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Reserves Match Report Everton v Man Utd

By Tom Owen :  06/10/2009 :  Comments (21) :

Everton Reserves 0-1 Manchester United Reserves

Everton: Nash, Coleman, Nsiala, McCarten, Bidwell, Forshaw, Peterlin, Gosling, Akpan, Baxter, Agard

Man Utd: Van der Sar, da Silva, Dudgeon, Evans, Gill, James, Norwood, Macheda, King, Eikrem, Brady

Attendance: 1,276

Everton started with a 4-5-1 formation. The midfield comprised Adam Forshaw and Jose Baxter on the flanks, with Hope Akpan and Dan Gosling in the middle, and Anton Peterlin sitting behind them. Kieran Agard was on his own up front.

Dan Gosling captained the side after making an impressive performance in Belarus with the first team.

United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Van der Sar his first start since picking up an injury in pre-season which has seen him miss United’s start to the season. The United team included Federico Macheda and Fabio da Silva who played in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

United started the better team in the opening stages with the 19-year-old Norwegian Magnus Eikrem spraying the ball around from central midfield. Macheda and Joshua King, another Norwegian, looked bright up front and tested Everton's defence.

The first real chance came from Everton on 12 minutes; Gosling found himself 20 yards out and unleashed a shot which went wide.

After United controlled most of the possession, Everton found themselves with another good opportunity when Baxter produced a clever chipped pass into the path of Agard who looked likely to score but put his shot narrowly wide.

A few minutes later, Macheda came close to unlocking the deadlock after good work from the United midfield allowed the Italian to unleash a shot from inside the box but failed to hit the target.

On 41 minutes, United’s best chance came as right-back Seamus Coleman failed to clear and the ball found its way to the edge of the box where Eikrem got a shot in after clever passing by United. However, it didn’t really trouble Nash.

As the first half neared its close, United looked the stronger. But you wondered if the game had 0-0 all over it as both keepers didn’t have much to do.

United started the brighter in the second half and took the lead on 56 minutes when left-back Joe Dudgeon and Eikrem exchanged clever play which found Macheda with room inside the box to fire past Nash.

A few minutes later, Baxter departed and on came 16-year-old Conor McAleny. Baxter had done quite well, especially when he drifted into the centre from the left flank. At this point Everton changed from 4-5-1 to 4-4-2.

The Blues began to pile on the pressure and in the last 20 minutes finally began to give Van der Sar some of the shot-stopping practice that he was presumably looking for.

Everton made another substitution on 82 minutes when Zac Thompson made his Reserves debut, replacing the impressive Coleman. By now the game had opened up and there were breakaways at either end but they failed to yield a goal. Despite three minutes added time, Everton could not find an equaliser.

United arguably deserved the win as they had more possession. For Everton, captain Gosling worked well but did give possession away a few times. Peterlin was impressive in midfield, breaking up attacks and generally neat and tidy in his distribution. Aristote Nsiala and James McCarten looked solid in the centre of defence against United’s dangerous strike force of King and Macheda. And not to forget Adam Forshaw who looked good on the flank.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of the United youngsters, in particular Eikrem who reminded me at times of Jack Rodwell in the way he looked composed and spread the ball around.

It was a decent performance by the young Blues but disappointing that they could not create more chances and do better with them.

Man of the Match: Magnus Eikrem

Reader Comments

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Sam Morrison
1   Posted 07/10/2009 at 08:04:21

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Thanks Tom, interesting stuff. Is this going to be a regular feature, a reserves report? Be great if so.
Kiern Moran
2   Posted 07/10/2009 at 10:30:20

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I agree with Sam, thanks for the report and keep it up if you can.
Liam Reilly
3   Posted 07/10/2009 at 11:04:21

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Yep, couldn’t agree more, keep em’ coming Tom.
Interesting to see Peterlin doing well.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
4   Posted 07/10/2009 at 17:30:42

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Great report, Tom. Interesting to see Seamus Coleman getting a game... I believe this is the first time he’s appeared since contracting an infected blister on the trip to the USA in the summer. Probably a long way to go before he is close to the first time, I suspect... Watch this space!
Karl Masters
5   Posted 07/10/2009 at 18:45:43

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Is that 4 defeats in 5 games now?

I’d be interested to know anybody’s opinions on the possibilities of any of these youngsters becoming first team regulars in the long term.

Of course, our youngest ever first team player was part of the team last night. I was quite surprised to see this bearing in mind his brush with the law in the previous 24 hours.

Still, if you are out visiting brothels at 17 and getting jiggy with the wrinklies and still get to be England’s centre forward, what’s the problem with a bit of hash and some counterfeit money?
Philip Jones
6   Posted 07/10/2009 at 21:43:42

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Thanks for the report Tom, but could you emphasise on the "impressive" Coleman. I hadn’t realised until today to what extent an injury he suffered, and reading reports pre-season I had high hopes for this fella. Is he better / as good as Hibbert?
Dick Anderson
7   Posted 07/10/2009 at 22:04:19

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Philip Jones

1. Tony Hibbert is a right-back while Seamus Coleman is a left-back.

2. Tony Hibbert has played nearly 200 Premier League games for a Top 5 side while Seamus Coleman’s career so far extends to a few appearances for FAI League of Ireland side Sligo Rovers.

So in answer to your question. No he’s not as good as Hibbert.
Jamie Sweet
8   Posted 08/10/2009 at 00:10:15

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Dick Anderson

1. Seamus Coleman IS a right back - check your facts.

2. Just because he is inexperienced doesn’t mean he couldn’t do a better job for us this season than Hibbo. Your point #2 is lame. Is Rodwell a better central midfielder than Neville?

It was a valid question by Philip. Only time will tell if he can cut the mustard in the Premier League. Early signs however, are very promising.
Mike Gaynes
9   Posted 08/10/2009 at 06:26:26

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Many thanks, Tom... please do continue these reports if you can. After reading about what happened to him, I’m suddenly a big Coleman fan, and as a Yank and a Californian, I’m delighted that Peterlin did so well. Would you happen to know whether Arnoux made the bench?
Michael Tracey
10   Posted 08/10/2009 at 08:08:32

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Hey Dick,

I would hope that Seamus is better than Hibbert and takes his place. As Hibbert playing in an Everton side is not going to improve us. He is not that good really. When Neill is fully fit then I would expect to see Hibbert get a run in the games when we can put our reserve team out. Hibbert has played 200 games for Everton. So I guess the question is is Tony Hibbert the worst Everton player to have played that many games?
James Lauwervine
11   Posted 08/10/2009 at 09:09:19

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Yawn, another discussion thread leads to criticism of Hibbo or Osman.
Dick Anderson
12   Posted 08/10/2009 at 14:58:05

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Jamie Sweet

1. OK aplogies I thought Seamus Coleman was left footed. Fair enough I was wrong about that.

2. You're seriously suggesting that a player whose only experience is a few games for Sligo Rovers is better then a player who has played nearly 200 times in the Premier League? Think about it.

Personally I think experience counts and there’s no way I’m going to pick some untested youngster from the Irish league over Hibbert. No way.

ps: YOUR QUESTION: Is Rodwell a better midfielder then Neville?
MY ANSWER: Not yet.
Peter Griffin
13   Posted 08/10/2009 at 15:25:54

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Coleman has got bags of pace and is predominantly a right back, however he did play at left back in pre-season. He is rough round the edges but has potential, and he also cost less than a council house so I don’t think we have much to lose. I can’t see him in the first team any time soon, as Hibbert, Neill and Heitinga would all be chosen ahead of him by Moyes.
Philip Jones
14   Posted 08/10/2009 at 16:38:34

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Peter Griffin
Thanks for that
Matt Garen
15   Posted 08/10/2009 at 18:25:47

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I could see both parts of the Dick Anderson / Jamie Sweet discussion and was erring on the side of Dick. . . Right up until Is Rodwell a better midfielder then Neville?
MY ANSWER: Not yet.

Tell me Dick, In your opinion in what way is he not ? Please don't say because Neville has played 400 Premier League games because thats like saying Colin Montgomerie is better than Tiger Woods because he has played Golf for longer.
Tom Owen
16   Posted 08/10/2009 at 18:32:56

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Thanks for the positive comments. I’m hoping to get to most of the reserve games as possible.

On the Coleman debate, we have to remember it was only one game he played and even though he did play very well, we shouldn’t get carried away. I think if he wasn’t injured he would've been on the bench in the first team this season. He had a little coming together with Macheda late on in the first half which shows he his no pushover. Coleman was solid in defence and looked promising going forward.

I see Akpan, Coleman and McCarten as likely candidates to be in the first team in years to come. I’ve watched them a few games and they are the ones that come to your attention. McCarten is solid at the back while Akpan looks good and confident in midfield.

Arnoux did also make the bench but didn’t come on.
Dick Anderson
17   Posted 08/10/2009 at 21:58:07

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Matt Garen

Neville was one of Everton’s Top 3 players last season. He’s the Captain of Everton. And he’s great at the job he does.

Admittedly Rodwell is doing great for a young lad and eventually I suspect Rodwell will reach heights Neville could only dream of but he’s not there yet.

There’s not a lot between them but if we had a fully fit squad I would still choose Neville over Rodwell.

Only just mind.
Jamie Sweet
18   Posted 09/10/2009 at 00:41:59

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Dick, I don’t disagree that experience counts for a lot in football, and I presume it is Neville’s experience that would make you pick him above Rodders (as it certainly wouldn’t be based on talent!).

The point I was trying to make was that experience isn’t everything, and that to make the assumption that one player is better than another based on experience alone (which is what you did when comparing Hibbert and Coleman) is a bit strange.

When a certain Mr Rooney burst on to the scene for example, after just one game, it was clear that he was a better player than say Tomasz Radzinski (Premier League, Champions League and International experience).

Dick Anderson
19   Posted 09/10/2009 at 08:10:02

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I’m not suggesting experience makes the better player. It certainly helps but yes, you're right, Rooney was a better player then Radzinski almost straight away.

And Coleman after five Premier League games may well be better then Hibbert but at the moment he’s not played at any level higher then the Irish league.

I’m sorry but Coleman is a young player whose career so far consists of playing in the backward Irish leagues. You cannot say Coleman is a better player then Hibbert until we see him play at a decent level. Even half a dozen games in the Championship or League 1 would give us an idea.
Philip Jones
20   Posted 10/10/2009 at 06:11:21

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No one on here has suggested that Coleman is better than Hibbert, I apologise; I should have asked "could he be as good / better" not "is". Sorry to have ruffled anyone’s feathers.
Paul Wharton
21   Posted 29/10/2009 at 13:02:32

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Hi Tom, Great report on the game as I don’t get to the reserves like i use to. Tom is a young lad and great that he has taken the time out to do this, so well done.

I enjoyed you and your father's company in Lisbon last week, as someone stated I hope you carry this on.

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