Tactics Journal

by Kyle Boas

Analyzing football tactics

Sean Dyche has a chat with Dele Alli about Everton's direct play

Sean Dyche gains insight from Dele Alli, who has been observing from the sidelines as he attempts to regain full form to play after being given another chance at Everton.

In an interview with beIN SPORTS, Everton’s manager, Sean Dyche, stated:

“I’ve had a chat with Dele Alli, a great fella. He’s been through a lot. I spoke with him, and I said, ‘Dele, what are your thoughts?’ and he replied, ‘I think you need to clarify with these players when you discuss direct play. I think they believe you mean kicking it forwards, but I know that’s not what you intend.’

He worked under Pochettino who has a similar approach. Pochettino’s style involves direct passing football: turning, playing forward, turning, playing forward. And Dele understood it.

I actually shared the same story with the players, saying, ‘I had a conversation with Dele,’ because I wanted them to realize that Dele is in a really good place now. He’s observing what we do, contemplating it, and he’s absolutely right, Andy.

We aim for direct play in the sense of playing forward first. The quicker you play forward, the better you can dominate the front third of the pitch, not the back third.”

This demonstrates Dele Alli’s maturity and experience, qualities that are needed in a locker room. Ashley Young also possesses this attribute, having been around long enough to understand what a player needs to execute a coach’s plan, drawing from their past experiences.

To convey the intended point, instead of “direct play,” I believe “efficient play” serves as a more appropriate description. Move the ball forward as swiftly as possible, whether on the ground or in the air. Everyone will automatically associate the word “direct” with long balls in the air.

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