We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…
Dwight McNeil has “responded really well” to the arrival at Everton of his old Burnley manager in Sean Dyche, according to Kevin Campbell.
The English winger was in and out of the team under Frank Lampard and was booed off during that time [Times, 13 March], but has started every game under the new manager and scored a stunning first-minute winner against Brentford on Saturday (11 March).
Sky Sports pundit Campbell is delighted by the transformation in form from the ex-Claret and has put it down to a familiarity with Dyche’s methods, but still believes a target-man centre forward can get more out of the improving player.
The former Toffees captain exclusively told Goodison News: “He’s responded really well. Dwight McNeil, he knows what’s required doesn’t he?
“He knows the manager, he knows the back-room team, he knows the set-up, the drills, the free kicks and so on.
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“I think he’s been really good the last few games.
“He’s played very well. He’s got that cultured left foot. Probably needs a target in the middle, somebody he can hit.
“But I think his form’s been pretty good.”
At £20million, albeit structured in an affordable manner, the 23-year-old wide man was a significant outlay for a cash-strapped Toffees side in the summer, and proved to be one of only two attacking arrivals in a seriously lacking in firepower alongside Neal Maupay.
The Frenchman’s struggles have continued since Dyche came in but, having scored the winner at the weekend and provided the assist for James Tarkowski’s against Arsenal on 4 February, McNeil has had a direct hand in six crucial points in the relegation battle.
If Dominic Calvert-Lewin could stay fit to get on the end of crosses with his head there is every reason to expect the summer signing to add more goal contributions, so perhaps his move will belatedly prove to be a success.