Hibbert features in U21s win

by | 18/04/2016  57 Comments  [Jump to last]

Clint Hughes/Getty Images
Tony Hibbert was in rare action for Everton's second string this evening ahead of potential inclusion in the senior squad against Liverpool or Manchester United in the coming days.

The veteran defender hasn't featured at senior level since pre-season but he played the first 45 minutes for the Under-21s as they beat Manchester City 1-0 at Goodison Park, indicating perhaps that he is being drafted back in as emergency cover for the injured Seamus Coleman.

Coleman looks set to miss the FA Cup semi-final with a hamstring injury, leaving Roberto Martinez a vacancy at right back that has no reliable back up.

Hibbert, 35, has been struggling with injury and lack of fitness for the past couple of seasons while some of the options from David Unsworth's U21s team lack first-team experience, are injured or, like Matthew Pennington who has filled in in defence already this season, are currently out on loan.

Tyias Browning is sidelined with a long-term injury, Brendan Galloway has a knock, and summer acquisition Mason Holgate has yet to play for the senior side but Callum Connolly, who came on for Coleman against Southampton last Saturday and isn't in this evening's U21s squad, could also deputise at Anfield on Wednesday evening against Liverpool.

Martinez also has the option of deploying James McCarthy, Bryan Oviedo or even Aaron Lennon as fill-in fullbacks but it looks as though Hibbert is being prepared as another option as well.

Unsworth's side took a 1-0 lead into half time against City's U21s thanks to another impressive goal by Kieran Dowell who netted after 12 minutes.

Hibbert was replaced by Gethin Jones at the halfway stage and the Blues almost doubled their lead early in the second half when David Henen and Dowell combined but the latter's shot came back off the upright.

Morgan Feeney then made an excellent goal-line clearance to deny Celina for the visitors after the City man had rounded goalkeeper Mateusz Hewelt and Everton held on to record a narrow win with Martinez watching on.

Everton U21s: Hewelt, Hibbert (Jones 46'), Foulds, Williams {c}, Holgate, Feeney, Charsley, Dyson, Evans (Baningime 81'), Dowell, Henen (Holland 90')
Subs: Gray, Lavery.  

Reader Comments (57)

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Michael Penley
1 Posted 18/04/2016 at 18:42:17
Criminal that we haven't got backup for Seamus other than Hibbert. No insult intended to Hibbo, of course, but it's a cup semi-final, for crying out loud.
Ernest Rood
2 Posted 18/04/2016 at 18:53:53
At least Hibbo is a defender who can do his job and knows what it means to wear our Colours.
Colin Glassar
3 Posted 18/04/2016 at 18:59:39
This couldn't have been scripted better in Hollywood. Hibbo plays against the Mancs and is MotM after setting up three goals. He goes on to star in the remaining league game earning MotM awards in each game.

To crown a glorious end of season resurgence, Hibbo scores the winner in the FA Cup Final. Get in there, you beauuuuuuuuuuuuty!!

John Malone
4 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:04:44
When Hibbo scores, we riot!!!

Sometimes it's written in the stars!!

John Keating
5 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:10:17
The only thing we can be certain of is that Hibbo will give 100% regardless of fitness... which will be at least twice as much as the other wasters.

Vince Furnier
6 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:12:27
It's like a new signing.
David Greenwood
7 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:14:34
So he should be fit to play around October if niasse is anything to go by Vincent.
Danny Broderick
8 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:16:45
Come on Hibbo!
Ged Simpson
9 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:18:23
This is heading to the fairy story we wanted,
Darren Hind
10 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:50:38
Always loved Hibbo, but surely this is too big an ask?

I think Lennon will play right back at Anfield.

Ray Robinson
11 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:57:13
Hibbo should be coming nowhere near the first team. Besides, if he really is the stand-in for Coleman, why didn't he feature on the bench on Saturday?
Colin Glassar
12 Posted 18/04/2016 at 19:59:10
Hibbo is still trying to find Malouda.
Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 18/04/2016 at 20:04:35
Why can't we just play Holgate at Anfield?
Joe McMahon
14 Posted 18/04/2016 at 20:09:21
FFS, has he played since the 2009 cup final? And 㾹.5 million wasted in January on a player that won't be fit until next season. How can this happen at a club that's always been in the Premier League?

Still at least Bill's a blue, eh. Everything connected with Everton these days is shambolic. You can hear the laughing from the other side of Stanley Park day in day out.
Craig Mills
15 Posted 18/04/2016 at 20:18:04
True Joe, we have collapsed under a pile of Martinez bullshit and the RS revolution is gaining rapid momentum. Who'd bet against them winning the Europa League which then drops them into the Champions League for next season.

If my memory serves me right, they were a few points ahead of us when they sacked Brenda, looks who's laughing now.......

John Zapa
16 Posted 18/04/2016 at 20:29:42
He is exactly what is needed right now. He is in an incredible moment. Who else to call on to face Coutinho's trickery, match Firminho's skill, and Sturidge's pace?

In a match that will be as intense of a 90 minutes any player could play in, he has just the right level of fitness for this contest. It will be a Phenomenal feeling when he gets the expected winner in the 95th minute...

John Cartwright
17 Posted 18/04/2016 at 20:49:24
Some of the comments here have been hilarious, thanks for the entertainment everyone
Stephen Brown
18 Posted 18/04/2016 at 21:02:40
Why not see what Marc Hottinger is up to on Saturday ?
Chris Smith
19 Posted 18/04/2016 at 21:43:50
I am available for selection if Everton can provide the boots for me.
Jeff Armstrong
20 Posted 18/04/2016 at 21:58:02
Who was that right back Moyes brought on in the 2009 final against Chelski?
Paul Thompson
21 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:02:30
Likely he was given a run out because he'l be on the bench. Surely he's not fit enough for a start?
Trevor Peers
22 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:05:01
Maybe get Bob Latchford back up front ?
Kieran Kinsella
24 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:25:56
Hibbert scored a free kick in his testimonial about two years ago which is more than Baines has done in the same timeframe with set pieces. I don't understand why he's not fit. What does he do every day except play football and exercise?

Same with Niasse. It makes no sense and makes me think of the Mike Walker era when the players reveled and did extra training cause MW's sessions weren't enough to get them fit.

Patrick Carty
25 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:27:36
I really hope Jagielka is fit as I would play Stones at right back.

Hibbert is past his best and has been out of action way too long to be considered for such big games.

Phill Thompson
26 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:29:16
The shame is that a fine win by the U21s and by the sound of it another excellent strike by the red hot Dowell is overshadowed by the appearance of a 35-year-old for 45 mins. No disrespect to Hibbert, who's been a fine servant, but you wonder how we got ourselves into this situation.

Well partly because last Saturday was the first time we'd introduced any youngsters into the squad , apart from the brief appearances of Matt Pennington.

Tony(#13) I would play Connolly ahead of Holgate now, sadly chances were missed earlier in the season to get him game time with the 1st team to see what he has, eg, against Dagenham & Redbridge and Carlisle.

Sam Hoare
27 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:29:59
Another goal for Dowell. Surely this lad needs to be featuring for the first team in the next few weeks if not days? A player in form is a rare commodity at Goodison currently....
Jim Hardin
28 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:32:12
Hibbo can get fit in five days at 35-years-old but Niasse can't get fit in 3 months?

Hibbo playing for the U-21s? Based on his age does he count as two players for the side? Only in Europe. Bit like letting one of our professional American Football linebackers play with the high school team then.

Ray Roche
30 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:47:52
Jeff, it was Lars Jacobsen who covered for Hibbert in the 2009 FA Cup Final..
Dave Older
31 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:51:50
Gary Stevens has probably got more chance of lasting 90 mins than Hibbo, hasn't he? Having said that, if Hibbo is selected and he scores the winner against Man Utd, then I will riot like it's 1999.
Steve Huyton
32 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:55:26
The shortage in defence was an accident waiting to happen. We should have signed at least one more experienced defender, preferably a match fit one, (on loan if not permanently) during the last transfer window.
Bill Gall
33 Posted 18/04/2016 at 22:55:40
I guess Hibbo has been wrapped up in cotton wool inside a glass cubicle with a sign that said, "Break glass and revive in case of an emergency".
Colin Glassar
34 Posted 18/04/2016 at 23:10:16
Did Hibbo play with his iron lung attached?
Damian Wilde
35 Posted 18/04/2016 at 23:40:25
A great display by young Doweĺl, he sounds very promising. But RM prefers Kone.
John Raftery
36 Posted 18/04/2016 at 00:13:47
Kieran Dowell simply oozes class. Tonight he showed great technique for his goal, first turning his defender before hammering a great shot. His corners are excellent and he has the knack of making time for himself on the ball. I would fast track him immediately into the first team squad just to give him a taste of what is required at that level.

Another player to catch the eye tonight was Antony Evans. This lad has really developed this season. His work rate is fantastic and he uses the ball well in the forward midfield/number ten role.

Overall it was an impressive team performance with the players showing the discipline to hold their positions and control the game even when they were not able to control possession.

James Kirrane
37 Posted 19/04/2016 at 00:36:19
Why is Niasse not playing? Surely the way to build up the lad's fitness and confidence is for him to get playing time in a 'competitive' game. Or is he that bad that he would struggle in the U21s??
Mick Davies
38 Posted 19/04/2016 at 02:29:25
Right, so an unfit former member of Walter Smiths side, who hasn't played for years and was withdrawn at half-time in our last Wembley final as he couldn't handle a pacy winger, is now our great hope?

Just because he's played 45 mins of a reserve match means he's probably fitter than most of our squad, but that doesn't say much. I really hope we get through this week without too much embarrassment, and then relieve the useless jerk of his 'managerial' duties.

He can then go and take Barca down to their equivalent of our NPL, as long as he never sets foot in Finch Farm again.
Signed... Mr Angry.

Anto Byrne
39 Posted 19/04/2016 at 03:18:49
Play as many Under-21s as possible at Anfield... or at least 3. I think I would be saying, "Sod it, boys... just go out and have fun."
Eric Myles
40 Posted 19/04/2016 at 03:33:40
Good to hear Hibbo is recovering from his injury and we'll have him available to blame for our next 2 defeats...
Jim Hardin
41 Posted 19/04/2016 at 04:04:43

Excellent update on the youngsters. Thank you. Please keep the reports coming. Can the two youngsters pass backwards and sideways though?

Kieran Fitzgerald
42 Posted 19/04/2016 at 07:23:18
We should have been giving it loads the last three days about the two young players getting a senior start on Saturday. It shows where we are that it hasn't gotten a mention outside of the match reports.
Thomas Surgenor
43 Posted 19/04/2016 at 07:23:38
Mick (#38),

I don't think Tony ever played for Walter? Didn't Moyes bring him and Rooney through together?

Where's the Spanish fullback lad? Still injured?! My bet is he will play Oviedo there and Baines at left-back. I'd like him to play one of the kids, Browning (I know he is injured) made his debut in the derby and didn't look out of place.

Joe Clitherow
44 Posted 19/04/2016 at 07:47:12
I bet Hibbo wouldn't let us down and stick to his defensive duties rather than towing the insane Martinez line of being camped up near the opposition 18-yard line which means we will have at least some defensive fullback cover. I bet he is also still the best tackler at the club irrespective of age and fitness.

This is the inevitable outcome of buying your 15th or whatever it is defensive central midfielder and spunking 㾹.5 M on an apparently useless striker instead of addressing the quite glaringly obvious lack of cover for the right-back position. Unless Hibbo always *was* the right-back cover? And some people think Martinez should be trusted with a huge warchest in the Summer?

At least we may get a chance to do the "Tony, Tony Tony..." No Limits song again which has brightened my mood for the SF right there.

If Oviedo plays right back in either of the games this week, we'll get raped.

John Raftery
45 Posted 19/04/2016 at 10:11:28
Jim - 41 They can but their natural inclination is to move the ball forward. The same applies to the two central midfielders, Harry Charsley and Joe Williams.
John Dean
46 Posted 19/04/2016 at 10:23:31
More fans than usual showed up for last night's game and they were rewarded when Everton completed a 1 – 0 double over the vaunted City Elite Development Squad. The first victory at City's Academy Stadium was earned by a committed backs to the wall defensive display but last night's victory was earned by creating more and better goal scoring opportunities.

Everton lined up 4-4-2 with Evans playing just behind Calum Dyson supported down the flanks by Henen and McDowell, Williams and Charsley controlled the centre and the defence was built on Holgate and Feeney with Foulds and Hibbert at fullback and Hewelt in goal. Everton took charge of the game from the off, aggressive in midfield and McDowell adding skill and touch; City were pedestrian by comparison.

McDowell provided Everton's cutting edge, taking a pass and swerving past a defender to create space before hitting a sweet daisy-cutter from outside the area that their keeper couldn't get down to in time. A lovely moment in the game equalled in the second half when Holgate burst into the City half then played a ball down the wing to Henen who pulled the ball back at speed behind our front striker but into the path of the sprinting McDowell who hit it on the run as it came across his body and, from the corner of the box, the ball smacked against the foot of the near post and back into play.

City did change their game in the second half, being more direct and using the long ball to open our defence on several occasions; Feeney was splendidly athletic when, having allowed Celina too much space to chase down a long ball and round our keeper, he sprinted back to cover the line and block the goal-bound shot. But we held our composure well and saw out the game without Hewelt having to perform any heroics.

Hibbert played the first half and was sound defensively, Jones the second and he showed more prominently in attack. Dyson got no change from City's defence but there was no sign of the Under 21 Premier League Player for March, Courtney Duffus or Brewster who led the Under 18s to a competition victory in USA recently and Lavery did got get a chance to impress from the bench.

A performance to lift an Evertonian's spirits.

Denis Richardson
47 Posted 19/04/2016 at 10:35:01
I thought Hibbo had already retired to his carp farm in France!

A few weeks from the end of the season and his football playing career and we haul him back into the team, now? This is so ridiculous it's hilarious. He hasn't made a single appearance all season and not could feature at Old Trafford and then a cup semi!

We've also got Big Dunc as cover for Rom, given Niasse is learning how to play football and may be ready in 2019.


Damian Wilde
48 Posted 19/04/2016 at 10:39:58
Why on earth is Hibbert still getting paid? He has barely played for two years. It's a bit like BK says to him "Tony, you've been a good servant, son; I'll keep paying you £40,000 a week, don't worry about playing, go and get a good scran from the canteen girls and have the odd massage."

We're wasting a lot of money on players like him. Joke.

Eric Myles
49 Posted 19/04/2016 at 10:43:50
He's still under contract, Damian.
Eric Myles
50 Posted 19/04/2016 at 10:45:04
And the reason he's not been playing is injury
Barry Pearce
51 Posted 19/04/2016 at 11:04:11
Surely now is the time to introduce Dowell into the first team squad. People who go to watch the Under-21s think he has the ability. I trust these Evertonians far more than I would trust Martinez.

If given a chance, I think we have a few gems in our academy. Let's hope some are given that chance in our remaining league games. Nothing really to lose by it, plus I'm certain they would give 100% effort, unlike some at present.

Dennis Stevens
52 Posted 19/04/2016 at 11:23:59
Hibbert made his debut under Walter Smith, making 1 start & 2 sub appearances in the 2000-01 season & a further 4 starts & 2 sub appearances the following season up to Smith's sacking. It's a bit of a distortion to present him as an established member of Smith's team.

In what may be a bit of a parallel situation to the current one, he was rushed back into the Cup Final team in 2009 when clearly not fully fit, probably as a result of injuries to key players.

Neil Lawson
53 Posted 19/04/2016 at 11:34:56
So many sensible and reasonable comments. Just as many amusing and entertaining ones. That's what has always been great about being a genuine true blue.

But they are all off the mark. Hibbo is there purely for the 5th penalty after extra time. When it smashes into the roof of the net and the invasion commences. Can someone bring a bit of the turf and a piece of the goalpost down to Exeter for me please.

Mike Allen
54 Posted 19/04/2016 at 12:00:20
No problem with Hibbert getting a run-out; however, it just makes the Niasse debacle stranger and stranger. All the players that have had a long lay-off have had a game with the U21s.

Niasse has been training longer than he would get for pre-season – how can the manager get away with the excuses for this player? I don't think it's a joke – we now need the truth, not these brazen lies since the signing.

Trevor Lynes
55 Posted 19/04/2016 at 14:28:54
Hibbo is experienced but would be targeted if played at fullback as he would be out paced. He may be better at midfield at this stage of his career as pace is slightly less important. It is a shame though that we do not have adequate cover.

Dan Davies
56 Posted 19/04/2016 at 15:04:16
I'd much rather say about Hibbo ripping an Anfield net in the last minute of the game. However, all joking aside, I'm really pissed off that we haven't got a competitive alternative to Coleman. No disrespect to Hibbo but Klopp must be licking his lips at the thought!
Barry Pearce
57 Posted 19/04/2016 at 15:26:11
Absolutely agree with some of the posts about Niasse, and his fitness.I f Hibbo can have 45 minutes to be possibly involved, then Niasse should definitely be fit by now.

Like Mike (#54) has stated, this is not a joke – stop lying to us.

Tim Greeley
58 Posted 19/04/2016 at 15:55:43
Only question – Will Hibbo be charged with accessory to murder when he scores the winner in the FA Cup Final and London runs red with blood!?
John Graham
59 Posted 19/04/2016 at 19:05:50
A true blue. A player who is loved because of his fight and never say die attitude. But we must have someone else. Can't be fit enough if he hasn't been a regular in any team so why blow of the cobwebs and get him off his crutches. If there is none else then I'd probably say put Lennon there.

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