By Goodison News speaking to Kevin Campbell

1st Mar, 2023 | 6:10pm

We’re delighted to welcome former Everton striker Kevin Campbell as our exclusive columnist. Each week the former Toffees captain will be giving his views on the biggest talking points at Goodison Park…

Kevin Campbell has branded Simon Jordan “disrespectful” over his suggestion that Everton striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin is “happy” being injured.

The talkSPORT pundit had reacted to the latest ongoing absence for the Toffees number nine by claiming live on 17 February that he is “accepting” of being injured and hasn’t shown the necessary fight to overcome it.

But former captain, and Sky Sports pundit, Campbell has fired back and categorically dismissed the idea, believing instead that the a pressure to come back quickly with Everton in such great need is not allowing the striker to ever properly recover.

He exclusively told Goodison News of Jordan’s assertions: “Why say it? If it’s a disrespectful thing to say, why say it?

“I’ve never known any player who’s comfortable being injured and just chilling and accepting it. No chance.

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“I think Dominic Calvert-Lewin’s problem has been he’s tried to rush back too many times.

“Because the team have needed him he’s rushed back when he actually probably wasn’t quite right, but he’s putting his body on the line and he keeps breaking down.

“That’s what I believe, because if you recover from an injury and you’re doing all your work you shouldn’t be breaking down as much.

“But it’s when you push too much and the team needs you, you have to.

“You put your body on the line, you might be carrying a little niggle here and there, and that’s what I believe has happened.

“He needs to get himself right, he really does.

“It might be to the detriment [of the team] right now, but as we saw at the back end of last season, he can make a difference. He really can.

“When he played against Arsenal he gave them all sorts of problems at the top end of the pitch, but had to go off because he felt his hamstring.

“That’s the difficult part, managing minutes and all that kind of thing. It’s tough.

“But I wouldn’t be as disrespectful as Simon Jordan to say anything like that.

“As a player, I don’t know one player who’s actually likes being injured.”

Calvert-Lewin has been in and out of the side with one problem after another as the team has struggled mightily over the past couple of seasons, but prior to the start of the previous campaign he was virtually ever-present.

That suggests the broken toe that started his travails caused a continual knock-on effect rather than the 26-year-old always having been a player who sits out with the smallest of issues.

It is yet another black mark against the complete failure to adequately provide attacking support that so much pressure rests on one player’s shoulders, and likely does make him feel obligated to come back sooner, since without him there is so little goal-threat.

It is tempting to point fingers at the player when they are always missing, and the facts of the matter are that it has derailed and might even end Calvert-Lewin’s Everton career, but in this situation there is nobody who will be more unhappy about it than him.