U21s earn slender win at City

11/01/2016  13 Comments  [Jump to last]
Everton's second string beat Manchester City 1-0 at their Academy stadium thanks to a goal by Kieran Dowell.

In what the first team hope will be a good omen for Wednesday evening's meeting between the Toffees and Citizens in the Barclays Premier League, Everton triumphed when Dowell scored seconds into the second half and David Unsworth's men were able to hang on for victory.

The Blues' line-up featured recent first-team debutant Leandro Rodriguez and Conor McAleny in an otherwise young side.

Everton: Gray, Charsley, Connolly, Davies, Thorniley, Feeney, Dowell (Evans 80'), Williams, Duffus (Byrne 60'), Rodriguez (Dyson 90'), McAleny
Subs not used: Griffiths, Yates.


Reader Comments (13)

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Andrew Presly
1 Posted 11/01/2016 at 23:20:09
Would've been nice to see Dowell involved with the first team last Saturday, especially as Rodriguez is seemingly above McAleny in the pecking order upfront, based on his late cameo.

Conor is older than Lukaku isn't he?! It felt like a missed opportunity to give a younger talent the experience. With the best will, he should be moved on whilst he retains a transfer value. Didn't he impress at Cardiff? ٟm too much to ask?

As for Dowell, the Exeter vs Liverpool game showed the effects of too much U21 football on previously promising youth players. We've done well loaning out a lot of kids under Martinez and should do the same with Dowell asap.

John O'Brien
2 Posted 11/01/2016 at 23:29:34
Really good to see this exciting talent, Kieran Dowell back in action after his ankle injury.

I saw he was in the first team squad last weekend. Hoping he can push on and make an impact in the 2nd half of the season. Still only 18.

Harold Matthews
3 Posted 12/01/2016 at 02:14:47
Surprised Louis Gray was in goal ahead of Hewelt but plenty of people like this ex-Wrexham lad and he enjoyed a fine match. Had enough at the Welsh club, came to train for a few weeks at Finch Farm and we were impressed.

According to the report, we were very organised and held on well after Dowell put us in front with a low drive. City Albanian wonderkid Celini nearly caused a mass punch-up when he became frustrated and pushed Thornley in the face and McAleny twice went close at the other end. This lad appears to be on fire at the moment.

No mention of Leandro who played 90 minutes but I'll bet he was instructed not to push things. Gradually getting up to speed is what these games are all about for players with the 1st team squad.

Ajay Gopal
4 Posted 12/01/2016 at 08:23:02
I was hoping (and still am hoping) that McAleny is a late bloomer (a la Vardy) and he will become our own Kane or Vardy. But he seems always to come close to scoring a goal, but very rarely actually scores!

I remember Moyes introduced him in his last season against Arsenal and McAleny hit a screamer that just went on the wrong side of the upright. If he had scored that one, he would have been hailed as the next Rooney or whatever.
John Raftery
5 Posted 12/01/2016 at 10:01:00
Ajay - Moyes brought McAleny on towards the end of the game at The Emirates in December 2011. The following year he went on loan to Brentford where he broke his leg and missed the best part of a season.

He usually impresses in the under 21s but at this stage of his career he needs an extended run in first team football at Championship level to show us what he can do. I am not sure he has enough for the Premier League.
John Dean
6 Posted 12/01/2016 at 10:58:22
Both goalies only had one shot each to save. In Everton's case, that was due to terrific last ditch defending, shot blocks and tackles as City did most of the pressing. They were most effective down their left where Brandon Barker excelled. Harry Charsley was playing at right back and I've not seen him play anywhere in defence before so perhaps his inexperience in that position showed. Feeney was commanding and effective for such a young lad. We were under a lot of pressure for much of the game and Connolly hardly crossed the halfway line and he's so threatening when he does.

Tom Davies and Joe Williams battled hard in midfield. Davies escaped a red card for one air-born lunge and was booked for another committed challenge. He doesn't take a backward step and apparently acquitted himself well when he trained with the full England squad recently.

Leandro lasted until the 5 minutes of overtime but he was shattered by then. He did get one chance, breaking into the box late on but he didn't have the pace to gain a step on his man to get his shot off. I'm not sure he has much to offer the first team yet. McAleny was our best forward player and his cross led to Dowell's mis-timed shot bobbling past their flat-footed goalie. I wish Roberto had found a way of giving McAleny consecutive games in the first team.

John Dean
7 Posted 12/01/2016 at 11:08:53
Courtney Duffus did impress until he blew up early in the second half - he's recovering from long term injury. He is built in the Lukaku mould and has pace notably bursting past his man on the right wing who then brought him down in the box. He didn't have a goalscoring chance so I don't know if he has the composure strikers need but I look forward to seeing more of him.
Fran Mitchell
8 Posted 12/01/2016 at 11:36:33
Seeing as it is unlikely that we will make any concrete additions to the squad in January, it would be good to see McAleny get a chance.

Surely he would offer more than say Kone. Dowell also looks a gem of a player. We must be patient with him, especially as he is recovering from an injury which will have damaged his confidence, but I feel a few substitute appearances and a run out in the 4th round could be benaficial to his development.

I'd also like, come the end of the season, the likes of Walsh and Ledson to be recalled and given some minutes on the pitch with the first team.

Ledson's loan seems to have been a great step in his development, and I feel first team football may give him that confidence boost to really push on in pre-season. Walsh, by all accounts, is a heck of a prospect. Hopefully his loan will prove beneficial, and next year, at 19, he could be ready to step up.

With much dead wood in our squad, replacing them with young lads and focusing our budget on additions to the first 11-15 players is our best opportunity to push on.

Harold Matthews
9 Posted 12/01/2016 at 13:24:17
John. Brilliant report as usual. Far better than the one I managed to dig up. Yes, young Feeney seems to be way ahead of schedule but just reward for his consistently fine performances with the U18s.
Sam Hoare
10 Posted 12/01/2016 at 13:47:55
Fran @8 – sounds good in theory and, whilst I agree with you, I suspect we will find that, of all our great prospects, only a handful will go on to be regular Premier League pros and have the sort of careers that the likes of Kone, Osman, Pienaar, Gibson, Howard, Naismith and McGeady have had.

I certainly agree that they need to be given opportunities and it's a real shame that McAleny's loans have all gone so badly (I seem to recall his attitude being questioned on the last one) as he has regularly performed for the U21s.

As much as Martinez is seen as the champion of young players, he has only really given them opportunity when injury has necessitated it. The likes of Robles, Browning, Galloway and Besic have all been dropped after good performances when the senior pros have come back. I hope some more of the younger crop get chances but won't hold my breath.

Michael Williams
11 Posted 12/01/2016 at 15:34:56
Yesterday on Fox (in the US) there was actually an U-21 game on TV (Chelsea - Spurs). Are the EFC U-21 games ever televised or streamed?

Gary Edwards
12 Posted 13/01/2016 at 10:48:21
The team is barely recognisable from the one I watched on several occasions (@ Southport & Goodison) earlier on in the season, testament to the rich crop of talented youngsters we have at the moment.

The only area where we are not overly blessed with talent and depth is up front; if we were, I'm sure McAleny would have been moved on by now. I have no agenda against the lad, IMO he's simply not good enough for the first team squad. He's had his chances and simply not taken them.

John @#5 I don't know what matches you watched where McAleny impressed; the only thing that impressed me about the lad was how immaculate his hair remained throughout the games I saw him in... possibly because he touched it more than he touched the ball.

John Dean
13 Posted 13/01/2016 at 11:09:54
Yes, our striker threat has been very poor for several seasons and perhaps that's one of the reasons why I described him as our "best forward player" on the night.

If you saw the U21 derby at St Helens recently, you will have seen a very good performance from McAleny which included a terrific cross for Evans to put away and his bursting run from inside his own half and through ball to create the goal for Walsh against Spurs shows he plays with his head up.

When McAleny played as the No 10 a couple of years ago rather than his current position out wide, he scored goals because he does have composure and quick reactions and feet. But its probably also true that I think our own boys are better than they are.

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