Horses for Courses – and a defence of Calvert-Lewin

Kevin Prytherch 21/08/2019 126comments  |  Jump to last
2010, Ryaniar chase, Cheltenham – Albertas Run at 14/1. He’s done nothing all season so why back him? Well he won 2 years ago at the festival and always seemed to perform well at Cheltenham. Perform he did, and my £10 win set me up for the rest of the festival. My point being, Albertas Run loved Cheltenham, hence the saying – Horses for Courses.

What is our best team at the moment? Or rather, based on the back end of last season, what would be our first-choice starting XI at the moment? My guess would be:

Pickford, Digne, Mina, Keane, Coleman, Gbamin, Gomes, Bernard, Sigurdsson, Richarlison, Calvert-Lewin.

It’s a proven team; it works against the top teams and produced our best football towards the back end of last season (obviously replacing Zouma and Gueye with Mina and Gbamin).

Our problem is, this is our best team against the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Chelsea etc; however, it’s also our best team against Burnley, Watford, Newcastle etc. Why should this be the case? – Well, it worked last season against the best, so it should surely work against the worst teams, right? Wrong, we’ve seen already in 2 games that we don’t look even half the attacking threat against teams who sit back and defend.

4-2-3-1

This is undoubtedly our favoured formation and it has proved to work; however, with a few simple tweaks, we could set up differently depending on the opposition, play different styles and slightly different personnel depending on what we expect the opposition to do. I’ve seen plenty of radical changes offered by fellow posters; false 9s, inverted wingers, 3 at the back etc… The problem being, that radical changes often disrupt the team.

The following are a few tweaks that wouldn’t alter the set up much, but could give us different options against different teams. Please note that this is a very simplistic generalisation (I am making some assumptions about our new players, that Gbamin is basically a replacement for Gueye, that Iwobi is a direct, fast player who also helps out defensively, and that Kean likes to make runs beyond the defenders):

Our Current Setup

This has proven to work against good opposition who look to attack us, or look to at least play against us. It relies heavily on Calvert-Lewin doing a lot of the donkey work upfront and Sigurdsson supporting him with a high press. When we turn over the ball there is space between the midfield and defence which Sigurdsson, Bernard and Richarlison exploit, break quickly and create quick goal-scoring opportunities with the space afforded by our pressing game.

In addition, Bernard and Richarlison drop into midfield when not pressing, effectively creating a 4-4-1-1 in defence. This shores up the midfield and, in turn, ensures that we have a tight defence. It works.

I would guess that this is ideal against the better teams, especially at home when we would be expected to play some degree of football.

4-2-3-1 – Iwobi for Bernard

If Iwobi is more direct than Bernard then this could be an option away against some of the very top teams, such as Liverpool, Spurs and Man City. We wouldn’t be expected to have as much of the ball so the directness of Richarlison and Iwobi on either wing would enable us to counter at a rapid pace. If Iwobi is decent defensively, it would also allow us to fall back to the 4-4-1 when defending. Again, Calvert-Lewin would be preferred to Kean due to his ability to hold the ball up and occupy defenders.

4-2-3-1 – Kean for Sigurdsson

I would use this against teams who would prefer to sit back, however, can still play a bit, such as Watford. For Sigurdsson to play effectively, he generally needs space and runners around him. Against the better teams, his work rate is vital and, when turning the ball over, the likes of Richarlison and Bernard quickly make runs into the space afforded by the turnover. Against teams who play defensively with their midfield and defence close together, Sigurdsson isn’t afforded this space and his game severely diminishes, hence the general debate about him at present.

By playing Kean, we would effectively be playing Calvert-Lewin in Sigurdsson's role as a deep-lying striker, which is pretty much what Sigurdsson plays anyway against these teams. The difference here is that the opposition centre-backs, who previously are occupied with Calvert-Lewin, now have 2 players to concentrate on. This could result in either the opposition defence dropping even deeper to compensate for Kean's pace and movement, therefore opening up space between the midfield and defence that Richarlison and Bernard can exploit.

The other option is that they could play with an extra defensive midfielder or an extra defender; this would open up more space in midfield that Gomes could exploit, attempting to bypass both layers if Kean's movement and Gomes vision are good enough. Again, Calvert-Lewin would be a vital cog as, for want of sounding harsh, Sigurdsson just doesn’t represent a threat to the opposition centre backs in the same way that Tosun doesn’t. There is no pace or physicality to scare them. There is with Calvert-Lewin.

By keeping with Gbamin and Gomes in midfield, as well as wide players who can defend, we still have the defensive solidarity that we currently have.

4-2-3-1 – Kean for Sigurdsson and either Delph or Davies for Gbamin

I would use this against the very weak teams who offer little or no attacking threat. With this tweak, Gomes would sit deep where Gbamin would normally be. This should hopefully allow Gomes to attempt to pull the strings from deep, again relying on Kean's movement to open up opportunities for the type of passes that could take out both banks of the opposition's defence. We would still have Calvert-Lewin doing the donkey work; we would also have Kean stretching the defence and either Davies or Delph in and around the forward areas. I wouldn’t play Sigurdsson here as we would still need players who could revert back into a defensive shape if needed and I don’t think Sigurdsson is that type of player.

4-3-3 – The alternative – Kean for Calvert-Lewin and Delph for Sigurdsson

I believe this is the reason that Silva bought Delph. Based on the current state of posters, it would also appease both sides. Here we have a midfield 3, 2 attacking wingers and a goalscoring centre-forward, not too dissimilar to the way that Man City and Liverpool like to set up. I don’t see where Sigurdsson fits into this formation as he often plays too high upfield to play as part of the midfield 3, and Calvert-Lewin simply does not get into enough goalscoring positions to be the fulcrum of this attack. Decide yourself about when this would be an ideal formation.

There you go – simple tweaks depending on the opposition – not persisting with the same team and the same setup regardless. Horses for Courses.

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Reader Comments (126)

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Amit Vithlani
1 Posted 22/08/2019 at 05:56:02
Not much of a defence of Calvert-Lewin, then?
Ralph Basnett
2 Posted 22/08/2019 at 07:33:24
Horses for courses maybe.

But Calvert-Lewin is a donkey, and Silva would be an ass to continue with him.

Dick Fearon
3 Posted 22/08/2019 at 08:07:22
I keep reading about his s-called 'hold-up play' but I have yet to see it.

A Number 9 should keep defenders at full stretch but they deal with Calvert-Lewin same as a parent worries about a toddler.

Whoever it is that is paid good money to show him the ropes does so under false pretences.

Martin Berry
4 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:02:15
There is no doubt for me that Everton's turn-around last season was reverting Richarlison to the flanks and Calvert-Lewin at centre-forward.

Calvert-Lewin's hold-up play was excellent and praised several times on MotD, he allowed space and really occupied the opposition's central defenders.

The lad will come good, he is still so young and in Moise Kean we have a star in the making that will give us so many options.

Eric Paul
5 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:18:27
At the back end of last season, Calvert-Lewin was our best player and was bullying central defenders, creating space for others to exploit. I think when we are up to speed with the new signings settled in, he will be a valuable team member, and if he can add a few goals, which I think he will, we will finish in the top 6.
Dave Abrahams
6 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:33:41
Well said, Martin (4) and Eric (5).
David Pearl
7 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:44:57
We should ask Mr Ed.
Stan Schofield
8 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:47:08
Kevin, I'm no tactician, but what you've written seems sensible. The main criticism last season was a failure to break down donkey teams who park the bus, which was frustrating given that we played well against the top-6 sides.

I think the new signings should give us the flexibility we need. And, as you indicate, Calvert-Lewin can have an important part to play in it.

James Marshall
9 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:54:21
Nevermind a defence of DCL, there's one majorly important thing missing from all of the OP. Defence.

Every bit of it talks about us in attack, with zero focus on defending and what Sigurdsson (and others) bring in terms of work-rate and defensive help.

Saying we should use Kean in the second striker role, and dropping Sigurdsson, fails to address the fact he runs more miles than anyone else in the team, thus putting a huge amount of responsibility on Kean – an unproven 19-year-old.

The OP seems to fit your personal agenda, without really addressing the overall issues. That said, we've only played 2 games this season, so I'm not really sure why we're having this 'overhaul' type conversation already anyway!

Derek Thomas
10 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:55:07
Can't fault the theory, horses for courses, sqare pegs that best fit the square holes of the team... or course... you're playing (on). In theory you can't go wrong, but don't tell us, tell Silva.
Clive Rogers
11 Posted 22/08/2019 at 09:59:30
Calvert-Lewin's hold up play is average, but the problem is he is hopeless in the box. Most games he finishes with zero shots or headers on goal. He has not scored in his last 13 games. The first priority of a striker is goals.
James Marshall
12 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:00:37
Exactly, Clive – Calvert-Lewin is not a striker. He may be a forward, but a striker he is not.

Brothel. Couldn't. In. Score.

Clive Rogers
13 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:05:25
James, he probably could on his wages.
John Keating
14 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:28:17
Silva's systems don't cater for it but I would love to see Calvert-Lewin playing alongside someone. At times, he is far too isolated with supporting players slow getting up to him.

We should persevere with the lad. We got rid of Kenny and, given a chance, many would get rid of Calvert-Lewin and Davies. I reckon both would get snapped up.

Pat Kelly
15 Posted 22/08/2019 at 10:58:04
Calvert-Lewin and Davies can both go in the next clear out, hopefully.
James Newcombe
16 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:02:20
Alberta's Run mentioned on ToffeeWeb, my days... Beautiful fella he was, and the heart of a lion.
Daniel A Johnson
17 Posted 22/08/2019 at 11:56:40
Would we miss Calvert-Lewin if he left?

A striker who can't score goals is easy to replace, hard-working etc etc etc etc... excuses, excuses — where are his goals???

Simple fact: For a team with top 4-6 aspirations, he's not good enough. Not good enough now and won't be good enough in the future.

DCL would be nowhere near the Man Utd, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man City, or Spurs teams, so why should he be a starter in ours?

James Marshall
18 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:31:44
Daniel@17, exactly. Everton and indeed, Evertonians seem to cling to this belief that having players who work hard, and try hard is enough. It isn't, and shouldn't be the yardstick by which we view players.

We should be looking for top class players, the ones who would be picked by the top clubs as you mention. We require a shift in fan-thinking to go along with the slow shift in the way the club is being run. Way too many of our fanbase are happy with mediocre footballers who 'put in a shift' and 'play for the shirt'. I find all that to be a bit of a joke to be honest - I don't want crappy players who run about a lot of appear to 'care' about Everton, whatever that means.

I want winners, goal scorers and players that are going to win trophies before I die.

Matthew Williams
19 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:51:06
He works harder than Richarlison and Sigurdsson combined but needs a Sat-Nav to find the back of the net, unfortunately.
Steve Ferns
20 Posted 22/08/2019 at 12:57:08
Dominic's last 12 games:

Watford 1-0 home win
C. Palace 0-0 away draw
Burnley 2-0 home win
C. Palace 0-0 away draw
Man Utd 4-0 home win
Fulham 0-2 away defeat
Arsenal 1-0 home win
West Ham 2-0 away win
Chelsea 2-0 home win
Newcastle 2-3 away defeat
Liverpool 0-0 home draw
Cardiff C 3-0 away win
(he did not play against Spurs due to injury)

So that's 12 games, 7 wins, 3 draws, 2 defeats, 24 points. He only scored 2 and got 1 assist. Not easy games either. It would be good enough for 72 points if trebled and with 2 games to spare.

So you'd dismantle a winning side, displaying the form of a top 4 / 5 side? Just because the man front and centre of that side is not scoring enough?

Why can't you guys wait for the inevitable loss of form and save all your detritus for then? Meantime, let the guys who want to be positive actually enjoy being Evertonians for once?

James Marshall
21 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:03:13
Steve@20

Because people keep writing articles about him, and TW keep publishing them. DCL should score more goals. Fact. I won't argue with your point or your results above. I will argue with your point about simply trebling that points tally. You & I both know that's fanciful at best, and not based on any sense of reality over a season.

As for your lasp gasp dig, hidden in your final sentence – we're all Evertonians here old boy.

Stan Schofield
22 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:12:03
Daniel @17 and James @18: There may well be some Evertonians who are quite happy to put up with mediocrity. But many, perhaps most, are not. Many demand that we be back at the top.

For myself, I have a feeling of Evertonian entitlement and desire for elitism that stems quite naturally from being brought up on 1960s Everton sides, the School of Science and all that great stuff. I'm extremely unhappy about being midtable, and have been for three decades.

I believe that Calvert-Lewin is a good player, but not elite, just as Everton are not currently elite. He fits in Silva's developing system that HOPEFULLY will see significant improvement in our performances and results. DCL has been asked to perform within a setup that has been habitually dysfunctional, including during several months of last season. Given this dysfunctionality, he has performed well. It will be interesting to see how he will perform if and when Silva's system, with the new signings, provides significant and consistent improvement.

Many players begin to prosper when the system in which they play improves (just look at the likes of Coutinho and Firmino from our loveable neighbour's, and dare I say our own Michael Keane).

Until then, it's difficult to assess how good a player like DCL is, impossible to assess their future prospects, and a bit daft to make assertions about his chances of getting into top-6 sides.

James Hughes
23 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:14:22
Steve Ferns, spot on sir. I don't get the abuse Calvert-Lewin receives.

I will have to repeat myself (not alone on here): The run we put together at the end of last season was fantastic, DCL was not lacking in that run. He kept defenders occupied every game.

He needs to develop a bit more composure and he will be fine. On another thread his record against Kane was compared. Major difference for me Kane has played under Pochettino only. DCL has played under 4 different managers! Koeman who couldn't give a flying fuck about us and Allarshite. The latter with his anti-football approach wouldn't help anyone develop.

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:27:00
James, it's called form. The fact it's a large sample size (a third of a season) and against a large number of top 6 sides, shows that it is anything but fanciful.

But you get right back to sticking the boot in. I'm sure a slip up is right around the corner and you can go right back to getting the boot into more than just Dominic. The negativity on here is an utter disgrace.

John Keating
25 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:31:23
James @18,

I think we all want the same for the Club, however, there are certain players picked out and slagged off and have been since I can remember.

You mention we should only be going for top players who would be picked by top Clubs. So let's take Everton's starting 11 for the two games so far this season. Can you name one who would be snapped up by Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd, Arsenal??

Pickford? Digne? Doubt many more.

So why don't we slag off all of them, why just Calvert-Lewin?

Geoff Lambert
26 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:50:20
Steve, you mean he is in form now???

Jesus wept, Barn door, banjo, cow's arse, DCL – have you ever seen a top team that has a hard working main striker that can't score or even get a shot on target or create a goal for his team?

I watch the guy pass a ball straight in to touch on more than a few occasions from just a few yards away.

Geoff Lambert
27 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:54:06
John #25 Because they all do the job they are ment to do when they play for us. DCL would struggle to get in the Leeds Utd starting 11 never mind our top 6.
Jamie Crowley
28 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:56:23
I think we know what the new TW lightning rod is!

Until Marco changes it up, it doesn't matter. DCL does many things well - in fact he does it ALL well except putting the damn ball in the back of the net!

What I don't understand for the life of me, is the raw anger some people have at this kid starting. He's 22. I don't expect him to come in, snap his fingers, and start bagging 25 goals a year. It doesn't work that way.

Why rip the kid to shreds when he clearly has 2 or 3 years left to develop? All the while doing a pretty damn good job for us in the main.

Argue away. This kid's about to tear opinion, and possibly get crucified.

Steve Ferns
29 Posted 22/08/2019 at 13:57:37
Geoff, never said "he is in form". I said Everton are. The last 12 games DCL played for us we got 24 points. Which is Champions League form.

Have I "ever seen a top team that has a hard working main striker that can't score"? Yes - The World Champions. Lots of sides get goals from other places than the central forward. How many goals did Firmino score in his last 12 Premier League games? Does it even matter when Mane and Salah score so many?

Ciarán McGlone
30 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:00:16
DCL has a lot of potential, but simply can't play the lone forward role.

Put him with Kean and I think you'd see more product. But that would probably involve dropping Sigurdsson, which is a crime apparently.

Steve Ferns
31 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:00:42
The thing is, Jamie, if everything goes to plan, he'll be warming the bench for Kean in due course.

Who was Lukaku's backup? Does anyone remember? Did anyone even care? Not really, because Lukaku scored a load. but yet people got on his back too. And all the things that Lukaku supposedly did not do, are all the things that DCL does do.

People want perfection, and life ain't perfect, and neither is football.

Geoff Lambert
32 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:02:54
Send him over to Liverpool then, would he even get in their League Cup squad? Not a chance. We can't keep saying maybe he will score a few or hit the target in the next few games, He is just not good enough. and to compare him with Firmino!! You are really taking the piss there.
Jamie Crowley
33 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:10:19
Geoff -

Would he even get in their League Cup squad? Not a chance.

I'm actually with you on a lot of your points, but DCL now get in their League Cup squad?

Pah-leez.

Making overly brash statements, simply with the intent to piss people off, is something I've tried before on this site about 4-5 years ago. It didn't go over very well. Just sayin'.

Surely you see some good traits in DCL, even if you consider him Championship level at best?

Geoff Lambert
35 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:18:27
Jamie #28,

The thing is, he has not just come in – he has played for Everton 83 times!

He is not a kid of 18 or 19... he is 23 next birthday. He should be sent out on loan to the Championship or League One and let's see if he can put the ball in the same size net as we use in the Premier League.

As far as picking on DCL only, if a player is not good enough IMO, I will say so, as will other posters who are all entitled to their opinions as we all are. I want Everton to be up with the best and, for that, we need to pick the best players.

James Marshall
36 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:19:26
Steve@24
John@25

You're both whinging about me being negative, and both whinging about me whinging about DCL, on a thread ABOUT DCL.

Do you see the fly in the ointment here?

I have nothing against the kid, but I don't think he's very good at putting the round thing in the square thing. If you bothered to take notice of anything else I say on here, rather than having your own opinion out on a fucking great big stick at all times, waving it vigorously in everyone else's face 24/7, then you'd also know that I'm one of the more positive people on TW.

That last bit is really aimed at you, Steve Ferns. You're a smart guy, but you do not react well to other people's opinions.

Don Alexander
37 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:25:33
Steve, I don't pretend to analyse games in the way you do and I spend no time trying to point-score against other opinions by using stats (I have the same view as Disraeli on stats) but your list of results at #20 interested me on account of the fact that in ten of those twelve games we didn't concede a single goal.

From your point of view can you evaluate Dom's part in that by harrying defenders and the like?

Cheers.

Jay Harris
38 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:25:49
The main problem we have as a team is that there are only Sigurdsson and Richarlison who can score regularly.

None of the other players (Maybe Seamus is an exception), including DCL, would anyone bet on scoring regularly.

I have no doubt the whole team works hard, which in itself is a big turnaround but we have always lacked that decisive goalscorer since Lukaku left.

Now there is no argument about Moise Kean replacing DCL because unlike DCL his record suggests he will score goals... and that, my friends, is what being a centre-forward is all about.

Geoff Lambert
39 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:32:37
Here are some stats for the stato.

Premier League Record, Calvert-Lewin:

Appearances 80
Goals 11
Assists 8

Premier League Record, Firmino:

Appearances 139
Goals 49
Assists 28

And he didn't score in the last 12 games... Wow.

James Marshall
40 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:38:14
If we're going to pick apart Steve's use of stats above, DCL scored 2 goals in those 12 games as Steve rightly mentions. One was in a 3-2 defeat, and the other the third in a 3-0 victory in the 93rd minute.

Hardly affecting games with his goalscoring, is he?

John Keating
41 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:44:53
Geoff 27, I don't think you read my post correctly.

James 36, I think you're being a bit dramatic. I never mentioned at all that you were whinging. I just replied and asked a question to what you stated in your post.

You, like everyone else, are entitled to your opinion; I only asked what top class players we have would be snapped up by the top 4-5 just now apart from maybe Pickford, Richarlison and Digne.

At present, the rest are all mid league players to be honest but we hope Silva can get the right tactics to suit them to improve them and our league position.

Last 2 games there are a couple of players not exactly lighting us up and singling DCL out to me seems a bit harsh.

Geoff Lambert
42 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:48:24
John. I like the fact that as you write more posts you are adding players to your list. Who next?
Rob Dolby
43 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:48:37
Calvert-Lewin is better in the air and holds the ball up better than either Niasse or Tosun. He deserves his place in the team until we buy someone better. I expect as soon as Kean gets up to speed he will oust DCL from the team.

We have all seen enough of DCL to realise he isn't a Lukaku but he does link up play well. It's a shame the days of 2 strikers have gone as he looks like he would benefit from playing alongside another striker.

James Marshall
44 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:49:12
John - I'm not singling out DCL, that's the point. I'm replying to a thread written about DCL, so I'm giving my opinion about DCL.

He is not, in my opinion, the root of our problems as such, he just doesn't score enough goals, which is pretty fundamental for a decent striker!

Also, I don't disagree with you about various other players not being that great either, but I do agree with you that we're a mid table team these days and have been for many years. We should however, be aiming higher than DCL as our main striker – we have to think bigger & better as a club, and as supporters. In my view.

Steve Ferns
45 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:53:54
If only we'd signed a £30m striker eh James?

And, again, goals are not fundamental for the central forward in Silva sides, where the goals come from elsewhere.

Don, I think that goes without saying. Pretty basic stuff the work that DCL does for the side which enables others to hold position and the defence to assemble quickly and so make us less susceptible to a quick counter attack. Not just Dom, but Richarlison and Bernard too. All three forwards get back quickly and track all the way the back, which does not happen as much at most sides.

Mike Gaynes
46 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:57:58
Geoff #32 et al, as Steve pointed out the club is getting great results with DCL in the lineup (24 points in 12), so is it your belief that DCL has nothing to do with it? Or that we're overcoming his inadequacies to get these results?

More to the point, would you take him out of the side to find out for sure?

James Marshall
47 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:57:59
Moise Kean? He's shite, Steve.

Played 2, scored 0 = shite.

(I'm kidding)

James Marshall
48 Posted 22/08/2019 at 14:59:24
For all the backing you're all giving DCL, I commend you. I would stil like my centre-forward to score goals, and not just be 'good for the team' as you seem to be putting it. Call me old-fashioned.
John Keating
49 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:01:46
That's it Geoff. Nobody else. The rest are all mid-table, as is the team.
James Hughes
50 Posted 22/08/2019 at 15:12:33
Geoff #39 — and how many games has DCL played as a No 9?

He has played as a right-wingback and also as a winger, so the boy has been moved about a bit.

Darren Hind
51 Posted 22/08/2019 at 16:14:10
I used to think Dominic Calvert-Lewin got murdered on TW, but I have to re-evaluate that opinion now.

Having spent a lot of time on the Live Forum last season, I noticed there was one particular poster who was quite literally obsessed. Every away game, he would post repeatedly – and I mean repeatedly – singling out Calvert-Lewin. That would have been fine... but here's the bizarre part: he Never mentioned any other player. He didn't see their mistakes.

He would constantly batter away, often posting over a dozen times... even when DCL was not playing. If he came on as sub with 10 minutes to go, he would blame him if we didn't score. Anyone who logged onto the live forum last season will know the poster I'm talking about. The really funny thing was, whenever DCL did score, he would simply disappear.

Looking at the two current threads on the main forum debating DCL, it would appear that a similar thing is happening. At first, I thought DCL was taking a kicking. then I realised the same people were coming back and basically saying the same thing every time they post: "He's shite." "End of" – insightful.

For me, at least, Steve Ferns has finished this debate. He's thrown the winning dart. Landed the knock-out blow, served the unreturnable match point – I`ve never seen that done on here before.

Everyone who argues on this forum has one thing in their heart. The good of Everton Football Club. After years of searching for a winning formula, years of trying to get the right balance, years of humiliating defeats against top teams, years of seeing Everton's attacks treated with utter contempt...

Silva finally put a stop to the foolishness of playing DCL on the wing. He stopped bringing him on late when the game was already up. He gave him a starting position and asked him to lead the line. The results, as Steve points out, were staggering. They have been better than anything we have seen for years. Top teams have been outplayed and humbled.

Until Silva took his decision, we had many many fans doubting if we could get a result against any of these teams. Not only were we transformed... not only did we get results... We twatted them. The only REAL radical change to our line up was giving DCL an extended run.

Those who only ever really surface to hammer away at this guy would do well to ask themselves one question: If DCL is our problem – why, when he was sitting on the bench, did all the other players have us feeling so pessimistic, worried and downright miserable? Why couldn't we buy a fucking win?

I would like to think Silva isn't a complete moron. I would like to think he knew who his best player was when we were twatting Chelsea, Arsenal and the Mancs. I would like to think he is reading TW at this moment, pissing himself laughing at some of these comments.

"DCL will never make a Premier League forward" – side-splitting. It's like saying a 30-year-old would never reach 29.

Mike Gaynes
52 Posted 22/08/2019 at 16:40:25
Darren, it is my profound hope -- and unshakeable belief -- that neither Brands nor Silva expends a single moment of their valuable time perusing TW.
Darren Hind
53 Posted 22/08/2019 at 16:48:03
I hope so for your sake, Mike.

If the hierarchy have been reading your comments about the sale of a certain young full-back to Wigan, you've already taken your last penalty at Goodison Park!

David Thomas
54 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:42:03
If Calvert-Lewin continues to be our starting forward for the foreseeable future, will everyone still be happy if in a couple of seasons time he is scoring 5 or 6 league goals a season?
Peter Warren
55 Posted 22/08/2019 at 19:45:03
End of last season. he was really good – just needs to adapt his play to get more goals.

To date, this season, he has been bang average and needs to improve, simple as that. If he doesn't, he will lose his place.

I think he will improve, score goals and continue to be a valuable team player.

Clive Rogers
56 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:15:21
Darren, 51, to say that the transformation of the team was simply down to moving Calvert-Lewin is ridiculous.

The bulk of the team improved over the course of the season. Keane and Zouma improved immensely and new signings like Digne, Gomes and Bernard got used to the Premier League. Richarlison was more comfortable on the right and Seamus took time to recover from his broken leg.

DCL's build-up play did improve a little, but he was still only average at best, while he failed to score in the last 8 games. There were a lot of factors.

Adam McCulloch
57 Posted 22/08/2019 at 20:57:46
If Calvert-Lewin was sulking the place out, continuously missing sitters, short of confidence, maybe all of the above, then I would understand the criticism he gets. But his work is often the unheralded side, pressing, harrying, stretching defenders.

I agree that he needs to be more clinical the few times he has an opening, and I think the signing of Kean will put some much needed pressure on him to start adding more goals to his game. But his attitude is great, he gives us a different option to the other forwards at the club, and the worst-case scenario is that he loses his place to the likes of Kean.

Kevin's article quite rightly flags up the fact that we have options, different ways of playing against different kinds of opponents. That's a positive thing. Yes, in an ideal world we'd have a first time squad and bench like Man City's but our squad is looking a lot healthier than it has done, particularly when you look back at the players we had in reserve under the likes of Martinez.

Jamie Crowley
58 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:17:05
David @ 54 -

If Calvert-Lewin continues to be our starting forward for the foreseeable future will everyone still be happy if in a couple of seasons time he is scoring 5 or 6 league goals a season?

No.

He's doing a great job with the rest of it. But he does, indeed, need to contribute via goals. Take his game to the next level, as it were.

I'm prepared to give him time to do so. But, as the prayer goes:

God, grant me patience, and be quick about it.

Steve Ferns
59 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:24:12
Jamie, how about if none of our forwards score a goal, and we win every game 1-0 with Yerry Mina scoring them all. Would you be happy then? Of course you would.

The bottom line is we need to be winning. Right now, we are doing alright. Reserve the criticism for when we're losing every game and we need goals and he's still in the team and you can't see where the next goal is coming from.

He's in the side for now, but the spectre of Moise Kean is looming large for Dom... it's only a matter of time.

Jamie Crowley
60 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:35:25
Steve @ 59 -

Jamie, how about if none of our forwards score a goal, and we win every game 1-0 with Yerry Mina scoring them all. Would you be happy then?

Yes.

But there always needs to be an eye on improving as a team.

I'd not define my analysis of Calvert-Lewin as criticism, but as a cautious eye towards what's best for Everton moving forward.

I hope the kid comes good in all facets of his game, including scoring goals.

Steve Ferns
61 Posted 22/08/2019 at 22:48:09
I wouldn't say you're critical, Jamie. You're one of the most positive (in the main). I think all the criticism here on TW is not reflective of the fan base I see in and around the ground who love the kid. Most anticipate he's going to be a sub soon and feel sorry for him with that inevitability.
David Pearl
62 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:02:28
Jamie,

I'd be very happy. I always have Mina as 1st scorer at odds of 33/1.

Kieran Kinsella
63 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:03:02
I like Calvert-Lewin. Yes, Steve, I would love us to win every game 1-0 with Mina scoring but that isn't realistic. I would compare Calvert-Lewin to Boksic at Juve. Funnily enough, they won a lot 1-0 and Boksic had great all-around play but few goals.

However Del Piero, Zidane and others were more frequent scorers (allowing for the fact Serie A has fewer goals) than our support cast. Consequently, I imagine we will sacrifice Calvert-Lewin to get goals from Kean.

Steve Ferns
64 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:07:23
Kieran, it's not serious, it's illustrative that, as long as we win, who cares where the goals come from? If we're losing, then start complaining.

Continuing from last season, we are going very well right now, and let's hope that continues tomorrow night with 3 points in the most played fixture in English football.

Andy Crooks
65 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:30:14
Darren, do you not get tired of it? Defending top young players, and seeing comment after negative comment? It is fucking soul-destroying to see Davies and Calvert-Lewin get booted.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin is top drawer. He runs himself into the ground carrying out a thankless task for the coach. To be judged as a striker would necessitate him being more Tosun-like. Well...

Laurie Hartley
66 Posted 22/08/2019 at 23:34:12
It's a shame that we are getting stuck into each other over a player who undoubtedly works hard for the team.

There is an option that Kevin has left out of the mix in his article – Kean for Bernard, Richarlison to the left and Kean to the right.

I love Bernard as a footballer but if it's more goals we want and, at the same time, to keep Calvert-Lewin in the side, then that looks the option to me.

From what I can see, it's that or Calvert-Lewin or Kean start on the bench.

Si Smith
67 Posted 23/08/2019 at 00:49:14
Towards the end of last season, and the 2 games we have played so far, Calvert-Lewin has been part of a side that wins a lot more games than it loses.

We defend well, and imo Calvert-Lewin starts that defence from his non-stop hard work along the top line.

We are seeing Silva develop a young team that is winning; Calvert-Lewin seems to be a big part of it. I don't see the issue a lot of people seem to have with his lack of goals.

Dom will improve on his goal scoring; he seems to be getting better at every aspect of his game apart from his finishing. I'm very sure he will get a goal soon; once that happens he will score more goals. I'd mark him down as a double-figures player by the end of the season.

Darren Hind
68 Posted 23/08/2019 at 07:30:37
David Thomas,

If we continue to get the results we have been getting since he was asked to lead the line, the fans will care about as much as the French fans did about Giroud not scoring as they paraded the World Cup around Paris.

Andy Crooks

I think the nastiness a section of our fan base reserve for young players is probably the reason I will eventually call it a day with this club. It's born out of total fucking ignorance.

I was going to list the youngsters and local lads who have been systematically hammered by clueless morons down the years, but I'd be here all day.

No player is above criticism, even the youngsters, but the non-stop batterings of youngsters trying to make a step up to the toughest league in the world (saving the club millions in the process) merely demonstrates the moronic nature of the critic. The really strange thing about it is, these players can NEVER win their attackers around... Not even if they move on or retire.

Barkley doesn't play for us any more and he still gets it. So does John Stones. At no stage were we ever behind when Tony Hibbert was on the field in the FA Cup Final... but to this day he still gets more blame for that defeat than all the players who did actually lose the game put together.

Breaking news... Tom Davies is not going to be Zinadine Zidane. That seems to be his crime. Instead of listening to non-stop applause for the way he has earned so many appearances against world-class opposition at the tender age of 21, all I hear is abuse. It's as if his critics think they are impressing with their ultra shrewd judgment for spotting that he isn't world class... and because he isn't, he is dismissed as "Championship at best"... ridiculed and abused from the stands. It embarrasses me just typing it.

For years, the fans of this club have been subjected to a really poor standard of football. The club have spent millions upon millions on so-called creative midfield players and strikers. Under Martinez, it was purposeless possession obsession. Under Koeman, it was dull zombie-paced shite, and under Allardyce, it was just fucking gutless.

The multi-millionaire superstars who so badly let us down got away virtually scott free. Most of them disappeared from the squad so they were not even in the firing line. We could not sustain an attack. We would go weeks without even having a shot on target.

In all that time, I didn't see many articles on TW put up in "defence" of these "superstars". There was no need... as I said. They were getting away with it. Nobody was attacking them, why would they need defending?

Before long, Silva found he had the same problem as his predecessors. He tried everything, but he was sinking. As a last resort, he finally gave Calvert-Lewin a run in his real position, leading the line.

We now sustain attacks, we now create chances, we now take the game to the big boys instead of cowering from the off. Centre-halves leaving the pitch after a game against Everton now KNOW they had been in a game. We have a young player who is frightened of NOBODY.

Lord knows DCL has his short-comings. He is not top class (another brilliant observation from the shrewdies) but he is improving and considering he was seen as a £1.5M stop-gap, he has acquitted himself quite brilliantly. He has shown all those failures before him how to take the fight to the big boys. Yet he takes more stick than all of them put together. What The Fuck is that all about?

"Yeah but he doesn't move like Aguero".... "Fuck the fact that we are winning, our striker hardly scores"... "He's not 22, he's nearly 23"... "Robbie Fowler was..."

"Husband is shite"
"Wright is shite"
"Reid is shite"
"Radcliffe is shite"
"Sharp is shite"
"Hibbert is shite"
"Osman is shite"
"Barkley is shite"
"Stones is shite"
"Davies is shite"

Different eras. Same dumbfuckery

James Hughes
69 Posted 23/08/2019 at 08:00:42
Darren, well said on both posts. I notice those posters are refusing to credit Calvert-Lewin for the job he has done for the team. The home game against Arsenal. He had their defence thinking there was 3 of him for most of the game.
Stan Schofield
70 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:19:21
Some posts have asked the old chestnut question of how many of our current first choice team would get into top-6 sides. I believe the following would quite easily:

Pickford
Coleman
Digne
Keane
Mina
Gomes
Sigurdsson
Richarlison
Calvert-Lewin

I can imagine someone coming back with 'Sigurdsson has been shite this season'. But you have to distinguish between form, which comes and goes, and quality.

The question itself perhaps points to an inferiority complex of some Evertonians when comparing our players with others, and it's manifested itself many times in the past, particularly asking whether Barkley, Stones and Lukaku would get into top-6 sides, which of course they each did quite easily, with Stones already collecting a haul of top medals.

The Club seems to be changing for the better, and perhaps some supporters need to change with it. Frustration at slow and halting progress is one thing, but a defeatist attitude is another.

Dave Williams
72 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:51:46
Steve Ferns, more power to your elbow – well said!!

His critics need to remember what they were like at his age. He's a very young man playing in the most difficult position, hasn't got a settled attacking unit around him to create chances, hasn't got a hard-man in the team to sort out the hairy- arsed defenders who will be threatening him with all sorts of GBH if he goes near them, and to cap it all there are sections of the support who slag him off despite him working his nuts off for the club.

How many on here were the finished article in their chosen profession etc at his age? Were we all a lot better at our job when we were say 25 with a few more years of experience behind us? He converted to a centre-forward late and has some catching up to do but the time to judge is when the side is settled and playing well, not the first two games of the season when in my view he has played well.

Maybe he will never be an instinctive scorer like Kane but the likes of Sharp, Alan Smith, Peter Withe, Frank Stapleton – there are loads of them – we're not instinctive scorers but developed into top-class centre-forwards who scored their share but contributed far more to the team than the likes of Cottee for example who could score goals but did very little else.

Heavy and consistent criticism will ruin most young players. Yes, it's a fact that he isn't a prolific goal scorer yet. It's also a fact that he leads the line very well and has still to develop more.

Sigurdsson hasn't scored yet and has missed more than Calvert-Lewin, and the same applies to Richarlison.

Give the lad a chance!!

Dave Williams
73 Posted 23/08/2019 at 09:54:24
ps: Just read Darren's post – brilliantly put and couldn't agree more!
Brian Williams
74 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:08:36
There's always going to be semi fallouts and dummy spitting on here and a lot of that is down to how different people post using different language, some of which comes across as agressive and some that comes across as knowing it all.

With regard to Calvert-Lewin, I will bow to Unsworth's opinion, a link to which I provided on another thread.

Unsy basically said Calvert-Lewin's doing well but needs to add scoring regularly to his repertoire. I don't think, IMO, it could have been summed up any better.

And like Unsy, I think once he starts scoring, he'll continue to score.

Matt Williams
75 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:21:29
Darren. Well said sir. Nearly spat my cornies out laughing at the last line.
Anthony A Hughes
76 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:35:04
Well, he's due a goal... so I'll be having a couple of quid on him tonight.
Derek Thomas
77 Posted 23/08/2019 at 10:42:18
Darren @68; I remember Harvey being 'shite' and Hurst too.
Dave Williams
78 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:01:40
Derek, Joe Royle took dog's abuse in his early days as did Adrian Heath. Alan Harper, Terry Darracott, Mick Lyons – all players who gave their all for the club but were targeted by so-called supporters for the slightest error.
David Pearl
79 Posted 23/08/2019 at 11:44:17
l did enjoy Darren Hind's rant. And agreed mostly.

I know Hibbert couldn't pass or cross but he really did improve over the years and people just ignored it, along with the fact he could've scored so many goals for us... if only he was on free kicks. I'm guessing he was banned from them, so as not to cause a riot.

Geoff Lambert
80 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:19:38
Don't you just love the condescending essays on here by the always right brigade, who have to champion the cause for the poor little multi-millionaires that get accused of not doing their job properly? Fuck me, you would think these nearly 23-year-old superstars get attacked in the streets. You would think by their replies that you had just abused their 12-year-old sister,

Get a life, I have witnessed lads and I mean lads (not Bentley-driving football players that live in multi-million pound houses with model girlfriends or wives) losing life and limb and taking shit night and day – now that's abuse for you.

I won't stop watching my beloved Everton because of these keyboard warriors. but might just find somewhere else to read and discuss all things Everton.

Francis van Lierop
81 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:27:55
Well said, Darren @68.

I've never understood this continually knocking down of our players. It's most likely frustration being vented.

On a previous site, there was this Ulsterman with an ominous nick-name of Sharpattack... At least two-thirds of his posts could consist of slagging Leon Osman. Really absurd.

At least the Spurs fans understand it better when singing about Harry Kane about him being "one of our own".

Dermot Byrne
82 Posted 23/08/2019 at 13:38:27
Darren: genuinely love "Same dumbfuckery".

And agree very much with your post.

Jakub Kollar
83 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:11:05
Darren, I am printing out the two long posts you have written today and putting on my fridge.
Geoff Lambert
84 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:16:12
Some great arse-licking going on today, girls.
Jakub Kollar
85 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:24:24
Geoff, could you just understand that some people have a different opinion than you do? There is nothing wrong with it, it just goddamn football.
James Hughes
86 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:30:57
Geoff, no need to get in a huff just because you disagree with people backing Calvert-Lewin.

Mike Allison
87 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:51:42
Go for it, Geoff, you come across quite angry and unpleasant.

And did you call people ‘girls' as an attempted insult? This isn't the playground in 1973.

Dave Williams
88 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:52:45
Seems a bit unnecessary, Geoff – there's room for all points of view
Trevor Peers
89 Posted 23/08/2019 at 14:53:17
Geoff @80 I think the silent majority are on your side, I remember a slip of the tounge by one of the of the so-called victims of crowd abuse Tony Hibbert, when he referred to our supporters as 'punters' in an interview after leaving the club.

That was a bit rich coming from a guy who now runs his own lucrative fisheries business in France, not a bad lIving earned off the 'punters' who watched him regularly for all those years when we never won a silver pot to piss in.

Mike Allison
90 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:06:12
“I think the silent majority are on your side”

How could you possibly know that?

Why would there be a silent majority? Why would they be on the side of nastily slagging off one of our players whilst the team is on a reasonably successful run?

How does this mindset even work? It makes no sense to me. Do you watch the game tonight hoping Calvert-Lewin doesn’t score?

If there’s a silent majority at all, it’s people that think Calvert-Lewin is decent, partially effective but they wish he scored more. It’s not the ridiculous, sarcastic, angry, venomous nonsense spouted by Geoff.

John McFarlane Snr
91 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:07:39
Hi all, I have tried to resist the urge to join the 'Slagging Off' debate but I'm afraid that temptation has overtaken me. I have actively followed Everton since 1948. Some players I idolised, others I thought were not good enough to represent the club, however I did what every supporter [in my opinion] should do, and that is 'encourage and support' both categories. Once more [it's my opinion] that if a lad is considered good enough to play professional football, he should be afforded a bit of respect.
Trevor Peers
92 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:13:56
Mike, I think the point is millionaire footballers are there to be shot down and that's the way it's always been.

Of course we all hope Calvert-Lewin scores lots of goals — that's his job.

But if he doesn't, we're entitled to criticise — why would anyone get angry about that?

Anthony Flack
93 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:21:49
I would play Calvert-Lewin ahead of Richarlison tonight.

He is wearing the shirt, works his nuts off, and brings value to the team.

Come on, you Blues.

Kieran Kinsella
94 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:24:30
Geoff/Trevor

I think it's about balance. Yeah I agree generally about "the poor little rich boy" mentality versus the average Joe. But, personally I watch football because I enjoy the support – not because I want to abuse people.

If someone says "Calvert-Lewin did badly because his technique was wrong, he didn't make the right run, he was slow to react etc" – that is constructive criticism that is interesting to read and to discuss. But what we tend to see is constructive defences of him on here versus "he is shite".

Jamie Crowley
95 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:24:54
John McFarlane Snr
96 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:34:38
Hi Trevor [92], you appear to me to be suggesting that footballers should be judged on wealth rather than ability. Do you consider that less affluent players are more likely to be spared criticism? I don't think so; a miss is a miss — rich or poor.
Mike Gaynes
97 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:37:26
Given that we've taken 24 points from the last 12 games Calvert-Lewin has started (going back to last season), I'd say Geoff and Trevor are being highly complimentary to the rest of the players.

They think we're getting these results playing 10 men against 11.

Trevor Peers
98 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:43:34
Hi John.

I'd say goalscorers and goalkeepers are more likely to come under the microscope than the rest, and maybe that is unfair, but hey, that's life. I'm sure they know it's all part of the job — and you're either a villain or a hero.

Steve Ferns
99 Posted 23/08/2019 at 15:46:48
This kind of negativity is what we used to see here when we were on one of our oft-barren runs. It's 2 games into the season, we haven't yet conceded a goal, we finished last season strongly and made a few good signings who are yet to come into the team. One of these signings is one of Europe's best young strikers, who will score goals. You'd think people would be enjoying being a blue, with the team winning for once?

It seems this site is more and more a vehicle for people to unleash their anger on a chosen player, and then state he's fair game because of how much he earns. I could understand the criticism when we are not winning, but guys don't even wait for that now. If you're angry with Everton and our players right now, then maybe it's not for you, because we all know that with Everton there's always a slump around the corner. Why not keep your powder dry for then? Or is it so you can say, "I told you so", which Darren perfectly observed when he wrote this:

"It's as if his critics think they are impressing with their ultra shrewd judgment for spotting that he isn't world class... and because he isn't, he is dismissed as "Championship at best"... ridiculed and abused from the stands. It embarrasses me just typing it."

James Hughes
100 Posted 23/08/2019 at 16:33:08
Jamie, #95 Mr Crowley you've done it again. just excellent :)
Bill Griffiths
101 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:01:55
Personally I like Dom even though I do have the occasional doubts. I didn't see the Palace game but thought he was just average against Watford. However I am more than happy for Silva to continue with him while we get results.
What annoys me is the hypocrisy on here. Moise Kean was on for a short while against Watford and posters were fawning over him big style. Now I know nothing about him other than what I have read on TW and the Red Echo Site. What I saw when he came on was a lad who ran a lot and worked hard. He created one chance which was well off target and missed another that he really should have scored. DCL is pilloried for the same.
I know it was only Kean's second outing but lets treat everyone the same.
Darren Hind
102 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:06:21
I think every footballer is there to be criticised. but when its the same one getting hammered all the time, its stops being normal criticism for me. It becomes something a little more unpleasant.

I personally know a couple of people who don't ever talk about other players Other than Davies and DCL (they have eased of JJ recently)

There are several people on here, some of whom are revealing themselves on this thread who don't seem to realise we have 20 odd other players. I have never seen them mention any of them. They seem totally oblivious to the fact that dozens of players have represented this club over the past 5 years and the overwhelming majority have been crap. . .

Is battering away at the same player all the time mere opinion ? not for me it isn't, it's a clear demonstration of ignorance.

I suspect these people think they are the only people who recognise that Davies has no pace and Calvert-Lewin is not a natural predator. They post the same thing so often in the hope of showing everyone else how sharp they are for spotting the blindingly obvious,

Hammering of the same player/s every time says more about the so called critics than the player/s they are hammering.
All they will ever achieve is draw the inevitable defence from people who can see the shortcoming in EVERY player. Not just a couple of whipping boys

Kevin Prytherch
103 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:17:25
Although I knew this article would turn into another Calvert-Lewin bashing one, the point is that, if we continue to line up the same way against all opposition rather than tweaking it depending on the opposition, the criticism is always likely to remain the same - especially when we play teams who sit back with little space between the defence and midfield.

Sigurdsson will continue to be vilified by some because he isn’t creating chances or scoring - when we are playing in a way that doesn’t suit him.

Calvert-Lewin will continue to be vilified by some when the team isn’t creating much - because we’ve nullified one of our biggest threats in Sigurdsson.

However we could tweak how we play, look at creating more, then these hounding might stop and we could get back to being behind the team - like we were at the back end of last year. It’s no coincidence that the atmosphere and the team performances went hand in hand, if we let the negativity creep back into the games then we risk it affecting the performances again.

I don’t know how to expect Villa to line up tonight, if they genuinely look to attack, then I would continue with the same line up and would hope that we produce enough to silence these threads.

If they look to defend deep and hit us on the counter, I would start with Calvert-Lewin and Kean at the expense of Sigurdsson, look to keep the midfield tight and hope that Keans movement and Calvert-Lewin’s generally nuisanceness (don’t think that’s actually a word) will create enough gaps for our more creative players to exploit.

Steve Brown
104 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:19:27
Geoff @ 26, 'cow's arse' certainly describes someone but it isn't DCL. I suppose that's democracy isn't it? On forum like this we have interesting posters and vitriol merchants like you.
Steve Brown
105 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:34:57
By the time Sharpie was 23, he had netted 17 goals in all competitions for Everton playing in the era when he had a fellow striker. I wonder what abuse Geoff Lambert rained down on that dead leg? He wouldn't have been alone as plenty others abused Sharp, Heath, Steven, Ratcliffe and Stevens at that time. It is part of a strange psychology among a certain section of our fans that has always been unpleasant.
Ralph Basnett
106 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:42:43
105 replies but the one thing that seems to be pertinent is that he is playing the striker role and it does not matter how hard he works, how far he runs or how well he holds the ball up – if he is not scoring, we are carrying him.

Would we be so supportive of Pickford if he was catching well, giving great delivery and taking exceptional goal kicks if he was conceding goals every game? I don't think so.

We have players for positions, his is the striker and this position is a goal-scoring position, he is not scoring and it's as simple as that.

Steve Ferns
107 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:42:48
Kevin, I think we do play to Sigurdsson's strengths. How else do you explain a career high 13 Premier League goals?

You've intrigued me though, how could we get even more from him? How'd you change it around? Who'd you play and what position?

Steve Ferns
108 Posted 23/08/2019 at 17:54:43
Ok Ralph, Pickford concedes a goal a game through his own mistake, but his attacking play, ie kicking, directly leads to counter attacking goals and we are unbeaten in each of these games he is making a mistake, winning more than we draw. Would you drop him in favour of a safer keeper and keep a clean sheet but lose the attacking play and potentially the win?
David Thomas
109 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:05:10
Steve Brown,

Are you sure that stat is right? I’m pretty sure Sharpie had scored over 30 odd goals before he turned 23.

Kevin Prytherch
110 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:12:21
Steve 107 - I think we play to his strengths against certain teams, but not when the opposition is focussed on defending and there is not much space between the defence and midfield.

Sigurdsson seems to me as a player who is better when there’s a bit if space either in front of him or around him, he is one of the prime reasons why we were so successful against the better teams towards the end of last season. The better teams always looked to attack us, thus there was space when we turned over the ball. The pressing from the front that he does also benefitted is, there’s probably not many advanced midfielders who put the yards in that he does. However I don’t think he is effective when that space is taken away, usually by teams that look to park the bus in front of us. We still seem to have an issue of breaking these teams down and Sigurdsson is often anonymous in them.

If we go a goal or 2 up and the opposition then have to attack more, we would probably play to his strengths again. That’s why, if we believe that Villa will sit back tonight, I would leave Sigurdsson on the bench, however if we go a goal up and Villa start to attack a bit, I would then bring Sigurdsson on to offer us more in attack and defence.

David Thomas
111 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:14:21
I can only speak for myself with regards DCL and from my view as a match going fan I don’t think he is good enough.

I don’t dislike the lad as his effort is admirable and would never go to a match and just slag him off for the sake off it.

However on a site like this were we are all evertonians discussing matches and players etc all I’m saying is DCL is not a player who is capable of helping Everton become a top club again in my opinion.

I don’t think that is being negative it’s just a personal opinion.

Anyway I’m on route to Villa Park now so let’s all hope he scores a hat trick and proves me wrong.

Steve Ferns
112 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:22:07
Kevin I agree with you. But I thought you were saying that Silva didn’t play to his strengths. I don’t think Sigurdsson has ever had a better manager for his own interests than Silva, which is why he scored as many as he did. Silva’s brand of counter-attacking and high press football is perfect for him.

But as you say, a slower possession based game is not great for Gylfi. But it doesn’t suit many but the world class players that city have who face it, week in, week out and so have developed the game to beat the “low block”. I think Gylfi should be able to adapt though.

I think you’re right that silva is trying to adapt and maybe that might see Gylfi watching more often from the bench. However, I think that will be as he’s taken off for a tactical switch than he’ll just be sub.

I’d like to see how things would go with Gylfi on the bench, but if I was picking the side, I would find it impossible to leave 13 goals on the bench, particularly when he can just produce some magic out of nothing. It’s a complete contradiction but that’s Gylfi.

Steve Ferns
113 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:28:00
David Thomas, I don’t think anyone here would argue that Calvert-Lewin is the man to lead us to 4th this season. Clearly brands and silva don’t think that either. But most of us think Kean is. And that’s why they bought him.

The point is, DCL is good enough for now. We are winning now, so surely we give him a pat on the back and tell him to keep going. Meantime, patience with young kean who will come off the bench and bag a goal or two and then will get his chance.

Kean and DCL can be an effective double act without playing together. DCL to wear a defence out and soften them up for Kean who can then come on and score.

No one has said DCL is brilliant. It’s that the relentless criticism is ridiculous. What ever happened to the old adage that you don’t break up a winning side?

David Thomas
114 Posted 23/08/2019 at 18:42:10
Steve,

I would give him a pat on the back as I thought he had good games in some big matches at Goodison at the end of last season.

However, I still think he is a player we need to improve on and whilst I appreciate Kean is the future star I still think a club chasing the champions league positions over the next few years will need someone better than DCL as their second choice forward.

Doesn’t mean I’m saying he is crap or I hate the kid etc it’s just an opinion based on seeing live almost every competitive game he has played for the club.

Daniel A Johnson
115 Posted 23/08/2019 at 22:13:09
Roll up roll up roll up DCL apologists roll up

To think we had people above claiming all fans criticising DCL to not be Evertonians nail on head and all that bull.

Not good enough and never will be, I await the ToffeeWeb mafia to turn up and tell us we’re all red idiots not worthy of their insight tick tock .....

Harry Wallace
116 Posted 23/08/2019 at 22:16:22
Not good enough for Premier League. Simple.
Darren Hind
117 Posted 24/08/2019 at 07:22:47
I think most right-minded Evertonians would be disappointed that Coleman and Digne were totally crap. I think they'll be worried that the opposition have now gone through one-on-one with Pickford SEVEN times in the opening three games. Especially when our centre backs cost over £50M.

I think there will be great concern that anyone marking our players out of ten would have been hard-pressed to give any mark whatsoever to Schneiderlin, Sigurdsson, Bernard. Richarlison and Gomes. I mean those players cost over £200M, right?

On a thread where it has been claimed that a few footballing Einsteins constantly single out Calvert-Lewin and turn a blind eye to the shortcomings of the rest, I find it astonishing that we have people who will come on TWO minutes after the match to offer irrefutable proof.

You couldn't make it up.

Jay Tee
118 Posted 24/08/2019 at 10:21:31
Check this out if you think Calvert-Lewin is worth keeping.

https://www.whoscored.com/Players/141469/Show/Dominic-Calvert-Lewin
Phil Lewis
119 Posted 24/08/2019 at 11:37:41
Excellent piece. Well considered and constructed.

On a different post relating to last night's abysmal performance against Villa, I have suggested Bernard as a Number 10. Mainly because I believe Sigurdsson to be vastly overrated.

However, your plausible variations have prompted me to consider Calvert-Lewin in that role. I think he could surprise many. Clearly his critics bemoaning his lack of goals, is certainly justified, although nobody could fault his work rate. Playing him deeper, with Kean up front, could prove to be a masterstroke.

Jay Woods
120 Posted 24/08/2019 at 12:29:33
I'd play him deeper too... somewhere in the stand behind Pickford or outside the stadium. The guy is nowhere near being a top-flight striker, never mind a top-half-of-the-table striker.

Phil Lewis
121 Posted 24/08/2019 at 12:59:10
Haha! Bit harsh that Jay @120. The lad worked his socks off, which is more than could be said for many of the other so-called 'stars'.

Yes, he should have scored, it was a golden opportunity. But that's football. Had it gone in and we had not conceded two silly goals, then we would probably be giving him the Man of the Match award. But as the old saying goes, 'If me Aunt had balls she' d be me Uncle'.

Unfortunately, it just wasn't to be. It took Graeme Sharpe a good while at the club before he developed into the class act that he eventually was. Perhaps the same will be said of Calvert-Lewin. The boy is still learning. I hope so, because he doesn't hide. He is an honest hard worker. Which can't be said for some of the others.

Colin Wilson
122 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:27:04
I'm sick of hearing about his hold-up play, just score goals.
Eric Paul
123 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:28:13
Jay @120,

And numerous other posters you are aware that there are another 10 players in blue on the pitch? Young Calvert-Lewin is one of a front line of 3, one cost £45m who has found the net exactly the same amount of times as Calvert-Lewin, who works half as hard and sulks his way through games, not to mention the midfield who are not doing their jobs who also cost a king's ransom.

But it's the youngster who cost £1.5m who is to blame for everything. It's only a matter of time before Trump blames him for starting the fires in the Amazon.

Mark Tanton
124 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:56:04
I am sick of him. I defended him for a while, and even last night, but his failure to score from 10 yards was just so sickeningly symptomatic of his overall play... I give up. This is a kid who has barely troubled the net in a calendar year.
Joe McMahon
125 Posted 24/08/2019 at 19:59:17
Please - Please stop referring back to Greame Sharp, that was years ago. It would be like that lot keep banging on about Ian Rush or Chelsea fans Kerry Dixon. The game has moved on since the '80s.
Jay Woods
126 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:09:26
He can work his socks off for the rest of his life and bleed literal royal blue blood in the process, but a central striker is meant to be the focal point, the cutting edge of the attack, so deflecting the blame for his uselessness back onto the rest of the team isn't going to absolve him of blame for missing that sitter and only scoring on average 1 in every 10 games or thereabouts.
Eric Paul
127 Posted 24/08/2019 at 20:21:11
If he is the only player who doesn't do his job, we draw 0-0 but we got beat two fuckin nil so, even in your blinkered view, you must recognise someone else is culpable.
Conor Skelly
128 Posted 26/08/2019 at 02:49:01
Comfortably, the poorest striker of a ball in England's top two leagues. He will not be a Premier League player for much longer and starting him every week shows how limited we actually are, in that area.

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