Everton’s wretched winless run continues after Seamus Coleman’s Bournemouth clanger

Seamus Coleman – Everton's wretched winless run continues after Seamus Coleman's Bournemouth clanger

As Seamus Coleman’s 91st minute own condemned Everton to a 12th Premier League game without a win, equalling the worst run in the club’s history, Sean Dyche took a long swig of his water bottle before throwing it to the floor.

A troubling reality was perhaps dawning on him. Everton are becoming as chaotic on the pitch as they are off it.

No wins in 2024, uncertainty over the club’s ownership, it’s finances and a further points deduction a distinct possibility, it will take more than a chocolate egg to have Dyche feeling the joys of spring this Easter Sunday.

The siege mentality which had galvanised Everton following their initial 10 points deduction has evaporated more quickly than the puddles around the sun-drenched Vitality Stadium and majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri this week moved to reassure supporters that the protracted takeover of the club by 777 Partners will still happen and will provide a bright future for the club, despite the Premier League now having taken more than six months to approve the deal.

More urgently, the club must nervously await the outcome of a hearing after facing charges of breaching the Premier League’s profit and sustainability rules for a second time. They have already been deducted six points but a further penalty before the end of the season is what those close to the club feel is the most likely outcome.

“The noise starts building quickly at a club like Everton and you’ve got to deal with the noise,” said Dyche. “The bombardment of social media and everything just keeps on coming. That’s part of what being a footballer and a manager is now.”

Everton manager Sean Dyche during the defeat at Bournemouth
Sean Dyche is still confident Everton can pull away from relegation danger - Reuters/Paul Childs

Dyche approached the post-match press duties with his usual ebullience but inwardly his team’s lack of resilience, something which had become the hallmark of his managerial career, will be deeply troubling. And the altercation with defender Nathan Patterson during the recent training camp in Portugal hardly paints a harmonious picture between players and manager.

“We needed a performance and it was a semi-performance today I thought. I don’t think we’re a million miles away from performances but we can’t make errors like that,” Dyche said, referring to Coleman’s own goal before insisting that “without a shadow of a doubt” his team can still stay up.

The contrast could hardly be more marked for Bournemouth, whose 38 points is the most they have ever had at this stage of the Premier League season, something the club’s new owner may feel vindicates his decision to replace the popular Gary O’Neil with Iraola.

“For us it was a very important win. We have 38 points and we still have nine chances to get more. We still want to win. Now we are going to take the games one by one.”

Dominic Solanke’s opening goal, scored when he headed in from close range after running intelligently between James Tarkowski and Ben Godfrey, was his 16th of the season, the most ever from a Bournemouth player in the Premier League.

Iraola insisted that he has had no significant impact on the former Chelsea and Liverpool striker and that the player is simply realising his obvious potential.

“Dom has been really good since day one that I’ve been here. It’s not like he has improved. He’s played like this all season. He is very complete as a player,” Iraola said.

After a drab first half, Bournemouth led through Solanke’s goal in the 64th minute. Before that, Everton had created little, though Dominic Calvert-Lewin, without a goal since October, saw one shot blocked and one saved in the early stages.

There was little sign of a response from Dyche’s side but Bournemouth goalkeeper Neto gifted a goal to Everton sub Beto, as he dropped the ball at the Portuguese striker’s feet after colliding with Chris Mepham as he attempted to gather Dwight McNeil’s cross.

It looked as though Everton had claimed an undeserved point but, in a further twist, Adam Smith swung a deep cross to the far post where it bounced up and hit Coleman on the chest before dropping over the line, adding to Dyche’s woes.

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