Tranmere Rovers 2 - 2 EvertonRoberto Martinez's line-up for the first pre-season friendly of the summer at Tranmere featured a healthy mix of youth and experience.
The likes of Conor McAleny, John Lundstram, Ty Browning and Matthew Kennedy lined up alongside Steven Pienaar, Sylvain DIstin and Gareth Barry. Darron Gibson started on the bench but was expected to play a part as he feels his way back from long-term injury.
Though McAleny and Browning looked bright and Shane Duffy was marshalling the defence well, it was Luke Garbutt who was arguably the stand-out performer among the younger players for the Blues in the first half, showing his strengths in both defensive and offensive capacities.
And he laid on the opening goal for Steven Naismith with an excellent cross from the left that the Scot got to ahead of the goalkeeper to turn the ball home from close range.
Martinez switched all of his 10 outfield players for substitutes at half-time to give maximum playing time to each member of the squad.
The hosts levelled early in the second half when Cole Stockton latched onto a poor John Stones backpass and lofted the ball over Joel Robles.
Leon Osman restored the Blues' lead shortly afterwards from a corner, though, when an Aiden McGeady corner came to him and he scored in routine fashion.
Seamus Coleman had only been on the field for half an hour when he was withdrawn as a precaution with what looked to be a slight hamstring injury, Garbutt permitted to come back on to replace him.
Tranmere equalised a second time when James Rowe capitalised on space in behind Antolin Alcaraz and fired past Robles with a few minutes to go.
After the game, Martinez confirmed the precautionary nature of Coleman's withdrawal, saying, "It was a bit more precautionary. [Seamus] felt his hamstring and obviously since the start of pre-season we have accumulated a lot of volume and that type of reaction is normal.
"We will have to assess him well and prepare him well for the next work. We don't want to miss Seamus and so it was more about avoiding risks rather than any big worry.
"It is important we get the measurement right before we get to Thailand."
Everton: Robles; Duffy (46' Alcaraz), Browning (46' Coleman (75' Garbutt)), Distin (46' Stones), Garbutt (46' Hibbert); Barry(46' McCarthy), Pienaar (46' McGeady), Lundstram (46' Gibson); Kennedy (46' Long), Naismith (46' Hope), McAleny (46' Osman).
Reader Comments (57)
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1 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:44:48
2 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:46:26
3 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:47:05
4 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:47:44
I've always thought he's a good player from what I've seen and I hope he cements a place in the first team.
5 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:51:47
6 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:52:33
Can't find a link - tell Ferry he's a twat from me
7 Posted 22/07/2014 at 19:58:06
8 Posted 22/07/2014 at 20:14:17
9 Posted 22/07/2014 at 20:31:55
10 Posted 22/07/2014 at 21:34:04
Tranmere can take more out of that than us.
Some of those on the pitch should have been fighting for a start this season and didn’t look interested.
12 Posted 22/07/2014 at 21:42:38
Gibson did well, and McGeady crosses were begging out for a Lukaku type centre forward.
13 Posted 22/07/2014 at 21:46:26
I hope to god it’s not our player, as, according to all and sundry he was the next star to come through and he’s only 17 .
14 Posted 22/07/2014 at 21:48:17
15 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:16:01
16 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:25:59
17 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:18:50
McAleny, Kennedy and Garbutt stood out of the young players, Ossie showed his class and experience.
Stones was very average on the night, hope all the hype's not got to him.
18 Posted 22/07/2014 at 21:47:02
We can only keep our fingers crossed that it's not a bad injury, with hamstrings you just play a waiting game, it would be a big blow to lose Coleman for a long period.
It's also why I can't stand it when other fans shoot down us realists when we say Everton need at least 7 signings this summer, we are Everton and we always always suffer injury crisis problems at some point.
19 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:30:14
Let's see Gibson do that in the heat of the Premier League humdrum when you don't get any time on the ball in the midfield.
I never take much notice of friendlies, just keep my fingers crossed that we don't get injuries..
Sadly the worst has happened tonight.
20 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:36:23
As for Gibson when the lad is fit he is more than capable of doing his stuff in the heat of battle in the Premier League - it's his injury record that has stopped him achieving throughout his career not his abilities or mindset.
21 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:32:11
22 Posted 22/07/2014 at 22:49:59
23 Posted 22/07/2014 at 23:44:00
26 Posted 23/07/2014 at 00:12:46
Hope he's ok. I remember Yakubu picking up the same injury for us and being out for ages, and was never quite the same player when he came back.
27 Posted 23/07/2014 at 00:20:08
Barkley was held back for years after being unfortunate with injuries. I hope this lad is fully fit and ready to force his way into the Europa League team.
28 Posted 23/07/2014 at 00:56:45
Unless he has deleted something, Ryan Ledson hasn't tweeted anything since Sunday and it wasn't anything to do with his Achilles.
29 Posted 23/07/2014 at 00:57:02
Considering the resources of Everton against Tranmere, they won't have been on a fitness training programme in Austria.
I thought the first half was fairly well dominated by the Blues, and they deserved to be ahead at the half time whistle. I then thought we will make wholesale changes for the second half, which we did, and thought Tranmere will tire as the game goes on; in all fairness to Tranmere, they upped their game and assisted by schoolboy mistakes by us, were soon level... Twice!
Leicester will have a field day if we perform like that in Thailand!
30 Posted 23/07/2014 at 00:34:57
I thought the youngsters did ok but still have lots to learn. McAleny was sharp and intelligent and might have a future.
As for the others. They weren't match fit so criticism would be unfair. All I'll say is certain players who impressed the commentator and many TW members didn't fill me with joy.
31 Posted 23/07/2014 at 06:43:24
32 Posted 23/07/2014 at 07:30:50
33 Posted 23/07/2014 at 08:16:19
I was watching the match and all through the game the commentators were reading out tweets from fans who were saying where they were watching the match, hopes for the season etc.
I think they basically read out a tweet from a fan called Ledson, saying he was watching the match on his couch with a ruptured Achilles. Hope I am right anyway
34 Posted 23/07/2014 at 07:53:39
The one that doesn't inspire any confidence at all is Robles, even in a friendly. Even Hibbo blocked more than he did!
35 Posted 23/07/2014 at 08:33:20
But good to see Duffy looking more self-assured. Stones has a rival!
36 Posted 23/07/2014 at 08:43:36
37 Posted 23/07/2014 at 08:56:26
Decent workout last night. Garbutt, McAleny, Duffy, Browning and Long all did well. I'm desperate for Lundstram to perform at this level; he did some good things but then put a couple of stray passes out too. Kennedy looked a bit out of his depth though; he did not grab his chance.
38 Posted 23/07/2014 at 09:12:00
39 Posted 23/07/2014 at 09:20:24
40 Posted 23/07/2014 at 09:45:21
41 Posted 23/07/2014 at 10:39:52
42 Posted 23/07/2014 at 10:46:32
43 Posted 23/07/2014 at 10:45:56
He did in the second half, but I can understand your query, as basically he was anonymous for most of the time. He was not alone in that, but maybe the directive from Roberto was to let the younger lads have more of the ball, to see how they perform, and if struggling, then step in!
Well if that was the plan, it certainly didn't materialise that way. It did show that, despite a few missing, there is a lot of work to be done!
44 Posted 23/07/2014 at 11:00:27
45 Posted 23/07/2014 at 11:37:40
46 Posted 23/07/2014 at 11:52:08
I know we have the World Cup players to come back but even so I think we are still a good four or five players short of having a squad capable of challenging for 4th. I've no doubt that lots is going on behind the scenes but I hope that our chase of Lukaku does not end up costing us too much time and missed opportunity.
It concerned me that Distin looked a little slower than usual; I hope Father Time has not finally caught up with him or else perhaps we need another senior CB as I'm not sure relying on Stones, Duffy or Alcaraz for a whole season is wise. Caulker for ٦M looked good business to me for QPR but I suspect we cannot spend any good chunks until the Lukaku business is settled and God knows how long that will take.
47 Posted 23/07/2014 at 12:22:16
At the start of last year, I went to watch a few pre-season games and I was convinced Distin's legs had gone. I was completely wrong... so I won't be writing him off this year either.
Stones had a bit of a horror moment in the game, but I think we've all seen enough of the lad to feel positive about his development.
Pre-season games are always weird. I think you've just got to look at it as a fitness exercise and little more.
48 Posted 23/07/2014 at 13:26:59
It's all about opinions and perceptions at the end of the day, I have read a few posts suggesting Sylvain was a bit slow etc, I can only recall once when (because of the system Â– playing the high line) he nearly got caught out, but woeful finishing from the Tranmere player avoided any embarrassment.
Overall, I think if you were to choose between central defenders and effectiveness, I would have chosen Duffy and Distin over Stones and Alcaraz, in the second half.
Like I say, if Distin had played with Stones and vice versa, we will never really know!
The exercise did indicate that we are nowhere near ready yet (I know the World Cup players were missing) but hope those lessons have been well digested!
49 Posted 23/07/2014 at 13:33:34
I was a bit frustrated last night that we seemed to have picked up where we left off (dominating a game for 90% playing pass the parcel to get done twice out of pretty much nothing) but:
a) Plenty of first-teamers didn't play (Howard, Jags, Baines, Mirallas, Barkley);
b) Some of youngsters looked pretty handy and it was good experience for them;
c) Everyone who played got a decent run out;
d) I'm sure there are signings to come; and
e) We've got players coming back.
My two concerns are we are desperate for a couple of strikers and a few more who can actually beat a player like McGeady and play a ball through or across rather than in a triangle. Other than that, I thought it was a pretty useful 90 mins.
50 Posted 23/07/2014 at 14:05:21
He had no chance with their 2 goals, made an excellent full length save to his left that many keepers wouldn't have reached.
For long periods he had nothing to do!
51 Posted 23/07/2014 at 12:50:42
Of course, the young lads had to inter-pass with Pienaar. The little tough enigma who likes to stop, turn back, come inside and slow everyone up. Baines and Barry understand him but he must be a nightmare for anyone else.
Incidentally. It was easy to see that Barry has a defensive brain and protects the back 4. Gibson has an attacking brain and feeds the front 4. Folk who think they do the same job are way off the mark.
I was impressed by the way Roberto pulled people aside at half-time for a detailed critique of their roles. He obviously doesn't miss much.
As for the Leicester game. We look far from ready but I suppose it breaks things up a bit. Coleman's injury was a worry and a warning. So easy to pull things early on. Especially in the 2nd game after a break, when the "Bounce Factor" challenges stiff muscles.
52 Posted 23/07/2014 at 14:19:04
I also agree that you can't judge much from pre-season games but, at the same time, we've all been starved of Everton games to analyse for months so it's always going to happen!
53 Posted 23/07/2014 at 14:27:01
Other teams had big wins in their friendly matches and scoring goals brings confidence. The present squad will not do as well as last year IMO. It is already weaker and players coming back from long-term injuries are always vulnerable.
We really need a top class striker plus a midfield playmaker.
54 Posted 23/07/2014 at 14:43:25
Garbutt is a big improver with a great left foot but still very raw. McAleny, for me, is a must for the first team squad. Small in stature with an ever stronger upper body strength, he looks the real deal. Not sure about the orange boots but he's quick, reads the game and his through balls to a rusty Naismith were tremendous. Fingers crossed for the lad. He's had a tough time.
On a goalkeeping note. The 6'-4" Czech kid we bought from Sparta Prague in January appears to be coming on a ton. Think his name is Stanek. Still way down the pecking order, he is amazed with his progress under the guidance of our Tom Selleck lookalike goalkeeping coach.
55 Posted 23/07/2014 at 16:22:21
Ryan Ledson is perfectly fine.
56 Posted 23/07/2014 at 19:47:09
57 Posted 23/07/2014 at 19:49:35
It looks like Seamus will only be missing the game in Thailand but we have an able deputy in Tony Hibbert in that position. The likes of Ledson, Lundstram etc will get plenty of chances pre season as hopefully will Joel.
On a different note, does anyone know when the Europa League draw is?
58 Posted 24/07/2014 at 09:25:33
The way Lyndon lined it up suggests Duffy at right back, but I’m assuming Browning in fact started there. Having not seen Browning, does he look like a centre back or a full back? I mean both in terms of physique, and does he look like someone who will bomb forward and create chances the way Coleman and Baines do (and Garbutt for that matter)?
Lyndon’s line-up suggest Pienaar played centrally, with Kennedy and McAleny on the wings and Naismith as the No 9. Is this accurate?
Where did Osman play? And finally, where/what roles did Hope and Long play when they came on? Were they a front two or was one of them pushed wide?
It may be that even these choices don’t mean much, but I, along with many I think, still don’t know much about the playing styles and positions of many of our youngsters who may break through this season.
59 Posted 24/07/2014 at 09:47:56
Watched it on EFC TV so I will try to answer your questions:
Pienaar played more or less the same role we have seen him mostly, ie. left-mid but drifted into the centre at times, but to be honest he didn't really perform that well and lost the ball on several occasions.
McAleny played more up front and looked useful, but (difficult to assess after one game) does look like he could be a first-squad member (probably on the bench).
Osman played his usual centre-mid role and so easily could have had two goals instead of just the one. Not bad over all.
Hope and Long played up front and I was impressed at the quickness of both, more so Hope, although the end product was not really evident, but then again, one half of one game, it's hardly enough to comment one way or another!
Hope this helps mate, but being subjective, others may have interpreted the game differently...
60 Posted 24/07/2014 at 14:47:13
Anyone else any thoughts?
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