Dominic Calvert-Lewin has sent a very personal message to Everton fans via Instagram, where he hints at the internal battles and emotional challenges that he has had to fight this season as he struggled with injury and a consequent loss of form.
The striker burst onto the national consciousness last season when he scored 21 goals in all competitions and was called up to the England squad for his first senior caps and international goals.
He began this season in similarly prolific vein despite a niggling toe injury but suffered a big set-back when he sustained a serious thigh injury that required months of rehabilitation and further weeks of being worked back into the team, sometimes prematurely as former manager Rafael Benitez tried to address Everton's dreadful form.
Calvert-Lewin eventually became a regular presence on the substitutes' bench under Benitez's successor, Frank Lampard, but it wasn't until the final week of the campaign that he was able to start matches with any degree of confidence.
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He was named in the starting XI in each of the Blues' last three games and though the early dismissal of Jarrad Branthwaite against Brentford wrecked the team's chances of securing safety from relegation on Sunday 15 May, Calvert-Lewin ultimately scored the goal that kept the club up in that thrilling win over Crystal Palace last Thursday.
Calvert-Lewin posted after Sunday's disappointing but academic season-closer at the Emirates:
First of all, thank you to you fans for sticking by us this season and for continuing to inspire us right until the last day of the season. The main goal became to stay in the Premier League and I don't believe that would have happened without your unbelievable support.
On a personal note I have had to dig deep within myself at times this season and have endured some of the most difficult times of my career and my life to date. The love and support helped carry me through.
One thing I learned this season is that everyone in whatever walk of life is fighting battles you know nothing about, and there is no shame in finding someone to talk to and being open and honest with yourself about how you really feel.
To all the young kings suppressing emotion I advise you to talk, to a friend, family member or someone that will listen, talking saved my life. It will make you realise things are never as bad as they seem, and you'll discover that the paradox of true strength is being able to face your weaknesses.
Finishing the season on a high meant everything to me, enjoy the break Toffee fans you deserve it. May the pressure continue to be a privilege.
Reader Comments (58)
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1 Posted 24/05/2022 at 07:19:01
2 Posted 24/05/2022 at 07:40:41
I'm not sure most were saying he was shit or uninterested.
Most thought his dip in form was either through the injury he was recovering from (a quad is always a tricky one) or his head was elsewhere.
Now many may have thought the latter was because he was off in the summer and that would be understandable for fans without information. This release by him explains and credit to him for coming out with it. He didn't have to.
I'm trusting he had the support needed to get through it and looking at the joy on his face from Thursday, he seems to have overcome a difficult period.
We often forget the pressures these young players are under from a very young age, living in a bubble and missing out on the simple things in life we take for granted. When they are injured and have time on their hands, it will difficult for them.
On Thursday, he was back to his best and enjoying what he does best. Look at him during the scenes afterwards and look at his beaming face in the photo he posted next to that statement.
Enjoying being a footballer again. Enjoying being an Evertonian.
3 Posted 24/05/2022 at 07:53:17
Please don't think I am finger pointing at anyone on here as we all have our opinions on players. I still haven't forgiven Sideways Schneiderlin for mugging us off before going to France.
As you say we don't have the information and can't understand the pressure but glad to know he's okay now.
4 Posted 24/05/2022 at 08:09:10
Dominics touch wasnt the best either (it never is when youre fighting for scraps) but the kid is such a big athletic unit, and if you can get the ball into him, and get players closer to him, he will be a very, very, very effective centre-forward, imo, and I for one hope he stays at our club.
5 Posted 24/05/2022 at 08:17:36
I hope we can afford to keep all our better players but FFP might have something to say about that.
6 Posted 24/05/2022 at 09:09:01
I hope Dominic stays with us – he's going to be a genuine top-class striker, IMO. If the Brazilian goes good luck to him especially if we get the fanciful fee Everton fans think we will get for him.
7 Posted 24/05/2022 at 09:16:19
Mostly, the lone striker was exactly that; alone and far away from the rest of the team, resulting in him coming deep to try to get involved, which then negated any attacking threat.
8 Posted 24/05/2022 at 09:23:20
Use the money generated from the transfer fees and reduced wages to bring in a commanding central defender and a box-to-box midfielder. If we achieve even that in the next 2 months, we will be in a better place.
Obviously, like many others, I am hoping we can add more than two players and move on more than those who are out of contract… but that, in all honesty, is not likely to happen.
9 Posted 24/05/2022 at 09:35:14
Unfortunately if, Christopher, #8 we do just sell Allan, Mina and Kean, then we'll only generate about £35M in fees (the former two have only 1 year left on their contracts).
Given the colossal and potentially unfair debt we need to service, we're unlikely to reinvest much more than 50% of any sale proceeds back into the side. So £20M-ish will not be enough to get the commanding centre-back and midfielder we need.
We probably do need to sell at least one of Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison – which gives us more money but a large proportion of our goals to replace too.
Very difficult summer ahead…
10 Posted 24/05/2022 at 09:35:23
Through fear of being lynched, but this is a football observation, I'd use Jordan Henderson as an example. In my opinion, looked pretty average for the earlier part of his career. But put him in a better team, surrounded by better players. I'll stop there, but it's to your point.
11 Posted 24/05/2022 at 09:39:21
So we can only comment on what we see on the field and maybe, had we known the problems he was having, we may have viewed things differently. But it seems like he is in a much better place mentally, which is great news.
I have to say I am not his biggest fan, I think he is very limited but his strength is in his heading and winning aerial battles, and thankfully he used all those skills to perfection against Palace.
Ancelotti realised his limitations as a player so told him to stay in and around the 6-yard box and don't take a second touch – just hit it first time.
Also, in Digne he had someone who could deliver plenty of opportunities to do that but, unless we go back to that style of football, I think Calvert-Lewin will have to improve on his play outside the box.
12 Posted 24/05/2022 at 09:58:32
1) The haters who've hated everyone from Hibbert to Osman to Barkely to Holgate and Dom.
2) Those frustrated at not being around when we desperately needed him.
I fall into that latter, as do most who felt his heart had gone from the club towards the flashy lights. I guess we'll know by the end of the summer whether there was substance in those rumours. but the time to judge is (and always was) then, not now, so for now Dom; an apology from me.
Thinking (aka obsessing) about what we need to do this summer, I've previously posted about the "10 out, and tons in" need for substantial refresh too. However, as Kevin Brocks backpass showed all those years ago, sometimes the difference between shit and great can be as small as confidence.
I don't, for a single minute, think that confidence is all we need right now but I am now of the opinion that keeping the squad as 'together as possible' (minus Delph, Kenny, Tosun, Gbamin, etc.) and looking for the "missing jigsaw pieces" may actually be a better bet than wholescale rebuilds. Particularly with no money to spend, and a track record of wasting lump sums for outbound players.
A dominant CB, 2 dominant ball playing CDM's, and a left footed right winger (with a goal threat) may very well make all the difference to this team. Is it too much to do 'on loans' (with Fifa new rules) and a shoestring budget??
13 Posted 24/05/2022 at 10:20:15
I couldn't have agreed more, for decades we have had centre forwards chasing back, out by corner flags, running the channels... put the ball in for him to score. Simple.
Mental health issues obviously have been eating him up, whatever the reason, I am glad he got the support. You cannot bottle up and ignore it, you need support love and reassurance all the way.
We only ever see the facade of people, rarely get a glimpse of reality they deal with. The old adage, money doesn't buy you happiness, is still true.
14 Posted 24/05/2022 at 10:36:54
Yesterday, on the Richarlison thread said, I posted that if FFP dictates, I would prefer to keep Richarlison and sell Calvert-Lewin. But, today, after reading his struggles this season, I would love to keep all 3 of Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin, and Pickford.
But, as Robert Tressel in Post 9 has analysed, at most we would have about £20 million to play with. With that kind of peanuts available to spend, it would be an almost impossible task for Thelwell & Lampard to improve the squad. At most, we would get a Centre Back and a couple of loan signings to fill the gaps left by the exits of Allan, Gomes, and Delph.
Which brings me to the point of FFP - who exactly does it try to protect? Aren't the FFP rules actually handicapping a club by making it less competitive - potentially leading to relegation and thus, becoming even less financially viable?
Seems to me like a cosy scheme to let the rich clubs get richer while the poorer clubs stay off the top table. How is that 'financial fair play'?
15 Posted 24/05/2022 at 10:51:37
It will be interesting to see how Newcastle steamroller their way in over the next few seasons. FFP will in theory make it more difficult for them too.
16 Posted 24/05/2022 at 11:16:38
I have seen you post on here before with ridiculously low sale valuations for our players. But proposing £35 million in tranfer fees for Mina, Allan and Kean takes the biscuit.
The transfer fee for Kean alone that Juve agreed is worth £24 million plus loan fees. The market value analysis for Mina is £20 million. Thank goodness you don't negotiate for Everton!
Fees of £50-75 million for Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin respectively as forwards is not fanciful in the least.
A couple of comparison points – Ben White (defender) to Arsenal for £50 million and Jadon Sancho to Man Utd for £73 million.
17 Posted 24/05/2022 at 11:22:53
If your analysis proves to be correct then it's going to be a long haul to get to the promised land. If 1 of the 3 had to be sold and all 3 wanted to say then I would let Richarlison go, but only to a foreign league, to see him play against us would be just too much. His stock is on the rise at the moment and our former manager might want to bring him to Madrid?
Might it not be possible to acquire the guy from Burnley on a free and use the balance of the available funds to purchase the much needed midfielder, the guy at Huddersfield, O'Brien, might be an option.
18 Posted 24/05/2022 at 11:22:59
But we have no clue on what is impacting them below the surface. Anxiety, stress and depression are endemic in modern society and have got far worse during the isolation caused by Covid lockdown. The result of not speaking up is the high level of adult suicides – particularly in men.
19 Posted 24/05/2022 at 11:28:05
20 Posted 24/05/2022 at 11:28:16
Mina is unlikely to be sold for more than £12M due to injury record and contract situation.
Allan is unlikely to be sold for more than £5M due to wages, age, injury record, form and contract situation.
Also, sadly we are well known to be desperately hard up and need to sell for FFP type purposes. That coupled with the broader economic climate will make it hard to generate big fees.
Brighton are a well run club and didn't need to sell White, hence it was a big fee. Our bargaining position is seriously weakened by our financial situation.
There's a bit of flexibility on the £35M but we won't be coining it in by selling these 3 players this summer. I hope to be proved wrong.
I agree that Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison could command big fees though, perhaps as high as £80M if there's multiple bidders but probably more like £65M. It could be less.
21 Posted 24/05/2022 at 11:49:01
I always think of Duncan Ferguson. What would he have been like playing for a successful team like Man Utd. Rooney, on the other hand... perhaps best not to go there.
Personally, I think Calvert-Lewin is likely to give us at least one more year based on:
1: Wanting to see in which direction Frank Lampard takes the club;
2: It's a World Cup year and moving to a 'better' club would not necessarily guarantee him a first-team place, hindering his chances of getting in the England Squad;
3: We weren't relegated.
22 Posted 24/05/2022 at 11:50:55
The other thing is a comment made elsewhere by Tim Sherwood about Dele Alli and his nuisance value to a team. He comments on his positioning and action in Calvert-Lewin's winner. He sort of blocks off (more like gets in the way of) one of the Palace defenders. You can see what he means in the above link.
That's what you get with Dele Alli – football nous. I would keep him if we can.
23 Posted 24/05/2022 at 12:50:36
The team you describe and propose etc is a logical use of money but is no better than a 14th to 10th place side. It's worse than the best fully fit side we can put out now because Mina and Richarlison would make it better (Sigurdsson too but obviously can't go there).
So it is unfortunately a very challenging summer ahead and there is no quick fix to get us into contention. However, a well planned and implemented strategy could see us in Europa League contention and winning cups within about 2 to 3 years.
24 Posted 24/05/2022 at 13:49:56
Lampard needs to take a good look at Ellis Simms before he buys or sells a striker.
25 Posted 24/05/2022 at 13:57:36
It's something I've never done, and probably never will do. I seem to spend a lot of time on this site shaking my head at the ridiculous comments some people make about players. Not just ridiculous, but often disgraceful, particularly about Calvert-Lewin and his modelling activity outside of football.
Some people should be ashamed of themselves, but then, if they were inclined to be ashamed, they probably wouldn't speak such shite in the first place.
26 Posted 24/05/2022 at 14:02:22
Like most fans, I did not take into consideration the mental problems that professional players have to contend with. I'm not bragging when I say that my claim has been well and truly justified, and I hope that more will recognise, that just because some footballers are paid what we call 'astronomical wages', in essence, they're not much different than us.
27 Posted 24/05/2022 at 14:10:25
I know there is no way Danny would take a finish between 10th and 14th next season but, if we achieved same, brought about financial stability, and were in a position to move another group of players out when their contracts expire this time next year, I could live with it. Unless something very strange happens, the following will finish ahead of us next season:
28 Posted 24/05/2022 at 16:01:53
We paid €25 million for Allan and his current market valuation is €18 million.
You are way off.
29 Posted 24/05/2022 at 16:12:05
The abuse of Calvert-Lewin for modelling was bigoted in my opinion. It was used to question his sexuality, motivation and commitment. Based on what? And so what? He can lead his life any way he wants.
His main failing seems to be having had the temerity to suffer the first major injury of his career and struggle to come back. In truth, Gomes and Coleman got the same treatment.
Gomes still does actually. Sure he is a shadow of the player he was before his major injury, but the abuse is often personalised and unnecessary.
Now Dominic has revealed the toll it has taken on his mental wellbeing, I hope people will think twice.
30 Posted 24/05/2022 at 16:39:26
I hope you're right. Seems unlikely any club would buy Allan at 31 for £15M with just a year left on his contract (especially since he's just not that good).
I don't think we'd have bought him for £23M if we could turn back the clock.
Whatever the case, Tony probably said it best #19.
31 Posted 24/05/2022 at 16:40:44
I have on occasion said, that I have players that I favour above others, but I have never singled out anyone for criticism. My belief has always been 'We win as a team, and we lose as lose as a team'.
What I can't come to terms with, is the expectation that players who have been described by many as crap, and other colourful adjectives, are expected to suddenly transform into Messi or Pele like players, when faced by superior opponents.
32 Posted 24/05/2022 at 16:49:10
On the squad rebuild, for me it's got to be defence and centre midfield, of high priority. Three of our defenders are in the top ten in the prem for mistakes leading to goals:
The defence needs rebuilding. Keane should be made available for transfer, and we need to reduce our reliance on Coleman. Godfrey May work better with different players around him, but I'd be tempted to see how he does sat in front of the defence.
I'd love to get Phillips from Leeds into our midfield, but I'm dreaming on this. A similar type to Phillips must be around somewhere though.
33 Posted 24/05/2022 at 17:14:57
Let's try not to sell our best players. Christopher #8, couldn't agree more. Let's focus on letting go of the players who contribute less and focus on those who contribute more and that has to start with minutes on the pitch.
For me, Mina, Delph, Tosun, Nameless One, Gbamin, Kean, Allan, Gomes, Rondon should be the list that it's a priority to find new options for.
34 Posted 24/05/2022 at 17:18:40
I don't see him staying if we are offered a lot of money for him given the bargain fee we signed him for back in 2016, plus, if it is Newcastle, they are liable to offer him a hell of a wage.
I don't know why but I just see him suiting the Geordies' style of play and the fact that they like a big Number 9 more so than the intricate fast tippy-tappy Arsenal way.
The biggest factor in all of this though is if we do sell him then it can't be with a week left of the transfer window and it needs doing with a replacement already lined up, and I do mean replacement – not just another Tosun or Rondon or some 18-year-old kid from Lille or somewhere.
35 Posted 24/05/2022 at 17:31:18
Agree with you, Jim, can't see Calvert-Lewinat Arsenal and Newcastle would be a good fit for him if he was going anywhere. However, apart from a probable leap in wages and a change of environment, if he was after trophies, not sure he'd get many there.
36 Posted 24/05/2022 at 18:27:09
37 Posted 24/05/2022 at 19:06:58
He deserves huge respect for talking openly about his struggles and it's great to have him back. Hopefully he stays.
Lesson learnt for me, I will be more patient in future although I very rarely if ever get on a player's back during the game.
38 Posted 24/05/2022 at 20:11:37
39 Posted 24/05/2022 at 20:12:50
I think it's hard to say what way Newcastle will go in regards to winning trophies.
They do look like a club heading in the right direction, have copious amounts of money to spend and have already made a couple of good acquisitions there in Bruno and getting Eddie Howe as manager, in my opinion.
They may start winning things, it happened with Man City and going back further, Chelsea in the late 1990s, so we can't say what's going to be.
The trouble is with Everton, when we got the money we failed to have any direction, changed too many managers and signed too many (average) players all at once.
40 Posted 24/05/2022 at 20:13:34
41 Posted 24/05/2022 at 20:22:15
Unfortunately we never had anything like the money Newcastle now have access to. I would expect them to spend about £200M this summer. They will make mistakes and outgrow Howe but, in about 3 to 5 years, they will probably be an established Champions League side competing for honours.
We have to go about things differently. But we can build a truly excellent side over the same time period – and put in place foundations for a successful future too in the best stadium in the city.
42 Posted 24/05/2022 at 21:08:23
To head the ball accurately from a ball that is coming from behind and across takes some doing.
The lad thrives on crosses, it's up to the team to give him more chances, if he's still with us next season.
43 Posted 24/05/2022 at 21:12:49
I'd like to think that EFC has supported Calvert-Lewin and any other members of their staff who have such health issues.
On the longer term for next season, I hope Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison and Pickford stay at Everton but who knows? The team needs a heart and a strong spine: centre-back, central midfield, right-back; let's see what transpires this summer.
But last Thursday night, no-one can doubt the effort Calvert-Lewin put in to that game, along with the rest of the squad.
Gomes did his best on the night but, in my view, he is not worthy of a squad place at Everton.
But all in, the pre-season could throw up some interesting challenges for Frank and his coaches.
But we live in hope eternal.
44 Posted 24/05/2022 at 21:36:01
Hmmm… probably that's what will happen; however, I think Eddie Howe seems like a level headed fella and compared to when we had Ronald Koeman on his spending spree throwing £30 million on anything that moved, I actually think Howe will do a stable job.
We had more than enough money between 2016-2019, but spent it on too many shite players when we should have just spent about £200 million on three or four absolute match-winning performers.
45 Posted 24/05/2022 at 21:42:26
Whatever else, he has been part of a squad that has been largely abysmal this season. That hasn't been a freak, we have been at best mediocre for the past 3 seasons, despite all the money spent. As a result of the latter we are now in dire financial shape.
One of Pickford, Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin is going to have to be sold and a decent portion of that money won't be redeployed. Let's hope it's only one sold and of that trio, I'd lose Calvert-Lewin more readily than the other two.
Our big money spending days are over for the time being. We'll be shopping for potential under-achievers like Gray or out-of-contracters like Tarkowski plus maybe a few young undiscovered gems.
46 Posted 24/05/2022 at 21:42:54
47 Posted 24/05/2022 at 21:52:49
I said it a while ago, some of the comments on the forum were vile, the abuse towards Dominic because of his modelling, and questioning his sexuality and Tom Davies by the way, were way over the top.
I'm glad that Dominic is now in a good place, and you can see his love for Everton and the fans. I honestly don't believe he was planning his transfer during the season, and hope he stays. Lampard was quoted in one of the papers last weekend, that Calvert-Lewin was going nowhere.
48 Posted 24/05/2022 at 21:57:24
49 Posted 24/05/2022 at 22:48:34
He commented on it, saying that after misplacing a pass against Man Utd, he heard encouragement, not abuse, and realised things had changed.
They are all professional players for a reason, even if it doesn't always work out. There could be numerous reasons. We can be a positive or a negative influence on our team, we know that now.
50 Posted 24/05/2022 at 22:51:39
51 Posted 24/05/2022 at 00:06:32
Really hope some peeps slagging him off, saying hes already had his head turned, have a word with themselves.
And the chaps suggesting Dom was a disgrace for doing his modelling instead of helping with the relegation battle literally know nothing.
This kid is the best striker we can hope for in our situation. Lets not drive him away eh?
52 Posted 25/05/2022 at 08:18:16
It has nothing to do with the money such players earn, or what your rank is in your job or on this planet. But when it boils down to basics, we can only connect with respect, by listening and being open without ill-informed judgements.
Criticise the performance, not the person. Very proud of the fantastic support by our fans in recent weeks, despite all the crap we went through this season. Let's keep it up in tough times. Respect & happy summer, lads.
53 Posted 25/05/2022 at 08:41:39
If he starts the season like last season and stays fit, he will go to the World Cup. He's comfortable in his own skin and the off-the-field stuff doesn't bother me as long as he stays focused on EFC. I really hope he stays.
54 Posted 25/05/2022 at 10:00:50
55 Posted 25/05/2022 at 13:45:15
If a player has a second job – doesn't matter whether it's commentating or modelling or whatever – then, when you are not performing on the pitch, that should be questioned.
The answer might be that it's not getting in the way of performance but sometimes it can be a distraction and for me it's okay to point that out.
56 Posted 25/05/2022 at 14:07:30
Calvert-Lewin is getting a lot of love for "speaking out" but what has he actually said? That he had a hard season and had a few personal battles that needed talking out, and that 'talking saved my life' – leaving us all to wonder just what it was that was such a life-threatening burden?
To that point, it lets some of us conjure up anything, from having his head turned, to reading nasty posts on social media that questioned his motives for very publically cross-dressing while out injured. There is no evidence whatsoever that these issues or any others contributed to, or were the cause of, his personal challenges.
And when he did come back from injury, there is no hiding the fact that his performances were verging on diabolical in comparison to what we all knew he could do when operating at 100%. Which makes me very much question why he was playing at all? Why was he selected? Why did he not excuse himself?
It appears he was making out that he was fit enough to perform when very clearly he wasn't. I would question Frank Lampard and the entire medical team on this too, because the approach seemed to be "Keep playing him and he'll come right eventually".
I would have a lot more respect for him if he spoke honestly and fully about the issues that were troubling him, fighting battles we still know nothing about, and especially how much of this he was confiding in or hiding from the coaching team that was continuing to select him, based no doubt on what he was telling them about his physical and mental state of preparedness to play Premier League football.
57 Posted 26/05/2022 at 15:01:07
They are like a mighty oak resisting the gale and come crashing down when they would be better being like the willow and bending with the wind. If just one of the many, many readers on TW, not just posters, is helped and gets the confidence to speak out for whatever their problem, I say, "Well done, Dom."
So to mangle an expression. For you, Evertonians, the war is over! For this season at least.
There have recently been some good posts about decent, fit and fast players in the Championship who would probably improve our squad; none of them I knew. However, I think that the management team will have been spending all their time concentrating on getting Everton safe. I could well imagine that they will possibly be looking to Chelsea for loans etc.
When we needed a manager, Phillipe was touted for the job. He'd taken unfashionable Lille from near the bottom to winning the league. His chief scout was Luis Campos, who is first class at his job. He scouted many players and bought them for very small fees.
Jim #34 – one of them was Bissouma, now at Brighton, who was a young kid at Lille. He was out of work for a while but is now at PSG, not necessarily as our Director of Football but our Chief Continental Scout. I don't know if he was approached probably not.
The world has been Everton's oyster the last few years but we've been messing round with cockles on the beach. Let's hope somebody at the club has been out looking for talent.
Everton have been a badly run club for years – always reminded me of Grace Brothers – we need someone like Nicola Cortese, who was at Southampton, to sort us out. Read how he signed Coutinho and Pochettino.
Remember when you were at school? End of term, the teacher would say "Now go home, have a rest, and come back ready for a new term – and don't get into trouble!"
So, ToffeeWebbers, fortify yourselves and I hope we're all here for the next instalment of 'Dick Barton, Special Agent'!
58 Posted 26/05/2022 at 07:38:37
I think I read regarding the Patrick Viera incident they've spoken to him and the fan involved.
I would have liked EFC to have banned him and any others they could identify.
Prior to the kick-off, did we announce over the tannoy not to run on the pitch ?
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