Everton U21s beat Burton in Leasing.com Trophy

Tuesday, 1 October, 2019 88comments  |  Jump to last
Burton Albion 0 - 2 Everton U21s
Goals from Ellis Simms and Antony Evans earned the Blues an excellent Leasing.com Trophy win at Burton Albion.

Ellis Simms was on target early here with a smart low finish. Midfielder Evans struck Everton's second 14 minutes after half-time.

Everton's opener came after just six minutes. Anthony Gordon played in Simms and the striker kept his composure to slide in a cool finish past experienced former West Ham goalkeeper Stephen Bywater.

Everton continued to have the better of the opportunities against their League One opponents and Gordon's snapshot almost caught out Bywater, who did well to turn it around the post.

Just after the half-hour Everton should have doubled their advantage. Gordon wriggled free on the left of the box and when he squared the ball across the face of goal, Simms couldn't force it past Bywater from a couple of yards.

Simms tried to back-heel the rebound into the net but the home defence cleared for a corner from which Morgan Feeney's excellent glancing header was blocked.

The hosts had their moments, too, but Harry Tyrer was nice and safe in the Blues goal and never seriously tested in the opening period. Everton were very well organised and disciplined in their defending.

Home manager Nigel Clough clearly had strong words with his players at the break because Burton started the second half briskly. But, again, Everton were resolute and restricted their opponents to few opportunities. Nathangelo Markelo in the middle of the park was particularly eye-catching.

Everton's second goal came on 59 minutes. Harry Charsley's low shot was parried by Bywater and Evans was on hand to prod home his third goal in as many games.

This was an excellent win for Everton against a far more experienced side and Unsworth's team remain unbeaten this season. The Blues move top of Northern Group E with one fixture remaining, against Crewe Alexandra on 6 November.

Everton U21s: Tyrer, Astley, Gibson, Feeney, Foulds, Adeniran, Charsley, Markelo, Evans (75' Denny), Gordon (87' Mampala), Simms (83' Dobbin).
Subs not Used: Hansen, Jos Anderson, Iversen, Phillips.

Everton Team with Squad Numbers:

53 Harry Tyrer
37 Lewis Gibson
39 Matthew Foulds
36 Morgan Feeney
38 Ryan Astley
35 Dennis Adeniran
44 Nathan Markelo
33 Harry Charsley
42 Anthony Gordon
50 Ellis Simms
41 Antony Evans

52 Nicolas Defreitas-Hansen
54 Joseph Anderson
43 Alex Denny
55 Einar Iversen
51 Kieran Phillips
47 Manasse Mampala
61 Lewis Dobbin

Reader Comments (88)

Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer

Brent Stephens
1 Posted 01/10/2019 at 19:52:04
Simms goal already for U21s.
Jay Wood

2 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:02:37
Are you at the game, Brent?

I'm looking on the club site 'cos Steve Ferns said earlier it would be streamed to members, but I'm not seeing any links.

Anybody got a link, please?

Jay Wood

3 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:04:52
Scratch my last post. Just refreshed the club site page and got this link.


I presume it's for members' only, but good feed, Everton club commentary.

Brent Stephens
4 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:06:23
Jay, being streamed to season ticket holders only.
Brent Stephens
5 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:08:23
Steve Ferns
6 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:40:00
Superb by the young blues. It's difficult to judge them against other U23 sides. But this is against Burton Albion. They are a mid-table League One side.

Burton have had more of the ball, but Everton have had more of the chances. Breaking well at pace, with the two Anthonys (well Anthony and Antony) looking the most gifted players on the pitch. What's great to see is how good a manager Unsworth is.

This is 3rd rebuild of that U23 side, and yet you have a very together side. They break in coordinated attacks and snap back into position when they lose the ball. A real team effort and the boys are holding their own against the men. Simms has missed a sitter though, and whilst he is physically imposing despite being only 18, he is struggling to translate that onto the pitch. These games are important for him.

By contrast, Gordon looks a cut above these guys. He's only slight but he gets stuck in scraps for everything. He's playing like a guy out to impress (impress Marco Silva) and every time I see him I want to see more of him. This kid deserves a call-up, especially if Walcott has a concussion ban.

Jay Wood

7 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:43:32
Good game! Different standard of course, but out of possession we get behind the ball so much quicker and are much more compact than the 1st team making it difficult for Burton to make inroads into us.

Simms should have had a second 3-4 yards out at the far post with just the keeper to beat following a great run by Gordon. As big as he is, Simms is learning the hard way against more seasoned pros that they are going to come right through him on aerial challenges.

Gordon and Evans looking like thoroughbreds. They just glide over the pitch. Tyer in goal tidy in everything he does, Matty Foulds looks silky! He'll win himself a contract at a lower league club soon. Lewis Gibson and Morgan Feeney as solid as ever at the back. A bit more mixed in midfield with Adeniran and Markelo, looking very good one moment then coughing up cheap ball at others.

We've tended to have good 1st halves in this competition, only to be overhauled in the second. Be nice to do something different tonight and get the win.

Brent Stephens
8 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:43:53
Steve, agree about Antony Gordon as well. I would love to see him get a few minutes for the big boys.

Simms not getting anything in the air – better chances on the ground.

Jay Wood

9 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:44:51
SNAP, Steve!

Obviously we were writing at the same time!

Dave Abrahams
10 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:45:25
Steve (118), The two centre backs, Feeney and Gibson are playing okay as well as Foulds at left back who hasn't put a foot wrong up to now.
Brent Stephens
11 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:46:25
One of Matty Foulds's better games. Astley not so slick.
Steve Ferns
12 Posted 01/10/2019 at 20:49:16
Yeah Jay.

Dave, Foulds looks decent. He's 21 now.

Dave, what do you make of Markelo at central midfield and Charsley at right back. Couple of seasons ago it was the other way round, though both have always been versatile and Markelo has played centre-mid for about a year now?

Scratch that it's Astley playing right back!

Jay Wood

13 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:07:52
Good interception by Charsley, excellent snap shot kept out by the keeper at full stretch, Evans with the tap in follow up. 2-0
Steve Ferns
14 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:23:23
Has the official steam cut out for anyone else?

Edit: refreshed and working again.

Brent Stephens
15 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:24:26
Still fine for me.
Sam Hoare
16 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:27:17
Gordon has got to be making a show in the first team sooner rather than later; we desperately lack creativity and goal threat and he seems to offer both.
Brent Stephens
17 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:29:32
Sam, his pace is blistering. Love the lad.
Steve Ferns
18 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:29:34
Lewis Dobbin is on now. This kid is 16 and he's the next one. Remember this lad's name because he's one to track. Very fast left sided forward.
Steve Ferns
19 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:30:09
Brent, he ain't as quick as Dobbin.
Brent Stephens
20 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:37:52
Steve, I haven't seen Dobbin before. One to watch, then! Another!
Steve Ferns
21 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:39:57
Brent he's one of the 16 year olds starring for the u18s. Load of clubs sniffing round him too. Now if clubs sniff around out 16 year olds, it ain't West Ham, it's European giants. And if they know 16 year old Dobbin, then it's for very good reason.
Jay Wood

22 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:45:06
Enjoyed that. Gordon's development continues at a pace - literally! The number of times he ignited the afterburners and scorched beyond the Burton defence was delightful.

But he's not only about pace, is he? As I said earlier he (and Evans) glide over the pitch. They are both technically very sound and have great balance with the ball at their feet.

Gordon also 'sees' the big picture. That attempt in the second half, cutting inside and deliberately clipping the ball unseen as it were towards goal, may have looked a poor effort as it drifted wide of the upright, but the thought process, the speed and technique to attempt it is not commonplace.

Still only 18, he was one of the few bright lights in pre-season games. Keep this progress up and he will soon feature on the first team bench and start getting minutes on the pitch.

Steve Ferns
23 Posted 01/10/2019 at 21:48:28
Agreed Jay. They've been talking this kid up for a while now. When they try to keep it quiet you know he's a bit special. The “ginger Messi” they used to call him. It's been great to watch him develop particularly as he's had his downs as well as his ups. He's really kicked on this season and there's no doubt this lad is putting 100% into everything he does.
Tony Abrahams
24 Posted 01/10/2019 at 22:06:30
We need a lift, and what better way than getting a young skilful scouse kid, into the first team picture?
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 01/10/2019 at 22:06:35
Lewis Dobbin looks a great prospect with skill and the essential pace.

I can't make out his career stats: He is down as joining Everton in July 2019, born in Stoke, English U16 and 17, it then states he played for Everton U18's last season, I can't recall that, nevertheless he looks an outstanding future player for us hopefully with plenty of clubs, as Steve says, from all over looking to poach him from Everton who are keen to offer him a lucrative contract to keep him here.

He is 17 early in January when we can sign him professionally.

Steve Ferns
26 Posted 01/10/2019 at 22:19:45
Very back end of the season Dave. Just after he turned 16. He played about 5 games. Plays from the left wing like a young Richarlison, but also plays up top and on the right, like Richarlison. I know Tom Cannon looks the bees knees and is scoring for fun, but Dobbin is the one I like best so far.
Jay Harris
27 Posted 01/10/2019 at 23:59:07
I thoughT Gordon had a quieter game by his standards today.

Thought Adeniran was head and shoulders above everyone. He was thinking ahead and so calm in possession.

Also thought Matty Foulds and Morgan Feeney played very well.

It was interesting that the U23 central MF was all that the first team should be and isn't.

Also give a shout to the young keeper who looked very assured.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 02/10/2019 at 07:41:12
Jay, how far away is Feeney, because the centre of our defence is just way too big of a problem at the minute imo mate?

It reminds me of when Dave Watson got injured on a Boxing Day at Middlesbrough years ago, and eventually led to the downfall of Joe Royle.

Steve Ferns
29 Posted 02/10/2019 at 08:08:13
Gibson is closer Tony. He is the one training with the first team. Feeney looks better every time I see him though. Much more calm and composed. He's older by two years.
Tony Abrahams
30 Posted 02/10/2019 at 08:28:27
Thanks Steve, but the fact that Silva, won't play Holgate, then it doesn't strike me that he would then go and play one of these younger kids in such an important position, even though this important position is killing us right now!
John Raftery
31 Posted 02/10/2019 at 08:39:48
Interesting to see the post match comments from Nigel Clough: ‘...they (Everton) have some very good young players. They are technically very good, are very organised and very fit.'
Sam Hoare
32 Posted 02/10/2019 at 09:14:58
It's a real shame that the relegation fear (often exaggerated on here!) got to Moshiri and caused him to replace Unsworth with Allardyce so soon. It would have been really interesting to see Unsworth get a longer crack at the whip. I'm not suggesting that he's the man for us moving forward necessarily but I did think there were some promising signs during his short reign and he certainly would have developed some more of the youth players.

He's done a great job at U23 level building a succession of decent teams and has them playing some good football whilst being defensively sound for the most part.

I hope we see Gordon soon in the first team. He's earned a spot on the bench at the least I'd say over the next few months. Also, I hope Adeniran pushes on as we could use someone with his athleticism in the middle.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 02/10/2019 at 09:24:25
Sam (32), I think Unsworth will be happy to keep hold of his present job at the moment, and that might not be the situation in a season or two, or even before.
Steve Ferns
34 Posted 02/10/2019 at 09:55:42
Sam, if we did get rid of Silva, and we did not have someone special lined up, I would definitely want to see Unsworth given a prolonged spell.

What I like about Unsworth is that he bridges the modern game and that of the traditional English game. He has plenty of ideas and I think he can grow as a manager and deserves a shot. The way he keep building sides shows his ability.

He might be deficient in the transfer market having limited involvement with that in the past, but that's what Brands is here for, so he would also be suited to the current head coach role of the manager.

Kevin Prytherch
35 Posted 02/10/2019 at 10:02:34
I didn't see the game, but read a piece saying that Unsworth was in constant dialogue with Simms throughout the match coaching him. He even had some tactics on a piece of paper he was running through at one point.

I hope that either Unsworth remains in this job for a while, or gets another extended crack at the first team. It might have only been Burton, but these are 16-21 year olds who haven't had much experience against older pros and are outperforming them.

Sam Hoare
36 Posted 02/10/2019 at 10:05:21
Dave, you think his job is in danger? Why? Because his team don't play Silva's style?

Steve, I agree. It was a real shame he was booted in his last stint, prematurely in my opinion. If we lose in, or fail to win any of, our next 4 league games we would likely be in the relegation zone heading into mid-November and that might give Brands and Moshiri serious cause for concern.

Steve Ferns
37 Posted 02/10/2019 at 10:22:36
Kevin, I didn't see that on the TV pictures. however, there was less than 500 in the stadium. So, you could hear Unsworth's booming voice (but not quite all the words) all game long. He was stood on the edge of the technical area for most of the game.

Sam, Silva just bought a house. The club will not be getting rid of him anytime soon. He would really need to alarm Moshiri to get the boot. I see there is a few more leaks of players who turned us down, and Silva himself is talking up signing a centre-back in January. This shows culpability on Brands's part. If Silva feels he's had one arm tied behind his back, and is saying so to Brands and Moshiri, then that may deflect some of the pressure on him.

It'll be interesting to see what happens with Zouma. Silva really wants him, and Chelsea are less than impressed with him. Chelsea may let him go with the excellent performances of Tomori. They have Rudiger, Christensen, Azpilicueta, and Marcus Alonso. Their ban expires in the summer, so if Rudiger gets himself fully fit then they may be persuaded to let Kurt go. I would certainly expect him to leave Chelsea within the next 2 windows, and Chelsea have more chance of squeezing us than getting big money for him in the summer if we have signed someone else in January.

I think Brands is on the same page as Silva, and he seems like a character that will absorb some of the blame and work to put things right rather than be Mr Teflon and talk up his own ability. I prefer characters who deal in solutions and work hard to put things right and I abhor those who partake in the great English disease of scapegoating.

Dave Williams
38 Posted 02/10/2019 at 10:24:05
It really does seem that Unsy has his team doing everything that Silva isn't with his squad. Very fit, well organised, great team work and breaking/ regrouping at pace. He has his critics on here for some reason but this is the third team he has built now and you don't do that if you can't manage.

Steve and others who see these games, Evans seems to me to be a good player: why are he (and Feeney for that matter) not with the first-team squad? Are they going to make it or not?

Steve Ferns
39 Posted 02/10/2019 at 10:41:03
I don't quite agree with you on all of that Dave. Feeney has been with the first team squad, but it's Gibson that Silva prefers.

Not sure about Evans, not spotted him on any of the stuff the club have released. The problem for Antony Evans is his age. He is now 20. to put it in perspective, he's older than Moise Kean. He's got too much ground to make up on the first team to make it now and really needed to be on loan this season. My hope would be he gets a good move in January and delivers in the Championship and comes back in the summer and pushes for a first team place.

I don't like loans for players like Gibson, Simms, Virginia or Gordon. But once they get to where Evans is, and that gap from the first-team is too big and time is running out, then that's where a loan is essential.

Update on couple of loans of star players is Virginia has not played since making mistakes in the first two games for Reading, except for 90 minutes in the League Cup. As for our star U18 player, Korede Adedoyin, he's played 59 minutes in the Scottish Challenge Cup (whatever that is) against the mighty BSC Glasgow. Two dreadful loans that could derail the careers of two players who have yet to complete their education, and had so much promise.

Both would have had more minutes of proper football playing for our U23s in games in the EFL Trophy, like last night, proper games against League One opposition whilst still under the guidance of Unsworth.

Dave Williams
40 Posted 02/10/2019 at 10:52:12
That's interesting- thanks Steve.

You and I have different views on Silva but believe me nothing will give me greater pleasure to admit I am wrong and you are right!

As for him buying a house do you remember the story (you might be too young) of Andy Gray being disturbed at home by Kendall when he was unpacking boxes after moving into a new house back in 1985? Kendall broke the news that Villa were in for him and with Lineker arriving he was on his way!

The powers that be will be desperate for Silva to turn this around as apart from anything else they won't want to shell out more millions in compensation and then have to finance more player acquisitions. I am sure he will be given a fair crack at this but with January approaching they will then consider whether to entrust him or look elsewhere. Mid-December will be judgement time.

Steve Ferns
41 Posted 02/10/2019 at 10:58:53
Dave, I think Silva could be 15th, but clear of relegation and make the summer. I could even see him go into the final year of his contract from a position as low as 10th.

I am also certain that if we did make a change in the summer, Brands would want someone who fits Silva's profile in terms of style of play, system of play, and coaching ability. Someone who will work with the players Brands gives him and not be requesting a 𧴜m spending spree to totally change the team. Those days are over, and we should now be moving towards signing only a couple of quality players each season, though the exit door will still see swathes of players leaving for the next 3 windows as Brands clears out the rest of Walsh's and Koeman's mess.

Sam Hoare
42 Posted 02/10/2019 at 11:01:33
Steve@37, I think we've discussed this before. I agree that Brands will want to give Silva as long as possible but if this particular streak goes on too long then he will start to get very edgy. Its always difficult to know things will get any better.

I think there have been mitigating factors and certainly Brands deserves some of the flak. The recruitment this summer was a 6/10 for me. There should have been more Zouma back up plans especially and I'm not sure of the wisdom of Kean over a more experienced option. We also lack athleticism in the middle though that's partly due to Gbamin's injury.

It does seem like Zouma is down the pecking list at Chelsea. I suspect that they'd rather sell him in the Summer than strengthen a one time rival in January and risk being caught short by injury. I wonder if Silva & Brands will be prepared to wait that long? Or whether the player himself will agitate?

Such a shame we could not start this season with Zouma and Gueye. I think those two players would make such a big difference. Both offer energy and zip around the pitch which we are sorely lacking.

Steve Ferns
43 Posted 02/10/2019 at 11:06:48
Sam, it's clear that Silva wanted a Premier League proven centre back, a third midfielder after Gbamin and Delph to enable him to play 4-3-3, and a left-footed right-winger. I would also bet that he wanted a central forward too. I think Silva is down 3 or 4 first team players from what he wanted. If so, he can justifiably say (behind closed doors) that Brands should take some of the blame, and that Brands will have to put this right in January. Though, I would only expect to see the centre-back position resolved.

Also, it was very interesting to see "our own" Mason Holgate in the West Brom away end for the Leeds game. Does this show the boy is looking for his own move away? I think it's obvious that Silva does not fancy him at all.

Dave Abrahams
44 Posted 02/10/2019 at 11:12:03
Sam. (36), I think Unsworth's game is planned mostly on defence but his teams win trophies, yet that is not the object of the younger teams, it is to educate and bring them through to the first team.

However the way Unsworth works is not the reason for my thinking he could soon be gone, nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more.

John Kavanagh
45 Posted 02/10/2019 at 11:14:47
Gordon should have been on the bench for the Sheffield Wednesday tie. Silva strikes me as too cautious - and only seems to trust players if they have been bought in. Puts people in the team based on reputation rather than form.

If Unsworth had been given a proper chance to turn things round I doubt whether we'd be seeing the predictable pedestrian stuff being offered up by Silva's current selections.

With top European clubs interested, I fear that a number of our most promising youngsters will look at the situation and decide on the Lookman route to advance their careers.

Steve Ferns
46 Posted 02/10/2019 at 11:21:23
Okay, Dave, I see your nudges and winks and wait to see what happens. I hope he gets the opportunity he deserves with a decent club.
Tony Abrahams
47 Posted 02/10/2019 at 13:22:34
Holgate being in the West Brom end, sends the same message to Silva, that Silva, sent to Brands and Moshiri, when he sat down in the dug-out at Bournemouth the other week!

Andrew Keatley
48 Posted 02/10/2019 at 13:24:11
Steve (39) – You were very clear that you thought sending Virginia out on loan was a bad move – and it seems like Virginia has blown his chance at getting significant minutes in the Reading goal (indirectly proving you right) – but Virginia being out on loan gives opportunities to our other young goalkeepers.

Sending players out on loan allows the club to develop two sets of players at the same time – the ones who go on loan, and the ones who step up to play minutes for our youth sides in their absence. Provided we are able to pair the right young player with the right loan club (not easy!), it can be the bridge that many young players need into first-team football.

The fact that Virginia has made noticeable errors – including a complete howler in the recent Carabao Cup game – does nothing to dissuade me from the benefits of loaning out our promising youth players who are stuck behind our first-team squad.

Jay Wood

49 Posted 02/10/2019 at 13:37:22
Tony @ 28. Both Feeney and Gibson were very solid last night. Feeney made an impressive run with the ball from his own half deep into Burton territory which I haven't seen him do much before.

But as Steve replied, I think Gibson has got the jump on him at the moment. He looks the better 'footballing' centre back. I commented at the time when Gibson was getting game time with the first team in pre-season friendlies, I wonder what his skip Feeney thought about it as he trained with the U-23s in Spain.

Gibson still has time on his side. Feeney is closing in on make or break time. He doesn't look first team ready to me and is probably destined for a future away from Everton.

And it's not as if they have a direct path to the first team with Holgate in front of them in the pecking order anyway. And as an aside, I wouldn't read too much into Holgate watching the Baggies last night. A nice gesture on his part to support the team he was on loan at all last season AND to sit with the fans.

Who had a very assured game in defence last night was Matty Foulds. I'd go as far as to say that is probably the best I've ever seen him play. Again, I doubt he will now make the first team, but he will have a career for himself somewhere.

Jay Wood

50 Posted 02/10/2019 at 13:50:33
Dave @ 44.

Oh you little tease!

Like many, I've got a lot of time for David Unsworth. He has proven time and time again what a good academy coach he is.

Like many, I was hoping beyond hope he would make the step up when he took over from Koeman. He was dealt a really bad hand and sadly, after two heavy defeats Moshiri pressed the panic button and recruited Allardyce.

The nagging doubt I have about Rhino is, when he was appointed after Koeman's departure, he said he was ready for this. A man confident in his own ability to step up to manage in the PL.

Having failed the audition in Moshiri's eyes and in the wake of that declaration I thought Unsworth's appetite would have been whetted and he would soon move on to full-time management with a club's first team.

Other than some interest expressed by Oxford, two years on and he has remained in his role as Everton's U-23 manager. Now the club benefit from this arrangement, but I'm not sure it's best for Unsworth, if he could do better for himself.

He is well into his 40s now. Some managers are 15 years his junior.

I do wonder if he was so bruised by his time as our caretaker manager that he is happy and content in the secondary role in our academy set-up, rather than the white heat position of first team manager at a poorly resourced and financially restrained club.

You've intrigued me, Dave, into thinking something may be in the pipeline and that Rhino will finally take that plunge.

Steve Ferns
51 Posted 02/10/2019 at 13:51:56
Andrew, the way I think of it is like education. You have your under 16s who are in like school. Then the U18s are like college, and the U21s are in like University. Paul Tait takes the U18s and Unsworth the U21s. If you loan a player from the U18s without him playing for the U23s, such as Adedoyin, then he never got the benefit of Unsworth's coaching and input.

I think the correct path for a player who makes it should be to spend at least a year with Tate, same with Unsworth and then to progress to the first-team squad. For example, Dennis Adeniran stepped up to the first team in the summer for pre-season and has remained there all season. He has yet to make the bench, but he learns from Silva, plays with the first team players and learns from them. He then gets games for the U23s.

I fail to see how you take a player from the U18s and bypass Unsworth and our first team and send him to a League One side. How is he going to complete his football education satisfactorily? You're giving the lad a sink or swim scenario and hoping he can learn it all on the job and trusting that the league 1 club has good coaching. No League One club has the coaches a Premier League club has, why would they?

These kids need to complete their education at Everton, and if by the age of 19 they are too far from the first team to make the step up, then loan them out as opposed to selling / releasing them. If they are good enough, then let them train with the first team and see how they do in training.

Last night, it was clear to see that Anthony Gordon and Antony Evans are head and shoulders better than Burton. In fact all the Everton boys had superior technique and touch. By playing with lads who you can ping it into feet at pace and know they can control it and go with it, you are able to develop better yourself. If instead, you need to pass the ball with pace taken off, and well into feet, because the recipient cannot control it properly, then you are not going to develop your skills are you?

Working with someone like Andre Gomes, how can bang a 60 yard pass onto your toe so you don't have to break stride, and so you can learn how to make defence splitting runs is far beneficial for a player who is going to make it in the Premier League. Playing in League 1 toughens you up, but it slows your technical development because the players cannot do what Premier League players can do and so you learn how to play a League One game.

A player like Anthony Gordon should never be loaned out. He needs his development carefully mapped out and to progress carefully along that plan, moving players ahead of him in the queue out of the way if necessary. For example, the way Ryan Ledson was cleared out of Tom Davies way.

If Gordon's development stalls and suddenly he no longer looks capable of being a top-level Premier League player, ie one good enough for us, rather than say a Champions League player, then you loan him out. Case in point Antony Evans who seemed to stall in his own development, then a loan is a good idea to see if he can regain his development by playing regular games and toughening up in the lower leagues. Some players stall as a result of thinking that they have made it, and fail to work hard enough. Rubbing shoulders with League One players, and using their facilities and playing at their grounds can Spurs these guys on to greater things.

Harry Kane is a great example of the loan system working. But he was a player that Spurs were unsure of. No one at Spurs thought he'd be the player he is now. He dropped down to lower league football and toughened up and developed the physical side of his game. There was also doubts about Pickford, mainly due to his lack of height and battling his way up the league system with a succession of loans worked well for him.

Every player is different. Big strikers, central defenders, perhaps keepers can benefit from lower league football at a younger age. But technical players like Gordon need coaching of the highest level to get them to reach their potential before going out to put it into practice. Simply by-passing the U23s and going straight on loan at the age of 18 is madness for me (as Adedoyin has done). What's happening with 19-year-old Lewis Gibson is the correct approach and one I think Anthony Gordon should follow.

Steve Ferns
52 Posted 02/10/2019 at 14:07:50
Jay, the fact that Lewis Gibson or Morgan Feeney is 4th choice centre-back is a clear pathway to the first team for me. One injury or suspension and one of them is sitting on the bench. It will not take much for one of them to get on the pitch itself. Feeney has also been with the first team. They need him to run the drills. So has Anthony Gordon, which is why Fabian Delph said a lot of nice things about him.

As for Unsworth, he may well think that he will get another chance at Everton and to stay put. I also believe he will be on a comparable wage to a Championship manager. He also has a family and it might not be the right time to relocate to somewhere like Oxford. Then there is also the issue of hours. I wonder if he works long hours at the moment. He probably does something equivalent to a 5 day week and matches. He doesn't have the stature of Ronald Koeman to do that at a lower league club, and so he would have to work 18 hour days. He will have seen a succession of managers do this, not least David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Marco Silva. I'm not sure about Allardyce, but I get the feeling he had enough clout that he was off early like Koeman and delegated most of his responsibilities anyway. So, was Unsworth really ready to morph into this massive commitment.

I suspect that he is on to a good thing at Everton. He is well paid, he has a lot of clout. Not least being able to sign Calvert-Lewin, Holgate and others for the U23s. He knows at some point he will be caretaker once more, and that this time he might get a bit of luck and get himself a prolonged period. If it was now, he can also now tell Moshiri that he was the one that turned the ship for Allardyce, and he should have been given more time to correct it. He can also point to a 100% record in the PL at Goodison, played 3, won 3. His full record is P6 W3 D1 L2, which is a 50% win ratio, which is considered decent over a prolonged period of time.

Imagine he went to someone like Oxford, where finances are tight and you get a bit of bad luck and then get sacked. Your career is derailed before it's begun. What's your next steps and where do you go from there.

I think Unsworth has taken the safer option, maybe for personal reasons rather than professional reasons, and he is still in a good position to hold out for better than a third-tier club, and he still has another shot at Everton.

Jay Wood

53 Posted 02/10/2019 at 14:18:21
Steve, I don't dispute that both Feeney and Gibson are one injury to our current centre backs away from possibly sitting on the bench for the first team.

That it is the case is not, IMO, a conscious and deliberate decision by Brands and Silva (ie a planned 'direct path' to the first team), but rather one of circumstances; the failure to retain or recruit a proven centre-back of Premier League class in the summer.

I also agree with your last paragraph about Unsy, that he has taken the safer option, possibly for personal reasons rather than professional reasons.

Absolutely nothing wrong with that, to prioritise other things in life and not just football. But if that is the case, then it does raise doubts about his appetite and desire to test himself beyond the comfort zone of Finch Farm in the cut-throat world of league club management.

Steve Ferns
54 Posted 02/10/2019 at 14:26:47
Agreed Jay, but personal circumstances change. Unsworth's youngest child is now 15. 2 years ago family commitments may have stopped him gambling on the lower leagues but if this was the reason, their ages may now mean that he can now take the plunge.
Alan J Thompson
55 Posted 02/10/2019 at 15:10:59
I take it then that Burton have been taken off the list of teams that youngsters will be loaned to in order to improve?
Andrew Keatley
56 Posted 02/10/2019 at 15:55:24
Steve (51) – I agree with pretty much everything you have eloquently and clearly laid out here. We have to believe that the conveyor belt - Tait, Unsworth, Silva – is one that will serve to move our most promising scholars into the first-team squad. Having said that, sometimes that conveyor belt is overloaded, and I imagine that Adedoyin was sent on loan because he might get more minutes with Hamilton Accies than he would for the Under-23s alongside the competition for places that Simms, Evans, Gordon, Phillips and Mampala (and the occasional Under-18 player stepping up like Dobbin) are facing. Squad football is a zero-sum game after all. Similarly, keeping Joao Virginia for another season with the Under-23s would have blocked Tyrer and Defreitas-Hansen's development – especially when Virginia might have been craving the opportunity to play first-team football somewhere.

Every player is different, and assessing the right challenge for every young player's development is what Tait, Unsworth and Silva must be considering. Sometimes they will get a young player through to be a first-team regular without any problems or delays – and other times they might have to deal with set-backs; one thing I whole-heartedly agree with you about is keeping Anthony Gordon close to the first team. He is ready to be properly integrated now, and should be getting minutes very soon indeed.

Steve Ferns
57 Posted 02/10/2019 at 16:17:09
Maybe you are right on the Adedoyin thinking, Andrew. However, Antony Evans was meant to be loaned out, and he has Adedoyin's spot in the U23 side. Without Evans, it would be between Gordon, Denny and Adedoyin for the RW spot, but Gordon and Adedoyin would also vie for the AMC slot, and Gordon / Simms / Adedoyin would also vie for the striker slot. His versatility is likely to keep him on the pitch.
Nicola Tyrer
58 Posted 02/10/2019 at 21:13:49
Okay, so I know I am biased… however, why are young goalkeepers exempt from praise or excitement on this type of chat. site? Under23 goalkeeper is still only 17 and growing in confidence all the time.

Accepting he has outstanding cover in the exceptional Morgan Feeney and Lewis Gibson, he has every element to his game – crucial at this level and beyond.
Dave Williams
59 Posted 02/10/2019 at 21:51:38
Nicola- very fair point!
I have been supporting the club since 1963 and cannot think of a young keeper who has come through the ranks and nailed a long term place in the team.
I do hope your son or brother makes it!
Mike Gaynes
60 Posted 02/10/2019 at 22:01:36
Dave, good alertness on that one... as I was reading down the thread, I was about to ask Nicola if there was a family connection there, but you already confirmed it.

OK, everybody, we need to be Just Wild About Harry!

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 02/10/2019 at 22:11:59
Nicola (58), good on you Nicola, you're not biased, it's called family loyalty, and carry on with your support, I hope he carries on all the way to the top.

You reminded me of when I was listening to Radio Merseyside after a derby game when a young fella named Reid got on complaining about Howard Kendall not playing Peter Reid. Ian St John (the presenter) was on to it right away, he said “You're from Huyton, are you any relation?” The lad was right back: “Yeh, I'm his brother and he should be in the team!” Peter's brother was right and not long after he was in the team and stayed there as well as playing for England.

Carry on with your support, Nicola.

Andy Crooks
62 Posted 02/10/2019 at 22:37:40
Steve, I may be totally wrong here, but I detect a very slight hint from your posts on this thread that you are preparing for the fact that Silva's goose, if not cooked, is wrapped in tin foil and ready for the oven after Burnley. If we win, I suspect it will go into the freezer to be served up at Christmas.
Jay Wood

63 Posted 02/10/2019 at 23:06:05
Nicola @ 58.

Good to hear from you, and good for you for sticking up for what I presume is a relie.

I gave Harry a shout out at half time in my post @ 7, mentioning how solid he looked in everything he did. (But missed the 'Y' from his name. Sorry! I'm blaming a sticky keyboard for that oversight!).

I also remember his heroics last season away to Stoke in the Youth Cup and the penalty shoot-out (3 saves, wasn't it?) when I again gave him a shout out.

I noted and commended him for very shrewdly having a starting position half a stride behind his goal line on each penalty so he could step forward and have a spring in his dive rather than standing on the goal line and launching from a static standing position.

The new laws have outlawed that now, unfortunately.

Only 17, eh? All the more impressive then.

Tell us more about him, and indeed yourself and your connection. I'm sure people would appreciate it and be interested.

Best of luck to Harry!

Jay Harris
64 Posted 03/10/2019 at 01:13:33
Good for you.

I was very impressed with Harry last night and gave him a mention in my earlier post.

I still think there is a chasm between the standards in the Premier League and wonder how to get the youngsters (and the coach!!) to bridge it.

Some are so talented they can make the jump (Rooney) but others need loan spells but that has to be the right club and they have to play regularly.

Garbutt is looking really good right now but it's come too late for him.

For the same reason as the kids, I believe Unsy would be out of his depth in the Premier League. It is one thing coaching kids but altogether another thing pitting your wits against the top managers and players in the world.

Steve Ferns
65 Posted 03/10/2019 at 13:37:50
Nicola, I thought there was some praise for Harry. He looks a very competent young keeper. I assume that to allow the highly regarded young Portuguese keeper to go on loan and to let Harry take his place is a big vote of confidence for him.

I don't think he's put a foot wrong all season either. He had a few things to do against Burton and did them all with supreme competence and confidence.

My advice to you would be to keep him at Everton and not to follow the Virginia example by going out on loan and suffering a big setback like that.

One for the older guys, when was the last time a local lad played in goal for the first team. Pretty sure it's never happened in my life time.

Andy, definitely not. We will beat Burnley and we will win the next five games or so and recover to be in the top 6 chasing pack.

Stephen Davies
66 Posted 03/10/2019 at 14:45:28
Steve #65
Andy Rankin?
Kieran Kinsella
67 Posted 03/10/2019 at 16:32:29
Slightly off-topic but Nigel Clough the Burton manager really baffles me. His record in cup competitions with Burton, Sheff Utd etc is extraordinary but his teams never seem to live up to expectations in the league.

I know in baseball (an American sport I believe) they have such things as designated hitters who just have one task and that's it. I wonder if one day we may have such a thing as a cup manager, e.g. just have Cloughie manage the cup games and say Moyes handle the league games.

James Hughes
68 Posted 03/10/2019 at 16:58:09
Kieran, I really wish you and others would stop mentioning Moyes. That ship has sailed and is now a rotting hulk or being used as a mental prison ship for people who can't move on. Get my point?
Kieran Kinsella
69 Posted 03/10/2019 at 17:23:53

I don't want Moyes back I was using him as an example of someone who did fairly well in the Premier League but never won a cup.

Mike Gaynes
70 Posted 03/10/2019 at 17:36:15
James #68, interesting metaphor.
Jay Harris
71 Posted 03/10/2019 at 18:23:28

I would guess Steve Simonsen but he came from Tranmere not through the then academy. Before that it would probably be Andy Rankin. Let's see if Sir John can add more info.

John Keating
72 Posted 03/10/2019 at 18:55:23
Yes I'd agree with Rankin
John Pierce
73 Posted 03/10/2019 at 19:40:27
Our set up is interesting. We bought several up and coming players 2/3 years and put them in the youth set up. A player like Bowler or Gibson for example.

Why aren't they playing minutes in a league somewhere? With the possible exception of this competition (the league team have to play 8 regulars I believe) most of these players are playing in an U23 league which is technically proficient but short on game-craft and physicality.

You'd have to bet most of these lads know each other inside out playing at each youth level, are they gaining anything purposeful from it?

For me we are working against ourselves, playing lads in a soft environment how can they be ready for 1st team? Is it any coincidence we've had a trickle make it to the first team?

Loans gave to be strategic, matching the players skills with clubs who suit them.

Furthermore with a DoF shouldn't the whole club be playing the system most familiar to the first team? It just seems we are making it much harder for prospects to bridge the gap by not creating an environment and pathway.

Despite the success at this level are we actually producing first-team ready players?!

Kieran Kinsella
74 Posted 03/10/2019 at 20:02:13
John Pierce 73,

Bowler is out on loan right now at Hull City. But he isn't getting any game time so he has been playing for the Hull City Under-23s. He would be better off playing for Everton Under-23s.

The problem with loans is we can't force other teams to play our players. They have their own priorities and developing talent for us isn't their concern. Consequently, many loans (e.g. Benigame at Wigan) that sound good in theory don't turn out very well.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
75 Posted 03/10/2019 at 20:38:01
Kieran #74

Bowler has been on the bench for 4 games and been brought on in all of them and played all 90 minutes in the game he started.

For the other 4 games he was not in the squad.

Think that counts as being in the 1st team and not the U23s

John McFarlane Snr
76 Posted 03/10/2019 at 20:49:22
Hi Jay [71]

Andy Rankin was a member of a sporting family, eight members representing Everton at various levels, Bruce Rankin made his debut in 1902, George Rankin in 1950, and Andy in 1963. There were five further members of the family, Willie Wallace, two named Billy Wallace, and two others named Billy Rankin.

I was told when I was a boy that George 'Stonewall' Jackson an Everton full-back, was an uncle to George Rankin.

Andy Rankin's League record was Everton 85; Watford 299; Huddersfield Town 71 appearances.

Tony Abrahams
77 Posted 03/10/2019 at 21:07:29
Interesting point JP, and maybe this is why Everton have sent a lot of their younger players out on loan now.

Maybe this is going to be the new philosophy now under Brands, because I think one of the reasons he's been brought to Everton, is to up the success rate of younger players coming through to the first team, from with-in the club?

I might be wrong, but it looks like the age of the players starting for the Under-23s, is getting younger, so maybe things are changing and there is a new plan now in place?

John Pierce
78 Posted 03/10/2019 at 21:14:35
Jerome, that's the point right? This is a business. Other clubs have loan officers/liaisons who do find clubs who have no cover in the positions we have so they will get game time. If we are aren't finding places for them to go then that's on us. Europe is the right place not the lower leagues here.

If they're not getting games on loan then perhaps they're not good enough?

As for players being better off at U23 level, I'll disagree wholeheartedly there. The level is poor, which I tried to allude to before without being too harsh. There is almost no meaningful contact in these games.

Take Gordon, streets ahead of other U23s, each game he plays at this level he learns nothing. So what if he beats three and sticks it top bin? It's just not competitive. Either loan him out or give him a game or two and give him a pathway. Find out if he has it or not.

City and others play much younger teams in the U23s, we play older sides. Is it any surprise we win the league?

Look at Dowell, handled so poorly by ourselves he's now in a black hole somewhere, Sheffield Utd? Whilst he might not have made it anyway we certainly botched his development.

The overarching point is, perhaps our youth set up is not producing first-team players, because we value success over development? The primary aim of a youth set up isn't to win things.

We as usual seem to be putting the cart well before the horse.

Kieran Kinsella
79 Posted 03/10/2019 at 22:02:51

He played for Hull u23s just the other night

Kieran Kinsella
80 Posted 03/10/2019 at 22:04:57

I definitely sera change in emphasis with more 16-18 year olds in the u23 but we still have a lot of veterans in there who are not first team types

Jay Harris
81 Posted 03/10/2019 at 22:36:13
Hi John,
I knew you would come up with the goods.

So to answer Steve,s question Andy Rankin was the last home grown keeper we had in goal and Steve Simmonsen when he wasnt in the pub was between the sticks as a local lad bought from Tranmere in the 90s.

Alan J Thompson
82 Posted 04/10/2019 at 05:26:57
Before Rankin do we have to go back to Albert Dunlop?
John McFarlane Snr
83 Posted 04/10/2019 at 13:25:00
Hi Jay [81] and Alan [82],

I have just done a quick bit of research, it appears that seven Liverpool born goalkeepers have played for Everton.

Benjamin Howard Baker (13 appearances);
Teddy Taylor (42);
George Burnett (54);
Albert Harris (5);
Harry Leyland (40);
Albert Dunlop (231); and
Andy Rankin [92].

The most famous being Benjamin Howard Baker, who is described as follows in the Who's Who of Everton, " A 1919 England amateur trialist at centre-half. Howard Baker quickly became a goalkeeper and went on to win ten caps at that level between 1921 and 1929, and two for the senior side [against Belgium in 1921 and against Ireland in 1925] as well representing the Football League.

One of the great all-round athletes of his day, he also starred for Great Britain in the high jump at the 1912 and 1920 Olympic games, finishing sixth in the latter year, being the British record holder at this event. Besides his footballing activities, Baker was a useful cricketer for Liverpool CC, scoring two centuries, He kept goal for a local water-polo team and was a fine Lawn Tennis player. He made his debut for the 'Blues' in a 1-0 win over Chelsea in February 1921, deputising for Tom Fern.

He played in 176 first-class games for the Corinthians and was a Welsh Cup winner with the Northern Nomads in 1921. The length's of Baker's goal-kicks, his upfield sorties, and his penalty-taking were all part of his remarkable repertoire".

Benjamin Howard Baker's career is equally impressive, Marlborough Old Boys, Northern Nomads, Blackburn Rovers Reserves, Corinthians, Liverpool (amateur), Everton (amateur), Preston North End (amateur), Northern Nomads, Chelsea (amateur), Corinthians, Everton (amateur), Oldham Athletic (amateur) and Lancashire County Corinthians. I guess that 'they don't make them like that nowadays'.

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 04/10/2019 at 15:49:18
On the International scene, apart from Pickford, Keane and Delph being picked for full England squad, Tom Davies has been selected for the U21s, Lewis Gibson for the U20s, Anthony Gordon for the U19s and Reece Welch, Lewis Dobbin and Tyler Onyango for the U17s all for two games next week.
Dave Williams
86 Posted 04/10/2019 at 21:43:02
Didn't Geoff Barnett play in goal after Rankin? He went to Arsenal as back up to Bob Wilson.
Don Alexander
87 Posted 04/10/2019 at 22:08:23
Too right, Dave, Barnett was bog-standard, end of.
Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 04/10/2019 at 22:17:29
Don (87), not a great goalkeeper, born in Northwich, so not far away, nearly a Scouser.

We got 㿏,000 for him when Arsenal bought him in an emergency when Bob Wilson broke his arm, and 㿏,000 wasn't chicken feed at that time. He was always understudy to Wilson although he did play in the FA Cup Final for them against Leeds.

He also played for Everton in the FA Youth Cup Final, when we beat Arsenal over two legs.

I think he finished his career in America.

Alan J Thompson
89 Posted 05/10/2019 at 11:58:02
John (#83); A bit off topic but your mention of BH Baker keeping goal for a local water polo team reminded me of another Baker (George) with whom I worked and I think played water polo in goal for New Brighton (I think) and England. In all probability absolutely nothing to do with each other.

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.

About these ads