Everton U23s 4 - 0 Southampton U23s
Everton U23s bring their PL2 season to a close tonight with a home game against Southampton.
The side could finish as high as 5th but the season has been one of transition as the old guard have been largely sent out on loan as a precursor to finding new clubs while a raft of youngsters with limited playing time in the U18s have been moved on to the Professional Development fast-track.
This season has seen the elevation of 16-year-old Thierry Small, 17-year-olds Luke Butterfield, Stanley Mills and Charlie Whitaker, while Callum Connolly, Matthew Pennington and Beni Baningime departed on-loan in January; for Connolly and Penington, their Everton contracts expire next month. Kyle John, Ryan Astley and Joe Anderson have all been offered extended deals but top-scorer Nathan Broadhead will see his contract end in June.
The game will be broadcast live from Southport's The Pure Stadium with a 7 pm kick-off on Everton's official YouTube channel.
Everton were rather pinned back from the start and struggled to get upfield. But out of nothing a lovely precision pass in to Whitaker was converted with excellent skill from the edge of the area to give Everton the lead after just 7 minutes.
Everton really should have had two after Tom Cannon cleverly tipped the ball over the Saints keeper but he tried a high volley at the open goal and missed it completely. Rather embarrassing!
From Everton's first corner, won by Small, the ball came through to Welch on the far post and he could not fail to tap in easily.
Whitaker got in a good run at goal from his own half but his strike flew a foot over the bar. Everton had more chances to score before the break, a Stanley Mills volley perhaps should have been executed with more calm control.
Into the second half and the first corner was delivered perfectly by Rhys Hughes onto the head of Charlie Whitaker who had tracked it all the way.
Whitaker came very close to getting his hat-trick after Kyle John had produced a great run down the right and a pinpoint cross for the header but the keeper denied him.
Jenson Metcalfe, on as a sub, gave away a dangerous free-kick but it was clipped wide of the goal. But Whitaker was determined to get his hat-trick and that's what he did a few minutes before the end, controlling a difficult ball to slide it past the keeper.Everton U23s: Tyrer, John (76' Quintyne), Anderson, Welch, Small, Warrington [Y:50'] (75' Metcalfe), Butterfield, Whitaker [Y:58'], Mills (72' McAllister), Hughes, Cannon.
Subs not Used: Leban, Mallon
Reader Comments (57)
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1 Posted 07/05/2021 at 10:30:44
Strange he has not been involved with the first team. I wouldnt be surprised if he wanted to move as we have a glut of CBs ahead of him and are looking for more.
I am sure ToffeeWeb have the wrong picture of him as its different from other press reports I have seen.
2 Posted 07/05/2021 at 14:00:03
The article I saw didnt mention “other top clubs” it said “other clubs” and mentioned the Championship and League One. I get the impression the new contract is designed to garner a fee rather than to actually keep ahold of the guy. A risky strategy we have used in the past with the likes of Pennington and Garbutt.
3 Posted 07/05/2021 at 14:22:49
4 Posted 07/05/2021 at 15:08:49
So far the only ones I know offered new contracts are the 3 Michael has listed.
Of the older ones, Connolly, Pennington will go. Dennis Adeniran is out of contract without yet being offered another, same with Bowler and Broadhead. The forgotten about Beni Banigime and Nathan Markelo have contracts until 2022.
5 Posted 07/05/2021 at 15:19:43
Thanks for the heads-up on our profile of Joe Anderson, Clive. I've been filling that out... until rudely interrupted by a big glass door on a piece of furniture literally exploding and shattering into 10,000 pieces all over the room. The cat looked very guilty (or just freaked out) but I can't figure out how the hell he managed to break it.
6 Posted 07/05/2021 at 17:27:05
7 Posted 07/05/2021 at 17:31:17
8 Posted 07/05/2021 at 18:41:26
Your cat obviously has good taste, Phill. But training and obedience is not one of their strong points.
We have a bunch of regulars out injured — not just in the loanee department... although I think that's where I put the list, on the Branthwaite thread.
9 Posted 07/05/2021 at 18:43:05
10 Posted 07/05/2021 at 18:49:19
11 Posted 07/05/2021 at 18:54:20
John Welch Anderson Small;
Mills Whitaker Hughes;
With flexibility for them to move around, change shape.
12 Posted 07/05/2021 at 18:58:08
13 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:02:53
14 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:09:20
15 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:12:34
16 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:14:35
17 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:24:03
18 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:25:27
19 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:52:48
20 Posted 07/05/2021 at 19:56:54
Kyle John and Stanley Mills combining nicely down the right flank. Thierry Small needs to be careful to not get carried away with the hype around him. Yes, he clipped in a nice ball to the far post which Mills got horribly wrong just before the interval, but he has given the ball away cheaply a couple of times exposing the defence and gone for glory for himself rather than play in a team mate on the offence.
Some nice football and movement all around from all the lads otherwise.
21 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:14:13
22 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:15:12
Phil you seem to watch a lot of the youth games, have you seen much of him and do you rate him?
23 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:16:55
24 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:19:02
25 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:22:09
26 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:35:20
27 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:39:20
Welch looks a very good player Robert, and hopefully this turns out to be a good group of players that might eventually find two or three making the grade at our club🤞
28 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:41:09
29 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:43:55
30 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:44:44
Do well at this level and then also get out on loan at an earlier age, seems like a good plan to me.
31 Posted 07/05/2021 at 20:52:24
32 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:23:21
33 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:49:05
If they do well on loan, then they might have a future in the game hopefully at Everton, rather than staying in the comfort zone of under 23s football, which I agree is probably not really competitive enough for anyone over the age of twenty?
I didnt realise Small was only sixteen to be fair to the kid
34 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:56:26
We are doing what Man City and Chelsea have done, which is play 16- and 17-year-olds at this level, rather than holding them at Under-18 level. They get used to playing larger, hopefully better opponents at a young age, then hopefully follow the likes of Foden and Mount into first-team football in their teens, as opposed to joining the Under-23s at 19, then hanging around until they're 21 or 22 years old.
35 Posted 07/05/2021 at 21:57:27
36 Posted 07/05/2021 at 22:12:51
That said, his profile is high. As well as being Everton's youngest-ever 1st team player with his sub appearance in the FA Cup tie, he featured in a BBC feature 'Football's Wonderkids' last October. His name has been linked to the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich.
For one so young it can be head-turning so that needs to be managed carefully by the club or it could impact negatively on his football development.
He is a very fine prospect, make no mistake. But for my money in recent performances be it for the U-18s or the U-23s he has been outshone by the full-back on the opposite flank. Matthew Mallon for the U-18s (just a few months older) and the more senior Kyle John for the U-23s (who was excellent again tonight).
37 Posted 07/05/2021 at 22:13:24
If any player from the Academy is offered 1st team football with another Premier League club or Championship club, they should grab the opportunity with both hands. Already, Everton fans are deciding what new players they want to play football for Everton 1st team next season and the lists include no players from the Academy.
38 Posted 07/05/2021 at 22:20:21
Slight correction, fans aren't “deciding” – they're offering opinions. We have to trust the actual decision to make calls if the youngsters are good enough.
39 Posted 07/05/2021 at 22:36:58
40 Posted 07/05/2021 at 23:13:40
Small was unplayable at times but seemed to be on a completely different wavelength to his team-mates at others, while Cannon worked hard but had a frustrating game. Joe Anderson gave a very strong showing, with his passing out of defence being a real highlight.
Kyle John used his pace and strength to dominate the right flank all game, even though Southampton's best player (very poor side so not much competition) was probably their left winger Mitchell.
After a slightly ropey first 5 minutes, Butterfield and Warrington were both excellent – incredibly neat and tidy, working hard throughout to allow the rest of the team the platform to be progressive and take risks; the amount of turnovers won by those two was impressive.
A very good 90 minutes, with plenty of the sort of bright, energetic, one-touch football that I'd love to see the first team achieve.
41 Posted 07/05/2021 at 23:45:18
He said, among other things, "The move to Norwich has worked out perfectly, to leave Everton and then come back to the Premier League the next summer, it's perfect," says Dowell, who believes Everton fans will see a "lot fitter" player than the one they saw in Royal Blue.
Hmm! That's him, Walcott and Vlasic (to name but three) all in effect saying that USMFF is not up to snuff in terms of fitness, just as many of us have said for years.
Or are they all just naughty gobshites?
42 Posted 08/05/2021 at 08:14:14
This is what we've been crying out for isn't it? The transition away from an U23s team full of 22-year-olds destined never to play for the first team.
Along with Onyango and Small, I can see about 4 or 5 of next season's squad getting a first team debut which would be a tremendous success rate.
43 Posted 08/05/2021 at 11:19:25
44 Posted 08/05/2021 at 11:40:17
45 Posted 08/05/2021 at 11:59:38
Out of interest, how did Warrington play? I liked the look of him on the few times I saw him for the U18s, but I don't confess to follow the youngsters as much as others here.
You shouldn't pull kids to the first team until ready, but then that's the manager of the day's call. As with us supporters, that comes down to opinion.
I don't like the U23s construct, but then I didn't like the old Reserves structure. I'd be interested in exploring the B Team idea, but then in the current climate that could be perceived as the big clubs taking over more space in the league at the expense of others.
46 Posted 08/05/2021 at 12:24:15
I dont know how Gordons loan spell is going, but it looks like Ellis Simms is doing okay, so maybe its about finding out the levels these young kids are ready to play at.
Maybe league one might have suited Gordon better? Because its maybe not a question of natural ability, but more about learning the physical aspect of the game, and maybe Simms, might improve enough to play in the Championship at some stage next season, now that hes adapting to playing at the top end of league one?
The EPL is so physical that very few young players are ready to play in such a demanding league at an early age, so maybe getting them playing in the lower leagues, and then progressing through into the championship by the age of 20/21 seems the way forwards, rather than playing in the non-competitive Under 23 league, and stagnating, which is definitely what happens to kids who are not constantly being challenged, imo.
47 Posted 08/05/2021 at 12:28:00
48 Posted 08/05/2021 at 12:33:27
That, or I wouldn't put it pass you that you attended both games and can recall both teams' starting XIs and minute-by-minute action!
I'm guessing as the club's official records don't list them in front of Thierry that the fixtures they featured in don't count as recognized first class games for some reason.
Whatever, like Robert and others I see a clear policy change probably Brands-driven of exposing and playing younger players earlier in age groups above their band. A kinda make or break, if you will. Personally, I like what I'm seeing.
49 Posted 08/05/2021 at 12:33:29
50 Posted 08/05/2021 at 12:38:11
Adding a bit to your post, Reece Welch had another fine game, very composed and looks very comfortable playing out from the back. I look for wee signs of improvement in all of them, and Welch is now better at knowing when to clip it forward and not trying a short pass if players are closing him down.
Small is erratic at times, but the difference I see in him compared to other full backs is that he often drives into the box, not settling for an easier cross. As a result he can frustrate by running into a dead end. But often he shoots and yesterday he drove to the line, had nowhere to go, got his head up and chipped a lovely ball back over the defenders to Stan Mills who miscued. So signs of improvement from him too.
The two Schoolboys were on for only a short time with no significant impact. Jenson Metcalfe was steady but once again got eased off the ball by a stronger player five years older. Roman Quintyne is a speed merchant at full back with decent defensive qualities, he only showed his speed once yesterday. Last week for the u 18s against Wolves he won the ball in his own box, passed it forward, took the return and 70 yards later reached the opposite goal line, got his head up, picked out the unmarked Lawrence and cut it back for him to score. Teams rarely play schoolboys at U23s level, they often lack physical development yet and are not training full time. Its great credit to Metcalfe and Quintyne that theyve been given game time twice now at U23s, despite their comparative physical deficiencies at their age.
51 Posted 08/05/2021 at 12:38:50
To Tony's point, let's not rush the kids. If we think back, it was not uncommon for players not to hit the first team until they were 22 to 24.
Now we seem obsessed with getting them there by 17 when they still have a lot of developing to do, both football wise and physically. Then by 21 we have judged them as not being good enough and we've all been guilty.
I agree with competitive football being the way forward. At the moment that can only be through the loan system. That's why I'd be keen on looking at the B Team concept (as in Spain). Playing in Leagues 1 or 2, but for Everton.
Great shout on the continental route Robert. I agree with that, especially for the more technical players.
52 Posted 08/05/2021 at 13:43:37
The problems come when players outgrow their current level, and are then not given the opportunity to move forwards, because this can lead to stagnation, and Id argue many kids dont make the grade for this reason, rather than it being about them not having enough ability to begin with?
53 Posted 08/05/2021 at 13:59:49
The game at Anfield when Andy Penman played I remember very well and recognised them all in Dave Prentices write up of the game HE never saw, including the penalty Liverpool were awarded by the referee, the only bastard in the ground who saw the alleged incident, which won Liverpool the game but not the cup, we won on aggregate over the two games.
Concluding, In my mind Andy Penman was the youngest peace time footballer who ever played for Everton, Jay if youve heard about Andy, google him, he had a great career in Scotland after staying just one year at The Blues, a fabulous individual, by all accounts, off the field as well as on it. Evertons loss, Dundee and Rangers gain.
54 Posted 08/05/2021 at 14:03:01
I know it's difficult as Evertonians, but if we put our football heads on, we want these kids to succeed in football. I'd love that to be at Everton but if not, then coach them to have a career in football.
55 Posted 08/05/2021 at 16:39:30
56 Posted 08/05/2021 at 16:53:30
57 Posted 08/05/2021 at 16:59:48
I know he's just gone down with Sheffield United, but I remember watching a young Lundstram playing for our U18s away at QPR about 10 years ago. You could see a player in him. Disappointed he didn't make it at Everton, but you probably know better than me, to play top flight or even Championship means you have something about you.
Our academy may not be producing to the standard we want, but it is producing good players who go on to have careers in the game.
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