Everton’s star opens up about his return to form and difficult 2022/23 season

Dominic Calvert-Lewin has candidly discussed his resurgence in form and the struggles he faced during the previous season in an interview for Everton’s match-day program, as reported by Liverpool World (via Everton.News). The striker expressed his gratitude to manager Sean Dyche for his role in his revival and addressed the criticism he endured during a disappointing 2022/23 campaign.

Calvert-Lewin had previously endeared himself to Everton fans when he scored 34 goals in 76 appearances in all competitions. This impressive form led to strong interest from clubs like Arsenal and Newcastle United. However, his career took a drastic turn as he grappled with a series of injuries.

Over the past two seasons, Calvert-Lewin managed only 34 Premier League appearances, netting seven goals. The England international often played through pain during the previous season, which affected his performances and resulted in criticism from both fans and pundits.

Reflecting on those challenging times, Calvert-Lewin said, “I think you look back at those performances compared to what I can produce – and people can start to kind of think: ‘He doesn’t care.’ Then there can be another narrative of only being in it for money, but money has no correlation to feeling and what someone is actually giving to be available.”

He continued, “For me, when you care so much, it can become fiery at times, and that’s just because there’s so much passion involved. Because there is so much passion, when things are going well, you are feeling on top of the world – and when they’re not going well, it comes with the territory that it’s going to fall on my shoulders.”

Calvert-Lewin emphasized his understanding of fans’ expectations and the stress he put on himself to perform even when not fully fit. He credited the new manager, Sean Dyche, for intervening and ensuring that he had the patience to regain full fitness.

Acknowledging Dyche’s significant role, Calvert-Lewin said, “The manager has played a massive role. I think I’ve been a 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.”

He added, “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 just about 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.”

Calvert-Lewin highlighted how Dyche’s confidence in him and the removal of external pressure allowed him to focus on his recovery. The striker has made a promising return, scoring three goals in three games following his comeback and delivering an excellent performance in Everton’s 3-0 victory over Bournemouth.

However, Calvert-Lewin acknowledges the importance of avoiding further injuries, as prolonged spells on the sidelines could undermine Everton’s reliance on him.