff at the club,” he said. “Hopefully this is the turning point for the club, there is a lot of talent here.
“We’ve lacked that little bit of grit at times and that’s what the fans want. We’ve seen what it’s all about today.”
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