Ellis Simms now needs to kick on after first Everton goal at Chelsea

Everton (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)
Everton (Photo by James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images) /

After netting his first Premier League goal at Stamford Bridge, which secured Everton a very valuable point, Ellis Simms now needs to build on that breakthrough.

Simms has had to wait a while to score his first senior goal for the Blues’, but finally after making a number of appearances without success he has broken his duck.

Everton needed that strike and it meant Simm’s side departed West London with a draw that had looked unlikely with just a few minutes left in the game.

That point could be a big one too at the end of the season when everything is settled and we find out what the final standings are.

It is so tight in the relegation battle that every point is important. Going into the international break, only four points separate bottom club Southampton from Crystal Palace in twelth.

I have always felt that in this second half of the season the Toffees’ would need at least one away win to ensure survival, alongside the required four or five home successes.

But, if they maintain their recent road form, then another draw or two on their travels might be just enough as Dyche’s men have already won three of their last four matches at Goodison Park.

Scoring goals has been this Everton team’s major achilles heel recently, as we all know only too well. In fact, it has been a huge problem for several seasons now.

The absence of Dominic Calvert-Lewin for all but 60-odd minutes of Sean Dyche’s reign so far and the failure of other strikers (most notably Neal Maupay) to adequately fill in for him, has been a big hinderance to the manager as he tries to prevent relegation.

Overall, Dyche has done well to make up for the loss of Calvert-Lewin with goals from defenders and midfielders helping to some extent to ease the problem.

He has tried Maupay and Simms in one game as a lone centre-forward without much success, before switching to Demarai Gray to fill that position in his 4-5-1 formation.

The former-Leicester City star has been doing a solid job in an unfamiliar role, almost as a false nine. He’s hard-working and his speed and movement make him much more effective than Maupay was.

Simms too, despite his pace and power isn’t really a natural front-running centre-forward. He seems better suited to playing off or alongside a traditional target man like Calvert-Lewin.

In his youth he had started out as an attacking midfielder and his natural instincts are to run into space and onto the ball, rather than play with his back to goal.

That’s precisely what he did last weekend at Chelsea. The Oldham-born player latched onto Abdoulaye Doucoure’s superb first-time ball and then shrugged off the challenge of Kalidou Koulibally before firing past the Chelsea keeper.

Now, the question is can Simms keep up the good work and start finding the back of the net more regularly for Everton?

Of course, to do that he needs to be playing consistently, although for the moment his minutes are being restricted and it’s likely he will be continuing as a substitute for the foreseeable future.

Dyche is also almost certainly going to stick to his one-man striker tactics, especially as it has worked reasonably well so far.  That will probably be the case even if Calvert-Lewin does ever return to fitness.

So, it’s not likely Simms will be playing alongside the ex-England international anytime soon.

But, the possibility they might form a strike partnership at some point in the near future is intriguing, as it looks as though their strengths would compliment each other.

When the summer transfer window comes around the main priority for Everton and Dyche will be looking to sign forwards to improve what has been a chonically anemic attack.

And, there are rumours of a considerable ‘war chest’ being made available to the manager in the summer, although I will wait to see that before I’m convinced!

If Simms can show concrete improvement and start scoring on a more consistent basis, then he might provide competition and a cheap alternative to spending big sums on lots of new forwards.

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