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I want a reserves team, not the youth team

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I am becoming more and more frustrated by the fact that each time I see the reserves team sheet, it has an average age of 18 or so.

Many of us bemoan the fact that when Moyes introduces his subs, usually 20 minutes too late, they don't have the required impact and seem off the boil (Beckford and Bily). To get rid of this lethargy, i don't understand why the whole bench should not be the starting team for the reserves week-in, week-out. As they are only getting 20 minutes of senior action a week, fatigue isn't going to be an option. Only last week, a strong line-up was played and Beckford scored in the following week.

If the Reserve team had the likes of Mucha, Beckford, Saha/Yakubu, Bily, Hibbert, Rodwell, Heitinga (both on the bench when others fit) playing, it would only be positive for the players. Match fitness would rise, and one would hope that playing against weaker opposition their confidence would rise. Gueye and Duffy are the only bench members that get a regular gig, yet it seems they are just making up the numbers for the bench. I do understand this can't always be done, but when there is no clash, why not?

If it pushes out younger players of the reserves team, we could always send them out on loan, to a Championship or League One team for more regular games. Duffy/Mustafi, Baxter, Silva, Barkley (after his injury) to name only a few would could be sent out. We could just take them back if injuries arose.

This is a possible option ? 1st team from Blackpool game: Howard; Neville, Jags, Distin, Baines; Coleman, Arteta, Heitinga, Pienaar; Cahill; Yakubu.

Strongest reserve team: Mucha; Hibbert, Mustafi, Duffy, Garbutt; Gueye, Rodwell, Fellaini, Bilyaletdinov; Beckford, Saha.

Does anyone have the same opinion??
David Moore, Sydney, Australia     Posted 12/11/2010 at 11:28:21

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Michael Kenrick
1   Posted 12/11/2010 at 13:32:53

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It's a puzzler, David. It seems playing for the reserves is only necessary if you are coming back from injury... and even then, it's maybe just one game. Sitting on the bench is generally a step up from playing in the Reserves... at least that's how it appears.

Be good to hear from some ex-players who've been in this situation... I suspect there's a reason they are called the Stiffs!

Andrew Ellams
2   Posted 12/11/2010 at 13:37:52

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I think is the way it works at most clubs. I'm guessing it's down to the modern day overpaid prima donnas thinking that reserve football is below them.
Declan O'Shaughnessy
3   Posted 12/11/2010 at 13:52:22

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I think as well that, with a squad as small as ours, it would only take a couple of injuries to occur before people start screaming "What the fuck is Moyes doing playing 1st team squad players in the reserves?!? Has he no intelligence at all?".

More exposure to matches means more exposure to the risk of injury. Is it worth it? I don't know, and I suspect only ex-pros (like Michael mentions) could really give an insightful answer.
Steve Pugh
4   Posted 12/11/2010 at 14:54:26

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I totally agree Andrew. A few senior players in with the youngsters can only help to develop the kids as well as keeping the the others match fit.

I think the manager should put them in the reserve team and, if they refuse to play, get rid. If you're good enough to play for Everton, you are good enough to play for Everton Reserves.
Ged Simpson
5   Posted 12/11/2010 at 16:08:30

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Everton are praised for the "starlets" we produce.

Would we do that if they were all out on loan?

I can see your point but I suspect as a club we are always trying to find the next Rooney or Rodwell ? for the team and the finances.

Not a great situation.

Tony J Williams
6   Posted 12/11/2010 at 16:37:56

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Also because the reveserves don't play that many games.

It is used for a vehicle to get experience and fitness. Why would you put a player who trains everyday and is guarranteed a place on the bench in harms ways for some youngun wanting to make a name for hiself booting and booting our player everywhere.

The training the do on Finch Farm should be more than enough to get them close enough to match fitness than playing 70/80 minutes in the Stiffs
Trevor Lynes
7   Posted 12/11/2010 at 17:20:47

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Quite a few years ago, EFC fielded seven teams including a colts team ? as did Liverpool and all the other top teams... Playing in the reserves was normal as there was no bench to sit on and no subs either!!

I also fail to see how players who do not play competitive matches can possibly make much of an impact when brought on for cameos. If a player is off-form, eg, Bily or Heitinga, then he should play in the reserves and stop blocking the emergence of youngsters who are on-form...!! I cannot believe any player who is a continual bench-warmer should be paid for doing virtually nothing... I am certain that a lot of players are quite happy to sit on the bench when their salary is safe!!

I know that ambitious players want to play every week... BUT some players are basically journeymen who do a 'job' and are delighted with signing contracts and settling for a sub's place. Get them in the reserves and let's see what our younger players are made of... Otherwise, we may as well let all the kids depart (as seems normal).

Dick Fearon
8   Posted 12/11/2010 at 21:26:26

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I have long held the view that an 18-year-old player should be knocking on the 1st team door or making way for another youngster to prove himself.

Before Moyes arrived, it was not unusual to see lads well into their 20s come through the ranks and disappear before making a 1st team debut. Thankfully, the culling process takes place a lot sooner than that. This allows youngsters to get on with their lives before it's too late.

There is merit in sending promising youngsters out on loan. That is practised a lot on the continent. A scan through player lists of those clubs reveals it is not unusual to find upwards of 20 players are out on loan.

Jason Lam
9   Posted 17/11/2010 at 09:19:30

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It's not reserves, it's elite squad.

I think the point of subs are to replace injured first 11 players, and thus we risk injurying subs in reserve matches.

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