CITY GROUND NOTEBOOK: Home comforts for Sean Dyche and his staff
THE NOTEBOOK: Home comforts for Sean Dyche and his Everton assistants Steve Stone and Ian Woan as they return to familiar territory to claim a point at Nottingham Forest
- Everton drew 2-2 with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground at the weekend
- Sean Dyche and assistants Steve Stone and Ian Woan were on the Forest books
- Dyche has a home in Nottingham and was a regular at Forest home games
Sean Dyche has settled quickly back into life as a Premier League manager and he could not have wished for more familiar territory than the City Ground.
Dyche and his assistants Steve Stone and Ian Woan were on the books at Forest — although Dyche never made a first-team appearance — while Dyche has a home in Nottingham and was a regular at Forest home games between leaving Burnley and joining Everton.
No question of split loyalties here, though, especially as Woan is a lifelong Everton fan and was part of the club’s youth set-up as a player.
Sean Dyche could not have wished for more familiar territory than the City Ground
You wondered what Kevin Campbell would have brought to the party at his peak as both these sides struggled for firepower.
The forward had successful spells with both clubs, scoring nine goals in eight games on loan to keep Everton in the Premier League in 1998-99, having helped Forest to promotion a year earlier.
The former Arsenal striker was diplomatic ahead of this one, though. ‘I just want all my former clubs to do well,’ he said.
FOREST’S FORTRESS BY THE TRENT
Nottingham Forest are undefeated in their last nine Premier League home games (won four, drawn five), with only Manchester United (11) on a longer run.
It is Forest’s best streak at the City Ground in the top flight since a run of 20 matches between February 1995 and January 1996.
FOREST’S HOME RUN
Oct 10: 1-1 v Aston Villa
Oct 22: 1-0 v Liverpool
Nov 5: 2-2 v Brentford
Nov 12: 1-0 v Crystal Palace
Jan 1: 1-1 v Chelsea
12 goals scored, 7 conceded, 17 points
Jan 1: 1-1 vs Chelsea
Jan 14: 2-0 v Leicester
Feb 5: 1-0 v Leeds
Feb 18: 1-1 v Man City
Mar 5: 2-2 v Everton
The wealth in the Premier League has led some to label it ‘the real Super League’. While that might be the case on the balance sheet, it is not so on the pitch.
The football played at the top of the division is as good as anywhere in the world, yet there is plenty of reliable old dross in the bottom half, and much of it was on show here. When those behind the Super League came up with their plan, this was not what they had in mind.
Everton have already collected three fines for scuffles during the season but they are apparently in no mood to change their feisty approach. The Blues took a physical approach from the off and in the second half there were several flashpoints, notably between Morgan Gibbs-White and Dwight McNeil, then Jack Colback and Abdoulaye Doucoure.
All hail cooper’s savvy sidekick
He slipped down the tunnel unnoticed by most supporters after briefly watching the warm-up but, along with manager Steve Cooper, Filippo Giraldi is the key figure at Nottingham Forest in 2023.
The Italian joined as sporting director last October and will have found establishing a clear transfer policy at the City Ground is a bit like herding cats.
Fortunately for Forest, Giraldi is a savvy operator with an impressive contacts book. Having worked for the Pozzo family at Watford, he is also used to working in a fast-changing environment.
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