U23s too good for Leicester this evening

Monday, 21 September, 2020 63comments  |  Jump to last
Everton U23s 3 - 0 LEICESTER City U23s

David Unsworth's Under-23s side took on the Leicester City at Southport FC's Pure Stadium at 7 pm on Monday evening following a Merseyside derby defeat in their opening game of the season last weekend.

The visitors started the season an impressive 2-0 win at Manchester United that has put them at the top of the embryonic PL2 table.

It took a long time for Everton to take control after a goalless first half with early substitutions disrupting the Blues rhythm but Connolly finally broke the deadlock with a fine header on the hour mark.

Goals for Simms and then Bowler sealed a fine Blues win over the early PL2 leaders.

Everton U23s: Tyrer; Connolly [Y:67'], Astley [Y:26'], Ouzounidis, John (10' Iversen); Baningime, Adeniran, Onyango (88' Quirk); Bowler, Simms, Broadhead (15' Hughes).
Subs not Used: Hansen, Anderson.


Reader Comments (63)

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Mike Hayes
1 Posted 21/09/2020 at 08:31:17
I loved going to watch these games miss them as much as first team - good luck and 3 points please 💙
Derek Knox
2 Posted 21/09/2020 at 10:46:52
Just checked the link you have to become a Digital Member of Leicester City TV. Which reminds me to get on my hobby horse again, about when are we going to get ' with it ' and have a proper functional dedicated Everton TV?

I wish the lads all the best!

Kevin Prytherch
3 Posted 21/09/2020 at 13:00:14
Unfortunately I feel this could be another game full of players who should have moved beyond this level of football now.

A team with Bowler, Baningime, Adenerin, Connolly and Broadhead in it should be pulverising most U23 teams.

Phill Thompson
4 Posted 21/09/2020 at 17:54:06
Derek, yep every season I pay £30 for a pathetic service which vaguely promises u23/u18 games and fails to deliver.
The only consolation is that I’ve been a member of LCTV for a few years too, same password still works, I tried it yesterday. It’s worth signing up for and is easy to do, but do it well before the match, and you’ll get to see at least 2 U23s games each season.
Phill Thompson
5 Posted 21/09/2020 at 18:55:03

Sam Carroll
#EFCU23: Tyrer; Connolly, Astley, Ouzounidis, John; Baningime, Adeniran, Onyango; Bowler, Simms, Broadhead. A 4-3-3 on paper.
Onyango back ! Baningime is captain


Sam Carroll




#EFCU23 subs: Nico Hansen, Einar Iversen, Rhys Hughes, Joe Anderson and Seb Quirk.

Steve Ferns
6 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:06:05
Seb Quirk but no Dobbin? Dobbin didn't play for the U18s against Man City. Is he injured, Phill?
Phill Thompson
7 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:08:58
Steve, both Dobbin and Onyango picked up injuries, only Onyango back so far.
Phill Thompson
8 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:10:57
0-0 after 10 mins, Kyle John off injured Iversen on.
Phill Thompson
9 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:17:15
Broadhead inured now, Rhys Hughes on making 5 midfielders. 0-0 16 min
Phill Thompson
10 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:18:16
Bowler created chance for Simms, shot just wide of post.
Jay Wood

11 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:23:40
Harry Tyrer in goal and not Joao Virginia.

Suggests Joao will again start in goal v Fleetwood on Wednesday.

Great stream on LCFC.

Dave Abrahams
12 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:32:14
Jay (11), not having a go at the young ‘keeper, Virginia, but last week v Salford it was very noticeable, that although he had very little to do,three times he was glued to his line when crosses were coming in, then near the very end he proved he was capable of making a good catch when le leapt up, surrounded by a bunch of players and kept hold of it well.
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:45:59
I assume this is a Leicester guy commentating. If so, respect - he knows all the Everton players' names as well.
Phill Thompson
14 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:53:12
0-0 No a bad first half, Leicester have had a decent team the past few years, they were 2nd in last season behind Chelsea.

Bowler our best player so far, linking up well with Simms and unlucky with a shot that hit the post. It's good to see Onyango getting more forward than he usually does, nice to challenge them to play slightly differently.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:54:48
Jay (11), not having a go at the young ‘keeper, Virginia, but last week v Salford it was very noticeable, that although he had very little to do,three times he was glued to his line when crosses were coming in, then near the very end he proved he was capable of making a good catch when le leapt up, surrounded by a bunch of players and kept hold of it well.
Richard Mason
16 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:57:01
Yeah, Bowler and Simms probably best players for Everton. Fairly even game.

Bowler coming in off the right wing, very skilful in fairness.

Jay Wood

17 Posted 21/09/2020 at 19:57:05
Didn't see the Salford game - away on me jollies! That's quite strange Dave, because usually Joao is a much more dominant keeper, happy to get in the mix and come out for everything.

Are you watching this? Good game. Two well matched teams with the Blues just edging it. You seem to see more full-blooded tackles in these U-23 games than in the PL.

Nobody playing badly. Everton playing it nicely through midfield from the back, right down the middle on the ground, not just high and wide down the flanks.

Josh Bowler the standout for us. He may be just short of 1st team material, but he will definitely have a career somewhere. Good control. Good pace. Ability to go either side of his defender. Looks to me if he is playing with his head up more and is aware of the play around him since his loan spell to Hull last season.

Also like the look of Ouzounidis, the big Aussie at centre back. Adeniran and Onyango doing good stuff in midfield, more than Baningime possibly.

Dave Abrahams
18 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:03:16
Jay (17), not watching. I tried to get on the Leicester tv link up this morning but failed. I think, not very good at communication at this game, they wanted a mobile number to complete the stuff you need to join. I haven't got one and they wouldn't accept my landline number.

I think the people at Leicester's ground would keep a lot of Russian spies out of the country!!

Antony Kelly
19 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:13:14
Absolutely embarrassing Unsworth in his Kingdom now!! Where’s all Unsworth supporters?? What you got to say about this team... The over the hill mob strike again, development my arse!!
Brent Stephens
20 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:21:47
Over the hill mob scored first.
Robert Tressell
21 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:23:42
Anthony, I assume Unsworth has picked a few older players while we try sort out loans / sales. For the time being it might help the likes of Simms, Johns, Onyango and Astley. After a few games the younger lot will be introduced, I expect. Just a bit of early season pragmatism.
Steve Ferns
22 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:31:54
The key question is this: Do you pick 2 or 3 players and try to develop them. Artificially inflating the quality of the rest of the side by having an “over the hill mob”, with more quality than a bunch of mediocre kids.

Alternatively, we end up with a poor side of kids, with one star. Think watching Zaha for Palace. Okay, someone like Dobbin could still thrive as he can win games on his own, like Zaha. But he learns not to pass. He learns to be overly greedy. He learns to take the weight of the team on his young shoulders.

Or a Onyango could suffer because he can't pass to players as they lack the vision, movement, touch and technique and so he learns to play very simple balls instead of slide rule passes and through balls. A flying full-back becomes pegged back and can't develop the attacking side of his game.

It's all well and good wanting to develop 11 super kids, but it's not realistic. You have to develop what you can. So here are Simms, Dobbin and Onyango. Then look to others who can make it like Astley. Then plug the gaps with older players who have more quality by way of age and experience.

Brent Stephens
23 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:38:58
Great Simms goal!!
Steve Ferns
24 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:41:54
Bowler deserved his goal: 3-0.
Brent Stephens
25 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:42:00
Three-nil to the over the hill mob. Bowler. Nice through ball from Hughes.
Gerard Carey
26 Posted 21/09/2020 at 20:57:16
Our keeper looked dodgy on crosses!?
Jay Wood

27 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:13:01
'Over the hill mob?' For the Under-23s?

Tyrer - 18-years-old
Connolly - 22
Astley - 18
Ouzounidis - 20
John - 19
Baningime - 22
Adeniran - 21
Onyango - 17
Bowler - 21
Simms - 19
Broadhead - 22

Subs on:

Iversen - 19
Hughes - 19
Quirk - 18

Yeah, right.

Get rid of them immediately once they lose the nappy rash.

Really good game and performance. Very savvy and professional.

Rapid transition from defence, through midfield, into attack. The back four were well protected by the midfield. Even when the visitors got into the penalty area, the defence smothered and blocked everything. Only in the final 5 minutes did Harry in goal have any serious business to do and he did it well, 3 times.

I enjoyed that from our creaking pensioners.

Steve Ferns
28 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:17:30
Thanks for clarifying the ages Jay. I forget Connolly is still only 22. We can sell him and get at least a million, which is not chump change. Broadhead too.

Baningime needs games as he could still feasibly have a top-flight career, here or elsewhere and needs a loan to do it. To get a loan he needs U23 games to show he's got it. Again, he could earn us a few quid.

I also think Onyango will learn a lot from playing alongside Baningime, which is a bonus and you wouldn't get if he was alongside a younger player.

Brian Williams
29 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:18:39
Jay, if those ages are correct, and I trust they will be as you've posted them, it makes the "over the hill mob" comments look a bit stupid!
Phill Thompson
30 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:20:41
That was a pretty decent win; not many teams have beaten Leicester so comprehensively in recent seasons.

Pleased that Simms got his goal he's developing so well, works hard, bringing others into the game with his hold up play, great pace over 10 yards and scores goals.

Onyango had probably his best game at this level, Iversen I thought looked a better full back than John. Tyrer was hardly worked but did his bits competently when needed, and the two CBs looked good after a few shaky moments in the early minutes.

I enjoyed that.

Dennis Stevens
31 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:22:59
I'm surprised Beni's so young, he seems to have been around for ages - didn't he make his first team debut about three or four years ago?
I don't think I realised how young he was at the time.

Jay Wood

32 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:26:21
Steve, to the 14 who played tonight we could also add the following academy players who will probably be on duty for the first team at Fleetwood on Wednesday:

Virgina - 20
Nkounkou - 19
Gordon - 19

Then there is the injured Brainthwaite (18) and Gibson (20).

Pretty damn healthy, methinks.

Antony Kelly
33 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:55:24
Do you really agree that any of these players 20+ have a future at Everton?

We continue to play the majority of these veteran U23s players instead of giving the youngsters an opportunity. We bang on about development, my arse, a complete embarrassment!!!

Steve Ferns
34 Posted 21/09/2020 at 21:59:48
Antony, Joao Virginia is 20 and I think he has a massive future. Of the outfield players, Baningime could, but he needs a loan to play week in, week out, and he has to turn in match winning performances for him to then come back here and knock on the door of our first team. So yeah, not likely, but still possible. And if not possible, he should still bring in £1m to £5m, especially if he goes on loan and does well.
Jay Wood

36 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:11:49
Anthony, the U-18s played Man City on Saturday.

The first team - with in all likelihood 3 players who could have played tonight for the U-23s - play on Wednesday.

Taking those fixtures into consideration, name the team YOU would have played tonight to meet your 'development' criteria.

Robert Tressell
37 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:12:05
To satisfy my own curiosity, I just had a look at the U23 squads of the 6 richest clubs.

There are very, very few over the age of 20. Those that are 21, 22 or 23 are mostly perennial loan players, not really part of the under 23 set up.

That's probably similar to us, except we definitely have more 21 and 22 year olds.

I wasn't very scientific about this but I think their squads were generally larger too, with a few foreign imports bought in.

Christy Ring
38 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:16:22
Anthony #33...

8 of that squad are in their teens, playing for the U23s...

Am I missing something?

Steve Ferns
39 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:19:39
Robert, clubs line up to take Liverpool players on loan. They always have. Okay, Liverpool's youth team is very good and has had a real resurgence. But go back a few years and it was absolutely dire. But yet, because it's Liverpool, clubs still take their players on loan and worse (for us) they pay good money for them!

We have Beni Baningime who's played Premier League games and we could only get Wigan to loan him. It's easier for them than it is for us.

Andrew Keatley
40 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:21:05
Steve (35) - You're touting Baningime as having a possible future at Everton now are you? You wrote him off a few months back, suggesting he wasn't good enough for Wigan and nobody wanted to loan him from us. Bit of a sea-change based on, what, one Under 23s game?
Fran Mitchell
41 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:28:11
Antony, is it really something to get angry about?

Also, promoting 18-year-olds to U23 before their time may hinder their development. we need 20- to 22-year-olds to give the team experience and not have a bunch of 18-year-olds losing 2-0 every week.

Amd i'm sure many of them will soon be sent on loan, what shoudl we be doing with them in the meantime?

The club also has a duty to players, it isn't just players who have a duty to perform. We signed these lads as youngsters, made them professionals, and have a duty to serve them in their development - be it in Everton's first team or if they are not good enough, then a professional career in the lower leagues. We can't just 'sack them off'.

Everton have produced many youngsters who have developed solid careers in the lower leagues, young lads who have made professional careers in a difficult profession. And that is something to be proud of.

If we 'sacked them off' as soon as they hit 20 and showed signed of not being good enough, then what parent would entrust us with their 13-year-old son? not a youngster in the country would join our Academy.

Academy development is so much more than just making 1st team players, 1st teamers are a by-product of a fully functioning Academy – and we currently have Gordon, Kenny, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, Branthwaite, and Davies in our first team who passed through the U23s.

Long may it continue.

Steve Ferns
42 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:31:23
Andrew, I pointed out that people who thought he would walk into the team and be the player he was 2-3 years ago hadn’t seen enough of him, I was hardly saying he’s done and should be given a free transfer. We’ve seen what he could do, he just needs a good loan and maybe he can get back to where he was, and then he can think about trying to reach that early potential we all saw.

Personally, I doubt he’ll ever play for our first team again, barring a freak injury crisis. We’ve a long list of midfielders now and hopefully Beni gets that loan. I think the next midfielder from the academy will be Onyango and Beni will be pushed out of his way, unless he has a great loan and can kick on.

Robert Tressell
43 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:35:50
Steve, I agree. The quick research was just out of interest.

Unless COVID-19 plays a part, I expect all but Ouzounidis of our 20+ players will be sold or on loan before long.

That might leave us a touch light but I do think Unsworth does well building teams. And we may pick up some reinforcements too. There was talk of McKinnon of Rangers...

Kieran Kinsella
44 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:40:12
I think the 'over the hill' argument is pertinent across English U23 football.

This weekend, Dortmund, Bayern Munich and Valencia all gave debuts to 17-year-old English players who got tired of the myth of development through U18- and U23-level and, like Jadon Sancho, found immediate first-team action at Europe's best clubs.

This fantasy of 19-year-olds improving by playing alongside Connolly and Co is ill-conceived – as we saw with Dowell.

Antony Kelly
45 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:40:13
Steve, if Baningime was any good, he would be with the first team. Jesus, he could not get a game for Wigan and Virginia is a goalkeeper, he never played tonight but yes goalkeepers need longer – but let's not forget he crashed and burned at Reading...
Phill Thompson
46 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:40:14
Pointless arguments really, every season the U23s start off with players who are loaned out or moved on, last season we had Martina and Charsley playing in early games. Tonight's team was probably the youngest we've had at the start of the season since we changed from U21s.

Let's see who still here in 4 weeks time and who's been loaned/sold. Then we'll also get to see which of the exciting U18s we've got are considered good enough for the U23s beside Dobbin and Onyango.

Phill Thompson
47 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:46:36
Antony, Baningime played one game for Wigan and suffered an ankle injury. Every time he tried to come back in training it broke down again and he never played again that season. I don’t think he’s going to make it back to the first team , but he gets u fairly criticised for his loan at Wigan, even when the club published the facts.

This from the club’s site :

Baningime’s boundless energy, bite in the tackle and sharp, penetrative passes have helped set the tone for Everton’s high-octane performances and the 21-year-old believes he is nearing his best again after what he describes as a “tough period” during the 2018/19 season.

DR Congo-born Baningime spent the campaign on loan at Wigan Athletic but a persistent ankle injury restricted him to a solitary appearance for Paul Cook’s team.

“It was difficult mentally,” the youngster, whose form earned him a spot on the first-team bench for the 2-0 win over West Ham United this month, explains. “Every time I started running, my ankle would get sore again. But I did some work during the off-season and that helped a lot.

Jay Wood

48 Posted 21/09/2020 at 22:48:22
So Anthony, not willing or able to name an alternative U-23 starting XI and match day squad to the one selected tonight that would appease you and demonstrate what you expect from Unsworth and Everton?

What alternatives do we have on our books that could have been selected?

You do understand we have an obligation to fulfill our fixtures across all age groups, don't you?

Phill Thompson
49 Posted 22/09/2020 at 08:44:07
Maybe Unsworth quote about in the next few weeks loaning out the 5 older players will put the issue to bed:

"They're not here playing because we're hand-picking them," he told the Echo. "We want them to go out on loan and giving them a game in the U23s gives them a showcase to get that loan.

Antony Kelly
50 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:21:51
Ref post 47 – the club site can't even get Baningime's age right, you state 21 – he's 22. Top reporting, that!!!
Antony Kelly
51 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:25:10
Ref post 48 - Jay, nope, not willing, you do it – you're the one who suggested it!!

So these players are going to be playing all season because there are no alternatives? Well, that makes me even more depressed. We will be talking about Connolly, Broadhead, Adeniran etc for another season.

The young players at the club must be ecstatic to know their development is being blocked by Josh Bowler etc.

Great development that!!

Steve Ferns
52 Posted 22/09/2020 at 10:29:29
Antony, the club is openly looking to loan those four players. They are playing them to help secure those loans. What would you do with them, bearing in mind that they are potentially worth over £5m between them? Would you just give them free transfers all round?

Do you know Baningime is on a first-team wage and not a youth team wage, which is making it harder to loan him out unless we cover all the wages? What would you do with him?

Phill Thompson
53 Posted 22/09/2020 at 12:25:13
Antony re #50 your: “Ref post 47 – the club site can't even get Baningime's age right, you state 21, he's 22. Top reporting, that!!!”

If you read it, he's clearly talking after the “tough period 2018-19 season”, ie, before the start of the 2019-20 season, which was a year ago, when he was 21. Add on a year to the 2020-21 season and he's now 22, simple really.

Tommy Gourlay
54 Posted 22/09/2020 at 12:35:36
Is it not common for lower league clubs to try for permanent transfers before the transfer deadline, then use the later loan deadline to fill the gaps?

I wouldn't have expected the older players to have found loan deals yet, unless lower league managers are looking for temporary fixes only. (Which wouldn't please their chairmens!)

Antony Kelly
55 Posted 22/09/2020 at 13:14:34
Honestly, what on earth are you talking about? These players are tripe and they are blocking young players getting a shot, these superstars are languishing in our system, like Garbutt and Pennington did, given big contracts – whoever gave them those deals?!

Who said Baningime was the new Kante, Morgan Feeney was the new Dave Watson etc etc, it's all bullshit. Unsworth keeps older players in the squad to win...

The U23s will win the league again this season and supporters will be ecstatic, applauding its fantastic players – Broadhead, Connolly, Pennington, Adeniran, Baningime, Bowler etc etc. I say it's embarrassing!!!

Peter Gorman
56 Posted 22/09/2020 at 13:39:28
The only embarrassing thing I see are your comments, Antony. It is like you are having an argument in your own head.
Karl Meighan
57 Posted 22/09/2020 at 13:54:05
I would rather Unsworth and the club committed to trying to produce individual quality players, At the moment they seem to like building a team.

One quality prepared first-team-ready player would serve us much better than a team of Premier League 2 champions who don't challenge for first-team spots.

Kieran Kinsella
58 Posted 22/09/2020 at 13:58:28
I can see lower league clubs being more reluctant to take on new players, even on loan, now that the government have suspended the return of fans.
Kieran Kinsella
59 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:01:22

You're correct about Unsworth's hyperbole. “It's up to Mampala to see if he gets a new contract” he said six months ago, implying he had sufficient talent, when now he is gainfully unemployed.

George McKane
60 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:13:52
Very interesting article this morning by Van Der Saar on Ajax Youth Policy - worth reading.
Antony Kelly
61 Posted 22/09/2020 at 14:52:08
Ref post 52, Steve, I don't think playing the older players in the 23s will help them secure loan deals, in fact, I think it will harm them. Scouts will see how poor they are and be thinking why are these players still playing at this level?
Jay Wood

62 Posted 22/09/2020 at 15:37:31
Anthony, you have been offered various legitimate reasons for last night's U-23 selection, including:

* The fixture was played between the U-18s game on Saturday and the 1st team's game on Wednesday. Players who could feature for all three teams played either on Saturday, or will be played on Wednesday.

* Of the 14 players who featured last night there was:
1 x 17-years-old
3 x 18
4 x 19
1 x 20
2 x 21
3 x 22

For an U-23 team, that hardly constitutes an 'over-the-hill-mob' as you labelled them.

* This was just the U-23's second competitive run out since March. It's good sense to get actual game time into the legs of ALL players on your books. Further, it has been clearly stated by David Unsworth, and Marcel Brands, that they are looking to arrange loan moves for some of the players that played last night.

* Nobody is claiming or expects every player who plays for the U-23s will progress to the first team. That said, those who have done so in recent years under Unsworth's tutorship includes Mason Holgate, Jonjoe Kenny, Tom Davies, Calvert-Lewin and Anthony Gordon. They have all contributed positively to the first team, have the potential to continue to do so or, if moved on, will bring in considerable transfer fees. That's a decent return on investment.

You, by contrast, have made no legitimate riposte in explaining or defending your original claim. It most certainly doesn't befall to me to make your point for you in offering an alternative squad for last night's game as challenged, rather than persist with 'over-the-hill-mob' players who block the progress and development of other players.

Your examples of Luke Garbutt and Matthew Pennington are poor ones, given extended contracts under a very different regime to the one that exists now. Morgan Feeney, for example, was released this summer on a free.

Here is a very comprehensive historical list from TW's very own archives, season by season, of academy players that were released. It's not even a difinitive list because it doesn't list some players who didn't get a sniff of the first team, but for who we picked up transfer fees, such as Liam Walsh and Ryan Ledson.

Past Everton Academy Players

Not many, or even any, bad calls there.

All players develop at their own pace. At what age do you take the decision to cut them free?

If you, Anthony, have the ability to identify the potential stars at 17, 18, 19 that will make it to Everton's first team...

If you can guarantee the 20-, 21-, and 22-year-olds that will never make it and so need to get off the books whilst still in their teens...

Then Anthony I suggest your talents are wasted posting on TW and you should get yer arse (which you seem to be fond of referencing...) down to Finch Farm or any professional club and offer your services.

Any club will richly reward you for your unique ability.

Antony Kelly
63 Posted 22/09/2020 at 16:17:50
Let's see how many of these players get loan deals and continue to play within the U23 squad all season...

Again in my opinion these 20+ players need to be gone so our younger players can get a chance, these players are blocking younger players getting opportunities and that's a fact. Spin it anyway you want.

Broadhead embarrassing, Bowler how much we pay for him, embarrassing, Adeniran how much we pay for him, embarrassing, Connolly still there, Beningime still there and that Australian kid with the name I can't spell, he's good isn't he... Development, my arse!!!

Mike Allison
64 Posted 22/09/2020 at 17:28:59
Antony, you’ve come across so weirdly in this thread. Two questions:

1. Which players have been blocked?

2. Also, are you suggesting we just ditch players the instant they’re no use to us? Why would any promising youngsters sign for us if they see that that’s the way we treat players?

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