Everton have turned to former Burnley boss Sean Dyche as they look to climb out of the Premier League relegation zone.
The 51-year-old impressed for nearly 10 years at Turf Moor, guiding the Clarets to two Championship promotions and two Premier League first-half finishes on a modest budget.
He also gained legendary status in the Lancashire town by helping Burnley secure their first European qualification in 51 years – leading them to seventh place in the top flight in 2017-18.
But will his pragmatic and hard-working approach revitalize Everton?
BBC Sport spoke to Dean Marney and Sam Vokes, who both enjoyed several successful seasons under the man some know as ‘Ginger Mourinho’, to know what players should expect.
What will Dyche demand from his players?
Marney: “When we really saw the difference it was in pre-season. He demands a lot of fitness level. He was the fittest I’ve ever been in my life and it was the same for lots of players.
“At first he can’t do that, but I think if he can get to the end of the season and stay up, at the start of next season you’ll see a very different Everton team.
“It was a very different group at Burnley and the level of playing was not as high as Everton.
“He tried to introduce his philosophies slowly. Sean wanted to play in the opposing half. It was a contrast to what the players were used to. [under Eddie Howe] but, especially after that first pre-season, you started to realize that it all made sense with our team.
“With Everton, there’s a lot more ego. It’s not as easy to get these players on board quickly. But if someone can do it, they can.”
Vokes: “It was our aim as ‘little old Burnley’ to survive, so when we hit 40 points in January we thought it was time to move on and we finished at 65 and entered Europe. C It was a combination of that culture that he instilled in the players and us believing in what we did.
“He can walk into a club and create that atmosphere that a club like Everton needs right now.”
Will he be able to get the fans on board?
Marney: “He likes to be in control from the top down. He will work closely with the board and try to take the pressure and the spotlight away from the board and bring the fans closer to the players.
“I’m sure a lot of what he says in his press conferences is, ‘Let’s put the fans behind the team and make the fans proud to watch the team play.’ That’s what he did at Burnley. He said: “I promise you that you will have a team that will give everything for the shirt, week after week, win, lose or draw.”
“That’s the problem with the Everton fans at the moment. They feel the players aren’t giving their all, which they probably aren’t. It’s a serious lack of confidence.
“Once you have fans who are not supporting you and on your back, it becomes very difficult. Hopefully he will turn things around.”
Vokes: “He’s the perfect date for Everton at the moment. They’re looking for a bit of stability, and that’s exactly what Sean Dyche brings.
“At Burnley, he created this culture which spread throughout the club, from players to staff, and the fans bought in too. That’s what Everton craves.”
What can Everton expect tactically from Dyche?
Marney: “We played to our strengths. We weren’t going to play Manchester City and play each other in a pure game of football. But I’m pretty sure if you asked 90 per cent of the teams if they liked playing at Burnley, they would say no.
“His thing was to make good players – and eventually, week after week he met better players – as uncomfortable as possible, whether it was playing a bit more directly, picking up second balls, first touches…
“It was always done with a purpose and very clearly thought out. Whether it was playing in the side with a particular centre-half, turning the full-back, it was always to put their best players in trouble .
“We worked a lot on tactics, especially in the first pre-season we had. There were certain triggers that we all knew. It wasn’t as brutal as people tried to make it out to be. “
Vokes: “People attach a stigma to the way Dyche plays, but at Burnley we played for results. Defensively we pressed forward, and in the Championship we were an attacking side.
“For any manager who had the budget that Burnley had, staying in the Premier League for seven years was impressive.”
How does it operate behind the scenes?
Marney: “He’s very honest, very open and you can talk to him about anything. If you had something to discuss – a problem or why you weren’t in the team – he would be 100% honest. As players, that’s all you can ask for.
“Winning, losing or drawing is pretty much the same. People think he’s a bit tough but I’ve only seen him lose once or twice. He’s very calm.
“He’s a very good manager. If you have any problems, one of his main concerns is ‘family first’. He tried to create a happy environment. He did that at Burnley and the players , he and the fans were one.
“With the Everton fans, if you do that you’re halfway there because when they’re behind you they’re up there with the best fans.”
Vokes: “He’s a very measured man. When you come to half-time, he sits down with the staff and lets the players calm down and then has a reasonable conversation.
“He’s very calm and composed and gets his points across.”
Analysis – Above all, Dyche is a pragmatist
Simon Stone, BBC Sport football journalist
When I sat in one of Dyche’s lengthy and usually light-hearted pre-match press conferences, he spoke lyrically about his belief that there was nothing to be gained from goalkeeper practice. from goal to play short to defenders dangerously close to their own goal, then taking positions where they could receive passes.
It wasn’t because he was against building the game from behind. That’s because, with one of the smaller budgets in the top flight, he faced teams with better players. Against superior opposition with players of high speed and technical ability, the risk of taking risks near your own goal was high, Dyche explained, so why do it?
Dyche likes his teams to be aggressive and fast. If Burnley didn’t score many goals, he would say it was because, financially, top strikers were unattainable. His central midfield tended to be organized to provide extra protection in defence, so the support further up the pitch wasn’t always there.
These are clear views. It’s also clear in his mind that, given the chance, he could do a better job if he had better players. Dyche’s body of work suggests this is true.
Obviously, his first task will be to keep Everton in place. In Michael Keane, James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil, he has three players he already knows. It’s fair to assume he did a lot of research on the rest. If he succeeds or fails, by the summer he will be in a much better position to start building something meaningful next season.
Should Everton fall, Dyche – with two promotions on his CV – could conceivably be trusted to lead a quest for promotion, especially as Everton would benefit from parachute payments. If they remain standing, he will surely have earned the right to continue his work.