U23s power on with 4-1 drubbing of Leicester

Tuesday 13 December 2016  36 Comments  [Jump to last]
Oumar Niasse was on the scoresheet again as David Unsworth's side reclaimed top spot in Premier League 2 last night.

The Senegalese striker restored the Under-23s' lead after Callum Connolly had headed in his first goal of the season and Geoffrey Schlupp had levelled midway through the first period.

Niasse notched an assist as well for Harry Charsley six minutes into the second half and Courtney Duffus put the icing on the cake a minute from time to make it 4-1.

Everton U23s: Hewelt, Kenny, Jones, Browning, Connolly, Davies, Grant (80' Robinson), Dowell, Charsley, Niasse (82' C Duffus), Dyson (85' Henen)
Subs not used: Renshaw, Evans.  

Reader Comments (36)

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Patrick Murphy
1 Posted 12/12/2016 at 19:39:04
Unsy's charges are playing Leicester City tonight at Southport the game is currently one-all, Everton took the lead via Connolly but Schlupp equalised for the visitors. About 10 minutes to go in the First-half.
Patrick Murphy
2 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:16:40
U23s are leading 3-1 and it's that man Niasse on the scoresheet again, he raced onto the ball down the right hand side, bided his time and then picked out Charsley who finished well. according to Phil Kirkbride. Gethin Jones's low cross finds Niasse at the back post and he has the simple task of tapping home.
Patrick Murphy
3 Posted 12/12/2016 at 20:47:48
Less than 10 minutes to go and Everton now lead Leicester City U23s by 4-1 courtesy of Duffus, and will return to the top of the table.
Anthony Hughes
4 Posted 13/12/2016 at 07:24:51
Have a look, Ronnie Boy
Liam Reilly
5 Posted 13/12/2016 at 07:59:06
No Liam Walsh? Is he injured or on the bench tonight?

High hopes for this boy; quality player.

Dave Williams
6 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:11:29
Full game from Davies so not likely to be in the squad tonight.

Walsh came off injured the other week – too much to hope he'll be around tonight.

Ajay Gopal
7 Posted 13/12/2016 at 08:24:42
Unsworth is doing something right – Koeman would do well to attend a few of these U-23 games. For all his faults, Martinez encouraged the youth teams with his active participation. Disappointed that Davies may again not make the bench today, but Holgate will surely feature in the squad.
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:05:04
Liam. (2), as Dave says (3) Walsh was injured the other week, since then there has been no information about the lad's injury, it's like if they are not in the first team squad they do not exist. Would love him to be on the bench tonight, it's more likely Dixie Dean to be there.
Peter Laing
9 Posted 13/12/2016 at 09:17:50
There is evidently a massive gulf between the Under 23s and the Premier League but seriously could a large proportion of these lads, Niasse included, perform any worse than the majority of the first team squad?

Barry Pearce
10 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:00:24
Dave (#5), I totally agree with you about Walsh, and you're right, the lad got injured, and you hear nothing.

I'm hoping Walsh and Davies will be the future of our midfield. Also, I know Holgate is in front of Jonjoe Kenny at cover for right back, but I believe Jonjoe is more of a natural right back.

What are your thoughts? It's not that I don't rate Holgate indeed he's done well when he's played. I just saw him to be more of a central defender.

Also, do you think Connolly is anywhere near ready to play left back, as Leighton seems to be a shadow of his former self?

Anthony Dwyer
11 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:17:38
Don't even know why we have a write up on the U23s. Clearly its a rubbish league an all our player are total shite, right Ron??

Many of the strong U23s have been missing this season (Galloway on loan, Holgate on first team bench, Garbutt on loan, Grant on loan, Browning injured, Ledson sold, plus more) yet Dave Unsworth has the young guns firing week-in & week-out.

Surely Koeman has to sit up and pay attention.

Gordon Crawford
12 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:37:49
To paraphrase what Michael Ball said on ToffeeTv, "Ron knows he has three years to bring success and in his selfishness he doesn't want to wait for the kids to shine; he wants to see success now."

Message to Ron, play the kids, they can't be any worse than all the others, except for Gana and Barry.

Chris Gould
13 Posted 13/12/2016 at 10:45:41
How many teams in the Premier League have players from their academy's start league games? Man City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool? No. The gulf from U23s to Premier League is huge.

I would be surprised if more than one academy player becomes a regular in the first team every 10-15 years. It's very unlikely that both Walsh and Davies will make it into the first team and stay there.

Tottenham tried it with Mason and Carroll. One has been sold and the other looks to be going in January. Obviously that doesn't mean that neither Davies or Walsh has a chance and they may be far better players... but maybe not. Time will tell.

But not bringing youth through isn't a Koeman issue... it's a Premier League issue.

Gary Edwards
14 Posted 13/12/2016 at 11:58:00
I was at the game last night nowadays its the only chance I get to see an Everton team play good football and win.

For the benefit of those who didn't attend or didn't watch via the stream, my observations.

Leicester names that we may be familiar with Jeff Schlupp (their best player by a mile). Chris (10) pay attention and I'll enlighten you further.

Other Leicester names ... purely for amusement, "Admiral Muskine" wore 10 and they were managed by Steve Beaglehole .. really. That poor sod must have been hounded throughout his life. I feel sorry for Mrs. Beaglehole, favourite pasttime _______ .

We lined up in a 4-3-3 Hewelt / Kenny, Jones, Browning, Connolly / Davies, Charsley, Grant / Dowell, Tyson, Niasse. It could have been a 4-4-2 as I'm not sure where Dowell was lining up. We switched to a 5-3-2 sometimes 5-2-3 late in the game, 5 being Jones, Kenny, Browning, Connolly, Robinson (from right to left).

First half ended 1-1 which was about right, we may have edged it. We were direct, full of running and energy, tenacious in the tackle and very evident camaraderie .. exactly what we want from the 1st team. We scored early, Leicester used everything in their tank to fight back and match us, they equalised but come the second half it was evident they were worn out trying to keep up with the pace we played the game at. Standout moment for me was watching Davies and Kenny chase down Schlupp who be repute is nippy... they both caught him despite giving away a yard or three to begin.

Niasse scored early in the second half, much to the delight of his teammates, he seems to be very popular... certainly willing and no evidence of an attitude, quite the opposite. Niasse then set-up the ever impressive Charsley for the 3rd before Duffus completed the scoring. According to the official site, Niasse has now scored 12 goals this season.

We played a high octance, direct game throughout, no letting up... and it was very impressive. They wear the shirt with pride, Kenny leads by example, others follow gladly. Browning and Connolly look a sound CB pairing, Browning looking very much the part.

Robinson came on with a quarter of the game to play, we switched to a 5-3-2 which appeared to mean that Davies was allowed more freedom to get forward... and we looked even more impressive, wonderful, attacking footie. Robinson is quick, very quick... no nonsense defender who attacks well at pace.

I'd have half of these lads in the 1st team now... at least they bring energy and pace which Koeman seemingly wants. Browning looks more solid at CB than anyone else we have... I think he would pair well with Holgate as the right side of a back four.

Sad to say... the only disappointment (for me) was Dowell. He seems plagued by the malaise / lethargy endemic throughout the 1st team. I hope he sorts himself out.

Liam Walsh (who I rate highly) was not even in the squad. Yes, he was carried off against Chelsea but I'm pretty sure he's played since. Again the official site says he's made 11 appearances this season, only 1 less than Davies which suggests to me he's fit... unless he's picked up another injury... hope not.

Colin (10) I'm sorry but you're wrong, lots of recognised names play for their club's U23's including: Chelsea (Terry, Fabregas, the big lad who played against Citeh), Shaw, Rojo, Young, Damian have turned out for Utd's ressies this season, Klopp has plenty of youngsters breaking into the 1st team squad, remember little Josh (Soton) who ran Baines ragged... I can't remember an U23 game that I've been too where there has not been a recognizable name in the opponents' line-up. Obviously there is a 'quality' difference between 1st teams and U23s but I don't think it's the gulf you suggest, more Menai Straits.

Barry Pearce
15 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:10:46
Thanks for the report Gary. I'm with you, I think some of these youngsters would bring passion,and energy to the team.

Surely by now they must be given a shout, but sadly apart from Holgate they don't even get into the matchday squad.

John Dean
16 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:11:37
That's a terrific report, Gary, thanks...and can you do one every game, please?

Disappointed Dowell didn't perform. I saw him a few weeks ago and thought he looked good enough to challenge Barkley from the bench (and certainly a better option than McCarthy in that role). Glad that Browning is coming back to fitness and full throttle although I have a slight preference for Pennington as a future centre-back.

Liam Reilly
17 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:20:09
Thanks for the report, Gary.

If Walsh is not injured and not in the squad then could he be set for the squad tonight (hopeful) – or maybe he's to be loaned out (more likely)?

I hope it's the former as I'd love to see this kid given a chance. Two-footed and gifted; albeit on the lite side, but there's been a few pretty good vertically challenged players down through the years.

Gerard McKean
18 Posted 13/12/2016 at 12:47:40
I stand by my comment after the last U23 match report: Ronald Koeman is not the manager to bring through young players. This must have been known to the people who decided on him ahead of the likes of De Boer and, especially, Cocu.

Of course that is assuming that those same people have one ounce of the passion that every single person who writes in to TW has to see a winning Everton team again, and therein lies the problem, folks, because they don't.

It's a good thing that not all managers are afraid to pick young players. A cursory glance at the best Everton team I ever saw, the 1970 Champions, shows:

Gordon West in goal bought from Blackpool as a 19-year-old and allowed to mature at Everton;

Tommy Wright, who had won the 1966 FA Cup with us as a 21-year-old;

Jimmy Husband, a first team regular at 21,

Joe Royle and John Hurst who had been debutants at 16 and 18 respectively...

Oh and yes, the small matter of the holy trinity: Colin Harvey who had made a majestic debut in the San Siro against Inter Milan as an 18-year-old, Howard Kendall who'd played in a Cup Final at 17, and Alan Ball – a World Cup Winner at 20.

Gary Edwards
19 Posted 13/12/2016 at 13:21:53
Barry... there's nothing in life makes me happier than watching an Everton team playing with pride & passion .. and winning. I'll do my best.

John... I like Pennington too... again a no nonsense CB. What impressed me about Browning was that he won most everything in the air, controlled the ball and played probing balls into the channels, the kind of balls Lukaku likes.

Liam... Liam Walsh is exactly what the first team needs. I would be so excited for the lad. If he only brings half of his game he's an improvement on McCarthy and Barkley.

I'm still high with elation following last night's game, next comes the deflation and I fear the Arsenal game could be embarrassing.

Jim Hardin
20 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:21:26
Great report. Thank you and I am still laughing at the names and suggested imagery.

How can Ron not see that even if Mirallas was 11th playing some younger players, Ron is currently 9th with not playing them. Since neither position gets you anything, why not give the players a chance as at least subs?

Raymond Fox
21 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:24:15
Koeman will have Holgate in the squad, but I don't think he'll start and that will probably be it. The Premier League managers in general are afraid to start youngsters because they feel its too much of a risk, they fear the player having a nightmare game.

Criticise Martinez all you want but he encouraged the younger players and was not afraid to stick them in the team when he thought the time was right. I suppose if they stand out a mile in the U23s they will get in, but otherwise with Koeman he doesn't seem inclined to take a risk.It must be disheartening for a lot of these lads if they think its unlikely they will be given a first team game.

Get Niasse in our squad and give the lad a chance, he must have something going for him if he was player of the year in Russia, yes its not the Premier League but its a decent standard. Koeman's treatment of Niasse was poor on every level I thought.

Thomas Surgenor
22 Posted 13/12/2016 at 14:49:42
Right, I bought into this project and that we needed a name like Ronald Koeman to get top names to sign for us.

Now I've completly U-turned. I want Unsi in charge. Screw the buying big names, let's make some big names.

As Ball said, Koeman is secure for 3 years, so he should have taken the risk with some of these.

Matthew Williams
23 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:04:54
Well played lads, we're all proud of yer ,these boys MUST be our future... they play well & like WINNING!!!

Bring 'em on I say, the first team needs new blood badly, could save ourselves a few bob too.

Hats off to Rhino & this staff... Doing a great job!


Lewis Montgomery
24 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:15:58
If Niasse can keep one Duffus out of the team, then maybe he'd be a good replacement for one of the douche-bags in the first??
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 13/12/2016 at 15:32:35
I like Jonjoe Kenny and also Holgate, neither would let Everton down right now, wouldn't be afraid to play them,

Obviously not together, Connolly has already played a couple of games in the first team, last season and did well. I think Pennington is a strong no nonsense centre half who plays a safety get-rid game but I also prefer him to Browning, who has potential, but looked nervous on some of his previous games in the first team.

Tom Davies has already proved he will get stuck in and has no worries facing players with reputations, and should be in the first team squad every match.

I'm biased about Liam Walsh, thought he was an excellent player from the first time I saw him, aged sixteen, a complete natural for me, brings energy and commitment and no mean skill to every Everton team in which I have seen him, great kicker of a ball, excellent free kicks and corners. If he doesn't make it at Everton, it will be our loss, and a big one, he will definitely make it somewhere else. Another who should be always around the first team.

These are just my opinions and if 10,000 other fans feel the same way it will not matter because only Koeman can pick the team and he doesn't seem intent on playing too many of them, if any.

Dave Abrahams
26 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:19:20
Forgot to mention Gary Edwards (14), thanks for your great report, I really envy you watching an Everton team that went out to win.

And I echo John Dean, please send in some more of the U23s games, there isn't much better than hearing about the young players coming through.

Peter Gorman
27 Posted 13/12/2016 at 16:53:03
"We were direct, full of running and energy, tenacious in the tackle and very evident camaraderie"

This, this, this!

Everything Gary describes, everything I have seen myself is what we are lacking. Basically – Evertonians.

There is no doubt that a huge gulf exists between the U23 level and Premier League but it is so obvious that more than a few of these youngsters can make a good grade because of their innate drive and positive attitude. Graft beats craft 9 times out of 10.

The sooner they step up the sooner they flourish. I'd be far more inclined to lose 3-2 to Watford and see youngsters develop and learn from it than to watch the same defeated, weak, lethargy from so-called senior professionals. Would prefer not to lose though. Obviously.

Phill Thompson
28 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:01:32
Yeah, great report, Gary. You have to think that of our current best U23s back four – Kenny, Holgate, Browning, Connolly, then individually each could replace the corresponding defender who played against Watford and probably not weaken the side. It would start to stretch it if more than one was involved.

I particularly like Connolly, the youngest of the four ,very much under the radar as he's also had fewest first team minutes, about 20. Watching the clip of his goal, it was typical of him. He always seems to get into good positions when going forward and showed a calmness in the way he picked his spot with the header.

Out of all our young defenders, including Galloway and Garbutt, he's always looked the most composed going forward. That was his first goal this season , I think he got about 9 or 10 last season.

Paul Tran
29 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:25:09
Either the dressing room is as toxic as we all fear, or Koeman has a fear of playing youngsters, unless he has to.

I'd play them. Maybe a couple in the team at a time. I don't class Holgate as a youngster, he's ready right now and looks better than the defenders Koeman chooses.

And I'd promise not to come on here and criticise them if they struggle.

Would you all promise that?

Dave Williams
30 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:38:28
Paul- the current bunch are slated for lack of effort,passion and fight. These kids would give their all and would get the crowd behind them. There's always some who would criticise however and you could only hope they would lay off.
Barry Pearce
31 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:39:03
Let them be given a chance. We will only find out if there good enough if they are given game time.

Obviously you can't put too many in at once. That's not worked in the past, but intergrate one or two at a time.

Jon Withey
32 Posted 13/12/2016 at 17:57:29
At least we have a decent caretaker manager for March.
John Crawley
33 Posted 13/12/2016 at 19:36:03
It's a disgrace that Koeman isn't giving any of these lads a chance particularly after Unsworth's comments last season. Right now I'd lose no sleep if Unsworth replaced Koeman to the end of the season. I think he's got the makings of a really good manager.
Phil Roberts
34 Posted 13/12/2016 at 23:31:45
If you would like a really off-the-wall stat about age.

Take the last 35 years. What season did we have the youngest team. Not just one match, but over the whole 42/38 games?

1984-85. Average age 24 years 4½ months. Not one of that team was over 30, yes even Andy Gray was only 29½ at the end of that season.

86-87 the average was just under 26 and Paul Power was the main reason for that!

Yes, so when we won the league we won it with a young team.

For the whole of the Moyes era it never got below 27. And the team for this season has averaged 27¼.

We now regularly have 5 or 6 players aged over 30.

Paul Thompson
35 Posted 14/12/2016 at 13:01:47
I wonder whether anyone would like to revisit their "play all the kids" comments after last night's display?

Seriously, another good win by the young lads (and Niasse!). Goals are up a the OS (and YouTube). Connolly scores a lot for a defender and I thought the Charsley goal was nicely put away (the lad is a good finisher).

Anthony Dwyer
36 Posted 15/12/2016 at 00:48:01
Chris (#13).

You ask what teams play there youth players, you claim none, well I beg to differ...

Arsenal play Bellerin, Iwobi, Coquelin, and Gibbs.

Liverpool have played Stewart, Grujic, Woodburn, and Alexander-Arnold.

Man utd play Rashford.

Spurs blood players all the time, Kane, Rose, Winks and Carroll just to name a few, there's more and were a few who played and moved on, Mason to give one example of that.

Southampton finished 5th and played there fair few over the last few seasons.

Man City and Chelsea are loaded and have a bench full of players who would be super stars within our team.

Liverpool and Spurs actually play the way Koeman claims he likes to play, with a high pressing game, this is helped by using young, brave players who wear there hearts on there sleeves.

I'd agree you can't play 8 or 10, but 1 or 2 at times really freshens up a bang average side, whilst giving our fans something to shout about.

We have good youngsters, we should make use of them.

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