Dyche to study Calvert-Lewin’s mattress in search for clues about injury-prone striker

Sarah Winterburn

Everton manager Sean Dyche will look at details of Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s lifestyle – including the mattress he sleeps on – to ascertain why he is so injury-prone.

The Toffees striker was substituted a little over an hour into Dyche’s first game in charge against Arsenal with a hamstring injury, which kept him out of the next Premier League games with Liverpool and Leeds United.

Calvert-Lewin has started only nine top-flight games this season after a disrupted 21/22 which saw him start only 15 Premier League games.

Everton have a chronic goalscoring problem and their leading Premier League goalscorers this season as the now-departed Anthony Gordon and Demarai Gray with three goals each.

It has been reported this week that Everton chairman Bill Kenwright blocked the signing of Marko Arnautovic in January.

Dyche said ahead of the weekend clash with Leeds United when asked about Calvert-Lewin: “I’ve got to learn about his history, his physiological history.

“I’ve got to learn what his body will and won’t take, which is what we are trying to do.

“We’re speaking to him, the medics, the sports scientists, looking at the stats, training programmes, distance covered, high-speed running, how many kilometres in a week, what’s his diet like, what’s his lifestyle like, what car does he drive, what mattress does he use, how many hours does he sleep a night? That’s learning about people.

“The biggest learning is what is in here [Dyche tapped his head] and that’s the hard part. I can’t do it all one on one but I’ll get all the information I can.

“I don’t think he’s been properly fit throughout this situation because of his own will and demand to keep playing.

“Some players don’t realise until afterwards that they’ve put so much demand on themselves and they weren’t quite ready. We have to align the process of getting the injury right and him completely right so that he doesn’t break down and he can keep going.”

Dyche has been reflecting on his start as Everton manager in his programme notes for the Leeds game, writing: ‘In our first two games — against two top sides — we have seen some good signs in terms of applying what we’ve been working on in training to game situations.

‘While the Arsenal win was a great start for us, as I said at the time, that didn’t mean everything was solved. In the same way, while we were naturally very disappointed to lose the Merseyside derby and there were mistakes to correct, the lads put in a good shift and the margins on the night were fine, as they so often are in the Premier League.

‘We won’t get too high and we won’t get too low, and I want to find consistency in our values whatever the result may be. The hard work continues — and I’ve been very clear on that.

‘Reflecting on Monday night’s game, I want to see us be braver and more positive in possession. It’s about finding the balance between retaining a strong defensive shape with good energy, which always has to be the base to work from, then layering up on that quality on the ball to open up and hurt the opposition.’