Everton sweat on Calvert-Lewin's fitness after half-time substitution

14/05/2023 30comments  |  Jump to last

Dominic Calvert-Lewin was withdrawn at half-time of today's defeat to Manchester City because of "tightness" in his groin, according to Sean Dyche.

The striker was a surprise absentee when the teams came out for the second half after he was substituted in favour of Neal Maupay amid fears he had suffered a relapse of the hamstring problems that have dogged him this season.

Dyche admitted after the game that he and his staff elected to take Calvert-Lewin off as a precaution but they face an anxious wait to see if he will be fit to face Wolverhampton Wanderers next weekend.

"Dom had a tight groin and because of his history we had to get him off," the manager said. "We'll have to wait and see but the hope is he came off before damage was done.

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“He was touch and go whether he wanted to carry on but I said I had to make a call on that and took it out of his hands, so hopefully that's going to be effective over the next few days and he's ready to go again."

Calvert-Lewin had again looked sharp as the Blues held their own for 37 minutes before the Champions-elect broke the game open with two quick goals and they extended their advantage early in the second half when Ilkay Gundogan doubled his personal tally by curling home a free-kick.

Du=yche further explained that Calvert-Lewin anted to stay on: “I had to make a call on it because he felt his groin. It’s a tight groin but tight groins can lead to damaged groins so I had to make a call on it, simple as that. It would have been a harder call if it had been 0-0 but at 2-0 I have to make a call and I said: ‘Right Dom, you’re coming off.’ He wanted to give it a go and I said: ‘No, no, no, you’ve got to come off.’”

Everton travel to Wolves next Saturday needing a positive result to keep their bid to avoid relegation on track while hoping that results elsewhere go their way but also in the games involving their rivals at the bottom.

But Dyche was giving nothing away on the fitness of three other players absent this afternoon: “Tom [Davies] hopefully will settle down this week. Ben[Godfrey] we will wait and see but he is not ready. Myko[lenko] we will wait and see.” Vitalii Mykolenko had picked up a thigh injury in the final training session ahead of this game.




Reader Comments (30)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 14/05/2023 at 17:40:25
Has any reason been given for Davies being missing from the bench?
Mark Burr
2 Posted 14/05/2023 at 17:41:57
Seriously, why play him at all when we need him more in the next two games?!!
It was obvious we needed to take him out and maybe Mina.
Christy Ring
3 Posted 14/05/2023 at 17:45:14
Hope no damage was done, we desperately need Dom for the last 2 games.
Ben King
5 Posted 14/05/2023 at 17:47:33
This injury could put us on the more much more than this loss
Colin Glassar
6 Posted 14/05/2023 at 17:53:05
An ice bath and a good rub will sort him out.
Karen Mason
7 Posted 14/05/2023 at 18:12:13
We are a far better team with DCL up front, as we can play the ball to him and he holds up play for others to get forward. Even if Dyche is protecting DCL, why oh why does he then bring on Maupay?? It's clear that both defenders & midfielders alike are reluctant to play the ball forward to him as the ' out' ball, as they know it will come back with interest. They can't put crosses in the attacking box, as he can't head the ball either. Surely Dyche & Woan can see this. Surely Ellis Simm has to be the alternative??? With Maupay playing, we won't beat Wolves or Bournemouth as we are a negative team with him upfront.
Greg Kelly
8 Posted 14/05/2023 at 18:38:24
OMG, how did we ever beat Brighton? They have marmalised Arsenal. What a great 3 points that was for us. Let's take that to the Wolves.
George Stuart
9 Posted 14/05/2023 at 23:41:53
Safety was never to be achieved in this game.
It is what it is.
Taking him off was the right call.
Jim Bennings
10 Posted 15/05/2023 at 05:41:46
Unfortunately it will always be like this now with Calvert-Lewin.

Hopefully it is just a precaution because last time he went off as a precaution, he was missing for 10 weeks.

Ernie Baywood
11 Posted 15/05/2023 at 08:15:11

“He was touch and go whether he wanted to carry on but I said I had to make a call on that and took it out of his hands, so hopefully that's going to be effective over the next few days and he's ready to go again."

That sounds to me like he's confident Calvert-Lewin is okay. He's already congratulating himself in the media on how smart and authoritative he was.

I'm just surprised we didn't hear that he'd reviewed the stats.

Steve Croston
12 Posted 15/05/2023 at 10:41:16
I'd rather play Onana up front than Maupay. He's a big lad who will unsettle defenders, decent in the air, not unlike the role Fellaini played a decade ago under Moyes. If we play Maupay, we're doomed.
Anyway, let's hope the fitness test comes back positive.
Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 15/05/2023 at 12:01:20
If he had reviewed the stats then I’m sure he would have kept Dominic on, but the game had already been lost so It was obviously the correct decision to make?

I know people are down, and being cynical or critical becomes easy in for many in such circumstances, but looking at the bigger picture, the mismanagement of Everton Football Club, is on a par, with how we simply allowed ourselves to become plucky little Everton, actually believing we were genuinely punching above our weight?

Everton Football Club, used to stand for class, and used to be called the school of science, and although City are a brilliant side, and probably deserve that scientific phrase, yesterday just showed me everything that is wrong with our football team.

I’d keep Patterson, I’d definitely bring back Brainthwaith, and I’d also keep Tarkowski, but the rest of the back five/six/seven/eight, can go.

I’d keep Garner, I’d keep McNeil, i’d maybe keep Doucoure & Gueye for another season, but the rest of our midfield can go.

I’d keep DCL, and I’d keep Demari Gray, but the rest of our forwards can go.

Maybe Onana can come good, but he’s a sellable asset, along with Pickford, and Everton are going to have to do some serious wheeling and dealing to get through the next couple of seasons, because not having a proper thought out plan, has really caught up with us?

Eric Myles
14 Posted 15/05/2023 at 14:01:30
Colin #6, or a quick dab with the "magic sponge" like in the good old days!
Jack Convery
15 Posted 15/05/2023 at 15:46:09
Hopefully Calvert-Lewin will be okay. However, we need to have Mykolenko back and fit as Neto or Traore will have a field day next weekend.

Having only Mykolenko as a left-back in the squad (I don't count Vinagre because Dyche doesn't either) is a ridiculous state of affairs but typical Everton under this board and owner. We, the fans knew that Godfrey is not a left-back and poor Mason Holgate, like Godfrey before him, drew the short straw on Saturday.

Every defender we have in the team, apart from Mykolenko, is right-footed!!! You shouldn't be able to write this stuff but where Everton are concerned you always can.

I looked at the Everton U21 squad on the TransferMarkt site and there is not one left-back listed!! It's unbelievable.

In case you are unaware, there is a major match-fixing scandal going on in Brazil, that now looks like it's going to include the MLS.

Andrew Keatley
16 Posted 15/05/2023 at 16:50:38
Jack (15),

Mackenzie Hunt has largely played left-back for the Under-21s this season, although he moved there from midfield. It would be a huge risk to drop him into a game of this magnitude.

Ishe Samuels-Smith is one of the best prospects (if not the best prospect) at left-back in academy football in the UK. Problem is he is only 16, and whether he quite has the concentration and application at this stage to step up would be a very un-Dyche-like risk to take.

Having Nkounkou out on loan (where he's made significant progress at St Etienne), and losing Thierry Small to Southampton (where he's arguably gone backwards after loans to Port Vale and St Mirren – where he mostly played in midfield) have definitely left us very short of options.

Mark Murphy
17 Posted 15/05/2023 at 17:37:59

I respect your views but I'm interested in what you see in Demarai Gray to make you want to keep him?

I often got the impression he was one of the “couldn't give a toss” merchants under Frank and I think that's what Dyche has seen to drop him to the bench.

Jim Lloyd
18 Posted 15/05/2023 at 18:01:07
He can look disinterested, Mark, but he's also a goalscorer, of which we're in short supply. When he first came, he looked an excellent buy by Benitez (£1mill or so) but teams work players out and, if good players are in short supply, they soon get cancelled out of a game by the opposition.

Mind you, we seem to be in short supply of good players in a fair number of positions. It is criminal to see the amount of money Everton have spent; and the lack of a quality team we've got.

I don't blame the players one bit. It's like someone's tried to put a jigsaw puzzle together with a blindfold on!

Brian Williams
19 Posted 15/05/2023 at 18:35:38
He's already congratulating himself in the media on how smart and authoritative he was.

Or maybe just telling the truth.

James Flynn
20 Posted 15/05/2023 at 18:52:34
"He wanted to give it a go and I said: ‘No, no, no, you've got to come off.'”

Well done.

Since Dom had that quadriceps injury at the beginning of last year, Benitez and Lampard pushed him right back out there over and again and he kept re-injuring his leg.

Also caused his hamstring to act up on the same leg. And they kept pushing him out there over and again, so that wouldn't heal either.

Rob Halligan
21 Posted 15/05/2023 at 19:54:36
Calvert-Lewin wanted to carry on, which is good news because he felt in his own mind he was okay, but Dyche had clearly thrown in the towel at half-time thinking there was no way back and therefore why risk him aggravating the injury further.

Good call all round in my opinion.

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 15/05/2023 at 20:26:53
I see a player who might be worth some money to us Mark, until we can get some other attacking players into the club.

Look at yesterday’s game, Guardiola said that City, had to go to Foden, more than Mahrez, because Everton cut off there right hand side? I didn’t totally agree with him because I thought Holgate was over-covering, but maybe this is doing a disservice to Dwight McNeil, who has become a player who is working both ends of the pitch, which is something I’m not sure is in Demari Gray’s make-up?

It doesn’t mean he can’t create, because he can, but the way Dyche has got us set-up, if you can’t do the dirty work, then you’re not going to be playing in a position that demands hard defensive running, and this is why I think Gray has been getting overlooked?

Tony Everan
23 Posted 15/05/2023 at 00:02:14
That decision to take Calvert-Lewin off could just be the one that saves the club. He will be fresher and fit for Wolves, (fingers, toes, balls crossed), then 8 days to recover to be 100% ready for the final game.

If he gets close to the performance he put in at Brighton, it's going to give us a great chance of getting the points needed.

Ernie Baywood
24 Posted 16/05/2023 at 02:06:23
It might be both, Brian.

I haven't forgotten that he was the bloke who came in said Dom was fitter than he thought he was, publicly casting doubt over his commitment. Plenty of Evertonians cheered his rhetoric - finally someone was going to make the skirt wearing pansy earn his money. Then he played him and consequently lost the services of our only real forward option for nearly a third of the season.

Through that time he revelled in talking about everything from what's in Dom's head, to what mattress he sleeps on and for how long, to all his stats ands sports science he was using to get Dom right.

Taking him off was the right call regardless of any groin tweak. The game was lost, he's had injuries, and we need him for the next two games.

But Dyche remains what he is. A bloke who loves selling his own greatness regardless of what he's delivering. I can't wait to see him gone.

Dave Williams
25 Posted 16/05/2023 at 10:22:49
Two very sensible posts by Tony A! Gray wouldn't fetch much if sold and is worth more to keep him.

Relegated or not, we have to banish the wild flights of fancy of big signings and building from a base of young players.

Onana is yet to fulfill his potential but we will sell him for double what we paid without missing him on the pitch.

Branthwaite will be England's centre-half, Garner looks a fine player in the Bracewell mould, McNeil is excellent – these lads are all 22 or younger.

Add Patterson and the much-maligned Mykolenko and we have the foundations of a good young team.

James Marshall
26 Posted 16/05/2023 at 10:35:49
I feel I'm in the minority here, but I quite like Sean Dyche. To me, he comes across as pretty honest and straight-forward for a football manager.

Let's face it, they have to be politicians half the time, and they feed the media what they need to, especially when it comes to juggling things like player fitness & expectation - supporters often fall into the trap of believing everything managers say to the media, but I see Dyche as being more media-savvy than many of them and he doesn't pander to the media like a lot of them do.

What managers say publicly isn't always the entire truth of what's really going on behind the scenes, and that's all part of the circus.

When he talks about Calvert-Lewin's health & injuries, I take it all with a huge pinch of salt because he's not going to show his (poker) hand to everyone, is he? He's not stupid.

I reckon Calvert-Lewin will play on Saturday, and Dyche did the right thing taking him off – so what if he's told the media it was his decision? He's the manager, it's always his decision.

Bobby Mallon
27 Posted 16/05/2023 at 18:57:38
I want to know why people think any wolves player will have a field day on Saturday. Brighton proved to me that we gave a very decent 1st 11. We will beat wolves and Bournemouth
Rob Halligan
28 Posted 16/05/2023 at 19:05:30
Bobby, we are playing the lowest scoring team in the premier league. With Mina back in defence, and hopefully an established left back in Mykolenko returning, we shouldn’t be stretched too much by wolves. Get off to a flier like we did at Brighton, with hopefully DCL playing, and scoring, and get the game won by half time again, then we can withdraw DCL and save him for the final game when he can smash in a hat trick. Job done!!
Steve Shave
29 Posted 16/05/2023 at 19:17:56
Dave Williams @25 I completely agree and was saying as much the other day. We can get bogged down in the doom and gloom narratives and forget that actually we have a decent core group of your players with good potential.

Brainthwaite, McNeil, Patterson, Myko (ok jury out on that one for me) Onana (who will likely be sold and replaced with another young diamond in the rough), DCL, Garner and maybe one of Simms, Cannon or Mills can make the step up. Not to forget we have Englands no 1 between the sticks for now, he too however might be sold and replaced with a younger version.

It doesn't need much to renovate but we must have money to strengthen the squad, even if it means sacrificing Pickford and Onana for a combined £75M or so and replacing them for half the price.

Tony Everan
30 Posted 16/05/2023 at 19:28:23
James 26, I’m appreciating what he is doing, there’s not many who could have done any better. He had us ticking over quite well with the system until Doucoure’s sending off. We will never know but we would have a few more points on the board if it wasn’t for that.

The system was back for Leicester, Brighton, and the points start ticking over again. Against Wolves this hard to beat system with the sting in the tail will be back. I’m confident we will give a good account as we are seeing some elusive consistency creeping in. The caveat being DCL and Myko are fit otherwise it’s harder.

It’s the consistency of performance that I’m latching on to. The manager and players have to take credit for it, and for putting us in a position where we have a great chance.

More work to do, but I have optimism that we can do the business.

Dale Self
31 Posted 16/05/2023 at 20:14:09
Tony and Mark, about Gray, I think he originally wanted to be here when his Leicester City transfer went through. He wants to be here and I think that he is just young and frustrated. His angry face celebrations show me a desire with an "I know I can" attitude.

On why he doesn't get more looks I agree that I would have taken more chances by now. Dyche likely wants to build up some play tendencies to which Gray could not contribute without giving something up on defence.

Throw in with that a preference for direct forward play into channels and Gray again gets overlooked. I think he will find some time when we need to possess the ball second half and for switching up the attack. I really don't have any guess as to why Maupay gets in before Gray.

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