Graft to Goals: Calvert-Lewin’s Changing Tastes Offer Everton a Fresh Edge

Saturday against West Brom it felt like another significant step forward for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who fired in his first hat-trick for the club which felt like a rubber stamp on this section of his development at Everton.

Matt Jones 21/09/2020 67comments  |  Jump to last

Things feel different at Everton this season.

We’ve been here before, of course. There’s a decent chance this will all combust in our faces. But there’s an elite man on the sideline, some elite lads on the pitch, and excitement is simmering among the supporters.

Yet in amongst the feeling of upbeat flux engulfing the football club, there’s one thing that feels increasingly predictable — Dominic Calvert-Lewin netting goals.

Although James Rodriguez’s glorious left foot and apparent thirst for rough wine were the talk of L4 following the 5-2 win over West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, it felt like another significant step forward for Calvert-Lewin, who fired in his first hat-trick for the club.

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That made it four in two games to start the campaign and he’s now on 14 goals in 25 outings under the management of Duncan Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti.

He would have felt emboldened clutching the match ball in the Merseyside sun, as it felt like a rubber stamp on this section of his development. In keeping with that progress, the nature of his goals — predatory and anticipatory finishes — were poignant, as they were the kind of moments many doubted he was capable of conjuring up earlier in his career.

“I had a fantastic striker in Inzaghi, who scored 300 goals and 210 with one touch,” Ancelotti said on Saturday. “A striker has to be focused in the box and I think Calvert-Lewin understands really well because in the box he has speed, he jumps really high, he has power.”

Calvert-Lewin’s four goals this season have been one-touch finishes. Last term, 11 of his 13 strikes in the league were first-time strikes.

So watch out Pippo mate, yeah?

But on a more serious point, there’s been a significant shift in Calvert-Lewin’s game. He’s gone from the man who puts in the graft to the man who slots in the goals.

Before his goalscoring boom last season, the striker’s best games for Everton haven’t featured him netting.

In the twilight of Marco Silva’s first season with the Toffees, Calvert-Lewin was a force in the wins over Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United. He bullied defenders, was colossal in the air, and relentlessly ran into the channels. But he didn’t score in any of them.

Now? He’s no longer a roaming target man who unlocks avenues for others. He maintains his position at the point of the attack and waits for his opportunities. In a goalless man-of-the-match display in the 1-0 win over Arsenal in April 2019, he touched the ball 41 times; on Saturday he had only 25 touches.

While there’s no doubt been instruction from his coaches to be more selfish in terms of his positioning, Calvert-Lewin appears to have acquired a taste for goals too.

Earlier in his career, he relished a battle, as his anatomical gifts so often allowed him to come out on top. Closing down defenders earned him plaudits from the Goodison crowd and doing the hard yards up top would have been well received by more senior figures in the Everton dressing room. Despite his lack of productivity, he was contributing.

The sacrifices he has made in terms of playing style put him in a desirable position as he now seeks to become a premier goalscorer, because he’s almost self-made. It’s the equivalent of having to do the tea run for years before you get that promotion. Paying your dues as a youngster.

He’s been used to plug gaps, flogged up front on his own and played at right wing-back. Other young players have endured similar challenges in L4, but have fallen through the cracks. That adversity has added a robust edge to Calvert-Lewin.

And now, has he gone from a facilitator to someone who is to be facilitated? The signs are hugely promising, as Calvert-Lewin increasingly looks like a man who can do it all: win aerial duels, bring others into play, score in big games — against Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur since the start of last season — and be in the right place at the right time.

He remains on an upward trajectory too, meaning it’s difficult to know quite where to put a ceiling on his development. For now, it’s probably best we don’t.

All associated with the club are rightly delighted for him, with his work ethic, charisma and vibrant personality making him one of the most popular members of the current first-team squad.

It’s clear Calvert-Lewin loves being a footballer, loves the fight, and loves to contribute to the team. Now, he loves being a goalscorer too.

Matt Jones is a contributor to Wold Soccer Talk and a host on Team Talk Radio and The Blue Room, the Internet’s most listened-to Everton-related podcast. Subscribe today where you download podcasts and check out The Blue Room Extra on Patreon for even more content

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Reader Comments (67)

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Christy Ring
1 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:48:59
Delighted for Calvert-Lewin, his confidence is sky high, seems very down to earth, and hope he gets better and better. Where are his critics now, who called him a Championship player.
Kevin Prytherch
2 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:51:01
Calvert-Lewin is a perfect role model for Moise Kean. Put in the hard yards now when you get a chance, whether it be up front or on the wing, and your time will come.

Calvert-Lewin has all the attributes to be a world class striker. I for one am glad that he is still going under England’s radar. Him and Holgate could be a permanent fixture for club and country for the next 8-10 years, but I would prefer them both to concentrate firmly on Everton for the time being.

Jay Wood

3 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:06:47
Three one-touch finishes on Saturday and the accumulative distance of the three goals from the scoring position to crossing the line barely adds up to six yards in total. The stuff good strikers make their reputations on.

More of the same please, Dominic.

Derek Thomas
4 Posted 22/09/2020 at 01:40:16
I've been convinced since his U17 World Cup Final goal... a chase, a half-scuffed shot, a bobble and a toe poke in.

Latchford-esque in the extreme.

Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 22/09/2020 at 01:40:17
My criticism of Dom -- up until last December -- was that, for all his effort, he just didn't display a striker's instincts, didn't anticipate opportunities, didn't get into scoring positions ahead of the ball. In other words, he didn't know how to poach goals. He seemed to miss a lot of chances because he hadn't expected them to come.

In the December win over Chelsea, he finally showed the instinct. For all three of our goals -- Richarlison's and then two of his own -- Dom was in perfect position and anticipated the ball. And from that day on, he's been a regular poacher/scorer. Including all three on Saturday.

But Kev #2, he does lack one attribute to be world-class... and that's shooting ability. The best can scramble goals in the box and drill one top corner from 25 yards. Dom doesn't have that in his toolbox. Maybe he'll develop it someday.

Lester Yip
6 Posted 22/09/2020 at 02:16:44
Apart from work rate and athleticism, he's got a good brain too. Determined with right level of aggression, and won some important penalties for us in big games!
Tom Fazal
7 Posted 22/09/2020 at 02:45:58
So apart from sky-high confidence, being a role model, one-touch finishes, work rate, athleticism, brains and aggression, oh and scoring four so far...

What has Calvert-Lewin done for us?

Kieran Kinsella
8 Posted 22/09/2020 at 03:05:54
In terms of composure, movement and intelligence, Calvert-Lewin reminds me of Teddy Sheringham. But as Mike Gaynes points out, he can't strike the ball well whereas Teddy could. That said, getting the scrappy Tony Cottee type goals is a step in the right direction. I just wish someone would help him with his technique with shooting. I'm not sure Dunc is the man for that.
Terence Leong
9 Posted 22/09/2020 at 06:12:11
Mike #5,

I agree that Calvert-Lewin doesn't have that "shoot from outside the box" trait. His shots have never been very powerful, even within the penalty box.
Given that he's already 23 (going on 24), I am not sure if he'll ever develop that. Cos that comes down to raw power (perhaps some technique), and it's something that, if players don't have it from the onset, it's unlikely they can add to that.

But the intelligence and craft in and around the box, improving first touch (control), and killing the ball off more tidily (other than headers, his goals with his feet are seldom connected neatly), these are things which he'll be better off, spending time on.

Mark Andersson
10 Posted 22/09/2020 at 06:16:30
I don't recall Gary Lineker shooting from outside the box and he wasn't that bad a striker.

Dom's all-round game has come on and will be an important part of the team for a few more years before he's sold on...

Darren Hind
12 Posted 22/09/2020 at 06:19:36
Calvert-Lewin has lacked composure and opportunity, but I've seen him training and, trust me, he can strike a ball. I fully expect him to prove it.

There has been no miracle transformation in him. He has always possessed the qualities he has been demonstrating recently. He just wasn't given the opportunity to display them.

I noticed on the match day thread, that after seeing MotD one of the Finch Farm Fact Finders was hammering Ferguson saying that Calvert-Lewin has only just been taught the value of a one touch finish. Total nonsense of course. Anybody who has been involved in playing or coaching at a decent level will tell you, he would have had this drummed into him since he was about 11 or 12.

The difference is Calvert-Lewin is now playing for a manager who is delivering his instructions with a beautiful simplicity. His previous managers had all but destroyed the potential. Koeman thought he should be chasing back, covering attacking full-backs. SIlva, for reasons best known to himself, thought it was a great idea to waste his talent and use him as a pack mule. He didn't get into the box as often under these managers because they thought he could paper over cracks elsewhere.

Those who attack the staff at Finch Farm should remember a couple of things: the striker – who must now be worth about around £80M in today's market – would not have even been here if it wasn't for one of them and it was another one who recognised he needed a partner to get the best out of him. They must have been as frustrated as anybody. They knew of his talent, but had to watch as successive managers wasted it.

Calvert-Lewin isn't the only player who has improved under Ancelotti. When Michael Keane started to give a higher level of performance, I think most of us put it down to the fact that we were playing deeper... but we are gradually moving up the pitch this season and he is still doing very well. Could it be that he is benefiting from simple instruction rather than the over-complicated nonsense Silva used to fill his head with?

It's my belief that both players are now benefiting from having a manager who understands the beauty of simplicity.

Graham Lloyd
13 Posted 22/09/2020 at 06:20:06
I'll happily trade Dom's ability to shoot from outside the box for a continuation of his current form. As noted above, I'd get him to improve that close control for when two- or three-touch finishes are required.
Joe McMahon
14 Posted 22/09/2020 at 07:45:32
Kieran @8,

You've got me thinking back to the 90s when there were plenty of England strikers who could certainly strike a ball. Shearer was a master, Ian Wright, Les Ferdinand and yes Andy Cole. All of them goal machines.

If Calvert-Lewin and his training team work on shooting, he could become as good as the lot above (okay, maybe not Shearer and Wright). But you get my point.

Rob Dolby
15 Posted 22/09/2020 at 08:01:50
I agree with Darren #12.

Adding quality players into the mix allows Calvert-Lewin to concentrate on scoring, knowing that Rodriguez, Richarlison or Digne will deliver quality gives us more chance of scoring.

Likewise at the back. Allan and Doucouré are shielding the defence better than Davies and Sigurdsson, which takes the pressure off Keane and Mina.

I was more pleased with the sliding tap in at the far post than the other goals. It shows Calvert-Lewin anticipating the chance whereas last year he would be yards away as he would probably be making runs to drag players out of position.


Mal van Schaick
16 Posted 22/09/2020 at 08:12:00
He's definitely a fox in the box, and he has learned from Dunc to boss defenders, so I am optimistic about his future with Everton – meaning we have bred a quality player and we don't have to look elsewhere.

My only worry would be, what if he had a long-term injury? We don't have anyone similar to stand in for him. Anyone who came in for him may be a different player and we would have to adapt our play.

Michael Kenrick
17 Posted 22/09/2020 at 08:57:23
Seems Dazza is right about that valuation, even though others remain unconvinced:

It has been reported that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer targeted the 23-year-old striker earlier this summer, and Everton told him that they want £80 million as transfer fee for him.

The report has claimed that the Red Devils were ‘stunned’ by Everton asking for £80 million for the youngster.

Ian Horan
18 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:17:19
Calvert-Lewin has always had goals in his locker!!!! The difference is Don Carlo wants him operating between the goalposts in the opposition's box, not out wide chasing lost causes.

Dean Holdsworth, former Wimbledon striker, once said he was told, "If you moves out of the area between the posts, you're fined." He explain that running the channels or wings often left his concentration and energy levels low...

He also said I don't recall 20- to 30-yard goals being more valuable. He said any striker is happy with them going in off his arse in the 6-yard box as they all count the same!!!

Jerome Shields
19 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:20:01
The change is simply in that Ancelotti told him to get into position so that he has a chance of scoring with one touch. Prior to Ancelotti, we had Managers who talked about the high pressure who hadn't a clue how to implement it, or coach players in the necessary skills. They where all dependent on players having there own necessary tactical and technical skills.

Ancelotti does this individual and subtle coaching all the time. Not all the players consistently buy into it. Ancelotti did talk to Pickford about distribution, but must have had his doubts after Pickfords first clearance. Pickford was focused on safe distribution for the rest of the match after that.

Koeman is that arrogant that he is actually getting rid of players with the necessary skills at Barca. He was better at Holland, when he was lucky enough to have players with the necessary skills, as is Martinez at Belgium.

Santa Krsh
20 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:33:53
This article was long overdue.. It's fitting that this article cropped up after he scored a Perfect "Backtrick" as some have coined it. Thanks, Matty, for this wonderful write up.

I, for one, personally wanted Dom to succeed for the simple fact that this would make some of the fellow ToffeeWebbers eat the Humblest of Humble Pie. Can't fathom how some of them could spew so much venom on this kid (Like League One standard, cant strike a football, headless chicken etc etc) when everything around him was just unstable to put it mildly... to the manager merry go round, to the highly paid grossly underachieving stars stinking the place out, to the players made out of glass spending more time on the treatment table than on the pitch..

Among all of this, here was a kid simply willing to run to the ground each and every time he was on the pitch. I don't remember a single game where he looked disinterested or not committed or not trying, when some of them around him should not even be worthy of touching the Royal Blue Kit let alone wear it & play in Premier League.

For this reason alone, he richly deserves each and every price this kid is getting from the Pundits and with his attitude & down to earth personality, surely he will be working behind the scenes to overcome his shortcomings and seriously trust Don Carlo to turn him to another Pippo Inzaghi. NSNO

Brian Harrison
21 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:39:55

Welcome to the club, next thing we know you will start your posts with Carlo Fantastico!! haha.

As you say, Ancelotti has got both Calvert-Lewin and Keane delivering consistent performances by simplifying things; as I have said since Ancelotti arrived, you don't win what he has won by luck.

Some questioned if he still had the desire and the passion, I believe he does and I think he knew what a massive job he was taking on when he signed for us. But as you say being the Wiley old fox he would have wanted assurances about what money he could spend and he would have wanted the right to choose the players he wanted and not have others buying the players.

I am sure there will be bumps in the road, and his critics will be out in force telling all and sundry he was washed up and we should not have signed him and he was only ever here to top up his pension pot. But I believe if the club were financially possible back him, he will turn this club around.

Stan Schofield
22 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:41:42
I always found it very strange that Calvert-Lewin received so much criticism from quite a few on this forum. Counter arguments against this criticism were clearly futile, because people's tendency not to shift an entrenched opinion is very strong. In the end, all you do is watch the criticism with some amusement, and some frustration.

Debate is great, but becomes tedious when opinions are sprayed about with little or no supporting evidence. It's generally important to be careful about criticising young players when they're expected to perform in dysfunctional teams, which has been the situation at Everton for too long. And 'predicting the future', like pronouncing that a young player is ultimately championship level at best, is utterly ridiculous.

Calvert-Lewin has always showed very high ability, and has been played in positions that have not been conducive to a high goal return from him, but have consistently put opposition defences under pressure. The penalty against Liverpool at Anfield when Allardyce was manager is a good example.

Some folks have said in the past that Calvert-Lewin doesn't have a natural killer instinct or composure in front of goal, when in fact the exact opposite has been the case imo. He's put away many goals with style and aplomb, an early sign being the one he scored in the Under-20 World Cup final a few years ago. His back-heel on Saturday was the latest example.

All of his attributes as a striker were very likely to have increasing effect, both as he matured football-wise and in physical presence, and even more so in a more functional team set-up. The latter appears to be what we now have under Ancelotti.

Christine Foster
23 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:43:01
From almost as long as I remember, the thing that has infuriated me was a centre forward chasing balls down the channels. Think back, Duncan Ferguson holding a ball up next to the corner flag. How many times over the years did we see that? Change the centre forward but the tactic was the same, change the manager and it was the same. Until now.

Now Calvert-Lewin has been told: "Stay in the box." (Okay, defend at set-pieces but...) the difference is the delivery into him. Infuriatingly how many times have we screamed at the tv telling the full back or half back to cross it but no.. back to the keeper it went.

No more. Crab football is dead. Thank god.

As a striker you can only score if you are given the ball, last season typified Everton under Moyes, Koeman, Allardyce We now have a manager who understands that for a Centre Forward to score you have to create first. Not hope.

Steve Ferns
24 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:50:49
Mike, do you remember Dominic's second goal (4:45) in the League Cup two years ago? Link

Sure it's inside the box, but it's a fair distance from goal and highlights his shooting ability.

As someone who's always pushed Calvert-Lewin as having the ability to be a top-class striker, I'm pleased as punch for him. As I posted ages ago now, in the midst of the "Championship at best" arguments, the lad always converted his chances. His xG was high. He simply didn't get enough chances. The question was did he do enough to get more chances or was it our poor midfield. The answer was probably both, but he's getting more chances and scoring more goals and his xG remains high.

If you contrast Calvert-Lewin and Rashford, the latter has a much lower xG. Rashford spurns more chances. Of course, Rashford's skills and Man Utd's quality means he gets a lot of chances so still scores a lot. If Rashford was in the Everton team of last season, it would be interesting to see how prolific he would be. xG suggests that he might have struggled.

Calvert-Lewin has the skills and the desire to reach the top. Anyone questioning his ambition only needs to think back to when he claimed the 9, before most of us considered him worthy. He is a confident young man and, if he keeps injury-free and works hard, then he will go far.

Kevin Prytherch
25 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:51:20
One thing about Calvert-Lewin now is his physical presence. He always gave centre backs problems, but 2-3 years ago he was doing it with a far skinnier frame.

I would love him, in a couple of games time, to go properly toe-to-toe with Van Dijk and bully him all game.

His height, heading, pace and strength combined are surely unrivalled in the league at present. I can't think of another striker to have all attributes. Players like Kane have the height, heading and strength, but not the pace.

Richard Parker
26 Posted 22/09/2020 at 09:55:38
It would be great if Calvert-Lewin can add a bit more range to his goalscoring capabilities but I don't think it's a necessity...

You've got James, Sigurdsson and Doucouré to an extent, who can all strike a ball from distance, who have to be closed down from 30 yards and closer. Calvert-Lewin & Richarlison will occupy defences, to try and stop them from getting on the ball at close range...

So one set will threaten from distance, the others closer in, but each should be creating time and space for the other by occupying the thoughts of the opposition. But would still be good if he can add more strings to the bow.

Steve Ferns
27 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:02:39
Richard, I think it’s there. He just lacks the confidence from distance. Too many big rep midfielders demand the ball when he’s on the edge of the box, I’m looking at you Gylfi.
Darren Hind
28 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:39:24

I think you are wasting your time putting up links. A lot of people on here repeatedly told us he was Championship standard. after being proved wrong. They said he wasn't good enough to score goals.

Having been proved wrong again, they are now claiming he doesn't have the ability to shoot from outside the box. When he silences them again, they will probably moan he doesn't pass like James.

We are all wrong from time to time when judging a player, but the attacks on Calvert-Lewin were so savage and regular, those who made them feel they somehow need to save face.

Having the ability to score from outside the box is one thing. Having the belief to execute it in a team that maybe won't get the ball back for 10 minutes if you miss is another.

The suggestion that a striker can play in the Premier League without having developed the ability to beat a goalkeeper from outside the box is beyond absurd. These people practice from a young age for hours, months... years.

People who haven't seen top players train would be astounded by what some of them can do when you take them away from the pressure and discipline of a game and poor instruction.

I was a guest of my old boss at last season's game at Old Trafford. Right up behind the dug outs. I remember reporting back on these pages the next day what Duncan Ferguson was repeated screaming at Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison. "Stay centre-forward!" "Stay centre-forward!"

The Mancs thought they were hearing things. Did we really have forwards who needed to be told this...? Unfortunately, after years of Koeman, Allardyce and Silva playing them here, there, and everywhere... the answer was Yes.

Will Mabon
29 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:42:51
Anytime he's broken or been put through, he doesn't look likely to convert – and doesn't. He mostly hesitates, turns back and looks to pass or delivers a tame shot.

This is not a natural ability to him. He obviously has the pace (and he does have the shot in him) but many players are not set up to dribble or go past defenders, pace or not.

He has much else in his game, and there is now someone in the team who will find him with the ball in ways he's rarely experienced before – on top of what Richarlison already delivers. The strength, running and movement are what's required to benefit from this – and he has it in spades.

He's developed steadily and continually over several seasons in a difficult, varied and changing team, never dropping his head, and all the while increasing his armament. He's a player who will need to work on his finishing continually.

He's due to really come good, and if the team works well, he will.

Steve Ferns
30 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:51:24
Dunno why, Darren. Take Keane, I've been scathing on him. It's only been two games this season. I could keep banging the low block drum, or nit-pick over little errors (that everyone makes in a game) and try to magnify them.

Instead I'll just happily hold my hand up on Keane and say it looks like I was wrong. I'm happy to do so. He's an Everton player and if he's playing well, then Everton must be playing well, and that's what we all want after all.

Will Mabon
31 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:55:41
The Mancs thought they were hearing things. Did we really have forwards who needed to be told this...? Unfortunately, after years of Koeman, Allardyce and Silva playing them here, there, and everywhere... the answer was Yes.

Quite strange to hear of pros needing such instruction.

Darren Hind
32 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:56:41

I know you like to bring everything back to Ancelotti, but I look at a bigger picture. My club in its entirety.

I have never been blind to the merits of a man who has won so much in his career, but I have not joined any new clubs of late.

I will discuss Ancelotti on threads about him. This one is about Calvert-Lewin.

Michael Lynch
33 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:57:15
The goals he scored so far this season are exactly what I thought was missing from Calvert-Lewin. I think he's a great footballer – strong, runs all day, excellent ball control, brilliant in the air with a bit of a nasty streak. My worries about him last season were two-fold: he was never in the right place, making the right runs, to get the scrappy goals, and he was dreadful in one-on-ones.

Right now, he seems to have got the former right, all he needs is to get the latter sorted and he's a £100M striker. Up to now, I've thought he couldn't do it, but if he's managed to sort the fox in the box stuff, I don't see why he can't start knocking in the one-on-ones.

Tony Abrahams
34 Posted 22/09/2020 at 11:02:56
Good article Matt, and it shows how hard it is for young players trying to break through in the ultra-competitive, ultra physical Premier League.

You talk about Dominic doing the tea run for years, but if he hadn't done something right, he wouldn't have been allowed the job for so long, and would have been possibly cast aside, which is what so many people have wanted.

Hard work has been the key, and perhaps now people have more confidence in the kid, he can transfer “some“ of that selfless thankless graft, into a more selfish application, whilst hopefully not forgetting his hard work and willingness to help the team, is what gave him these opportunities in the first place.

Dan Nulty
35 Posted 22/09/2020 at 11:05:37
I've said a couple of times already but I was one of those at the beginning of last season saying that Calvert-Lewin was Championship level. With his goal ratio and what he was showing in games, there was nothing to suggest his run of goals was due. I'm happy to say it looks like I was woefully wrong and that he just needed to be coached properly with clear instruction of what the expectation is.

Koeman and Silva in particular seemed to want goals spread around as evenly as possible. The best teams have focal points though, the go-to players. It looks like Calvert-Lewin is becoming that for us and I hope his run continues. With more creativity in midfield, it looks extremely promising.

I couldn't care less that he doesn't appear to score from outside the box. If he scores 20 plus a season from inside the box, that will do for me. The goals from further out will come when his confidence grows.

Sam Hoare
36 Posted 22/09/2020 at 11:06:03
I couldn't give a hoot where he scores from so long as he keeps scoring. No reason he can't get 20+ goals this season and be playing for England at the Euros next summer.

I was watching the Salford game with a few mates and we remarked on how Kean at times resembled Calvert-Lewin of 3-4 years back, full of running with strength and speed but looking ungainly at times with suspect touch and finishing. Just shows what hard work and confidence can do for you. Hope Kean takes note.

Tony Abrahams
37 Posted 22/09/2020 at 11:15:49
Don't tell Steve, not to post those links Darren, I enjoyed that. I was thinking about that goal from the minute Darren, had said earlier in the thread, that Lewin can shoot Steve, so thanks for that mate.

Darren might have a point though because even Sandro looked a player on those clips, but what about that flag in the park end, all the way from San Diego, for a meaningless League Cup tie, absolutely brilliant!

Barry Rathbone
38 Posted 22/09/2020 at 11:37:41
He has most of the tools to be a success bar a little lacking in the "kick 'em in the balls" dept but that might come with maturity. Once he chins a centre-half, a whole new world of opportunity will open up.
Dave Williams
39 Posted 22/09/2020 at 11:58:51
I have said for years now that he is so like Graeme Sharp in both style and development. The big difference at this point is Sharp scored screamers from distance but, until Gray got hold of him, was not scoring the close-range stuff. Dom is getting the close-range goals now and, as others have said, I feel the longer-range stuff will follow as his confidence grows.

Hopefully his more vicious detractors will learn a lesson from this and give other players more time to develop without being slagged off constantly. We have two very promising centre-backs and what could be a spectacularly good young full-back who need to be allowed to make mistakes without having heaps of criticism directed at them.

Calvert-Lewin has the ability to become the best orthodox centre-forward in the country and will be a major weapon in getting the team into the top four. Defences will start to put two men on him which might just open gaps for Richarlison and James – I cant wait to see it in the flesh!

Brian Harrison
41 Posted 22/09/2020 at 12:25:10

I mentioned Ancelotti because you mentioned him and nobody before your post mentioned him. You said, and I quote, "the difference is Calvert-Lewin is now playing for a manager who is delivering his instructions with a beautiful simplicity". So I didn't bring it back to Ancelotti – you did!

As for looking at the whole club, I do that as well. I question why our Under-23 side last night was one of the oldest Under-23 teams we have ever fielded. Thankfully Ancelotti has looked at the present Under-23s and has got the promising ones training with the first team. If players haven't forced their way into the first team by the age of 23, they shouldn't be here.

Jerome Shields
42 Posted 22/09/2020 at 12:30:34
I think Kean is a better outfield player positionally than Calvert-Lewin. He needs to improve on his touch around the box. I am sure Ancelotti is working on this.

Actually Tosun might be a better player if the emphasis is on tap-ins around the box, but Calvert-Lewin is stipulated of him. Calvert-Lewin was better than Tosun with his back to goal, but still this tactic of trying to hold up the ball and lay off gives the opposition a step up defending. Neither of them could turn a defender or pace by their marker.

I noticed that, when defenders push up on Rodrigeuz, they have second thoughts, because they know he was capable of turning them, leaving them for dead with his passing and technical control.

Darren Hind
43 Posted 22/09/2020 at 12:36:43

I mentioned every manager Calvert-Lewin has played under. It was essential to give an opinion as to how his fortunes have fluctuated.

You saw that as an opportunity to dedicate your post to your favourite subject and welcome me to "The club".

Thanks but no thanks. I've already got a club. I'm not interested in joining clubs within that club.

Steve Brown
44 Posted 22/09/2020 at 13:00:45
The development of Calvert-Lewin is a testament to the Academy system that Unsworth leads and the requirement for patience in the development path for younger players with potential. We have seen youngsters regularly become the target of fans' frustrations which should have been laid at the door of mediocre managers and senior players. That simply makes no sense.

It is also proof of the huge influence of Duncan Ferguson, who has mentored him since he made the senior squad and was instrumental in coaching him to stay central when he took over as caretaker manager.

But above all, it is a testament to the player. He has worked tirelessly to develop his game and support the team. He has always reminded me of a young Graeme Sharp, not a natural finisher when young but he developed into one of our greatest strikers.

Steve Brown
45 Posted 22/09/2020 at 13:04:06
Brian @ 41, David Unsworth made it clear yesterday that he played five of the players in the U-23 team last night to showcase them for a loan move. That makes perfect sense, as a loan might result in a transfer fee if it results in a permanent move.
Craig Walker
46 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:05:00
I prefer strikers who can side-foot it into a corner than ones who try to break the back of the net. Romario for Brazil was the master at it. He got so many goals where the ball trickled across the goal line. Too many strikers put their laces through it and hope.

The signs are really good with Calvert-Lewin and for the team as whole. However, we're only ever two bad results away from a crisis at Everton. I still think we need more goals in the team and I'm not sure Moise Kean will come good for us.

Mike Gaynes
47 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:07:20
Steve #24, don't listen to Darren, I love your links. You always find good ones.

Just noting that Dom's shot against Rotherham was more about touch than power. It was elegant, but I stand by my comment that at this point he lacks a powerful shot.

And like Tony #37, I noted the outstanding performance in that game of one Sandro Ramirez. He certainly didn't look the disaster who would score one goal in his first 60 appearances after signing with Everton.

Sam #36, agreed. I believe there's a ton of talent in Kean, along with the instinct to get into scoring positions.

Steve #44, amen.

Eddie Dunn
48 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:27:39
Calvert-Lewin has pace and now he is stronger and, like others have stated, he is getting into the box more often. He had had a run of 10 games without a goal until recently. The difference, apart from the advice from Duncan and Carlo, is the quality of supply. It has improved and his game has risen with the quality around it.

Everyone looks better when surrounded by good players. The other thing is confidence and Dominic's must now be sky-high. Expect a few more long-range shots, folks.

Incidentally, I do recall Lineker scoring from distance.

Ernie Baywood
49 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:36:44
I always thought he had decent movement as a striker. Was good enough in the air. Decent pace. A good all rounder.

There are three differences now:

1. He's being asked to play in his best position. Not out wide, and not in a 'chase to the corners and look lively' capacity.
2. Better players around him. That will improve anyone.
3. Confidence. If you lack technique, then you have to be confident in front of goal.

The thing is that at some point he won't have the last two things. Players will get injured and he'll look worse. Or he'll go a few games without a goal and his limited technique will show up through scuffed shots and missed chances.

I'm thrilled for him. He seems a really likeable guy. And he's worth his place in the team.

But when those things happen will he still be supported? Or will he be derided as 'Championship Level'?

Jay Wood

50 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:51:55
Whilst naturally Calvert-Lewin has beefed up and now has greater physical presence, the notion that he still lacks an edge to his game as suggested by some really surprises me.

Even as a 19-year-old when he first played, he has never shied away from going head-to-head, toe-to-toe, with any Orc of a defender. It is a very prominent feature of his game.

He has a bit of the dark arts about him too. He is well capable of leaving one on an opposition player. He has been cute enough to win penalties and get players sent off. He'll get in the mix to defend his team mates if and when things kick off.

Like others have mentioned, right from the offset I saw similar qualities in his game to that of Graeme Sharp. Second only to Dixie Dean in our all-time leading scorers. And Calvert-Lewin at 23 is way ahead of Sharpy for appearances and goals scored by the same age.

With the way the team is now set up, with the positions and runs he is making in the penalty area, expect more goals of a similar nature as he scored vs WBA for the rest of the season. Who cares if they are aesthetically pleasing or not?

Four in two games. Top of the goal-scoring chart. More of the same please, Dominic.

John McFarlane Snr
51 Posted 22/09/2020 at 15:48:56
Hi Darren [various posts], I read all your posts and, although I don't agree with everything you write, I commend your loyalty to the 'Royal Blue Cause'.

Regarding Dominic Calvert-Lewin, I believe that his playing wide, whether by choice or instruction, didn't do him any favours. Now that Everton have a decent midfield set-up and a willingness to play the forward pass, I anticipate a greater goal ratio from him.

As a self-confessed principled person, who receives quite a bit of scorn, my advice to you is stick to your beliefs.

Darren Hind
52 Posted 22/09/2020 at 16:41:52
Tony 37.

I was not asking Steve not to post links, Tony. I think they are a potent argument. I simply said I don't know why he bothers.

I often see Steve taking the horses to water with his links, but no matter how close to the water he takes them, he never seems to be able to get them to drink.

Johnny Mac.

I know you don't always agree with me. That's fine by me, but in return for your advice, I would like to offer some back.

I know the thought of football without a crowd leaves you a little cold, but I suggest you persevere a little. It's better than nothing. Only marginally, but better.

It doesn't seem right that a man who can recall single incidents from games played half a century ago, has to rely on Radio Merseyside to find out what's happening at today's games

Tony Everan
53 Posted 22/09/2020 at 16:53:24
We may not finish top of the league but I wouldn't swap Dominic Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison for anyone. I am delighted with the two of them, both 23 and on an upward trajectory. It is very exciting to have these two.

Dominic was immense as a 20-/21-year-old, working alone battling and trying to hold the ball up all through our darkest days. Never moaning, never shirking, always 100% often with little help. Those low-key performances 2 or 3 years ago were hugely impressive for a kid of 20.

Battling through the tough times has served him well, he has come out of it a better player. He is strong and resilient, a great header of the ball. Long ball clearances can be turned into attacks when Calvert-Lewin is on the field.

Now he has the all-important poaching ability, as has been said, courtesy of simple clear instructions of what the manager wants.

Lastly, the improvement in him is down to the midfield being sorted. Allan and Doucouré giving confidence and stability to the whole team. James Rodriguez is as good as a creative force as you can get.

Quality chances will continue to come and Dominic will stick them away. Long may his rise continue, his success has certainly been earned.

Olalekan Taofik
54 Posted 22/09/2020 at 17:49:54
Good day to the Blue-Eyed Ones (smiles).

Yes, Calvert-Lewin has the good characteristics of a top notcher, the height, the speed, good heading, and an eye for goals... but he should work more on his outside-box skills. Definitely, he can get better under Professor Ancellotti.

Derek et al, hope you are doing great?

Pete Gunby
55 Posted 22/09/2020 at 17:51:47
Tom Fazal (7).

What about the aqueducts, and Law and Order?

John McFarlane Snr
56 Posted 22/09/2020 at 18:51:52
Hi again Darren [52],

My original decision to boycott televised games was based on my opinion [rightly or wrongly] that the Premier League and its member clubs were putting money before lives when the pandemic was near its highest level. It turns out that a number of clubs, including Everton, are spending large amounts on transfer fees, a situation that wouldn't have been possible if they were forced to return the TV fees in an unfinished season.

From 10 years of age and having reached 82, attending games at Goodison is for me a feeling of being part of the occasion. For the best part of two hours, the world is 120 yards by 70 yards. Sitting in font of a television set does nothing for me, empty stadiums, cardboard spectators, and fake crowd noises leave me cold.

I know that there are some who for one reason or another rely on television for their football. I sympathise with them because as happy as they may be, they would be a lot happier it they were in attendance. As much as I have loved my football I value human life a lot more. Apologies if this sounds like a sermon but I am what I am.

Dave Abrahams
57 Posted 22/09/2020 at 19:21:21
Steve (44),

No doubt David Unsworth was well involved in bringing Calvert-Lewin to Everton. I doubt he had much to do with his development at Everton after Dominic's initial season at Everton.

I think he has been with the first team ever since then and used by various managers in different positions and just getting on with it, learning and improving all the time. I think he will continue in this fashion to Everton's benefit (and us fans) for quite some time.

Tony Abrahams
58 Posted 22/09/2020 at 21:24:38
I knew what you meant, Darren, but I don't worry about people who are never going to change their opinion, especially when it's staring them in the face.

That was also very good advice you gave John Mc, a man who comes across as a real football lover, but each to his own. I never thought I'd like football without a crowd, but the players are doing a very good job so far, and I've probably watched more football since Saturday than I've watched in many a year, and I've also been impressed with plenty of the games.

It won't last, the emotion will slowly start to drain as the season wears on, but it's taking me back to my childhood at the minute, I just wish the players wouldn't cheat so much, which is obviously not going to happen under the present laws.

John Pierce
59 Posted 22/09/2020 at 21:44:09
I think like many I've flip-flopped multiple times on whether this lad is a good player or not. He is the epitome of hard work, and maybe had the fortune of being a constant in a stuttering side were the focus has mainly been on the manager.

He's superb in the air, he has few peers in the Premier league in this respect. Some have mentioned he's deficient on the floor. I've certainly never seen him hit a ball like Richarlison did for his disallowed goal. I think the best goal I saw him score with his feet was at home to Newcastle, touch and a controlled hit with his left foot if memory serves.

I wonder if the goals started to flow because he was asked by Ancelloti to stay within the width of the penalty area? Given that our midfield was woeful last year, I'd wager his goals have come from set pieces or headed finishes from Digne?

As the debate has raged on these pages, perhaps if he'd had been asked to play in the width of the penalty box under previous managers he might well have 15 or 20 goals to his name?

Was the predator there all along? Maybe, but perhaps we got a more rounded player for the travails he's faced at the club?

Don Alexander
60 Posted 22/09/2020 at 00:20:44
John (#51), our Dazza (various posts, as ever) doesn't need to be told to stick to his views, ha-ha!

On this very thread, he's taken to task one of us for posting their surprise that Calvert-Lewin said on Saturday, that he'd now been advised to try to score with one touch. "Ridiculous" he inferred, to believe that Calvert-Lewin would need coaching on something he'd naturally have done since the age of 11, he said.

Typical of our Dazza, though... he later posts he was dismayed that he was very recently present when Everton's bench were imploring our two centre-forwards – who'd also have been doing this naturally since the age of 11 if Dazza's right on "one-touch scoring" – "to be centre-forwards", which surely means he agrees with the many who're bemused by what goes on at Finch Farm.

Anyway, ever since the young man arrived, I've been impressed by Calvert-Lewin and have said so on here. He may emulate Sharpy, as I've previously said, and there's nowt wrong with that.

If he can emulate the best of Sharpy and the best of Ian Rush, though, we have the perfect centre-forward, ever!

No pressure, Dominic! Just be yourself and realize you have exceptional gifts. Enjoy!

Mike Corcoran
61 Posted 23/09/2020 at 00:55:31
The best one-touch finish was Richarlison's disallowed goal though. Beautiful finish. Well done, Dom, and long may you prosper.
Darren Hind
62 Posted 23/09/2020 at 06:47:58
Don Alexander,

No need to hide by claiming "it was one of us". Just come clean and admit it was you. That way, we are all clear who said it.

I think most football fans will understand the difference between learning and nurturing basic technique from an early age, to being instructed to play here, there and everywhere by a string of poor managers.

Ancelotti's simple "finish before the keeper can set himself" instruction would have been pretty worthless if he had given it to Calvert-Lewin when he was chasing wing-backs in his own half.

And if people like Allardyce, Silva and your man Koeman didn't play the forwards in all sorts of silly areas, the basic instruction of "stay centre-forward" would not have been necessary.

It's been a bad time for you Finch Farm Fact Finders, hasn't it? Many of the myths you have been peddling relentlessly about ex-players at the club have been exposed... the ignorance of your criticism laid bare.

It must have been difficult for you reading Allan talking about how impressive the backroom staff were. Or James Rodriguez telling you how the set up at all levels in the club would lead to trophies. I mean.... these are people who have come from some of the world's most sophisticated set-ups?

How you must have rubbed your hands when Carlo arrived. He would soon clear out all those living stealers and Billy Boy's charity cases, right? ... Wrong.

Carlo and Big Dunc have been joined at the hip. Rhino has had his position cemented and not only has Ancelotti been impressed enough to keep the rest of the "charity cases" – he has this week agreed to add to their number... Seems everyone who comes here, including serial winners, are greatly impressed by those people "who are only here on sentiment"... Unless they are all lying, of course.

It's deliciously ironic that you come on a thread about a player who has repeatedly told us about Ferguson's influence. One who wouldn't even have been here if it wasn't for Unsworth's insistence... Perhaps he is lying too?

Perhaps next time you feel the need to attack an Evertonian for working for Everton, you may want to pause and listen to people who actually know what they are talking about? ... Na, what do they know? They only work with them.

Don Alexander
63 Posted 23/09/2020 at 13:58:02
Dazza, I'm not talented enough to read your mind and nor am I arrogant enough to assume you were anonymously referring to me. Citing me by name would help.

I'm very pleasantly surprised by the impact the three new signings have had on the rest of the team. Hopefully they've galvanised Finch farm in the same way.

Lastly, it's refreshing to see you've put to bed your oft stated misgivings re our current manager (and, by inference, the coaching team he brought with him). Long may it continue.

Darren Hind
64 Posted 23/09/2020 at 14:50:12
I think there is only one person on this thread who would be ill-informed enough to use a Calvert-Lewin hat-trick to try to bash Duncan Ferguson. Hillarious that he would pretend it was somebody else in order to defend his bile.

Don't worry about the new signings, Don. They are already gushing about Finch Farm and they haven't even got their coats off yet.

Nice to hear it direct from the horse's mouth though. Kinda puts all that spiteful fabrication to bed.

Personally, I'm delighted to have confirmation that Evertonians are rebuilding Everton from the ground up.

Welcome back, Bainsey! Feels like you have never been away.

Don Alexander
65 Posted 23/09/2020 at 15:41:21
Darren, maybe you need a lie-down. Absolutely nowhere have I used Calvert-Lewin's hattrick to try to bash Ferguson.

I haven't pretended to be someone else, ever, on any thread either. I just have the courtesy to identify by name those with whom I disagree, unlike you.

The bizarre thing about you, Dazza it that you make a habit of falling out on TW with so many people, yet I and many other such people agree with your views, and say so, re Kenwright, young players bought from Cumbria/Yorkshire clubs who are now flourishing in our first team, and a lot more besides.

Have a good day.

Will Mabon
66 Posted 23/09/2020 at 16:27:47
There should be a TW fight section. We could make book, with winnings donated to EitC. Lyndon could do a post fight report.

Later, we could have a thread to discuss the fight, with the protagonists excluded from the thread. Posters getting into fights in that thread could then be considered for pairing in the next fight-off.

Francis van Lierop
67 Posted 23/09/2020 at 17:10:18
Like Derek @4, I too was convinced he would make it after watching him playing at said Championship clubs. Some players just take a little longer to break through. They can't all be like Wayne Rooney, almost being the finished product as a teenager.

I know Gini Wijnaldum from the days he was a young player at Feyenoord, he then moved to PSV, playing a little better each year, earning the move to The Toon. I didn't expect his move to the rs, because quite frankly I don't follow them.

Last season was Wijnaldum's best season ever, slowly improving each year by hard work and dedication. Unfortunately it seems (for now) he's not allowed to make the move to Barca. Koeman had cottoned on, as the Dutch national coach, that Wijnaldum and Memphis Depay had an almost telepathic connection, which was much to the advantage of our national team.

Depay, also a player laughed at, at manure (mostly by Rooney it seems), has earned himself a move to Barca. Who's laughing now? The same applies to Dom.

We're lucky to have him.

Graham Mockford
68 Posted 23/09/2020 at 18:04:07
The last 20 years have been dreadful for us in terms of forwards. In fact, I would say we have only had two top-class forwards in that period: Rooney and Lukaku. Although I wouldn't argue with anyone making a case for Kevin Campbell.

Jeffers, Saha and Yakubu had their moments but in Calvert-Lewin I suspect we have another one. He needs to go on and score 20 Premier League goals this season but he definitely has the raw material and seemingly the attitude.

Rob Hooton
69 Posted 27/09/2020 at 16:25:39
He's also a really good looking lad, hoping that he might at long last get my southern wife and daughter to show some interest in our beloved Blues. 😂

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