Everton U21s 3 - 2 Sunderland U21s
Everton midfielder Ryan Ledson moves smoothly away from Sunderland's Liam Agnew
The game looked to be heading for a draw after the visitors had twice come back to cancel out goals by Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo but McAleny fired home with two minutes to go to give David Unsworth's side the points.
Getting another run-out for the Blues' second string as he make his patient return from a long injury layoff, Kone put Everton ahead in the first half when he slammed home Gethin Jones' cut-back.
Sunderland levelled when Liam Agnew's shot flew over Joel Robles before Oviedo struck a sweet half-volley from the angle to restore Everton's advantage. Carl Lawson turned in low cross from just six yards out, though, to make it 2-2.
Kone managed 75 minutes before being replaced by Chris Long, good news for the Ivorian who, like Oviedo, is hoping to complete his comeback from serious injury by rejoining the first team full time.
Everton U21s: Robles, Jones, Galloway, Browning, Kenny (c), Ledson, Dowell, Grant (68' Williams), Kone (75' Long), McAleny, Oviedo.
Subs not Used: Griffiths, Walsh, C Duffus.
Reader Comments (76)
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1 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:26:27
2 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:32:00
3 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:32:18
4 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:48:18
5 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:50:54
6 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:55:10
7 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:55:13
Pity the young lads are not given the chance to express themselves, the Martinez way is obviously required to be carried out throughout the age groups.
What a complete contrast between the 2 teams.
I know which team I find more exciting to watch
8 Posted 01/12/2014 at 19:56:35
9 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:00:09
What a finish from Arouna
10 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:17:36
11 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:18:17
12 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:24:21
13 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:23:07
The first team do.
14 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:24:18
15 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:26:52
16 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:24:49
17 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:29:28
18 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:28:30
19 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:29:27
20 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:32:52
21 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:33:04
22 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:33:24
23 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:36:09
"We defend too deep and our midfielders don't press at all."
These quotes sound all too familiar with the first team.
24 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:37:09
25 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:41:36
26 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:38:05
27 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:43:31
28 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:44:23
29 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:44:31
30 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:45:24
31 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:39:21
32 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:49:29
Note to a Roberto: Browning doesn't look like a centre half.
33 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:51:14
34 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:56:27
35 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:57:55
36 Posted 01/12/2014 at 20:57:20
37 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:02:16
Still, good to win and goals from Oviedo and Kone.
38 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:01:21
39 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:08:25
40 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:06:47
Reports say he mentioned not needing cover at centre half as he had Browning and Galloway Â– I think he needs to have a serious look at that!
Apart from McAleny I didn't see one performance there that would put any of the youngsters on the first team sheet.
Kone needs to have a word with Lukaku about holding up the play with his back to goal, for that alone he needs consideration.
Oviedo looking good...
41 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:14:57
Sunderland were much more dangerous and created lots of chances that they missed. On the break they were very dangerous and our build up especially in the first half was pedestrian.
That right back of ours must have been delighted when Whatmore went off as he ran him absolutely ragged in the first half. The first job of defenders is defending well and tackling.
The midfielders did not close down at all and let Sunderland have the ball in acres of space. Kone had valuable minutes out there and will give us good options up front. Oviedo had a decent game but really apart from Galloway the defence were pretty poor.
McAleny, has good ball control but Ledson drifted in and out of the game. He was OK on the ball but did not close down at all.
A good result but the best side lost IMO.
42 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:25:20
I would like to see the following starting side:
Robles, Hibbert, Galloway, Browning, Garbutt, Besic, Osman, Ledson, Naismith, Kone, Atsu.
This should be a good test for the youngsters with a strong bench as back up. ie; Howard, Coleman, Pienaar, McAleny, Jagielka, Eto'o and Barry.
43 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:39:07
Great to get a look at them but they seem to play the same as the first team, getting out muscled in front of our own goal and shagged on the break. I would like to see Kone get some minutes, maybe half-an-hour again Hull next game.
44 Posted 01/12/2014 at 21:47:49
Midfield was overrun in the 1st half especially. Conor Grant started well but faded, Ledson had an awful 1st half but improved 2nd and got better as the game went on. Agree with the comments about Dowell, looked classy when he played in the centre, a bit lost out on the wing. McAleny scored a brilliant goal and showed his usual quick feet and sharpness. Definitely good at this level - can he take it on into the 1st team?
Finally, Kone scored a great goal and showed some classy touches before Long replaced him late on, and Bryan was Bryan, playing wide on the left, working hard for the team and scoring a great goal.
Sunderland had some good players too, especially the number 10 and 8, and looked much more cohesive as a team than we did, though that might be the downside of us having 1st teamers in the side even though they effectively won the game in the end.
45 Posted 01/12/2014 at 22:28:25
Both returning certainly makes our squad stronger. Be great to see them both play a part against Krasnodar.
46 Posted 01/12/2014 at 22:49:18
Thanks to anyone for info who went.
47 Posted 01/12/2014 at 22:57:19
Hard to believe McAleny is older than Lukaku. Shows how good Lukaku is for his age and that he's still learning.
It still all seems a bit slow for me. When it clicks, it looks great. When it doesn't, it bores me.
48 Posted 01/12/2014 at 23:09:03
Dowell was out of it first half, wide on the right, but showed he has something about him in the short bit of time he had at the end when playing through the centre. I have an uneasy feeling that we are developing good "back six" youngsters, Galloway, Browning, Kenny, Ledson, but no maverick attackers who can pick up the ball and run at defenders.
49 Posted 01/12/2014 at 23:37:32
We did have at least three 17-year-olds in the side though, and players playing out of position. People like Ledson, McAleny and Dowell showed good little glimpses without taking control of the game.
Kone's hold up play was good, and Robles looked like a confident, dominant goalkeeper for much of the night, especially in the first half when he made three excellent saves that should have been goals for Sunderland. Browning looked in trouble at times, was deservedly booked and gave away a clear penalty that the referee turned down.
Quite interesting to hear the commentators discussing the game as being all about 'developing the youngsters' without much reference to the fact that youngsters should get used to feeling the pressure to win games. If that's the way the players and coaches approach it, then it's no wonder they struggle to make the step up to the first team.
They also mentioned that Unsworth is a big believer in putting senior players into the U-21s as he thinks it's worth a lot in terms of developing the younger players.
50 Posted 01/12/2014 at 23:42:17
51 Posted 01/12/2014 at 23:50:27
Sunderland's fast red headed lad looked the pick of both teams for me and his direct running terrorized the right side of our defence. When he went off we were able to get a foothold in the game and the 2nd half was much better. However, closing down is not being coached on this evidence and Sunderland dominated midfield.
Kone looked like a decent option for the first team and Oviedo looked to be enjoying his outing. McAleny has a really good touch but seems to lack strength and pace which he would need in the premier league.
Ledsen did not impress me that much though and only had sporadic affect in midfield. He did better as the game slowed down but was caught in possession during the first half and did not do his share of closing down when he did not have the ball. To my mind this is down to the coach to get him and the rest of the midfield working harder and finding space.
Our attacks in the first half were very poor and Kone was up front on his own. Kone's goal was against the run of play, but it showed his ability when supported properly. If he had been playing for Sunderland he would have had a field day.
Obviously some of the team have potential and I did like Galloway throughout the match. But the role of the midfielders is closing down quickly without the ball and finding space when we have it. This is the basic requirements once ball control is mastered.
52 Posted 02/12/2014 at 00:20:59
Just out of curiosity: With the free admission; what was the attendance?
53 Posted 02/12/2014 at 00:36:57
Conor Grant was very neat and tidy on the ball but never made a tackle or closed down all night. He was eventually replaced by the more physical Williams. The two 17-year-olds, Ledson and Dowell, improved after the break and should have a future. McAleny has plenty of talent and a good attitude but his lack of inches will always cause him problems.
Great to see Robles, Oviedo and Kone get a game and all three perform reasonably well.
The most depressing thing about the dire first half was seeing young lads passing sideways and back before venturing forward in the same slow manner as the first team. Sunderland, like Spurs and Palace, came at us with pace and purpose. Will Roberto have a rethink? Maybe not.
54 Posted 02/12/2014 at 04:51:57
55 Posted 02/12/2014 at 05:08:04
For me, McAleny stood out and took a great finish. Oviedo was very involved and Galloway also showed himself. I didn't see that midfield playmaker we need although Ledson did at time try to play that role. Walsh in the U18s does this very well every time I have seen them.
56 Posted 02/12/2014 at 06:05:16
None of the young players are ready to be in the first team squad long term.
57 Posted 02/12/2014 at 07:03:30
58 Posted 02/12/2014 at 07:36:01
Not sure where David Henen was? Any others missing?
59 Posted 02/12/2014 at 10:06:15
60 Posted 02/12/2014 at 11:24:37
61 Posted 02/12/2014 at 11:23:34
Our football is sometimes slow but we are playing a system that from the first team down everyone knows how they should play so that when they get a chance they are comfortable. Also it was an Under-21 game; I expect they are not the most exciting of games to play in.
We were world beaters at Wolfsburg, stop judging on the Spurs game. We could be above them come tomorrow night and the Spurs game will be forgotten. If anyone is to blame, it is Roberto for changing winning teams, but that’s football.
62 Posted 02/12/2014 at 11:36:01
I thought we would be very lucky to get anything at Spurs, we have not won there for 6 years.
I think they were all still a bit hung over from the win to top the group and never really got going.
This will be an up and down season for the team but if we win a cup I’ll be drunk for at least a week!
64 Posted 02/12/2014 at 12:52:51
Thus I was surprised you thought he did well - perhaps apart from the goals he conceded? Howard can make as many errors as he wants with this clown as his only back-up!
65 Posted 02/12/2014 at 13:06:58
Denis, Oviedo played on the left wing, ahead of Galloway at left back. It seems odd as Kenny is seen as a right back, and Galloway as a centre back, but a few of them were shuffled around. The commentators mentioned that Sunderland often do this on purpose if a player is having an easy game in his own position, so maybe experience of playing different positions is part of what the U21s is seen as for. I'd prefer they got experience of playing well and winning.
Having said that, I agree with the poster above who said that they're probably not the most exciting games to play in. It just shows they're not a very reliable guide for who will do well in the first team.
66 Posted 02/12/2014 at 13:11:18
Roberto's square pegs in round holes philosophy obviously extends to the kids' teams now. He'd have had Unsy as his play-maker!
67 Posted 02/12/2014 at 13:03:46
That said, he appears to have lost none of his old habits and Howard's job looks pretty safe.
68 Posted 02/12/2014 at 14:56:03
So many people have been saying we should play Browning, Ledson etc... but when they actually watch them they say they are not ready.
Martinez seeÂs these boys everyday and will know when to bring them in, just trust him to do the right thing and use them when they are ready.
Also we shouldnÂt be judging players on 1 game. If we were honest with ourselves most who have commented above will have only seen these players for the first time last night. Everyone has a bad day at the office and lets face it most of them did last night.
Basically lets not right these youngsters off after 1 game and trust Bobby!
69 Posted 02/12/2014 at 15:17:27
I was most interested in Kone & Oviedo, plus the very unlucky McAleny. To see how they shaped up after long lay-offs.
I'm sure we will see them in the first team squad soon, as injuries will start to bite, with the build up of fixtures.
70 Posted 02/12/2014 at 15:33:55
I'm still not impressed with Kone. Was he instructed not to put a shift in? However, he scored and, when he could be bothered, held the ball up well. Dowell got better in the second half, and at 17 is someone to watch. Oviedo took his chance superbly and looked like he's almost there.
However the whole team appeared disjointed. The defence kept insisting turning back towards our own goal to make a pass that wasn't on because Sunderland had pushed up, and hence those lads consistently got into trouble. Our centre was as soft as a marshmallow, and the full backs consistently ball watching were easily dragged out of position when Sunderland attacked. There has to be a Plan B!
On a positive note, we won and the pitch didn't cut up badly.
71 Posted 02/12/2014 at 17:19:04
Early days of course but there don't seem to be many Barkleys about let alone Rooneys. Which makes sense I suppose as they are rare talents or at least the latter is, jury is still out on the former but fingers crossed!
72 Posted 02/12/2014 at 17:44:35
After his cameos last year, I'm really looking forward to having a fit Oviedo back.
74 Posted 02/12/2014 at 18:16:10
75 Posted 02/12/2014 at 20:52:55
76 Posted 02/12/2014 at 21:59:42
Galloway did reasonably well and looks a good player, although left back certainly didn't look natural for him. Jones did great going forward Coleman style, but was vulnerable defensively, something Coleman himself was once accused of, but if Jones can improve that in the same way Coleman did, then he has promise.
Ledson looked decent 2nd half and looks like he still needs time to develop, so I don't think too much expectation should be placed on him just yet. Kone held the ball up well when it was played into him and took his goal well, while Oviedo was encouraging and looks to be getting closer to a 1st team return and took his goal brilliantly too.
McAleny looked really good on the ball and certainly has ability, so lets hope he can make the move up but time will tell. A decent loan spell could serve him really well at this stage if he is not to step up just yet.
For me though, it was Dowell who looked the most promising player on the pitch having just turned 17. The lad looked really good on the ball and certainly has good potential, so I'll be keen to see how he progresses.
Not the greatest team performance, but at U21 level consistency can be difficult, and the team did well enough to win the game against a lively Sunderland team. Some promising signs, so lets hope a gem or two develop from the pack. Some players of course can take longer than others to develop, so they won't all be a Rooney coming through at such a young age, not many do that early.
77 Posted 03/12/2014 at 14:12:05
78 Posted 03/12/2014 at 15:06:54
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