Ellis Simms came of age after a pep talk from Sean Dyche
Ellis Simms can be Everton’s SAVIOUR: Young striker comes of age with late leveller against Chelsea after pep talk from Sean Dyche, as he admits: ‘It’s a dream come true to score my first Premier League goal’
- Everton drew 2-2 with Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday
- Ellis Simms came off the bench to score the equaliser in the 89th minute
- Sean Dyche spoke to the young striker last week and it had the desired impact
Stamford Bridge was already a stadium that held happy memories for Ellis Simms, having made his Everton debut there in December 2021.
He will now also remember it as the ground where he opened his Toffees account with a brilliant burst of speed and finish to earn Sean Dyche’s side a point.
A prolific scorer at youth level, Simms has gained experience out on loan at Blackpool, Hearts and Sunderland in the last couple of years. He was recalled from his productive spell at the Stadium of Light in January, with Everton badly in need of goals.
His first start since returning, against Liverpool last month, did not go to plan and he slipped back down the pecking order. But a pep talk with Dyche last week did the trick, with Simms delivering on one of his promises to ‘play stronger’ after coming off the bench at Chelsea.
‘It was the moment of my career so far,’ the 22-year-old said. ‘I have been working hard to come up with this. It’s a dream come true to score my first Premier League goal.’
Ellis Simms (left) celebrates after scoring a late equaliser against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge
Abdoulaye Doucoure, who scored Everton’s first equaliser before setting up Simms, said: ‘Everyone loves him — he’s so funny! To score his first goal here is something that he is never going to forget and we got the point because of him.’
Defender James Tarkowski added: ‘The finish was unbelievable. Since coming back after Christmas, he’s got his head down, worked hard and those moments are what you live for.’
While it was an unforgettable goal for Simms, Graham Potter will remember it, too.
Simms stunned the Chelsea supporters with a fine individual goal in the closing stages
The Chelsea boss was minutes away from being able to sleep peacefully during the international break. After a physically and mentally taxing period, he was looking forward to getting his head down.
‘I’m going to close my eyes and sleep for a few hours, or try to,’ said Potter. ‘I’ll spend some time with the family. It’s an intense period coming up, so it’s important for me as the leader to gain some freshness and recharge.’
He had looked set to head into the break with four successive wins and further evidence that a corner has been turned. Then Simms struck to provide a reminder of the frailties that will be on Potter’s mind during the break. Frailties that left his side unable to see out the game after Kai Havertz’s penalty with 14 minutes left. Frailties that meant Everton, twice behind, had hope.
There were, though, signs of growing confidence and quality from Chelsea over the first hour and then again when they responded to being pegged back for the first time.
A pep talk with Sean Dyche last week did the trick, with Simms delivering on his promise
But they were also left to rue their inability to manage the game and their lack of cutting edge — someone with that composure to take chances like Simms did so brilliantly, breezing past Kalidou Koulibaly and firing under Kepa Arrizabalaga. A new No 9 is one of Chelsea’s summer priorities.
Simms’ strike was deflating, checking Chelsea’s momentum, but provided a reflection of where they are. Further along, but not as reliable as they want to be. Think back to where they were heading into the last international break, before the World Cup, for a comparison. Four domestic defeats in a row, injury ravaged, confidence shot. For Potter, as ever, perspective is required.
‘Sometimes you have to see exactly what’s happened,’ he added. ‘Since the last two windows, you are looking at a 20-plus player turnaround. In terms of stability, spirit in the group, that’s been a real positive over this tough period.
‘It’s a unique season, the number of injuries was just crazy and then the transfer window has added more noise but we’ve got a young group that’s coming together well. Today’s performance was positive but there’s still lots to do.’
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