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Second String Blues

By Tom Owen :  16/12/2009 :  Comments (14) :

After writing several reserve reports this season, I was pleased to see so many of the young lads being offered starting places in the Europa League game. With the surprising news that David Moyes has named his team for the BATE game more than 24 hours in advance, some of you may be thinking, "Who are they?" Moyes has decided to rest most of the first team for the important Premier League encounter with high flying Birmingham on Sunday; after all, we have qualified to the knockout stages... so tonight's result does not have an effect on whether we qualify or not.

Carlo Nash will be given his first competitive start for Everton after being back-up to Tim Howard. Nash has been keeping busy saving shots in the reserves waiting for his chance.

Seamus Coleman, I don’t think I need to tell you about this guy, his premiership debut is something to tell you what a talent he is. He has been a key figure in the reserves setup and even Reserves coach Alan Stubbs has said Coleman has the potential to make the full-back spot his in future years.

Tony Hibbert, who will hold the record for most European appearances for Everton, will be starting in the centre back role, where he will want to put in another Beckenbauer Man of the Match performance. He will be playing alongside under-21 international Shane Duffy who made his competitive debut against AEK Athens in the win away from home. Duffy has been a regular in the reserves set-up and a key man in the reserve defence. Duffy was called up to Northern Ireland’s first team for a match against Italy after impressing Nigel Worthington. The tall centre back who is considered a ball playing defender will want to impress Moyes to show he can trust him in times of trouble when key defenders are out.

Jake Bidwell, the left full back, has recently broken into the reserves this season. The 16-year-old is a powerful fullback with a cracking left foot and an eye for going forward. I can remember he caught my eye in the reserves with some good deliveries into the box. He has also played for the England Under-16s and been called up to the Under-17s England squad in the past.

Adam Forshaw has shown great promise in the reserves this season. His energy and good skill has seen him become one of the key attacking men in the reserves side. He has caught the eye many times with clever play. He can tackle with bite and can pick out a pass. The 19-year-old can play on both flanks and is very quick with the ball at his feet.

Jose Baxter you know. Jose has been at the club since he was 6 years old and made his full Premier League debut at the age of 16 years and 191 days, which is a club record. He nearly made even more history but agonisingly headed over against Blackburn and ever since he has been a regular on David Moyes’s bench. He toured with the Everton first squad just a few months after leaving school. He showed great promise with impressive performances in pre-season. Jose has represented England in every age group up to the Under-17s.

The other youngster is Kieran Agard who joined Everton from Arsenal a few years back. The fast striker has been a regular in the reserves and was voted the Reserve team Player of the Season last year. He also received the Keith Tamlin award for his contribution to the academy set-up both on and off the pitch. Agard, like Baxter, has been a regular on the first team bench but hasn’t had a chance in the big stage. Agard posses electrifying pace and an eye for goal, even though he his not quite a six-footer; he also seems strong on the ball.

Leon Osman will be making his return from injury and his presence has been missed in the first team. He has come in for deep criticism for his poor performances over the past season or two but I’m sure he would like to put that right and show the form he has shown in previous seasons. We all truly know what a skilful footballer he is. In my opinion, his best position is in central midfield instead of being stuck out on the wing. It will be interesting to see where he plays with Forshaw and Baxter looking to be on both flanks.

Yakubu will also be hoping to gain even more confidence with returning to the magnificent form of his first season. Everton have missed his goals and I’m sure, once he gets his confidence back from being out for so long, he’ll be banging in the goals again and hearing the famous chant. Rodwell, who is only 18, will be a veteran in the team tomorrow. He put in an impressive performance at Chelsea and has been showing what a talent he his.

I hope all the lads do themselves justice, so let’s wish them good luck.


Reader Comments

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Wilson Tan
1   Posted 17/12/2009 at 05:30:39

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I, for one, will be watching this match with interest - even if I had to wake up at 3am (in Asia) to watch this ’meaningless’ reserve game. It will great if the young lads can put in a good shift.
Santosh Benjamin
2   Posted 17/12/2009 at 06:37:17

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Game on at 1:30 AM here in India. Looking forward to seeing the new faces. Wouldn't mind the Yak getting a good runout too.
Russ Quinlan
3   Posted 17/12/2009 at 08:22:47

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I’m looking forward to seeing how the young lads get on too, also glad he announced the team in advance so that anyone turning up to see the match itself won’t be surprised and can decide beforehand if they want to see that particular team, unlike Wolves this week!!
Dan McKie
4   Posted 17/12/2009 at 09:37:57

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I'm really looking forward to the game now, and I'm not fussed that I bought my ticket to see mostly reserve players. These lads will be hungry to show what they can do, whereas the first team would probably be a bit half-arsed, trying to save some energy for Sunday and trying not to get injured. If we can't give them a chance in a game like tonight's, then we never can.
Tom Abdy
5   Posted 17/12/2009 at 09:52:29

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I don’t get to too many games and I have to say that I was a bit disappointed when we qualified for the knock-out stages a couple of weeks ago as I’d already bought my ticket for tonight’s game. I was hoping that tonight would be the decider as to whether we went through or not, but alas it wasn’t meant to be. Ah well, not to worry.

I’ll get to see some of the young talent coming through the club and seeing as it’s my first ever European game, I’m sure it’ll still be a cracking night. Really looking forward to it and hopefully I can make it along to one of the later rounds as well as we march on to claim the trophy!!

Andy Crooks
6   Posted 17/12/2009 at 10:38:45

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Great article, Tom, you’ve got me looking forward to the game.
Jay Woods
7   Posted 17/12/2009 at 11:56:17

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I wonder why Mustafi is being left out again? He never seems to get a sniff, despite Moyes upsetting HSV to sign him.
Gareth Humphreys
8   Posted 17/12/2009 at 12:48:18

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I'm delighted to see the young lads getting a run out. It should be interesting to see just how many of them grab the opportunity.
Kevin Sparke
9   Posted 17/12/2009 at 13:44:21

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Thanks for that, Tom; and the reserve reports you put on here. Always interesting to read how the kids are getting on — cheers.
Gavin Ramejkis
10   Posted 17/12/2009 at 13:52:57

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I’ll echo what Kevin has said, without your reserves reports most of us have no idea who is coming through the ranks and I’d like to see these lads given a chance to make a mark tonight.
Danny Burke
11   Posted 17/12/2009 at 14:42:14

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Has Mustafi been on the bench for Europe? If he was not in the original 25 then he as I understand it falls outside the B squad of kids as he only signed this summer, as would Garbutt. I think?
Ed Staunton
12   Posted 17/12/2009 at 16:45:08

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Why is Rodwell playing, thought he needed a rest?
Brian Waring
13   Posted 17/12/2009 at 16:53:54

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Looking forward to watching the young lads play, it will be a good test for them, as I thought BATE looked a decent side.
Martin Mason
14   Posted 18/12/2009 at 20:45:14

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I for one was very proud of the performance these lads produced and if 3 or 4 of them make it to regular first team spots then we will be well placed. What about that tackle and run forward of Rodwell’s that injured him? That was Gerrardesque but why oh why did we play him. I’d guess it reflects the faith that Moyes now puts in this young man.

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