U23s thrashed by Swansea City

Monday, 27 January, 2020 35comments  |  Jump to last
Everton Under-23s exited the Premier League International Cup following a 4-0 defeat to Swansea City at USM Finch Farm.

Liam Cullen scored all four goals for the visitors who had established a handsome 3-0 lead by half-time over David Unsworth's young line-up which was missing some of the more experienced heads, like Antony Evans and Lewis Gibson.

Everton U23s: Virginia, John, Foulds, Markelo, Feeney, Branthwaite, Dobbin (67' Denny [Y:72']), Baningime (67' Ouzounidis), Simms, Quirk, Mampala (67' Hughes).
Subs not Used: Hansen, Astley, Anderson, Onyango.


Reader Comments (35)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 27/01/2020 at 16:37:48
Why behind "closed doors", has Finch Farm no way of controlling a crowd and I thought these games were supposed to be given some level of importance by being played at major stadiums.
Brent Stephens
2 Posted 27/01/2020 at 17:26:16
The game was due to be played at Southport. I only discovered it had changed to FF two hours ago when I rechecked the Everton website. Southport's pitch was heavily sanded for the U23s game on Friday so that might explain the switch. Well at least Everton live stream the U23s games! NOT! I thought at the start of the season they promised to live stream them all. Bar stewards.
Richard Mason
3 Posted 27/01/2020 at 18:44:12
Gibson, Adrenian and Evans all excluded from squad. It looks like a really young team tonight
Brent Stephens
4 Posted 27/01/2020 at 18:58:27
Virginia, John, Foulds, Markelo, Feeney, Branthwaite, Dobbin, Baningime, Simms, Quirk, Mampala. Subs: Ouzounidis, Hansen, Hughes, Denny, Astley, Anderson, Onyango

I suppose nobody has a stream?

Paul Birmingham
5 Posted 27/01/2020 at 19:26:07
Bad start, the U23s, are 0-3, down after 20 mins.
Mike Oates
6 Posted 27/01/2020 at 19:44:14
As a member I complained at lack of live U23 football as promised at start of season. I live 300 miles away.
I've been informed by Everton Customer Services that they only promised to show live football on selected U23's matches.
I replied well that's virtually none now !
No reply
And tonight the live Blog has collapsed after 9 mins ! They said they hope to give result at the end of the game.
Brent Stephens
7 Posted 27/01/2020 at 19:52:07
Mike, maybe we expect too much!!!

Especially annoying when somebody has rocked up to so many of the U23s games.

Mike Oates
8 Posted 27/01/2020 at 19:57:06
0-3 at half time, non existent performance according to Liverpool Echo, getting steam rollered.
John Boswell
9 Posted 27/01/2020 at 19:59:46
Poor, so very poor! If Everton can't promote itself to and look after those supporters and fans, that pay hard earned cash for the membership they have no chance of improving significantly their sponsorship income!!
Unless they are only truly concerned with big spenders and pay lip service to us fans by feeding us crumbs when they feel like it.
Yeah, i'm feeling let down, rant over. COYB
Phil Smith
10 Posted 27/01/2020 at 20:14:15
Hopefully one (or all) of Gibson, Adrenian and Evans makes the bench for the next match. Evans surely deserves his chance to step up now. Looks class every time I see the lad.
Jay Wood

11 Posted 27/01/2020 at 20:46:03
"only a defeat by three or more goals would prevent them from progressing to the quarter-finals."

3-0 down at half-time. All going to plan, then.

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 27/01/2020 at 21:07:31
I think it was Swansea who just had to avoid losing by three goals Jay? It's finished 0-4 with Cullen scoring all 4 goals for Swansea, Who win away from home for the first time since 2016 in this competition.

On the plus side, Everton are starting to field younger teams it seems, which can only be a good thing in the longer term, hopefully?

Brent Stephens
13 Posted 27/01/2020 at 21:22:57
Yes a young team tonight. But Branthwaite must have been disappointed.
Steve Ferns
14 Posted 27/01/2020 at 21:27:03
This is a game I really wish I had been to watch. I remember watching a thrashing as a kid, and everyone left early. It was one of the rare games I watched as a kid with my dad (who never went as he was a player himself). I remember my Dad saying to me that you shouldn't leave early, not just because the game isn't over until it's over, but this was when you learnt the most about the players. What are they made of? Who's thrown in the towel? Who's still fighting? Who wants it more.

It's especially true for the youngsters. Lewis Dobbin looks a real talent. But he's mostly had it easy, 6-1 home defeat to the RS aside. I'd like to have seen what he was doing here, was he just walking around waiting for the whistle? Or was he doing everything he could to make something happen, some spark to change the game, or give the boys some positive to take into the next game. It's impossible to see from the highlights and difficult to see on TV.

For example, that dreadful night against Atalanta. Jonjoe Kenny had a decent game. He did everything he could and could leave the pitch head held high. Beni Baningime too. Tom Davies struggled but you couldn't fault his effort. Rooney, Mirallas, Klaassen, and Sandro all seemed to consider the game (deemed to be a reserve match by selection and direction to Unsworth from the board to focus on the next PL game which led to only 17,000 Everton fans turning up and indeed me having 3 lounge tickets that I couldn't give away!). You could see the winning mentality in the three young lads, who despite the scoreline, did not accept the defeat, and whilst outclassed, tried in vain to make something happen and did not give up, unlike the rest of the side.

Phil Smith
15 Posted 28/01/2020 at 03:22:44
Just shows you that if you take your 4 best attacking players out of the side you get hammered. All the ‘experience' came in the defensive players but if you don't have a midfield, you don't have a team.
Ajay Gopal
16 Posted 28/01/2020 at 09:24:07
Disappointed, especially for Beni. I did not watch the match or the highlights, but if Beni is substituted midway through the 2nd half after being down 3-0/4-0 down, that is not such a good thing for him. I was hoping he would impress Carlo enough to give him a chance in a PL game. Looks like those hopes were misplaced.
Dave Williams
17 Posted 28/01/2020 at 10:33:30
Once we are safe Carlo needs to try a few of the younger lads to see if they can save us some money. Beni has shown in the past that he can do it, Feeney is the type of lad we need and Adeniran,Gibson( if he stays) and Evans need a few games with safety assured to see what they can do. Kenny has to be first choice next season based on his loan performance plus as Steve says above he is the right type.
Colin Malone
18 Posted 28/01/2020 at 12:23:20
Looks like we need an overhaul of the youth system / under 23s. No one coming through, Davies, that's it. DCL and Mason Holgate came from other clubs academy's. Me thinks we need a clear out, for on the deck, maybe foreign coaches.
Steve Ferns
19 Posted 28/01/2020 at 14:47:12
Some good news reported in the Echo.

Lewis Gibson is about to sign a new deal and then will immediately leave on loan. Good news on both fronts for me. Firstly, I think he can make it, and so I'd hate to see him leave for nothing.

Second, I think he should really be cementing a place as fourth choice centre-back for now, but the kid seems desperate to play. So a loan will be a great middle ground. I just hope they find the right club.

Mike Oates
20 Posted 28/01/2020 at 15:31:36
We have to get real, the likes of Feeney (21 in Feb), Baningime (20 already), and others like Evans are just not going to make it into our 1st team. They need to be tried at 1st team level over a few games when they 18,19, and by 20yr old they need on the 1st team bench regularly or on the pitch. Or they should have been loaned out and been successful in the Championship level, as was Mount and Abraham's at Chelsea.

Feeney's never been out on loan I recall, and Baningime had a disastrous time at Bolton or maybe Wigan ( my memory is failing me !) and only played once I think, likewise Evans at Fleetwood and possibly Blackpool as well.

The U23's as Unsworth has said, is a waste of time in its current setup. They need to be playing against the teams from Div 2, playing against teams men, 20-30yr olds, not against a team made up of U17's, U18's and others up to 20/21 yrs of age. They don't get tested to make them ready for the 1st team.

The real 1st team talent is known at 18/19 and most teams have their lads out on loan or if good enough around their own 1st team

Steve Ferns
21 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:11:06
Mike, sadly you are probably right. The reason it's sad is all three of them should have made it.

Feeney played twice, and made the bench for a third game, all in the EL, all under Unsworth, when he was just 18. He then should have gone off on loan last season or this season and pushed for more first team football, but injury got in the way. Feeney lacks Gibson's composure on the ball, his technique or his passing. However, he is a born leader. He has a never say die attitude. It's this reason I would not write him off just yet. But he must go on loan now, to the best club who will have him, no matter how low he has to go.

Baningime has had 18 months of injury hell. It started in pre-season as Silva came in. He got a knock that should have cleared before pre-season ended but it got worse, then he recovered in time to go to Wigan and it came back. He cleared up the mystery in a recent interview in the programme where he said he had had a recurring ankle injury. He was fit this pre-season and battled back tot he first team, making the bench twice under Silva in October and November, then getting savagely taken out by Barton's butchers. He recovered over the winter break and has since played 4 times. Time for another loan for him.

Antony Evans, unlike the first two, has no Premier League experience and has never made the bench. But he is a favourite of mine. He is such an exciting player to watch. He played in League two and League One on loan. Even this season, after his proposed step up to the Championship failed to materialise, he payed in the EFLT and terrorised League One and League Two defences. The lad is clearly able to excel at that level, surely a championship club can take him. He's only 20, with his birthday in September. There's plenty of time for him. He just needs a good loan, maybe 18 months worth, even if he comes back aged 22, he can still make it.

I agree that 1st team talent is known by 18. And by this age you really should be knocking on the door of the first team. The problem has been our bloated squad keeping them away, and Brands' job is now to clear the dross away and let these lads get close to the first team.

There is a few in particular that can make it, and so need a clear pathway:
- Ellis Simms (turned 19 this month)
- Lewis Dobbin (turned 17 this month)
- Tyler Onyango (will be 17 in March)

In addition the following need good loans or to be included in the first team squad now:
- Joao Virginia (turned 20 in October)
- Lewis Gibson (20 in July)
- Dennis Adeniran (turned 21 this month)

As for how to best bring the kids through, limit the squads of PL clubs. No, not the registered squads, but number of professionals. Stop clubs stockpiling talent and loaning them all over the world.

Allowing Everton to have the u23s in the lower leagues (third or fourth tier) would benefit us and our development. But ultimately, it's thought it could actually kill off the England football league pyramid and so would actually be a threat to the English game, and ergo Everton itself.

So why not allow tie-ins? Everton can give Tranmere a load of money and send them an unlimited amount of players each season, maybe we can have two tie-in clubs. You can only loan your players to these two clubs, foreign loans prohibited, and the club with the tie-in must be in the bottom two tiers of the league pyramid, and can only tie-in with one club per season. This could help circulate the money and the players around the league.

I'm sure someone will have a better idea than me, but the current system is not working, and something needs to be done. There is a serious problem for players between the age of 18 and 21, and PL2 football does not fill that gap. Of course other clubs can bring through talent to buck the trend. But Chelsea would not have played Mount, Abraham or Timori if not for Lampard getting the job and there being a transfer ban. Baningime got thrown in by Unsworth when no one else would have given him a game. Would Evans have been so much worse than Bolasie? Could Gordon not do what Walcott has (ie better than ballooning it over the bar or thumping a cross into DCL's knee?)

chris williams
22 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:27:21
Feeney has just gone on loan to Tranmere,
Steve Ferns
23 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:28:39
Nice one Chris. More good news as Evans is linked to Germany.
chris williams
24 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:34:43
Could be joined by James Vaughan in a nice relegation battle.

Gibson signing a new deal and then going out on loan. That's a good move too.

Steve Ferns
25 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:39:28
Yeah, Gibson has been a bit more positive in the last week or so, so a new deal and then a loan was to be expected. The lad looks decent, and now needs to toughen up and bulk up a bit.

I really like James Vaughan. I'm sure there is another parallel universe where he never got those bad injuries, fulfilled his potential and surpassed Rooney for England as well as Everton. I cannot believe he is only 31. I've never seen a teenager so quick and so strong before. He was built like a rugby winger and just as fast with the ball at his feet as in his arms. He could have been something else.

chris williams
26 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:44:36
Yes Steve, his enthusiasm got the better of him and he tended to recklessness occasionally. He's still top scorer this season for his team - Huddersfield? - I think.
Steve Ferns
27 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:52:02
Bradford City Chris. Just googled him. 10 goals in League Two, and will step up to League One to try and keep Tranmere up.
Dave Abrahams
28 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:52:29
Chris(26), Yes James Vaughan, too brave for his own good and the injuries he suffered put his career on the line, still the youngest player to score in the premier league, if I'm not mistaken. He plays for Bradford City Chris.
chris williams
29 Posted 28/01/2020 at 20:59:18
Dave and Steve, I knew it was the other side of the Pennines! A very good career lost for James.

A good relegation battle could help develop Feeney. Just up his street possibly?

Tranmere spending their tv money by the look of it. I hope they stay up.

Apparently Brands has agreed a deal with Gibson that contains a pathway to the first team, involving a loan now to the end of the season, and then a possible further loan next season

Mike Gaynes
30 Posted 28/01/2020 at 21:04:03
I was never quite as optimistic about Vaughn -- tremendous pace and power, but had not yet developed skill or touch to go with it. I've seen him occasionally in the past couple of years, for Sunderland and Wigan, and he still doesn't have much skill. But he still has the heart and the strength to have fashioned a solid professional career.

Good for Tranmere, Vaughn and Feeney getting together. Enjoyed watching Tranmere against ManUtd a couple days ago, although it wasn't much of a game.

Steve Ferns
31 Posted 28/01/2020 at 21:11:56
Mike, I think you do him a disservice. He had a great touch at times. He could take the ball at full stride and not lose speed. I've only seen a few faster than him with the ball at his feet, and one was Kanchelskis, and bearing in mind that injuries got Vaughan at 18 or 19, he could have been faster. He never had skills to beat a man, but he didn't need to. He wasn't a winger, he was a forward, and a very direct one at that. He could beat a man on pace alone. He frightened the life out of defenders who had never seen a teenager so fast and so strong at the same time before. He'd have thrived in the current climate of pressing from the front.
Paul Birmingham
32 Posted 28/01/2020 at 21:27:45
I know it won't change but in the days of the Central League, for me this was a better learning platform to develope, mentally, physically and improve knowledge and learning of the game.

The modern era style of bringing players on, at u18,23 etc in my view is seemingly not coaching them to their potential.

It's almost a shroud to mask the shortfalls, in coaching, and though hard to compare against continental teams, on a year to year par, how many make it.

Most clubs now seem to be getting potential and realising more of the young potential via over seas players. I've nothing against it, but grass roots football in this country, in my view is in decline.

More and more pitches are being made into houses.
May be that demand exceeds the demand for decent football facilities, but in a balanced society both requirements should be met. Politics...

I don't see EFC, knocking out the players on the scale, alluded to.

Pound for pound in the investment, in this system, does it pay? EFCs transfer exploits these past 4 years have seen some success and out right disasters. Overall across this period, on money balance and good player balance, I'd say EFC, is in negative equity, but that's only my view.

Playing hours, goals etc and detailed analysis, may yield whose been the best and worst buys.

Good for Feeney, I think there's a player there who'll get a career out the game.

Now to see what transpires the next 36 odd hours.

Mike Oates
33 Posted 28/01/2020 at 22:10:06
In my earlier comment # 20 I mentioned Feeney, Baningime and Evans not breaking through, its too late for Everton's 1st team but all should really go on to good jobs with other clubs, maybe Div1 but hopefully Championship. Feeney is a real leader and hopefully he'll do himself a world of good at Tranmere and maybe just maybe he can do a Shane Duffy, get back up to the Premiership in a few years with another club.
Evans skills might be far better suited to a Continental Club, where a less physical approach will suit his undoubted technical skills.
I really don't know about Baningime, who I thought would break through a few years ago in the Gueye mold, but injuries and probably Gueye himself stopped his progression. The lad just doesn't seem to put himself forward on the pitch. you want him to drive the team forward, to become a leader but I'm not sure that's in his character.

The Simms potential again might get blocked by DCL, Richarlison and Kean performing, they really could be the attacking force we have craved since losing Lukaku. Dobbin and Onyango need another year, 18 months at Everton and see how they are developing and either given a chance or sent out on loan. Hopefully Gibson gets the chance to displace probably Keane in our current set up.

But as Guardiola intimated in his brilliant biography (whilst manager at Bayern Munich and his first year at City) " I personally hate myself for it, but you cant give kids a chance if you're pushing for a Top 4 place, you need to get there, stabilise and then offer minimal opportunities to a few at most" .
Barcelona's B team set up allowed him the opportunity to test the youngsters into his Barcelona 1st team playing system and against teams of men in the Spanish Div 1 or 2set up. His first manager job was at Barcelona B.

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 28/01/2020 at 22:32:10
Mike, I don't think it is gone for Evans or Feeney. As I said, Evans was too good for every team Everton have played in the EFLT this season. He would walk into any League One side. He should be playing every game for a Championship side. He is better than Josh Bowler. If he turns it on consistently for a Championship side then he can get a go in the first team.

Feeney will play top two division within 3 seasons, I am sure of that. If he does well at Tranmere, he can come back and play Championship next season. If he spends another 2.5 years out on loan and progressing there is no reason a 22/23 year old centre-back cannot come back to us and then look to break into the first team.

Baningime was already good enough. Injuries got in the way. He just needs a short loan, for the right side, and to recover his form and get his career going. He looked decent in the FLT and can play League One level in his sleep. Barton's Butchers only won after they kicked him off the pitch. He got smashed three times before he limped off too. Barton's lot did that because he was the best player on the pitch. It's not too late for him. He just needs progress on loan and to come back to the first team in pre-season.

Did you see the last training video, last week? Very interesting. Antony Evans, Jarrod Branthwaite, Morgan Feeney, Denis Adeniran, and TYLER ONYANGO were all there with the first team. It must have been a big day for 16 year old Tyler. Hopefully we will see Simms there too, particularly if we can shift that waste of space Niasse. Someone, take his locker off him!

Justin Doone
35 Posted 29/01/2020 at 20:06:51
Age is not a precursor to being a good footballer. It takes many physical and mental abilities to reach the top.

Every player matures and peaks at a different age for a different length of time.

A quick glance at ages across all Premier league clubs tells you that in general very few U18s play more than an occasional game.

History tells us that most U18s that make their debut in the top tier don't become top class successful footballers fans believe they are about to be.

However, most top class players are playing in the top divisions by 25. In general a teenager who hasn't played first team football has potentially 5 years to progress.

Holgate has demonstrated recently that it's not too late as long as the basics are there. Most defenders are probably at the 24/25 age range before becoming reliable. Forwards generally younger because the physical side, pace, agility and fitness develop at a younger age.

I would not be to quick to write off a 21 year old.

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