Michael Ball has urged Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s teammates to keep supporting him in the wake of his recent problems against Crystal Palace.
The England international was substituted out of the game at Selhurst Park on Saturday, November 11, after failing to register a single shot against the Eagles. This season, he has scored three Premier League goals in nine games.
Fortunately, the Toffees found three crucial goals from other sources. Ball feels that Everton’s other players have finally started to show leadership and back their number nine as the club starts to gel under Sean Dyche.
“We’ve been talking about the importance of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and how much of a difference he makes to this Everton side, but like all players, you can’t be 10 out of 10 every week,” he wrote in an article for the Liverpool Echo on November 14.
“Can someone else step up and achieve the goals when that’s the case? Is Abdoulaye Doucoure able to participate more? Can Vitalii Mykolenko, as we’ve seen recently, or the other midfielders and wingers?
“They’ve taken the initiative, and it’s encouraging to see their level of confidence. They are certain that they will have a chance to score; they are not being passive.
We’re performing better as a unit. We’re not playing as a team; perhaps a few, like Alex Iwobi, stepped up their game under Frank Lampard, but the others didn’t.
More of a team
Far too often in recent seasons, Everton have been relying on the goals of Calvert-Lewin to win matches and when he has been sidelined with injury they have looked devoid of confidence in the final third and unlikely to even test the opposition.
That couldn’t have been further from the case on Saturday as everybody around the 26-year-old thrived while he struggled to get involved in proceedings. No player lost more duels in the game than the Toffees’ forward who lost 16 battles in the match.
But goals from Doucoure, Mykolenko and Idrissa Gueye ensured that Everton came away with all three points. Earlier this season and for most of last season, it would have been impossible to imagine the Toffees scoring three times in a game, especially without Calvert-Lewin finding the net.
When the striker returns to form in front of goal, he will be one of a number of players providing a threat, rather than being relied upon to find the net. Everton are a much more complete team under Dyche currently than we have seen at Goodison in several years.