Everton U23s defeat West Ham in PL2

Monday, 14 December, 2020 34comments  |  Jump to last
Everton U23s 2 - 1 West Ham Utd U23s

Everton U23s v West Ham Utd.... KO 7 pm at Haig Avenue, Southport.

And live coverage of the game is available on YouTube:

A couple of somewhat scrappy goals from Small and Simms gave Everton the early advantage but the early lead was answered in fine style with a wonderful goal from Appiah-Forson that beat Virginia to fly into the top corner of the net after 25 minutes.

Everton remained in control through to half-time but the second half was one of attritional onslaught from the Hammers, who attacked relentlessly without getting the clear-cut chances they needed to reverse the scoreline. The Blues held on with some resolute defensive play but they could not keep the ball when they did break, starving Ellis Simms who was ploughing a lone furrow up-front for the Blues.

Everton U23s: Virginia, Baningime, Astley, Branthwaite, Small (75'Hunt), Pennington, Onyango, Hughes (84' Jagne [Y:85']), Iversen, Simms, Kouyate (62' Anderson [Y:65']).
Subs not Used: Tyrer, Ouzounidis.


Reader Comments (34)

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Michael Kenrick
1 Posted 14/12/2020 at 18:55:52
Snodin on comms... I just can't listen to him. It's like a continuous stream of football cliches I must have heard a thousand times.

Come on, lads, Branthwaite, Small, Simms... must be staking a claim? Err... no, not with our Carlo, I don't believe so.

Nice full beard on Unsie. No doubt that will attract more ire from his ardent critics on here.

Brent Stephens
2 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:07:02
Thierry Small goal. Very good build up.
Patrick McFarlane
3 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:10:11
Yes, Brent, a very accomplished finish by the young lad too.
Brent Stephens
4 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:19:14
Some people call for Simms to be given a chance with the first team but he has to be showing more than this.

Now watch him score!

Brent Stephens
5 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:20:38
And Simms scores!! What do I know?!
Dave Williams
6 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:22:53
Is Small looking anywhere near the first team, Brent?
Brent Stephens
7 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:23:52
Dave, first time I've watched him tonight but he's had a good start. Looks quick and strong.
Brent Stephens
8 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:26:42
An Astley slip leads indirectly to a goal for WHU.
Phill Thompson
9 Posted 14/12/2020 at 19:40:46
Small was training with the first team last week before Chelsea game. He had one decent run from the left side in training. I think Carlo needed another left-back to make up the numbers, Nkounkou was left-back on the other team.

I suspect they only released the bits of training that showed Small and Nkounkou as left-backs to fool Chelsea!!

Brian Murray
10 Posted 14/12/2020 at 20:07:55
Simms needs to at least be picked before that Turkish QE2 donkey. Nothing to lose, everything to gain, and maybe save millions.

C'mon, Carlo, be brave.

Robert Tressell
11 Posted 14/12/2020 at 20:10:53
From what I can see, we've got some promise but the one player who looks very (almost too) comfortable at this level is Branthwaite. Small is dynamic and plays like a young Ashley Cole but he needs to get used to the step up. Simms is a big unit and a good finisher. Like a lot of strikers, he's a bit anonymous without service. But using his body well in both boxes.

I've generally felt he might benefit from a full season at U23s but January might be a good time for a loan. Kouyate looks lively but very raw. What isn't quite gelling is the midfield. Some nice touches but no real control of the ball or the game. Baningime is miles off the player who looked a prospect some years ago.

Andrew Keatley
12 Posted 14/12/2020 at 21:01:22
Brian (10),

I reckon Simms looks like he is still a long way short of being ready to make the step up to the first team. The problem for young players who are so physically dominant of their peers is that they can rely on their physicality to give them the advantage.

Simms scored freely at Under-18s, when he was literally head and shoulders above some of his opponents, but at Under-23 level, he has already lost much of that advantage; unless he shows a newfound focus, determination and application, then he will struggle to transition up to the first-team squad – and he may be another young prospect who peaked in junior football.

I agree with Robert above about Branthwaite – he is very ready to play regular first-team football out on loan, probably in the Championship but ideally wherever he will be a regular first choice.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 14/12/2020 at 21:05:00
That was 90 minutes I'll never get back, a tedious boring annoying game. No plan rhythm or style to the Everton game.

I felt sorry for Simms, he's miles away from the first team, but how can he impress playing up front on his own like that?

No player could enjoy playing in that team, they looked like they didn't know each. Branthwaite is wasted playing in that league, he just coasted through the game, looked very good but out of place not getting tested.

It was a very young team and it showed. West Ham deserved more from the game, did most of the attacking in the second half. Everton were very disappointing. I won't have a go at young players but there was very, very little to praise either.

Jay Harris
14 Posted 14/12/2020 at 21:09:17
Only caught the last 5 minutes unfortunately but surprised to see Nkounkou not even getting a runout. Was it Small who scored the second goal?
Brian Murray
15 Posted 14/12/2020 at 21:27:24
I'm afraid needs must. If Simms and / or Onyango etc are good enough but a bit raw, well, once again, I ask the question of snowflakes like Gomes and Sigurdsson: Would it really enhance or weaken us? Anyway, I'm sure Carlo is on it.
Brent Stephens
16 Posted 14/12/2020 at 21:30:48
Jay, Small the first, Simms the second.

I can't see Simms getting time on the first team bench yet. Having said that, leaving him to plough a lonely furrow up front does him no favours. Also, too early for Onyango I'd guess.

Don Alexander
17 Posted 14/12/2020 at 21:32:31
I don't really watch U23 football but there was little to enjoy from us tonight. It was good to see some pace here and there though and Virginia did nowt wrong, making an excellent save from just inside the box late on, but why oh why are we so bereft of personal enterprise when in possession, unable to retain the ball, pass to a team-mate in attacking, or hardly working their goaly or defence?

Unsy's interview shown at half-time was maybe informative, him going on and on about developing youngsters "in the Everton Way" and then name-checking Ebbrell and Jeffers as part of that development team. Hmm?

They were all in short pants the last time Everton played in a Way I aspire to, not almost always mid-table or worse as we have been during and since they played for us.

Robert Tressell
18 Posted 14/12/2020 at 21:42:03
Simms might do well in senior football, although the Premier League is probably a step too far now. He just needs crosses and balls to run on to and he will score. However, to succeed with us he'll need more quality.

There was a point in the game where Branthwaite dwelled on the ball for a moment and then turned back and played an easy ball. Commentary team said he was shouting at Simms for some movement.

He might need the challenge of league football (and associated rollickings) to get into better habits because he's not a natural. Shame we're not in the Europa League as it's a good chance to play lads like Simms when it gets to the dead rubbers.

Phill Thompson
19 Posted 14/12/2020 at 22:19:06
Yeah, Simms needs a loan in January. To be fair to the coaches, they've worked hard on all aspects of his play; now he needs to be out there not only playing against men but getting dropped if he's not performing. Then he will need to fight to keep his place; at the moment he puts away 50% of his chances so scores goals, he won't get so many chances in the Championship or League One.
Jay Harris
20 Posted 15/12/2020 at 04:27:19
Thanks Brent. I thought he took his chance well and if that kid's only 16 – he has a very bright future in front of him subject to the usual caveats.
Sam Hoare
21 Posted 15/12/2020 at 07:28:36
Watched the second half only and was pretty disappointed, we gave the ball away cheaply pretty much the entire game and struggled to string more than a few passes together.

That being said we defended pretty well.

The standouts were Lewis (?) and ex toffee Holland for West Ham and also Branthwaite for us who read the game very well and passed the ball out of defence very well too. In about 3 years time him, Godfrey and Holgate might make quite a formidable back 3.

Simms was feeding off scraps but didn't work hard enough to my eyes, used to watching Calvert-Lewin strain every sinew and I was a bit underwhelmed by Onyango who lost headers to and challenges with shorter and smaller opponents, seemed a bit lacking in desire/strength. But they are young lads and am not sure how much we/they can learn from U23 matches. Will be interesting to see who goes on loan next month and how they do.

Richard Nelson
22 Posted 15/12/2020 at 07:59:28
I watched the U23s last night... just like the 1st team: weak & rudderless. Only Branthwaite looked half-decent...!
Peter Gorman
23 Posted 15/12/2020 at 08:38:13
Like others, I caught the second half and there was nothing impressive to see except Branthwaite.

I was hoping too see Onyango provide some quality but it did seem to be treated as just another fixture when the lads need to understand that they are always on an audition.

Dave @13, that's probably the most scathing thing you've ever written about the youth players, so if you can't see a plan then I'm concerned.

Derek Thomas
24 Posted 15/12/2020 at 08:47:24
2 stand out players for me, Branthwaite and the W. Ham goalscorer No.4
Dave Abrahams
25 Posted 15/12/2020 at 09:37:52
Peter(23), yes I have loved going to Goodison and watching all the teams, youth, reserves and first team over many years, the youth team from 1955/ 56 with Derek Temple up against the boy giant Duncan Edwards, and seen some great players come through from Everton and opposition players, and you knew in lots of cases, from first glance that you would see and hear a lot more of them.

In all cases it was praise loudly and criticise with a whisper, that is why I never had a go at any individual player from last nights game especially as some of them were very young and possibly still at school, so they have plenty of time to improve and lots of lads are late developers. Some players in the first team are still developing at 28, 29, and thirty, I think their bus has well gone past their stop!!!

Tony Waring
26 Posted 15/12/2020 at 09:38:16
I read in the BBC footy ection that Baern and Arsenal are
interested in Small. Seems he is only 16 years old can that be true ?
Richard Nelson
27 Posted 15/12/2020 at 12:50:38
...Used to love following home grown talent coming through the ranks...Colin Harvey, Joe Royle, Jimmy Husband, Tommy Wright, John Hurst & many
more...+ recently Wayne Rooney & Ross Barkley but, after watching that turgid display last night, of the latest over hyped talent, there's absolutely nothing coming through...what's happened...?
Martin Berry
28 Posted 15/12/2020 at 12:50:58
I was very interested to read an article in the Echo where DCL was commenting on the quickest players at Everton, young Branthwaite was included alongside Godfrey.
You don't get many centre backs with exceptional pace but Branthwaite appears to have it , add this to his already impressive frame and height and we could have an absolute outstanding future player.
As previous mentioned by a poster alongside Holgate and Godfrey we have a potentially superb future in the defensive areas.
As for Small he is going to be huge, just give the lad time.
Remember the "naysayers" who were having a go at DCL before he was given time to blossom.
Patience is required.
Phill Thompson
29 Posted 15/12/2020 at 13:01:10
Tony#26, it’s because Small is only 16 that these rumours are always around. He can’t be signed on a pro contract until he’s 17 so there’s always speculation when a 16 year old shows promise, Bayern, Arsensal, Juventus are the usual suspects mentioned just about every time. We’d only get a small development fee for him, but it looks like we’ve done all the right things lately for him, two starts at u23, and training with the first team.

Peter Gorman
30 Posted 15/12/2020 at 13:35:59
I'd temper expectations of Small for the time being - yes he is very skillful, clearly unafraid of going forward, but we've yet to see if he can consistently provide end product. No idea if he'll be the next Bale or Bolasie.
Robert Tressell
31 Posted 15/12/2020 at 13:47:36
I am sure I read somewhere that we took Small from West Brom at some point. Not sure if that is true or even makes sense. I imagine quite a few clubs will be looking at him because he has all the right attributes and he's not yet on a pro contract. An Ashley Cole in the making perhaps
Brent Stephens
32 Posted 15/12/2020 at 13:49:22
WBA it was, Robert.
Phill Thompson
33 Posted 15/12/2020 at 14:30:53
It was interesting that when Joe Anderson came on to play left back Small was moved into left mid for a short spell, that’s the kind of development I like to see, try different things for our youngsters. I’d imagine the goal given away will be well analysed, Small and arguably Branthwaite were out of position, who was communicating with whom etc, great learning experiences for both. Small has proved himself going forward, I think that’s his fourth goal this season, 3 at u18, clearly a bit more defensive experience and work needed but heh, he’s 16.
Justin Doone
34 Posted 16/12/2020 at 19:08:00
We need to give the youngster's time to develop but also ensure there happines with regular football.

I think a loan in league 2 is better than reserve football for those over a certain age or that have gained and proven themselves against other teenagers.

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