In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast ahead of the London Football Awards, Tony Cottee admitted that Marco Silva’s decision to use Richarlison as a striker could impact the confidence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Moise Kean.
The Brazilian has made 10 Premier League starts this campaign, but it is only in the last two that he has been used as the main man down the middle, as per WhoScored, which perhaps shows that Silva has been losing patience with his out and out strikers.
When asked if this decision could impact the confidence of the pair, Cottee replied: “It can do, yeah, but what it will tell you is that, I can only talk personally from my experiences, it will tell you that you’re not doing your job properly, because if you’re a centre forward, then you get wide players or midfield players moved up front and playing in front of you, then you’re not performing to your maximum.”
The former Everton striker has claimed that the pair should use Silva’s decision as motivation to improve: “That’s a challenge for Calvert-Lewin, that’s a challenge for Moise Kean as well and they’ve just got to step their game up and they’ve got to respond to the challenge.”
This doesn’t come from a sympathetic point of view though, as he sees this practice as commonplace: “That’s how it works with football, you have good spells and everyone’s saying how great you are and you bang in the goals and then when you have a bit of a dip and you don’t play very well and you’re not scoring you come out of the team. It’s how you respond and that’s how you learn to become a better footballer.”
He has shown faith in them though, even indicating that their current predicament could help the youngsters as they move forward in their careers: “I’m a big fan of Calvert-Lewin, he’s a really, really good player, I’ve not seen a lot of Moise Kean, but they’re both youngsters.
“They’ve both got to learn and the challenge is there now to step their game up and try and get back into the team and score the goals and try and be the number nine for Everton. Historically, it’s a big responsibility to wear the number nine shirt.”
With Everton currently hovering above the relegation zone, having someone establish themselves as the club’s main striker would certainly be useful in helping them climb the table.
Tony Cottee was speaking as a judge on The London Football Awards, due to take place on 5th March 2020 at Camden’s Roundhouse. Tickets are available from https://