Young guns could get their chance

by | 28/04/2016  41 Comments  [Jump to last]

Roberto Martinez says that he expects Kieran Dowell to be around the first-team squad between now and the end of the season.

Roberto Martinez has hinted that some of his up-and-coming youngsters could get some valuable first-team exposure in the last four games of the season as he deals with injuries and suspension.

With Phil Jagielka, Gareth Barry and Seamus Coleman injured and Ramiro Funes Mori suspended, the manager will be forced to make changes to his line-up, particularly in defence, and that is likely to again open up opportunities for players from David Unsworth's Under-21s team.

Callum Connolly and Tom Davies have already been handed debuts as substitutes this month, coming on against Southampton in Everton's last home game.

Defender Matthew Pennington, meanwhile, was recalled from loan at Walsall to provide cover on the bench for the cup semi-final last weekend and, like Connolly, is a contender to start in the back four when the Blues face Bournemouth on Saturday.

“[W]e're going to have a little bit of a weak back four but maybe we'll have a good opportunity for some young player to come along,” Martinez said at his pre-match press conference this afternoon.

While it's the defence that is in urgent need of patching up, the form of Kieran Dowell for the U21s has made the case for his inclusion in the first team harder to ignore and Martinez was asked about the young midfielder's prospects in particular this morning.

“He is clearly [in my thoughts]. Our football club has a very specific programme and a path into the first team. We've already seen Callum Connolly and Tom Davies make their debuts and I thought they very impressive in the manner in which they did that.

“Kieran Dowell has been outstanding with his performances and I don't think you'll find another adjective to describe his consistency with the Under-21s, the quality that he brings.

“I feel that he is ready now to be involved in the first team and I would expect to see him around the first team.

“He will absolutely have opportunities. He has earned it. We always had high hopes for him but it is not me making a decision, it is him earning that call. That will always be rewarded at our football club.”  

Reader Comments (41)

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Ged Simpson
1 Posted 28/04/2016 at 18:57:28
Would be good to see some youngsters. I hear some of these are really good but that is not based on seeing them. A bit of good feeling for the future would be nice.

And if they are brilliant? Then time too worry. How odd this situation is.
Brian Murray
2 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:12:34
Young lads like Dowell should have been in months ago when it was obvious that the so-called first choice wouldn't or couldn't do it week in week out.

Señor Bob has destroyed or at very least put back 12 months most of the careers of the first team. Needles to say, I hope we lose the next 4 so Bill will finally have no choice.
Paul Kossoff
3 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:15:53
There are only one or two first teamers who have played well this season, so the fact being we haven't seen an influx of under 21's coming in is purely down to Martinez and his dithering, and having his favourites. This won't change at Everton until he goes.
Andrew Laird
5 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:21:57
Another ready made excuse if we concede a few?
Kieran Kinsella
6 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:30:20
"We have a clear path" we send them on loan and if they do well they join Brentford if they do badly we give them a new three year deal.
Michael Coville
8 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:34:23
Well to quote Martinez,
"Kieran Dowell has been outstanding for the Under-21s. I feel he is ready to be around the first team," he said.
Around does not mean he will play or does it? Never can understand what Martinez really means to say!
Winston Williamson
9 Posted 28/04/2016 at 19:35:23
“He will absolutely have opportunities."

Yes, if Mirallas, Kone, osman, Pienaar and that bloke he paid 13.5m for to distribute the oranges to the lads are injured - the lad might get 10 mins...

Frank Crewe
10 Posted 28/04/2016 at 20:25:02
"We always had high hopes for him but it is not me making a decision, it is him earning that call."

RM has to make the DECISION to pick him because nobody else can. He can never give a straight answer. It always has to be some flowery high sounding reply that makes no sense at all.

Not to mention to of course to play any youngster would require dropping one of the senior squad and in his present precarious position he needs them all on side. So, for now at least, young Dowell will have to wait until RM gets told he's staying or we get a new manager.

Jim Bennings
12 Posted 28/04/2016 at 20:44:59
If Niasse doesn't show up for any time at all on Saturday then I truly give up and we can all dispel the myth that the guy is lacking match fitness.

In other words he's cack.

Gerard Carey
13 Posted 28/04/2016 at 20:46:27
"We might have a weak back four"!!!

So what kind of a back four/six have we had all season, Roberto!? Maybe the Under21s might be an improvement.

Mike Green
17 Posted 28/04/2016 at 21:01:03
“Kieran Dowell has been outstanding with his performances and I don't think you'll find another adjective to describe his consistency with the Under-21s, the quality that he brings." about.........."phenomenal"...?

Maybe not....brings quality though, which is nice...and possible even in this moment.


Christopher Dover
18 Posted 28/04/2016 at 21:27:16
Of course he will take the credit for introducing the Under-21s even though he has to as so many first team players will not be available through injury while playing in the must-win games, that we lost.

If they do well, he will take full credit for an incredible performance that he managed; if they have a poor game, well of course he had to play them as no choice through injury. He cannot lose and we cannot win with all the bullshit.

Paul Thompson
20 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:09:25
I hope Dowell and some of the other lads are given a crack because it's almost the only thing (other than news of a sacking) that's keeping my interest at the moment,
Andy Meighan
21 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:10:07
Just throw the whole of the Under-21s in. They couldn't do no worse than the shite we've witnessed for the past few months...
Nigel Munford
22 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:12:49
He's got a good career in politics once he leaves us I reckon.
Jack Convery
23 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:36:52
Don't fall for this guys tactics - the only type he knows by the way - of diverting us with talk of youngsters to try and distract from this horror show of a season.

When Lukaku was rested he brought in Kone - tried tested and a failure. Don't remember kids getting a mention then.

Nah this guy would tell you you black was white to keep himself in the job.

You are the weakest link - GOODBYE !!!!

John Hughes
25 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:42:22
Typical smoke and mirrors from Martinez. We are sadly a laughing stock and we've now got our most successful skipper ever telling us that we should be above protesting. The whole club stinks to high heaven.
Don Alexander
26 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:53:49
Martinez does sweet FA for any player's career because he's a serial failure.

I have no knowledge of our youngsters but it pains me to see several players over the park of similar age to our lads who have long since established themselves as first team players, and very promising ones at that. All we have, as ever with Bobby Bullshit, is the promise that ours are/will be also "outstanding".

I don't expect all of them to be outstanding but the God's honest truth to me, in all the decades I've supported the Blues, is that we've produced only one outstanding player from within; Rooney. After him David Johnson got closest, but no way close, but the procession of other wanna-be's fell way short, including Jeffers, Branch, Baxter, Grant, Ebbrell, Jones, Goodlass, Telfer......... what is it with our club?

And am I the only one sick to death of being told that "he's only 21 years old" is acceptable for some shite performance or other? Alan Ball was 21 when he was man of the match in a World Cup final for God's sake, and don't tell me he wasn't under pressure at a time when "win bonus" meant a real difference in spendability, unlike the spoilt millionaires of today.

John Aldridge
27 Posted 28/04/2016 at 23:55:46
"I feel that he is ready now to be involved in the first team and I would expect to see him around the first team."

Smacks of desperation to me, trying to appease the supporters who are baying for his blood. Too little, too late Bobby. Book a minibus on Uber so you can take your backroom staff with you.

Anthony Dwyer
28 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:09:43
Shocker, Martinez feels the pressure mounting, so he plays the kid wild card.

How can fans boo when it's time to blood young Evertonians.

He's a head working fucker.

Bren Connor
29 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:19:17
Humo y espejos ...
Gerry Quinn
30 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:40:00
Headline is all wrong - should read "Young KNIVES could get their chance"
Neil Lawson
31 Posted 29/04/2016 at 00:43:15
If Dowell is that good, then he and the other young players of similar standard should have been playing weeks/months ago.
Anthony Dwyer
32 Posted 29/04/2016 at 01:02:00
Everyone is so annoyed with Roberto that we can't help but pick the bones out of every stupid sentence he strings together.

That said, what type of shit is it when your manager describes your defence as weak because he's going to have to play some young lads. It's not exactly inspiring for them to be referred to as weak.

So much for if your good enough your good enough.

Also, when has our defence ever been anything but weak under Martinez.

Excuse ready though I suppose.

Mick Davies
33 Posted 29/04/2016 at 01:42:35
Hibbert and Osman on the bench at Wembley. I really do think if we had Delle Ali, he'd be at Tranmere 'learning how to play in a phenomenal moment until the decision is made'
Richard Reeves
35 Posted 29/04/2016 at 02:44:53
When Martinez first arrived, he mentioned how bringing through the youth (two players every year was the aim) was a way of combating a lack of money and that the later should not be a reason for being unsuccessful. It was as if he had been reading fans forums before taking the job.

He did well in the first season but he should've carried it on by bringing more through and lowering the age of the squad, not giving silly contracts out to over-the-hill players. It's too late for these desperate attempts at appealing to fans who want to see homegrown youngsters getting into the team, and obviously won't hide the fact that the manager doesn't know what he's doing.

Laurie Hartley
37 Posted 29/04/2016 at 09:30:44
As the saying goes "it's an ill wind that blows nobody any good".

No Jagielka, No Funes Mori, No Barry means that Stones has to play and at least two youngsters come into the side or play Besic out of position again - not a good idea.

It also means that as our first and second choice skippers are not available "someone" else will have to be given the armband. I'm guessing it won't be Baines and hoping it won't be McCarthy or Lukaku

Perhaps this is a chance to see if John Stones has the leadership qualities that many of us think he has. I would give him the armband for this game - let's see if he can handle the responsibility.

This would be my starting 11. (442) convertible to (433)

Connolly, Stones (capt), Galloway, Baines
Davies, Gibson, Besic, Mirallas

I'd "rest" Lukaku - I have got a big question mark about this lad's affect on the dressing room. I'd put Barkley in his spot and play Deulofeu just in behind him.

The three  oldest players are Baines (31), Gibson (28 - yes 28) and Mirallas (28).

That team has got goals in it which we are going to need because its biggest weakness is the lack of height at the back.  

That would mean Lennon, Cleverley, Pennington, McCarthy, Kone or Niasse on the bench.

Picked for those roles it would send a message to both Stones, and Barkley.

Damian Wilde
38 Posted 29/04/2016 at 09:57:58
The youngsters must be filled with confidence being called 'weak' - what a prick.
Alan J Thompson
40 Posted 29/04/2016 at 11:34:12
Is there any level this man will not stoop to save himself. He's had all season to blood, at least on the bench, any amount of youngsters but only now does he think he will be better off if we all watch the other hand.
Jim Hardin
43 Posted 29/04/2016 at 14:15:23

With all due respect, any player who has put in a transfer request should never wear the armband for Everton. I would give the armband to Baines. It probably means DelBoy will get it for his usual 65 minutes and then a hand-off to Baines when Lennon comes on for him.

Joe Foster
44 Posted 29/04/2016 at 14:55:00
Ah the old "let's put some youngsters in" to try and get the crowd onside tactic.

Feels like the last roll of the dice for RM.

Dave Roberts
45 Posted 29/04/2016 at 15:57:46
Do me a favour Roberto. We're only four games from the end of the season but we're not mathematically safe from relegation yet! Can you save your fucking about with kids until we are please?
Mike Benjamin
46 Posted 29/04/2016 at 17:13:36
The test will be tomorrow with who plays at RB. If it is Hibbo instead of one of the youngsters then RM should be given both barrels, preferably with bullets in them both.
Colin Glassar
47 Posted 29/04/2016 at 18:06:45

We may as well go down fighting.

Colin Glassar
48 Posted 29/04/2016 at 18:08:04
I forgot Ossie. Put him there instead of Oviedo.
Mike Benjamin
49 Posted 29/04/2016 at 22:12:57
Why hibbo at FB?

Laurie Hartley
50 Posted 29/04/2016 at 23:54:21
Jim # 43 - regarding John Stones, I understand and respect your position. However, I believe that this young man is not only a fine footballer but a leader of men.

He has been through a tremendous ordeal this season and I think he is hurting deeply. He is being, so to speak, refined in the cauldron of adversity - it will strengthen him.

In my view if we Evertonians get behind him and show him that we have faith in him we will end up with one of our greatest footballers and the next captain of England.

In putting in a transfer request he made a mistake however, this Evertonian has forgiven him.

Eric Myles
51 Posted 30/04/2016 at 06:19:19
Don (26), and youthful inexperience didn't seem much of a concern when a 16 year old Joe Royle was introduced in favour of people's hero Alex Young.
Chris Kelly
52 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:36:00
Remember Mustafi? Also add Eric Dier and there seems to be at least 2 nuggets we have let slip in the last 5 year. Other than Barkley, Stones and possibly Galloway are we getting enough of these youngsters playing and breaking through?

Phil Walling
53 Posted 30/04/2016 at 10:40:02
Weren't Dier and Mustafi seen off by Moyes, Chris.
There are plenty of other mistakes to blame Roberto for, surely ?
Dave Abrahams
54 Posted 07/05/2016 at 12:41:32
If the lower league teams have finished their seasons I would bring Liam Walsh, Jonjo Kenny and Ryan Ledson back into the squad for the rest of our season, especially Walsh, I guarantee he would liven up the team they would have to put the effort into their game watching this young lad, Kenny and Ledson would also add talent and effort to the team.

If they play next week against Norwich even as subs they would get us all the mood for our protest after the match.

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