16/10/2023 17comments  |  Jump to last

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has credited the role that Sean Dyche has played in his return to fitness that now has him confidently leading the line for Everton again after two years battling a succession of injuries.

Since making his return from a fractured cheekbone when he came off the bench against Arsenal a month ago, Calvert-Lewin has featured in each of the Blues' last five games and has already surpassed his goals tally in all competitions from last season with three.

While over the past couple of seasons he would return to the team and then be forced back onto the sidelines by niggling soft-tissue injuries, the striker now looks fitter and sharper than he has in a long while.

Much of that has been down to the patience shown by Dyche, who came into the club in late January and quickly realised that he, the player and the medical staff needed to get to the bottom of his persistence injury problems.

“The stress I was putting myself through to try to play, only to be at 60 per cent, it wasn’t worth it," Calvert-Lewin told evertonfc about his attempts to push himself to get back to action. "The new manager came in and put a stop to it and made sure I was able to be patient to get back fully fit.

“The manager has played a massive role. I think I’ve been victim of my own eagerness in trying to rush back and also the expectation from others, at times, in wanting me to be fit because of what I can bring to the table. I think it turned into a bit of a vicious cycle. Now, since the manager came in, he’s been big on me trusting my body again and feeling good in my body.

“It’s not about just ticking off the boxes in terms of being fit to play, it’s more about how I feel in myself.

“It took a lot of guts from the manager to bat off questions about me every week. He put it to bed by saying I’d be back when I was ready and that gave me confidence and a bit of relief, really.

“It took the pressure of myself and removed that feeling of having to rush back. I like to think it’s paid off so far. The condition that people see me in now — that’s from the manager allowing me to get there.”


Reader Comments (17)

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Bill Fairfield
1 Posted 16/10/2023 at 08:48:42
Great to see Dom back on top of his fitness. He's taken some stick from some of the fans these last 2 years. But the guy was understanding of the frustration of the fans with his fitness in subsequent interviews.

Hopefully it's all behind him now and he can keep banging the goals in.

Jerome Shields
2 Posted 16/10/2023 at 09:05:28
There is no doubt that Dyche managed Calvert-Lewin's recovery well, before that we were getting pressure updates of progress from the Club.

I think they are back in control now building his value up, whilst it would be more prudent for Dyche to build up the attacking play inclusive of all, including Beto. But that won't happen in a Club whose first aim is to get value in the Transfer Market, rather than build up the team.

The sole objective is Premier League survival. Hopefully new owners will spec up the club management to recover from the years of mismanagement that have left Everton below the required levels to challenge beyond survival.

Decisions being made have a typical accountant feel about them.

Mark Ryan
3 Posted 16/10/2023 at 09:31:57
Good news all round.

Hats off to Dyche, he's managed the situation really well and he's been accepting of the situation and was forced into having to set the team up in ways that didn't suit us including playing Maupay up top. He deserves the credit he's getting from Dom.

Onwards and upwards

Martin Reppion
4 Posted 16/10/2023 at 09:45:12
I think this report goes someway to addressing the myth that Dyche is a one-dimensional manager.

In the same way that Eddie Howe was underrated because he'd only been successful with an unfashionable club, because Dyche had spent his time with Burnley, he is regarded as some as just a boot it and battle man.

I really think the club has to let him work through our issues long term. To me the manager we have is the best fit for the club and we can grow together over the next few seasons.

When your star players are able to see how he has improved them personally, it will help everyone to buy in to how he wants us to play.

Niall McIlhone
5 Posted 16/10/2023 at 09:54:58
Having a fit and motivated DCL back is a huge uplift, and credit to the manager and back room team for their attention to detail in bringing about this resolution. Dom is an athletic player, who has been required to do the “dirty work” and this has often been to the detriment of his own fitness.

I therefore think it's regrettable that his commitment to the cause has been questioned so much, and I hope the booing incident at Villa will prove to be a turning point in his relationship with a section of our fans for whom he can seemingly never “do enough”.

The central theme here is one of patience? Dyche and the medical staff have had to be patient with his recovery, whilst DCL has had to be patient in himself and his path to recovery. The fans have also had to temper frustrations, though the signings of Beto and Chermiti have sweetened the pill somewhat: they are adapting to the Premier League, and so a similar air of patient player development is essential.

All that said, I am sure that all Evertonians would love nothing more than DCL or Beto to stick one in the net at the Kop end in the first 5 minutes next Saturday; the Everton women showed the way yesterday with a very slick performance at Anfield, now the men need to step up to the plate. It will transform our season with a result at that cursed place.

Barry Rathbone
6 Posted 16/10/2023 at 10:25:30
Just total madness that we were dependent on one striker for the best part of 2 seasons.

Calvert-Lewin being fit or not is almost incidental; the likelihood of him getting injured remains.

Having only one effective striker due to money constraints was the real issue but hopefully Billy Beto has plugged that calamitous void.

Larry O'Hara
7 Posted 16/10/2023 at 10:39:26
Well done to Dom and Dyche too.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 16/10/2023 at 11:34:12
Niall (5),

I agree completely with Dominic has been required to do the ‘dirty work', he has done that ever since he came into the first team, holding up the line, retaining the ball and working hard up and down the lines, every goal he scores is a bonus to add to the skill and graft he brings to the team.

Well done, Dom, great to see you back, and well done to Dyche and staff for getting him back to where he is now.

Colin Glassar
9 Posted 16/10/2023 at 12:09:45
I've always liked this lad even when he was played as a winger and got some terrible stick from some Everton fans.

He's no Alan Shearer or Harry Kane, ie, he's not a 20-goal-a-season player but he should be a double-figure goalscorer if he's given the service and stays fit.

Looking forward to seeing you leading the line and us to safety, Dom.

Ian Bennett
10 Posted 16/10/2023 at 12:24:40
Everton's attacking stats in the PL this season:

Shots - 133 (2nd)
Shots on target - 44 (7th)
Hit woodwork - 5 (=2nd)
Shots from inside penalty area - 89 (3rd)
Big chances created - 21 (=3rd)
Big chances converted - 7 (10th)
Goals - 9 (=11th)
Conversion rate - 9% (=18th)

(Via: EFC Statto)

David West
11 Posted 16/10/2023 at 13:11:30
Ian 10. Definitely need to get that conversion rate up.

I believe now we are getting McNeil, Calvert-Lewin and Harrison back to full match sharpness it will come. We may shock a few of the so-called bigger sides we have in our next few games. It was a bit of a theme for Dyche at Burnley, let's Hope he can do it here too.

The goals stat 9 (11th) figure is roughly where I imagine we will finish this season. The good thing is the goals are spreading out across the team & we are even getting goals from midfield, which was never the case before.

You can't win matches if you don't create chances or have shots. We are creating now. It's ripe for Calvert-Lewin to have a good scoring season if he stays fit.

Anthony Hawkins
12 Posted 16/10/2023 at 13:17:25
I doubt Dom would have faced quite as much abuse if the team had a suitable alternative striker. That he has been our only effective striker, yet been injured for 2 years (from the article), is what's enhanced the focus.

We could have done with Beto 12 to 18 months ago yet only arrived when Calvert-Lewin is now becoming fit again. Could be a coincidence.

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 16/10/2023 at 14:07:35
Interesting Ian, do these stats form part of the XG, that Sean Dyche has mentioned at his peril, on quite a few occasions?

Everton probably warrant more than they have received so far this season, now who is the referee on Saturday afternoon?

Ajay Gopal
14 Posted 16/10/2023 at 14:44:52
Dominic is a player whose value fans realise the more he plays. Unlike some players, whose value seems to go up the more they don’t play ! Like James Rodrigues, Yerry Mina, for example. Well done to Sean Dyche - his decision to get DCL fully fit before playing him took some guts. I have a sneaky feeling that Dyche may still be able to get a tune out of Dele Alli with his patient approach.
Niall McIlhone
15 Posted 16/10/2023 at 16:01:52
Dave (#8) The graft DCL has put in when he is match fit has been so important, we are a team who are ill suited to fluent, intricate play like City or, say, Brighton, so we have to look for the "out" ball at times, for which DCL is our main man. The trick is to get others like Douc and Dwight in and around him for the second ball.
I just hope the lad can give us a run of games as he is bang in form right now, I will bet those LFC defenders won't be relishing coming up against him on the counter, more so as Robertson is injured and they have been leaking goals of late.
Tony Everan
16 Posted 16/10/2023 at 16:35:17
Ian, those stats are both encouraging and annoying. The home games against Fulham, Wolves and Luton were there for the taking. Maybe I'm being too optimistic but after the Bournemouth win I feel like we are progressing and if we were playing any of those three this Saturday we would beat them.

Good work from Dyche, his team and from Dominic too. Dom looks looser this time round; last time he was brought back, he looked like he'd been doing a lot of gym work and bulked up with a bit too much muscle.

This time round, he looks more lithe and sharper, like he's been on a more running and football orientated training regime under Dyche. He looks just few pounds lighter, he's moving better, and hopefully, with luck, will now be more resilient.

Ben King
17 Posted 16/10/2023 at 23:46:37
Excellent work from Dyche and also Dom.

Now get him playing 10 games in a row and, if he does, then get him signing a new contract.

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