Dominic Calvert-Lewin has been criticised by Ian Wright for his big miss in Everton 0-0 draw with Aston Villa, with Gary Neville, Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher piling on too.
Speaking on the Stick to Football podcast (18 January), Wrighty was asked about Arsenal failing to take their chances and recalled the opportunity Calvert-Lewin had when one on one with Emi Martinez.
But after explaining why he missed and what he should have done better, Wright asked the rest of the panel if they had any confidence that he would score and the answer was a unanimous no.
“When he ran through, because people say things like ‘why are we practicing these in training? We never get these in games,’ because top players want those,” Wright said. “You want to be in that situation.
“He was going straight and I think at some stage he’s got to either go off to the right or the left to move the goalkeeper. Because when you looked at Martinez, when it broke Martinez was actually turning, looking at the goal.
“In that moment he’s got to get himself into a situation where he gives himself an angle either side, so that the goalkeeper then has to get there and ask ‘where am I?’. Then you think down there, or down the side. Or if you’re going to go straight you open your body up, then you have to lift it over the trailing leg.
“There was so much goal he actually didn’t even need to lift it. I thought Calvert-Lewin was going to lift it because he didn’t go right or left. If you go straight, a goalkeeper is waiting for you to make a mistake because he is in no-man’s land.
“That’s why you see a Harry Kane, or a Salah or someone like that they go through and you say bam, that was easy. Because a goalkeeper can’t do anything unless you make a mistake.
“Did you fancy him? When you saw him go through, did you fancy him with the amount of space to score?
“No, not really. But that’s the next level up, isn’t it?” Keane said, while Neville simply replied “No.”
“That’s what you want to be,” Wright said in response to Keane’s comment.
“The top players there, you just say goal. That’s what Calvert-Lewin will want to be and it comes down to training. In training what I used to do, and I did it religiously, if I missed in training I felt like it was a miss in a game.
“I didn’t fancy Calvert-Lewin,” Carragher added. “When you’re running straight at someone, as a defender the amount of times I think just get a half a yard.”
Calvert-Lewin is a very good striker with a very good all-round game, and he has the ability to score goals nobody else in the Everton team can score.
But there is a big confidence problem with the Toffees number nine right now, having hit double figures in games since his last goal.
That no doubt played a big part in his miss in that game, with Martinez full of confidence and at the top of his game for an Aston Villa team that are playing out of their skin currently.
He can obviously improve and there are definitely Blues fans who will agree with the panel that they weren’t confident of him finding the net, but it’s not because of a lack of ability.
Had he been flying like he was earlier in the season then most people would have expected a goal to come from that play and we wouldn’t be having this conversation days later.