Everton U23s 1 - 1 Liverpool U23s
Everton Under-23s took a fine early lead inside the first minute against rivals Liverpool on Monday night, but eventually gave up an equalizer, then had a man sent off near the end.
David Unsworth's young Blues headed into the contest at Southport's Pure Stadium in 8th place in the Premier League 2 table.
In-form Everton striker Ellis Simms failed to fire the Toffees to derby success, having hit 8 goals in 11 league games so far this season. The other upcoming star to catch the eye was Neils Nkounkou at left-back.
Everton got off to a brilliant start after a great run from Nkounkou down the left wing, feeding Broadhead, and the ball finally came back to Rhys Hughes who drilled one into the far corner, past the hapless Reds keeper, to give the Blues a fine early lead!!!
After that welcome surprise start, it was pretty much one-way traffic, including an incredible escape from a dreadful backpass by Nkounlkou that put Harry Tryer in all sorts of trouble but Ryan Astley was across smartly to stop the ball from bobbling over the Everton goalline.
On a rare Everton corner, Simms ambled in at the near post and somehow missed a simple header from point-blank range. At the other end, a dangerous Liverpool free-kick on the edge of the area and Everton initially defended it until Morton drifted a looped shot over everyone, into the top corner of the Everton net.
Both sides had more chances to score in the final 10 minutes of a lively half, with Everton failing to hold on to their impressive early lead.Everton restarted the game for the second half but Everton were very careless with the ball at times and Liverpool came very close to scoring, somehow Harry Tyrer deflecting a fearsome close-range miraculously shot over the bar.
Broadhead went on a great run with the ball but ran out of steam when it came to shooting at goal. Onyango was pulled back unfairly, giving Rhys Hughes an opportunity from the set-piece but the delivery was hopeless.
Katia Kouyate came on for Kyle John after the Everton full-back had been booked, and immediately set up Hughes who sliced his shot horribly wide. Kouyate was blocked after turning his man, setting up Hughes for another set-piece effort that so nearly crept in, forcing a good save.
Kouyate then went in very recklessly and caught the Liverpool sub above the ankle with his studs, leading to a straight red card with 3 minutes left. 10-man Everton hung n through some more scares to take a point.Everton U23s: Tyrer [Y:86'], John [Y:75'] (76' Kouyate [R:87']), Nkounkou, Baningime, Ouzounidis, Astley, Iversen, Onyango, Simms, Hughes (91' Anderson), Broadhead (94' Cannon).
Subs not Used: Barrett, Hunt.
Reader Comments (69)
Note: the following content is not moderated or vetted by the site owners at the time of submission. Comments are the responsibility of the poster. Disclaimer
1 Posted 18/01/2021 at 15:30:41
2 Posted 18/01/2021 at 17:04:01
3 Posted 18/01/2021 at 17:04:41
4 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:01:30
5 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:02:27
6 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:03:01
7 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:03:28
8 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:06:05
9 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:08:52
10 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:09:56
12 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:14:19
13 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:14:59
14 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:18:37
15 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:21:19
16 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:27:57
17 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:31:49
18 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:37:18
19 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:41:12
20 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:47:01
21 Posted 18/01/2021 at 19:48:49
22 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:01:30
Its a good few levels down from the Championship.
Hes in the right place.
23 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:10:51
24 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:15:13
25 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:20:32
26 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:25:13
27 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:34:57
28 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:35:47
29 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:36:57
30 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:40:56
31 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:44:57
32 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:46:12
33 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:51:12
34 Posted 18/01/2021 at 20:54:39
35 Posted 18/01/2021 at 22:07:05
Basically, that was a home game for us, and we let them dominate the possession. Better finishing from them and we could have lost by a couple. Individual performances weren't bad, but we need to dominate and put our stamp on games more.
36 Posted 18/01/2021 at 22:40:07
Fair score at HT. Missed the first few minutes (the goal) thanks to Everton's poor system of watching games. Why can't they make it easy and just have a link from the main site?
Thought Ryan Astley and Broadhead stood out for us. Morton and the other lad in midfield for them.
Nkounkou showed some good touches but also was a bit sloppy on a couple of occasions. Ellis Simms looks good when he is played in. I thought Harry Tyrer looked a bit all over the place too.
Second half was so poor; the only update to my half time view is Nkounkou looked absolutely knackered after 65 minutes.
Other than that, the tactics were poor (Unsy and John Ebbrell) and almost none of the players looked like they were aiming to get in the first-team squad.
37 Posted 18/01/2021 at 22:43:45
I don't know which first-team games you've been watching but I've never seen that "score early, burst out of the blocks, and then sit back for the rest of game" tactic. Really?
I have seen the sublime and the ridiculous in our games but never that. I suppose perception and preconception – despite what you see and conclude – is individual depending on your mindset.
38 Posted 18/01/2021 at 23:28:48
39 Posted 18/01/2021 at 00:12:45
I too have been watching and supporting Everton since 1967 – over 50 years. Whilst having been heart-broken and elated along the way, it's in the blood.
I have always tried to look for what makes me proud to be a Blue and not look for and revel in the downs. believing the next game will affirm my faith.
And so it goes on but, above all, up or down, be truthful to what you see, and try not to use it all as an outlet for life's pain and angst.
I do not presume to tell anybody how to support their team and how to see what they think they see; it's all perception and individual.
40 Posted 19/01/2021 at 08:12:38
41 Posted 19/01/2021 at 09:12:58
Maybe better for his development to actually go to a Championship side though (maybe Derby) it certainly worked for Leon Osman back in the day when he was an up-and-coming player with promise. I think there are a few others, from watching last night's mini-derby, who could benefit from similar type loans, Broadhead and Onyango possibly.
42 Posted 19/01/2021 at 09:29:39
43 Posted 19/01/2021 at 10:13:37
44 Posted 19/01/2021 at 10:56:33
45 Posted 19/01/2021 at 11:45:48
Why not partner with a lower league team, an overseas team or simply just buy several U21 players each season and loan them back to their original clubs to develop playing real football?
Before firing bad thoughts in my direction, I'm a believer in youth teams for many reasons but often think how it could be done better from a young player's point of view.
46 Posted 19/01/2021 at 12:13:28
It worked well for 80 years until 'star' players began to refuse the perceived stigma of 'playing in the reserves ' and clubs came up with the 'Under-23s' which allowed for just the odd senior player – usually returning from injury.
They do nothing to prepare 'the kids' for football with the 'grown-ups'!
47 Posted 19/01/2021 at 12:27:20
Everton had four or five players win the under 20 World Cup a few years ago and Davies never went because he was given the summer off. Only Calvert-Lewin and Lookman were not brought through our academy out of all those World Cup winners, so it's obvious that Everton are getting something right, even if they didn't look like they'd been particularly well-coached last night, compared to their opponents.
I'd revamp everything, and I'd try and bring people like Osman and Pienaar to oversee the changes in style and technique, both of which sadly seemed to be lacking in that young Everton team last night.
48 Posted 19/01/2021 at 13:00:11
I saw an article the other day where Brands was saying he would like more ex-Blues on the coaching staff, so interesting that you name both Osman and Pienaar as ex-players you would like to see join our coaching team. But haven't we got enough ex-Blues on the coaching staff? Ferguson, Unsworth, Baines, Ebbrell and I know Jeffers was also on the coaching staff a while back. So far, having ex-Blues has hardly been a success.
Maybe we needed to appoint ex-Blues that know what it's like to win league trophies as the present lot certainly haven't done that. Now I am not saying you have to have won a league to be a coach, but maybe one or two who have would be an inspiration to our young players. I don't know if Peter Reid would want a coaching job, but maybe Trevor Stevens or Derek Mountfield or Garry Stevens could have been fast-tracked through their coaching badges if they haven't got them already.
49 Posted 19/01/2021 at 13:29:14
As soon as a player looks like first-team material (age anything from 16), the aim should be as few games as possible at U23s and as many games as poss on loan playing proper football.
Some develop later, but only when released, not in the U23s. And nice though it is to see Lundstram back in the Premier League, he's hardly one that got away.
50 Posted 19/01/2021 at 13:38:07
Was it worth it from a club's perspective?
Where are the other Evertonians in terms of career development? I know injuries and our own internal management merry-go-round may have hindered their path, but have the players made the most of their opportunities?
Could we not just have bought 2 or 3 promising 22-year-olds from Man City (for example) and given them game time and been better off both financially and squad wise?
As for coaches, playing has little impact on coaching success. Personality, teaching, planning, and a winning mentality are more important. Tim Cahil, Arteta, Rooney, Phil Neville spring to my mind. Duncan and Pienaar maybe.
51 Posted 19/01/2021 at 13:47:10
I picked Osman and Pienaar because they were more technical and especially Pienaar because he always looked like he'd been very well coached.
I'd also say football is a horrible industry for backstabbing and probably loses loads of talented people who can do without less talented people going behind their backs.
52 Posted 19/01/2021 at 14:25:43
Calvert-Lewinand Lookman were bought in. They'd played lower league football before joining us.
Kenny, Connolly and Dowell had only played U23s I think. Dowell was the biggest talent, Kenny was the captain type and Connolly the most limited.
So is it worth it?
I think it's definitely worth investing in youth. But we need much better coaching and development. Our academy has a very mediocre output.
And we should also buy up Man City etc academy players (as we did with Simms) and also talents from around the British Isles. This will be easier now the domestic transfer ban is up.
At present, there just isn't that much talent in our U23s. It's entirely possible that none of them playing last night will make it (I exclude Nkounkou as he's first team already).
The U18s is much better (and I include Thierry Small in that group).
53 Posted 19/01/2021 at 14:41:02
You are probably right that the players I mentioned would have already been involved if they were interested, although knowing Reidy, I think he would be up for a couple of days coaching a week.
I think Brands/Ancelotti have looked at the youth set up and quite rightly are moving a few up to train with the first team and the other promising youngsters are being sent out on loan.
Whether our academy is fit for purpose is certainly up for discussion, but the cost of our academy has to produce better players than they have over the last 10 years. Let's not forget, this is not like youngsters at some of the top clubs where their standards to get in their first team are a lot higher than ours.
We have for the last 14 or 15 years finished mid-table, bar an odd season, so it isn't like we are asking our academies to produce players good enough to play in a league-winning team or a team that regularly qualifies for a Champions League place.
54 Posted 19/01/2021 at 16:24:45
You're obviously very interested in the academy structure. I've read various posts of yours that call for striking up links with smaller clubs either in the UK or abroad – like Chelsea have with Vitesse Arnhem, and we seem to be establishing with Sligo Rovers. Then there's the Red Bull model, which I seem to remember you've cast admiring glances at too. And the Dortmund model of fast-tracking actively sourced young talent into the first team, which you've definitely mentioned before as something we should aim to replicate.
I mention all this because it feels like you think that the process of judging which young players will kick-on and make it in senior football is quite straightforward – and I think the exact opposite. There are outliers of course - at both ends of the spectrum – but for every Dominic Calvert-Lewin, John Stones and Mason Holgate, there are a number of equally hyped young acquisitions (Scott Spencer, Lucas Jutkiewicz, George Green, Marty Foulds, Brendan Galloway, David Henen, etc) – and injuries, attitude, off-the-field distractions, club politics, and various other factors can also prove to be insurmountable hurdles for the most talented youngsters. Do you have any experience of the ins and outs of an academy – either as a player, parent or coach?
It's not just about developing gems, it's about all manner of other things, including the local footprint of the club, which is very valuable to monitor and maintain. But I'd also say that, when you do find the odd gem, then it can save the club tens of millions of pounds having to buy a ready-made alternative. I am not at all sure of the financial implications of the academy, but when done well – as Liverpool have managed over the last few years – it can be very profitable on and off the pitch.
55 Posted 19/01/2021 at 16:55:02
I would like to see Simms go on loan. I think Broadhead needs to also, looks to have outgrown U23 football.
I still have hope for Beni and I'd love to see him catch a break with a good looking loan spell. Denis Adreniran seems to be getting game time at Wycombe.
56 Posted 19/01/2021 at 16:59:43
It is probably also the reason why the likes of Stones, Holgate and Calvert-Lewin have succeeded as they already have that experience of playing against men.
Don't know what the solution is, but we need that bridge between U23 and first team.
57 Posted 19/01/2021 at 17:17:12
Simms, who mostly lived off scraps, at least showed a real willingness to run, but it was very disappointing to see that this is all's we seem to have below the first-team squad.
58 Posted 19/01/2021 at 17:23:57
But I'm not trying to assess the players as such, I'm letting the club do that. And if the club thinks a player might make it, he will be in the first team squad by age 18 / 19.
Those who aren't, don't make it.
The academy players who made it are, in recent-ish memory: Ball, Dunne, Jeffers, Rodwell, Rooney, Barkley, Davies, Osman and Hibbert, Gordon and Kenny. All apart from Osman debuted as precocious teenagers. He had injuries and kicked on after loans at Carlisle and Derby, I think. Dowell might have been a shade older too, but was being sent to develop at Nottm Forest, Sheffield Utd and Derby.
This is true for Stones, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, Lookman and Branthwaite who we bought in.
Connolly, Foulds and Feeney, for example, are good players but were nowhere near first team at 18, 19, 20 etc. The club knew they weren't going to make it.
You can, of course, rise back up the leagues (Lundstram). And you can still fail having made the grade (Cadamarteri, Galloway).
But generally 18, 19 is the time to shine.
59 Posted 19/01/2021 at 17:58:10
Unsworth, in the games I've watched over the last few years, tends to set up his teams to scrap, to be far too defensive, and puts faith in a long punt up-field, hoping for Simms or his predecessor, the Scottish lad whose name escapes me, fighting on scraps. On the odd occasion when they've played Gordon, and Broadhead bring some class to the game.
How Unsworth has become Director of the Academy defeats me totally, and until last week, I had faith in Brands clearing the deadwood coaches out of the Academy set-up once Kenwright has gone and with it his "Everton Family Way". But now Brands is calling for ex-players to re-join or those there now (Coleman?) to stay and help.
Identify lads at 17, ship them out on loan at 18 and bring them back at 20, like the Chelsea model with Mount, Abrahams, Reece etc or get the Academy to a level where youngsters are coached good enough to get them in the first team at 19-20 like Man Utd with Rashford, Greenwood, McTominay etc.
60 Posted 19/01/2021 at 18:22:54
When you look at our current first-team squad, only Davies is playing regularly from the youth system. Seems to me we would be better partnering with lower league clubs. Perhaps trading the likes of Besic, Bolasie, Tosun and any other players on the fringe. Even by way of we pay their wage in lieu of a transfer fee.
I'm not Unsworth's greatest fan. I cant see young players being overly impressed at his CV. Maybe Brands was hinting at getting more technical players back to help coach the kids.
61 Posted 19/01/2021 at 19:04:00
62 Posted 19/01/2021 at 19:11:22
In the past, John Stones was sold for over £40M profit, Barkley £15M plus up to £2M here and there for players like Antonee Robinson, Joe Williams and Liam Walsh, I think this shows there is money to be made if it is run properly, despite the profits shown.
I think it could and should be much better run and the coaching staff should be revaluated and changed, the quicker the better for the young lads who go there to learn to become better players by the education they receive, I don't think that football education is good enough at the present.
63 Posted 19/01/2021 at 19:29:56
He continues playing older players and setting up defensively. When he wins, his mates in the Echo shout about it... and when he loses, they don't write a thing, full stop.
64 Posted 19/01/2021 at 19:37:13
I'm older now, but I've always felt a little bit bemused by a system that very rarely throws out anything even that little bit remotely different.
Interesting point about the age that players have got to be really pushing on, Robert, and I wonder if this is down to the physical and competitive nature of the English game?
65 Posted 19/01/2021 at 19:42:28
66 Posted 19/01/2021 at 20:11:23
67 Posted 19/01/2021 at 20:43:38
I watched many young Everton players at the Milk Cup The best player I ever saw there, by a million miles was Franny Jeffers. I would hope and expect that he has plenty to offer. How not to do the wrong thing is a pretty good skill to pass on.
68 Posted 19/01/2021 at 20:58:43
Best coaching you can give to any kid, is to let them just go out and play, dont overload them, especially with pressure, and give them the confidence to express themselves, and the belief that they always learn more from their mistakes, instead of the fear, of making a mistake, which can stop them really expressing themselves!
69 Posted 19/01/2021 at 22:33:42
Let's face it, without football or sport in general and little else to focus on, many kids have little or no opportunities to get off the streets, earn a decent living, and live on the right side of the tracks.
I was just thinking of possible consequences of Covid-19 over the next few year's for some clubs and prospects.
My view on our U23s is Unsworth has done a good job of bringing a winning team mentality but at the cost of actually developing and improving individual players' skill-sets.
We appear to have stopped producing technically gifted players, ie, forwards and attacking flair players. Dowell being an exception that we couldn't fit in.
I hoped Brands would change and improve this (maybe at U18 he has) but we don't play to a set club style or standard formation like what Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City do.
Our best young players are brought in from elsewhere. I've no issue with that but it makes me wonder why Tranmere, for instance, don't simply pick up our youngsters and do away with their own academy. Not that I would want them too... just a thought.
70 Posted 20/01/2021 at 06:15:54
I am not a fan of Unsworth and thought he is more interested in developing his personnel fiefdom, rather than developing first-team players, though Brands has tried to move him sideways in the structure.
Brands on the Board is a mixed metaphor.
Add Your Comments
In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.
Or Sign up as a ToffeeWeb Member — it's free, takes just a few minutes and will allow you to post your comments on articles and Talking Points submissions across the site.