Calvert-Lewin accepts responsibility of being Everton No 9

Thursday, 22 August, 2019 85comments  |  Jump to last

Dominic Calvert-Lewin says that it is an honour not a burden to wear the iconic No 9 jersey at Everton.

The 22-year-old selected the number after Sandro Ramirez departed on another loan assignment in La Liga, this time with Valladolid, switching from the No 29 he has worn since breaking into the first team.

While the No 9 shirt assumed legendary status at Goodison Park following the goalscoring exploits down the years from the likes of Dixie Dean, Dave Hickson, Alex Young, Bob Latchford, Graham Sharp and Duncan Ferguson, it has been tarnished in recent years by Sandro and Arouna Koné who managed just six league goals between them.

Although Calvert-Lewin didn't quite manage double figures last term, he has been entrusted as the Blues' starting centre-forward so far this season by manager Marco Silva and he is looking to open his account when Everton visit Aston Villa tomorrow night.

"It is a dream come true to wear the No 9 shirt,” Calvert-Lewin told Sky Sports News. “It is such a big club with a great history and it is something that you dream of as a kid.

"With such a big number comes a great responsibility so I have to accept that on my shoulders and live with what comes with it, good and bad.

"It is not a burden, it is just part and parcel of being a No 9.”

"Being in the best league in the world you are expected to score goals. I am disappointed when that doesn't happen but that is not to say I'm not working on it and trying to improve every day.

"I have been here three years now and I … have definitely grown to be in the position that I am in now in order to try and lead the line as best as I can."


Reader Comments (85)

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Amit Vithlani
1 Posted 22/08/2019 at 06:03:29
Good physique, improving hold up play, strong on the ball. Has all the attributes of a good Number 9. Sandro most certainly did not, whilst Kone was horribly injury prone to carry the burden.

Hopefully a couple of goals in the next two or three games will add early season confidence and the lad can kick on and really bloom.

Bill Gienapp
2 Posted 22/08/2019 at 06:21:23
"... it has been tarnished in recent years by Sandro and Arouna Koné who managed just six league goals between them."

Selling Kone a bit short there, considering he scored all six of them himself, LOL.

Karl Masters
4 Posted 22/08/2019 at 06:47:30
Many moons ago, a young Graeme Sharp took quite a while to convince the Goodison faithful, probably took him 3 or 4 years in truth, but what a player he became.

I can see similarities between the two.

Paul Smith
5 Posted 22/08/2019 at 07:07:42
Love that piece on Brands. Simply indispensable!
Sam Hoare
6 Posted 22/08/2019 at 07:09:09
A lot will rightly point to his lack of goals and it's true he needs to work on his finishing.

But he's not missed many chances yet bar the header against Palace. The creativity has not been there. And I don't think that's his fault. Though perhaps there's an argument to make that his movement and anticipation in the box could be better?

It will be interesting to see how Kean does but I'm not yet convinced he will score more than Calvert-Lewin because currently the rest of the team are not creating enough chances.

Things are yet to click for us this season in attack but it will be interesting to see which striker/system is being used when it does.

Mike Gaynes
7 Posted 22/08/2019 at 07:19:01
Sam #6, not sure Calvert-Lewin actually "missed" the header against Palace -- watching the replay I saw it deflect off a defender's head after his, and probably should have been a corner.

Frank Sheppard
8 Posted 22/08/2019 at 07:24:39
Good words from Calvert-Lewin. He now must move towards consistent deeds this season, as the team is potentially better, so he might get more chances. He also faces competition from Kean who offers different options, and let's not forget he is a goal-scoring full Italian international.
Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:26:17
Dominic, don't you dare let the burden of wearing the No 9 shirt get to you, I've seen more poor players than great or even good ones in that No 9 shirt.

Carry on playing the way you are, learn as you play, the goal rate will improve and so will your game. Plenty of Evertonians are happy with how you are coping, some are not and they are entitled to their opinion but you can bet they want you to do well for our team.

Paul Burns
10 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:30:34
Graeme Sharp didn't take 3 or 4 years to convince anyone, he scored 2 in his first game as a practical unknown and looked the finished article immediately.
James Marshall
11 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:45:00
I never really get all this stuff about the shirt number. As a striker, you obviously want to score goals, it's why you're in the team, regardless of what number it says on your back.

Do you think players really run about thinking, "I'm wearing the No 9 shirt, I have to score today"? It's all just made-up fan-hype isn't it? In reality, I mean. On game day.

If Calvert-Lewin was wearing the No 11 shirt and playing the same role, would he run around thinking, "Oh I'm wearing No 11 today, no problem if I don't score"? Point being, surely performance and the shirt number have no real direct correlation whatsoever.

Whatever shirt he wears, his numbers aren't great when it comes to putting the round thing in the square thing.

Dave Williams
12 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:52:14
I remember an early match report saying that “young Sharp was clearly out of his depth”. He was centre-forward in Kendall's young team that couldn't score a goal to save its life – around 1982-83, I think.

We then had the Heath goal at Oxford which gave them some confidence but what did it for Sharp was Gray. He taught him the dark arts of how to back into a centre-back and how to look after himself against the hard men, and Graeme started scoring the scruffy goals from close in to add to the more spectacular ones he had notched against Spurs and Man Utd and then of course that goal at Anfield. He was only potential until he was 22/23 and then he really blossomed, and I expect the same with Calvert-Lewin.

Dominic must be the hardest working striker in the Premier League, holds the ball up well, can go past defenders and is decent in the air. He could do with blasting the ball sometimes rather than trying to slip it past the goalie but he is doing fine.

Kean is going to need help up front and I would love to see the two of them play together. Whether that would mean a 4-3-3 or whatever, I would leave to the more tactically aware – Steve Ferns may have better insight on this – but the boy is doing alright and I do wish punters would get off his back. Some in the crowd tried to destroy Joe Royle before he matured, Heath and Lineker got dreadful abuse at first... encourage DCL and see how he will improve!!

James Marshall
14 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:58:47
There's also a lot of talk on here about Graeme Sharp, and how things used to be - that's typically old hat thinking from Evertonians (please, no offence meant). Football today is a VERY different game to the one we were so good at in the 80's so it's isn't entirely relevant, unless you want to watch a centre forward play the way they did back then.

That role only really exists if you want to play Allardyce-style football. Modern teams don't play with a target man; in fact, they have a fluid front 3 most of the time. Look at the very best teams, rarely do they have a larger, battering ram style forward up top. It's all smaller, low centre of gravity players with quick feet and skill these days.

Long gone are the days of a traditional Number 9.

Ray Smith
15 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:00:20
I'm not a great lover of Calvert-Lewin, however, I would like to see him start tomorrow night with Kean on the bench. I would then like to see Kean start against Lincoln with Calvert-Lewin on the bench.

Lincoln is not a match to make comparisons between the two of them, but would IMO give us a good indication who should be our number one striker.

Calvert-Lewin has been given a fair crack of the whip but, for a number of reasons highlighted on numerous TW threads, he just hasn't produced the goods.

If he scores tomorrow night, I'll post an apology.

David Milner
16 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:29:31
DCL has everything to his game but clinical finishing. Remember Harry Kane was just like that at a similar age.
Pat Kelly
17 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:36:35
He has had plenty of chances but doesn't deliver. He's not up to it.
James Marshall
18 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:42:19
David - that statement about Harry Kane is simply not true I'm afraid.

Harry Kane's Premier League stats are as follows (he's 26 now):

2018-19 - 28 games, 17 goals, age 25.
2017-18 - 37 games, 30 goals, age 24.
2016-17 - 30 games, 29 goals, age 23.
2015-16 - 38 games, 25 goals, age 22.
2014-15 - 34 games, 21 goals, age 21.

Kane has always been a clinical finisher.

Calvert-Lewin's stats in the Premier League:

2018-19 - 35 games, 6 goals, age 21.
2017-18 - 32 games, 4 goals, age 20.
2016-17 - 11 games, 1 goal, age 19.

No comparison in my view.

Kim Vivian
19 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:50:10
Indisputable James, but I wonder how many goals Harry Kane would have scored for us from 2016-2019.

It would be really nice to see Calvert-Lewin functioning in a better-drilled side surrounded by better quality, better managed players – ie, where we are heading now... With any luck!

Brent Stephens
20 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:55:20
Listen to the interview (hour-long?) with Brands on the official Everton site. Very good. I think this is where the BBC stuff is taken from. Puts into context all the guff we get about a lack of planning and contingencies when a signing doesn't come off.
Dave Abrahams
21 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:03:29
James (20), play the game, you've got Harry's goals and games from when he was 21, Dominic's from when he was 19.

Let's see Harry's goals and games from when he was 19, also the teams he was with.

Jerome Shields
22 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:09:38
Calvert-Lewin does a good job leading the line. Better than anyone else up to now in the Silva system. Kean looks promising in his first two outings.

In the context of Everton's overall tactics, the No 9 position is key to Silvas system and Silva will continue to value Calvert-Lewin's contribution.

Mike Allison
23 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:13:13
So now DCL's crime is not being as good as Harry Kane?!
Michael Lynch
24 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:20:03
Bearing in mind that Kean was bought as a Number 9, I wonder where Brands and Silva see Calvert-Lewin next season, rather than right now?

Is he the sort of player Brands would have bought himself? My guess is that over the next couple of transfer windows, we'll see more non-Brands players being moved on and replaced with his own choices, to create a small but hand-picked squad.

Do Brands and SIlva expect more goals from Kean than they get from DCL? If so, what will DCL's role be in the future, if he carries on being a low-scoring forward this season?

James Evans
26 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:11:23
I like Dom. I can definitely see an improvement in his game in the last 12 months: he is stronger and holds the ball up brilliantly and brings others into play, with very similar grace to how Sharpy used to. I can't help thinking that he needs to be more decisive and make more movement into the box, and the six-yard box particularly, just his presence can unsettle defenders and the goalkeeper. He needs to be more direct.

I agree with the references to Sharpy, who did take a while to turn into the player he was, and you must credit Andy Gray's influence there. The same can happen with Dom, as Dunc is his mentor, it's just goals he's lacking.

To me this is the only way the goals will come unless we start to put more crosses over for him. I can't help thinking that he is a bit of a throwback to the target man and unfortunately as the game has moved on and now only one centre-forward is preferred, he's somewhat out of place in the team without a strike partner.

The flack he receives is unwarranted and the lad gives his all every week. I feel for him and wish a goal would come his way, then we might see a more confident player.

John Davies
27 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:22:45
James Marshall #20. Spot on mate. There is zero comparison between Calvert-Lewin and Harry Kane. Calvert-Lewin is athletic and brave but doesn't score goals and - IMO - never will.

"I have been here three years now and I have definitely grown to be in the position that I am in now in order to try and lead the line as best as I can." says Calvert-Lewin.

Goal scoring is what the no 9 shirt is about and 3 years waiting for that not to happen is time enough.

A very decent lad but we need more than that.

COYB !!!

James Marshall
28 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:23:43
Dave@23. Kane had a lot of loan spells when he was younger, something Calvert-Lewin should probably have had, but hasn't. Maybe that's the difference, but DCL does not appear to be a clinical finisher regardless.

2011 - Leyton Orient (loan) 18 games, 5 goals
2012 - Millwall (loan) 22 games, 7 goals
2012–2013 - Norwich City (loan) 3 games, 0 goals
2013 - Leicester City (loan) 13 games, 2 goals

These stats don't really help in my view, since they were on loan in different leagues. I can't compare Kane with DCL side by side because DCL is still only 22, but the point still stands as far as I'm concerned. Kane has always been a clinical finisher.

To give you an idea, when he played for Spurs Under-18s, he scored 18 goals in 22 games.

Scott Hall
29 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:36:36
All these comments about Calvert-Lewin not missing chances because the supply hasn't been there. That being the case, it's a surprise Barcelona haven't snapped him up because in their team, thanks to the supply of Messi et al, he'd be getting chances galore.

It's nothing to do with it: the lad doesn't get into the positions to score, he doesn't make the right runs, and when he does get the occasional chance, he doesn't take them.

Sorry, he's simply not good enough. There are no prizes for being nice. Small club mentality.

Derek Knox
30 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:08:46
I like DCL as most do and can't fault him for his graft, and general play, but also agree with that the chances he does get, he should be converting more of them.

I know most games are 100mph these days, and chances are limited, but he is NOT a natural finisher, whether it be on the ground or in the air. Mind you he is a converted midfield player, I still hope he improves, and it has not really been tried with him alongside a partner upfront.

Slightly off topic but David Pearl has posted, under General Forum in an attempt to rejuvenate the TW Golf Day, it may be that those who may be interested haven't spotted it yet. (Sorry Eds)

Jimmy Hogan
31 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:25:23
Once Kean is fully integrated, I expect Calvert-Lewin to play as many games this season as Baines did last season.
Geoff Lambert
32 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:41:23
Scott Hall #33

Nail and head mate.

Not good enough and never will be.

Andrew Keatley
33 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:49:39
James Marshall (20 and 32) – As Kim Vivian and Dave Abrahams point out, I'm not sure you are playing fair.

When Harry Kane had his first season of success at Spurs (2014/15), it came somewhat out of nowhere. None of his loan spells had been particularly successful, and there were a lot of articles that were suggesting that Kane was going to be a one-season wonder and Spurs would regret not bringing in a top-level striker in that summer transfer window (they got rid of the misfiring Adebayor and Soldado, and brought in Son). We all know how that decision worked out.

For me, the striking difference (excuse the pun) between Kane and Calvert-Lewin is that Kane has always had the goal in his sights. Doesn't matter if he's 40 yards out or in the six-yard box, his thoughts seem to be – "Can I score from here?"

Calvert-Lewin seems to think differently – perhaps because he lacks Kane's explosive two-footed shooting skills.

I've said this before on here, but I vividly remember watching Kane for the England Under-20 side and thinking he would never progress the way he has. Barkley and Lundstram were both in the team, Chris Long on the bench, and Kane looked slow, cumbersome, unaware, and repeatedly seem to get the ball stuck between his feet.

I'm not saying Calvert-Lewin is going to set the Premier League alight with his scoring exploits over the next ten years, but I do think it is possible – Harry Kane showed me that – and as (hopefully) the team around Calvert-Lewin improves, so will he.

Andrew Keatley
34 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:12:50
Geoff (36) – What's it like in the future, mate? Does your ability to go back and forth stretch beyond whether Calvert-Lewin makes it as a Premier League player – or is that it?
Jerome Shields
35 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:58:36
The Silva System consisted of a high press, a high turnover defending midfield and was dependent on a faster counter-attack, at the end of last season.

The Silva System now is trying to be less dependent on the high press, has a lower turnover midfield and in addition to a fast counter-attack, a high percentage pass completion midfield (Both Gomes and Sigurdsson where over 90% in the Watford game), aided by higher percentage of passes from the two centre backs, which also occurred in the Watford game. Sigurdsson and Bernard are trying to develop more creative roles.

With the development of Gbamin's role (his pass completion rate was 71% in the Watford game), due to him coming up to speed, and the introduction of Iowbi, this will take the development of the Silva System further and the attacking play will be, in addition to wing and channel play, more passing through the centre orientated. This will free up Calvert-Lewin and Kean to make anticipatory runs and get into position faster.

Problem solved and Silva is already working on it. Calvert-Lewin scoring at last.

Tony Marsh
36 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:03:39
Calvert-Lewin is a nice kid who never moans, just gets on with things and loves the club... but is this enough to qualify him to lead the line in the Premier League? Trying not to knock the lad but Dom does not possess the natural goalscoring instinct required in this League. DCL does not have that half-a-second quickness all top goal poachers have in the brain and in the feet.

Dom's ability to make the killer run is simply not there and his poor timing is often his and our undoing. Often arriving too late to connect with great passes which should really be put away. You cannot coach the gift of being a natural goal-scorer, it's God-given. You can use size and aggression with pace and go so far but unfortunately Dom doesn't even do these things well.

My gauge of an Everton player I am undecided about has always been the same... Of the clubs that finished above us in the table last season, which teams would start DCL in their starting eleven? The answer to this question is none of the above. The same applies to Morgan Schneiderlin who I can't believe started at Palace.

We all know we still haven't replaced Lukaku with a top striker but, as per usual, EFC are the club that does charity better than most. If we aspire to join Spurs, Arsenal and Man Utd fighting for 3rd and 4th spot in the Premier League, we need to be more ruthless. It is now quite apparent DCL is a Championship player. I wish him all the luck in the world but don't see a future for him at this club.

The sad truth is Dom simply doesn't have what it takes at the level I hope EFC are aiming to be at. Is Dom better than Tosun? Who knows... but a least DCL has had a fair crack of the whip. Cenk hasn't. We are desperately short up front and it's not fair on Moise Kean to lump the weight of the club on his young shoulders. I'm not sure what we can do striker-wise to be honest. It's been left unaddressed for so long, I sometimes think we will never replace Lukaku.

David Pearl
37 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:05:18
Let's win on Friday night and see what progression has been made. We should get better each game. Now isn't the time, 2 games in, to get on his back and kill the confidence of a young player.

If he sits out a couple games, it might do him good. However, it's Silva's job to see what he needs to see in training and use the increased options at his disposal.

Tony Abrahams
38 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:10:21
I saw Kane playing for England Under-19s alongside Stones and Barkley, and remember agreeing with a poster on TW, who said Kane looked like a younger version of Lee Chapman after that game.

Calvert-Lewin has loads to learn but he's scored the winner in a U20 World Cup final, and he's doing a seemingly thankless role for the team at present, which I don't think the nearly finished article Sharp (the Master Critic's words!) could have done by himself in his earlier days in a blue shirt.

Tom Roberts
39 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:21:11
We win as a team and lose as a team. I would also love DCL to become a prolific goalscorer but I just cannot see it happening. As long as we keep winning, then I have no problem who scores the goals.

I fully expect Moise Kean to be our starting striker within a couple of weeks and we shall become a more prolific scoring team because of it. Hopefully we shall remain defensively solid as well. At least people are keeping off Gylfi's back for a few days...

Steve Ferns
40 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:36:44
Jerome, hardly anyone plays through the middle, and Silva always goes down the flanks. Tottenham only play through the middle 33% and they do it the most. The next of the big six are Man City with 24%, Liverpool are on 22%, Chelsea 23%, Arsenal 20%, Man Utd 19%, so our 18% might look terrible, but it's part of a league-wide trend.

Why is this? Well, if you have teams with 5-man midfields, then that's a lot of congestion in the middle, even the 4-4-2 sides pack the middle as they play narrow to try to limit being outnumbered by the 5-man midfield. This means there's a lot of space down the flanks to be exploited.

As for Silva, he's always favoured getting the ball wide. I can't see that changing any time soon. Expect more drag backs, than crosses, for Moise Kean, but they will still be balls from out wide.

Liam Reilly
41 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:57:14
One of my first games watching Everton live was in the first round of the European Cup-Winners Cup against University College Dublin in '84-85 (winning year) and I recall Sharpy getting dog's abuse from the terraces as to how shit he was.

Now he's a legend.

Joe McMahon
42 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:02:06
It speaks volumes if we always have to go back to the days of Graeme Sharp. That just shows how much shite we've had upfront over the past 30 years. Branch, Jeffers, Barlow et al. The list is endless...

I so want to be proven wrong, but DCL has played a lot of games for us now and, for me, holding the ball up well for any striker isn't enough.

I know Ian Wright started his top-flight career late but he had a finishing instinct and striking ability. I don't see any of this in Dominic.

Just imagine if Reds had to keep going back to the days of Ian Rush. No wonder they laugh at us.

Stan Schofield
43 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:27:02
Joe, I haven't heard any reds laughing at us. Snide comments from some maybe, but not laughing. They've had some shite players over the last two decades, some strikers included at very high cost.

We need only go back as far as Rooney to find a player better than any striker we've had for three decades, and better than any from the RS.

Reds certainly weren't laughing when DCL got us a penalty at Mordor a couple of seasons ago and Rooney converted it.

Joe McMahon
44 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:33:29
Stan, you are correct, it was a brief highlight that derby.

Sadly, you don't need me to remind you it is around 20 years since we last won there. Any yes, I've had plenty of jokes and snide remarks which have got even worse since 5 times... and now it's bloody 6!

Stan Schofield
45 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:38:50
Joe, they must be sad reds if they're extolling the booby prize they won. A modern era final between two teams who've never won their domestic modern era title.

Just point out how Man City are at a different level from the rest, then laughing is the last thing they do.

Liam Reilly
46 Posted 22/08/2019 at 17:55:36
Off thread, but anyone reading the Echo on Lukaku's latest comments:

"I was at Everton and we beat them [Chelsea] in the quarter finals [of the FA Cup], we won 2-0 and I scored two goals. Two weeks before that, that's when Chelsea called me and said, 'The coach we're going to get next year wants you'."

Errr, isn't that a blatant illegal approach. Just shows what a tosser Lukaku was also... and what little respect he had for Everton.

And as for Chelsea, "The coach we're going to get next year; low-life club with a laughable disrespect for any rules".

Derek Knox
47 Posted 22/08/2019 at 18:28:36
Liam, good point there, even Sky Sports News were reporting that he claims he was poorly treated by Man Utd and he received little or no support. Claiming too that they treat all players as being dumb, ffs, he's a multi-millionaire from transfers and wages, and he still expects his derriere to be wiped for him.
Brian Williams
48 Posted 22/08/2019 at 18:36:15
I said while he was here that he was a complete self-entred self-obsessed gobshite.

Anyone who tries to claim a youngster's breakthrough goal like he did Tom Davies's against Man City is just a gobshite, did I call him that already?

Started whingeing when he was no longer the bigshot at Man Utd and started to say how he's always wanted to play in Italy, blah, blah.

Gobshite through and through.

That's me used up my daily complement of "gobshite" for the day, unless I see one of "them" wearing the shirt to go the pub on a Thursday, as they're prone to do.

Gobshites! (That's one less I've got for tomorrow.)

Darren Hind
49 Posted 22/08/2019 at 18:49:29
Hope you don't live next door to any Kopites, Brian.

You'll run out of things to say to them tomorrow at this rate.

Terry Farrell
50 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:05:04
It goes without saying that we all want Dominic to succeed. It's like the old sociology question: Are strikers born or made? In my opinion, it's instinct first and improving the odds second.

Sadly, I don't see enough instinctive actions from Calvert-Lewin despite his undoubted work for the cause. Keane fashioned a chance for himself last week with pure instinct that just rolled the wrong side of the post.

Brian Williams
51 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:07:58
Darren. If I did, I'd move, mate... ha!
George Cumiskey
52 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:15:57
Graham Sharp took 3 years to make a mark? Are you joking? And Harry Kane had the same figures as Calvert-Lewin at the same age? Another joke.
I just can't understand why so many people are making excuses for him, when it's patently obvious he's not a natural goalscorer.
Peter Thistle
53 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:28:15
We don't create enough chances for our main striker, whoever it may be. Ya can't score if you don't get the opportunities.

Give him a bunch of chances in a game and he's bound to bang in goal or two. It's the whole team's responsibility to provide him with goal-scoring chances, he can't do it all on his own.

This is Silva's puzzle, how to get us more creative; we have the skillfull pacey players around him, it's up to Silva to get them going.

Colin Grierson
54 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:48:43
I saw a gobshite playing footy in the park (Bristol) with his lad. He wore a full kit apart from the socks! I know the lad and told him he was a proper kopite. He took it as a compliment bless him.

I typed 'gobshite' into Google maps to demonstrate it wasn't a compliment. He is now aware that when I call him a kopite...

So, go ahead and substitute kopite for its true meaning, Brian. That means you've got a few left today.

You're welcome.

Jerome Shields
55 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:26:12
Steve #40,

I agree that Silva will continue to play the large percentage of his attacking play via the wings, but not at the rate of 85% as currently. I expect the centre attacking play to increase from the current rate of 15%. I also agree with your theory on congested midfield. But even a small increase in the 15% would make a difference. The thinking is that this will make it difficult for opposition teams to set up shop and create more space and chances.

Gueye's tackling rate against Watford last time was 20 tackles; the tackling rate this times was approximately 10 tackles from defensive midfield. It's nearly impossible to replace Gueye, so things have to change.

I noticed that Keane and Mina were coming out of defence more and were quite effective at successful pass completion. Looking at the stats, I also noticed that both Gomes and Sigurdsson had high pass completion rates. This was particularly so in the first half.

I didn't think there was as much emphasis on the high press. Of course, Watford did push up in the second half, but Walcott was brought in to maintain shape rather than to add to the high press.

I just got the idea that Silva is trying to add to the success of last season by turning Everton into a more passing side, particularly in the middle and final third, maintaining possession for longer than Everton have been in most games.

This is not a change, but an addition to progress already made. It wasn't perfect and play was not adjusted totally and at times was laboured, but there was a different feel about Everton in the first half and for parts of the second half.

The addition of players like Gbamin, Iowbi, Delph, Kean and Mina (who would never have got to Barcelona if he could not pass) means that the way Everton will play will change. Calvert-Lewin's role will change as well.

Sigurdsson, as you have pointed out, has been more of an attacking midfielder, I think that Sigurdsson and Bernard will progressively take up more creative roles, as Gbamin improves and Iowbi joins the play.

Silva, as you have said, favours the wing play. You have provided well-researched evidence in previous posts to convince me. But there is the additional factor of Brands's influence and his belief he can take Silva to the next level.

Brands and Silva are building on the traditional strengths of Everton play, as Brands said they would in his first interview as Director of Football. I think Everton are slowly starting Stage Two of the development plan.

Fraser Auld
56 Posted 22/08/2019 at 00:11:30
The club are backing a young player who has a great attitude and who they obviously see a lot of potential in. That's the model, they want to give promising young players a chance to develop.

Nobody at the club is saying Calvert-Lewin is the complete striker. I'm certain they know he isn't, at this moment in time anyway. They've seen something in him that makes them think he might become that though. Are we going to be a club or more importantly, are we currently in the position to be a club who only sign the finished article?

The club are hoping that his development continues on the same trajectory as last season. He undoubtedly visibly progressed last season when he got a consistent run of games at centre-forward.

Silva and brands have had a good think about what his ceiling is and whether he'll ever make it? Brands explicitly said he didn't want to bring someone in who would block Calvert-Lewin's development.

Ultimately, Silva knows his job is at risk if he manages a team that doesn't score goals as results will be impacted. He won't have taken the decision lightly. They've decided there is a player there that they can work with and develop. He might or might not become a top striker, I'll trust their judgement and get right behind him.

The club can't win: take a short-term approach and get criticised for not thinking long-term. And, when they do try to take a long-term view, that's not good enough either.

Karl Masters
57 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:58:07
Paul Burns 10: Graeme Sharp signed in April 1980, made his debut in May 1980, didn't score, started up front in August 1980 and failed to score. Hardly played that season, but got one goal late in season against Middlesbrough.

He didn't feature again until December 1981 when he scored once against Swansea. He played most of the season in 1981-82 and ended with15 goals. However, he was still not the finished article in 82-83 and was dropped in early 83-84 when Andy Gray was signed. At that point, 3½ years into his Everton career, many fans thought him not good enough and was dropped for the 1984 FA cup semi later that season.

Really, it was only when he voted in the 1984 FA Cup Final against Watford that he finally had the confidence required to lead our attack. In 1984-85, he was superb and struck 30 goals, but this was now 4 or 5 years after signing and he was 24 or 25.

Calvert-Lewin is only a couple of years into his Everton career and is still only 22. The maturity is coming, be patient I say!

Barry Williams
58 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:58:25
Any stats on Calvert-Lewin should also take into account that 36 of his appearances have been as sub. He has 8 assists too, and has not always played as a centre-forward (he was a right wing-back in one game, I seem to recall, and created a lovely assist). Plus, he has hardly been part of a successful team as of yet. Very inconsistent teams, yes!

The comparisons to Sharp are equally relevant and superfluous in my view. Some similarities, hold-up play etc, but a different period and a different time. Comparisons with Kane, possibly a tad unfair and again, different player, different set-up.

I have no idea how the lad will progress. Has he improved? Yes. Will he continue to improve? No idea.

However, his stats aren't as bad as some are making out, in my opinion.

We shall see!

Barry Williams
59 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:06:42
And on several sites he is 5'-8''!

He looks a big lad, footballers must be shrinking!

Barry Williams
60 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:12:46
Minutes Per Goal - 296 - Season 2018-19

That's one goal every 3.29 games!

Is that so bad for a young lad in a very inconsistent team?

Frank Crewe
61 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:41:51
Let's be realistic. Does anyone here ever see him pressuring Kane for his spot in the England side?

He's been at Everton for 3 years now. He was brought in for his potential. A cheap diamond in the rough. Well, he's no diamond rough or otherwise. Apparently his current worth is 㾾 million compared to Kean's 㿐 million and Kean is also 3 years younger.

We've been griping about the lack of a replacement for Lukaku since he went and now, in Kean, we have one and at some point, hopefully tonight, he will lead the line. Calvert-Lewin does his best but he's simply no threat. If he had what it takes to be a great striker, we would be seeing it by now. Time for someone new to be given a chance.

This is our chance to continue the decent start we have made to the season. We can't afford to blow it with misplaced sentimentality about DCL. Kidding ourselves that he's suddenly going to burst into life and start knocking them in. We must put our strongest side out as often as we can... so, if Kean is fit, play him.

Barry Williams
62 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:42:22
Frank Crewe @61

Comparisons are only relevant to a degree. For example, in my era, Sharp had a much better strike rate than Heath, but would you have gotten rid of Heath? Just an example!

We replaced Lineker with...? And what happened? Obvious examples with big results, I know. However, if Keane proves to be a better player then Calvert-Lewin, great. It doesn't mean we have to get rid. Not all strikers have to be Lukaku and Kane.

Did Spurs and Man Utd do better than Liverpool or Man City last season? Which ones have the better traditional goalscoring No 9s? Maybe, just maybe the English game is getting away from that.

Also, footballers develop at different rates. Our own Osman being an example. Some come onto the scene early, create havoc and then are gone! We have had quite a few of them!

Saha – 2008–2012: Everton – 97 games, 27 Goals
Campbell – 1999–2005: Everton – 137 games, 36 goals
Ferguson – 1994–1998: Everton – 107 games, 35 goals
Ferguson – 2000–2006: Everton – 123 games, 23 goals

And these chaps are considered legends! If we judged them on strike rate alone? Well. would they be considered legends?

Frank Crewe
71 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:53:55
"It doesn't mean we have to get rid. Not all strikers have to be Lukaku and Kane"

They do if you want to get in the top 4 or win something. The fact is that any side that has pretentions of greatness has to have a top flight 20+ goals a season striker in their squad.

Calvert-Lewin is not that striker. Whether Kean is remains to be seen. But we won't find out if he spends his time warming the bench while DCL huffs and puffs for not much return on the park.

Barry Williams
73 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:57:34
Also, did our team do better with Marcus Bent or Lukaku?
Barry Williams
74 Posted 23/08/2019 at 12:03:35
We need to get all the attacking players scoring as well as some more from midfield and defence. That appears to be what the top clubs do!

Sterling and Saha for example are not No 9s.

We need Richarlison, Sigurdsson, Bernard, Gomes, Gbamin, Iwobi etc getting their fair share, with the likes of Keane, Mina, Digne chipping in too!

That is what top teams do!

Tom Bowers
75 Posted 23/08/2019 at 12:23:48
Dominic Calvert-Lewin's time is running out. He has got to start scoring or it's the bench for him because, quite honestly, he has been no better than Niasse or Tosun.

Kean is the lad to step in if he fails again today.

I still don't understand the Delph and Iwobi situations?

Adrian Haggar
76 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:40:27
I think its a real shame that Cenk Tosun hasn't been afforded the run of games Calvert-Lewin has had, I know everyone says he's not up to it but how do we know????

He scored a boatload, I know albeit in the Turkish league, but he has also scored hat-tricks in the Champions League too, so he can't be as bad as a lot on here would make out. When he has played, he tries just as hard as Calvert-Lewin and he makes proper forward runs. If we want just a hold-up merchant, then get big Dunc back in blue!!!

Everyone saying he doesn't score as he doesn't get the service — that's rubbish. Kean made 2 great chances in 15 minutes out of nothing last week!!! Sooner he's ready to start, the better for us to start climbing the table!!!!

Steve Ferns
77 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:51:20
Adrian, the fear is that Cenk Tosun is not good enough because he has no outstanding attributes. He lacks pace, he lacks height, and despite being dubbed a "bull", he lacks physicality. No doubt the boy can finish, but he does not get the opportunities to do so that he got in Turkey.

So, if he's not going to score, what else can he do? Well, he seems to be lacking in his ability to hold the ball up, to link up play, and to stretch defences. Playing him means that we are slower in attack and lose a lot on the counter-attack. In short, he is not quick enough for Silva's tactics and offers little to compensate.

David Pearl
78 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:17:46
This has been done to death now. Calvert-Lewin does the job Silva wants the best out of the players we have. If Allardyce was still manager, Tosun would've played more and scored more goals. We've taken another direction and, unless Silva changes his tactics, he doesn't fit into the system.

Now start warming up, we have a game to play soon.

Mike Gaynes
79 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:21:43
Stretching now, David.
Steve Ferns
80 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:22:03
David: Link
Mike Gaynes
81 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:41:02
Silva on Sky Sports News right now pointing out that we have 12 clean sheets in calendar year 2019, second only to City with 13. Nobody else has more than 9.

Sad that Bury could be out of business in a few hours. Right after they won promotion.

Steve Ferns
82 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:50:56
Yeah mike. It's tragic, both in football terms and for the town. I don't know why the Premier league clubs can't provide a £2.7m loan between them to allow them to begin the season and have some time to be sold. The owner seems like the issue, but I don't know enough about it.
Mark Andrews
83 Posted 23/08/2019 at 22:18:15
"Calvert-Lewin accepts responsibility of being Everton No 9".

And then we play Villa. How did the responsibility go, Dom?

Brian Wilkinson
84 Posted 23/08/2019 at 23:12:26
For any of the younger ones on here too young to see Graeme Sharp, you will just have to take my word for it, he was nothing like Calvert-Lewin.

It's an insult to even mention Calvert-Lewin in the same breath.

Justin Doone
85 Posted 24/08/2019 at 00:22:33
He's a good young forward who does a good job for the team but currently he's not a striker.

Tosun aside, we don't appear to have an out and out striker. Tosun doesn't have the pace or energy Silva requires for the role.

If the goals are shared around the team that's okay but sadly we don't appear to be doing any shooting practice.

I'm hoping Kean steps up in the next few weeks to be the main man capable of scoring 15+ goals this season and improving year on year.

But right now Calvert-Lewin is being given a chance. We need to create more opportunities for him because we have lacked creativity and are left frustrated shooting from distance.

It's the same problem as last season. We put trust in good young forwards but are not helping them enough. I think Kane, Aguero, Ronaldo would struggle to score feeding of the scraps we create.

Silva is not getting it right. A shame because some of the football is good but he needs to fix the issues ASAP before we are left looking for another manager.

Roman Sidey
86 Posted 24/08/2019 at 00:40:47
Reading those quotes made me want to vomit. He's delusional as well as being sub-par.

James Marshall, 11, yes, a lot of players do care about the number on their back. If they didn't they wouldn't go changing their number as soon as a "better" one is available.

Barry Williams, the only reason Saha, Campbell and Ferguson are considered legends is because they managed to knock in a goal or three at very crucial times - Campbell at Anfield, Saha a double to beat Chelsea, the early FA Cup final goal, and a few crucial 1-0s early on, Ferguson his goals against Man Utd 10 years apart.

In all honesty, Campbell was a journeyman striker, Saha a very useful one when fit, and Ferguson could be one of the most built-up, overrated footballers I've encountered. Not legends to anyone outside Everton (or Fulham).

Jim Bennings
87 Posted 24/08/2019 at 06:26:42
Yeah whatever, Dom!

A Number 9 worth his salt would have scored that chance to make it 1-1 last night, just like in our last 2-0 defeat at Craven Cottage in April. Déjà vu, mate; sorry but we can't take you seriously.

Talks a good game but he's scored THREE goals since December 2018 — that's a damning stat.

Tony Abrahams
88 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:04:59
Can't take him seriously? He should have scored last night I agree, but maybe if he was playing against centre-halves like Michael Keane, he might even be able to just find a bit of space in which to run into, in-behind? (Although his own players will still hit his heels with the ball, or over-hit the pass, when he does try and make those little runs.)

I know football is about scoring goals, and also keeping them out, but Calvert-Lewin was one of our better players last night (maybe not saying much) and definitely better than Sigurdsson, Bernard, and Richarlison. I think Silva's subs were accurate, except maybe for Walcott, who shows the same complete lack of desire as Schneiderlin, imo.

I personally hope we can get Delph fit, because we are going to struggle if we don't. I'm not even being funny when I say I struggle to watch Everton when Schneiderlin is in the engine room because he honestly reminds me of an over the hill footballer (from the over-40s) who keeps playing it too simple because his body won't let him do anything too strenuous anymore.

It's soul destroying to watch, and as bad as Gomes was last night, he had my sympathy, because his partner offers absolutely nothing, and even gives you the ball when you don't want it, simply because you are the nearest man to him, and he doesn't really want the ball himself... SO PAINFUL.

Jim Bennings
89 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:24:39

Whatever, mate!

He's 23 in March and he's not ever even been as good as Cadamarteri or Anichebe was.

Makes brainless runs that don't ever get behind a defence and I don't think in two years I've seen him strike a ball cleanly and hard.

Likeable lad but it's a sorry state of affairs the money we have spent and yet still have to fall back on a striker plucked from League One and the status of the guy shows.

John McGimpsey
90 Posted 24/08/2019 at 08:24:32
Roman #88, spot on. Legends... oh dear. Ferguson's total goal tally for his career is a joke. Why is he here and why oh why is he coaching?
Calvert-Lewin, as others wrote, is just not good enough, time to play the new kid, week-in & week-out.
Tony Twist
91 Posted 24/08/2019 at 17:55:57
Seb Haller doing the business this weekend for West Ham, shame we didn't go for him.
Sean McCarthy
92 Posted 25/08/2019 at 01:51:29
Karl #4,

I'm not sure what similarities you're seeing between Calvert-Lewin and Graeme Sharp. Sharp scored 15 in his 1st full season (81-82) and was a consistent scorer in all bar his last season with us. Indeed only Dixie scores more than Sharp in our entire history.

When he first broke into the team Sharp was 21 and scored his volley against Spurs not long afterwards that is kind of seen as his first big moment in the first XI.

Calvert-Lewinsimply doesn't look like scoring whether it be from a header, a volley, a tap in or a deflection of his arse!! He wouldn't get a game in any other Premier League team and yet we have aspirations of breaking into the Top 6 and then 4. Not a chance when our “No 9” couldn't find the goal if you gave him a SatNav!!

Gavin Johnson
93 Posted 25/08/2019 at 02:36:45
There's many positives I could attribute to Dom. Fair play to him for taking the responsibility on his shoulders, but I'm at the point with him now where I think the best he could achieve is score in a few games against the big sides and become loved in the same way Duncan Ferguson was,

But maybe that's ambitious as Dunc had more innate ability than Dom and could always motivate himself for the big fixtures. I'm not sure Dom would ever be able to do that.

I think one of Dom's biggest strengths is that he'll follow the managers instruction to the letter which is why all the managers love him and he's become a regular fixture. That strength could also be argued as weakness because he hasn't got the natural ability to do something magical.

Mike Littler
94 Posted 25/08/2019 at 05:49:28
Calvert-Lewin isn't a good football, he may be a good athlete, but that's it... and he is nowhere near Premier League standard. To start the season with him as our main striker is shocking management. Once again, we don't score and I'm afraid it's going to be another long hard season.
Drew O'Neall
95 Posted 25/08/2019 at 06:44:44
We want Calvert-Lewin to start scoring but we want him dropped for Kean against Lincoln.

Perfectly sensible.

Jim Bennings
96 Posted 25/08/2019 at 07:17:25

We glean nothing anyway from Calvert-Lewin scoring against Lincoln, they are a League One team and that's his main level of scoring, just look at last season, two of his 8 goals came against Rotherham.

Phil Rouse
97 Posted 28/08/2019 at 00:35:23
I know that most people probably won't agree with me on this but, I think we should've gone for Bony on a free. EPL experience and all, just saying.

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