Everton U23s draw with Arsenal

Monday, 13 January, 2020 8comments  |  Jump to last
Everton Under-23s played out an entertaining 3-3 draw with Arsenal at Southport tonight, with Joao Virginia back in goal after returning early from Reading.

Ellis Simms struck twice and Lewis Gibson also found the net on his return to action following injury but David Unsworth's side couldn't hold out after regaining the lead at 3-2.

Joseph Olowu has put Arsenal's U23s ahead but Antony Evans set Simms up to sweep home an equaliser.

Simms then scored an excellent solo effort to put the Blues ahead barely 60 seconds later.

James Olayinka scored later in the half to ensure that the two sides went in level at the interval.

There were 16 minutes remaining when Gibson restored Everton's lead, heading home Evans's free-kick.

But Matthew breached Everton's goal four minutes after that with a close-range effort.

The visitors finished the game with 10 men after Tolaji Bola was sent off for a reckless challenge on Beni Baningime who was also making his return from his latest injury lay-off.

Everton U23s: Virginia, John [Y], Foulds, Feeney [Y], Ouzounidis [Y] (83' Mampala), Gibson, Iversen [Y] (52' Onyango), Baningime, Simms, Markelo (88' Quirk), Evans.
Subs not Used: Tyrer, Astley.


Reader Comments (8)

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James Flynn
1 Posted 14/01/2020 at 01:16:58
Unsworth on Simms: Link
Ajay Gopal
2 Posted 14/01/2020 at 02:52:51
Encouraging to see Beni back in action for the full 90 mins. I wonder if Carlo was in attendance?
Sam Hoare
3 Posted 14/01/2020 at 10:08:50
So i've had a few digs recently about Unsowrth/the academy focussing too much on results and playing older players who should have either been sent on loan or let go thus blocking development for younger players.

Last night was actually a younger team for Everton with the likes of Charsley not playing. And yet it was still a significantly older team than their Arsenal counterparts.

We had (for outfield players) 18*2, 19*2, 20*2, 21*4 which means almost half our outfield team were 21. By comparison for Arsenal 8 of their team were 19 or under, with just one 21 year old playing.

Liverpools U23 team had 7 players who were 18 or younger.

I think once players turn 20 or certainly 21 they really shouldn't be playing in these development sides. They should be with or around the first team or out on loan getting minutes. Or they should be cut loose to make way for the next batch.

It is said that Brands will overhaul the academy system this summer, will be interesting to see what changes are made.

Jay Wood

4 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:35:24
James @ 1.

Thanks for that link. That was an interesting read.

A pretty damning observation of the academy at the lower age groups if, as Unsworth claims, Simms is only now learning and being taught the key skills he needs for his position because he totally lacked them in joining the U-23s.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 14/01/2020 at 13:46:59
You can take what Unsworth says in many different ways Jay, with my own view being that he his now playing a higher level of football, were brute strength and pace, might not be enough for him to succeed?

He says they have been working on Ellis, since July, and maybe like Silva, Unsworth might have been disappointed, that he never had players already ready for his team, but I'm wondering how good of a coach Franny Jeffers might be, because he was a natural talent, and football might be a second nature to him?

Robert Tressell
6 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:50:10
I don't think our youth system is too bad relative other prem clubs. But that sets the bar low. Really should be aiming to produce a conveyor belt as per likes of Bilbao, Lyon etc. That does mean an overhaul and I hope Brands manages it. Unsworth has done really well in many respects - but feel like the set up is geared to delivering championship quality players - persisting with the likes of Sambou, Garbutt, Galloway etc even though they were miles off. Seem to be culling earlier now at least but what is coming through is not inspiring. With the money and facilities available we should have 2 first team squad players coming through each season. Might not be quite first team, but certainly competitive in the Prem. Anything less and it forces us to buy cheap shite like Martina from time to time. And v expensive shite like Niasse and Ramirez and Bolasie.
Steve Ferns
7 Posted 14/01/2020 at 19:53:11
Jay, you are quite right to highlight the disconnect between the u18s and the u23s. This needs to be addressed in the summer and key personnel need to be replaced.
Phill Thompson
8 Posted 14/01/2020 at 22:22:59
Well that Unsworth/ Simms link was back in October and Simms has been improving all the time.
In fairness Unsworth has helped his progress this season, but playing him upfront on his own doesn't fit with how the u18s and our first team play. Equally, Unsworth made similar comments about Simms towards the end of last season when he featured mainly off the bench in U23s games, that is that Simms had a lot of developing to do to bridge the gap between u18 and U23s. So he should have started that process last season, giving him more game time at U23s, working with him then. Instead we got the likes of Charsley and Sambou playing, older more experienced players who were then on their way out of the club.
Sam's post#3 on age of players in relation to other clubs covers this, though our U23s have got younger this season.

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