Promising Everton Under-23s striker, Ellis Simms, has joined League One Blackpool on loan for the remainder of their 2020-21 season.
On the books at Everton since the age of 16 after he had been released from Manchester City's academy, the 20-year-old is one of the leading goalscorers in Premier League 2 this season, having hit 8 goals in 12 games for the Toffees' U23s side.
That follows a pattern of impressive form in front of goal throughout his career in Everton's academy. He scored 8 goals in 15 league games in 2019-20 having racked up 32 in 21 matches for the Under-18s the previous year, taking his overall tally to 46 in all competitions during the 2018-19 season.
Former Blackpool player Keith Southern, now working at Finch Farm, said of the Oldham-born player: “I worked with Ellis alongside the other Under-18s staff around a year or so ago now ... and he's a talented boy.
“I was delighted when the news was confirmed today that he was signing for Blackpool on loan.
“I think it's a really good fit. I know Everton do their due diligence in terms of clubs available to certain players and I think there was a lot of interest in Ellis, but Everton obviously feel that the chances created and the environment that Neil Critchley has in place at the club will allow Ellis to go and excel.”
Simms has been on the fringes of Everton's senior squad for the past year, making the substitutes' bench on a couple of occasions while also coming on in a pre-season friendly win over Preston last summer.
He could make his debut for the Seasiders in the FA Cup this weekend when Blackpool travel to Brighton.
Reader Comments (149)
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 20/01/2021 at 11:20:53
GET SOMEONE IN!!
2 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:29:03
3 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:31:59
I wonder if it also means the Zirkzee loan will now be concluded?
4 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:42:32
5 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:48:03
6 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:50:29
Make it work out, lad! Come back a tower of strength. Set GP alight.
7 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:51:44
I hope he gets playing time, only then will we know what type of player we may have on our hands.
Good luck to the fellow.
8 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:54:05
Zirkzee looks like a Simms-style big unit goal scorer, but is it just like for like? I must admit I thought Zirkzee looked great on his YouTube show reel but then so did Sandro.
9 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:55:25
With Covid restrictions changing by the day, ie no flights in or out etc. The price being quoted for Josh ( we can call him that now he will soon be one of us) should be brought forward, it's not like a massive fee and Bernard type weekly wages being saved.
'He who hesitates is lost' applies here, as opposed to 'look before you leap'. Funny how most proverbs have an equal and opposite, as in Physics, related to forces!
10 Posted 20/01/2021 at 11:59:38
11 Posted 20/01/2021 at 12:02:32
Could work out well for him and give us pointers whether he can step up. I have to admit, from what I've seen, yes - given the opportunity he can finish. But outside of that, he doesn't offer a lot to the team as the likes of DCL does.
Everton put up a training video in which Ellis features with 1st teamers and other academy players in a shooting exercise.
Sorry, but he was crap! Andre Gomes - unlike on the pitch for the first team - was deadly. Here's the video.
12 Posted 20/01/2021 at 12:26:40
13 Posted 20/01/2021 at 12:47:00
As for Simms, seems a logical move. If Blackpool string a couple of wins together (winning their 2 games in hand) they will be up there challenging for play-offs, they are equally close to relegation positions, 6 points from safety but winning the games in hand should put them far out of danger. Either way, there will be pressure to perform.
I remember a young Defoe making his name at a then division 2 Bournemouth on loan, scoring 10 goals in as many games or something like it. He then stepped up at West Ham the next season. So if Simms can hit the ground running and get the taste for goals, it could well be the making of him or he might find his level and join them permanently for 200k in 3 years time.
14 Posted 20/01/2021 at 13:19:17
15 Posted 20/01/2021 at 13:29:54
16 Posted 20/01/2021 at 13:35:48
Watching the under 23s the other night none of them are anywhere near to challenging for a first team place.
Loans may bring one or two of them on. Under 23 games wont do that in my opinion.
17 Posted 20/01/2021 at 13:40:02
I confess to not have watched much of the U23s but do follow peoples comments and a lot rate this one.
From what I have seen, Blackpool and competitive football will be good for his development.
18 Posted 20/01/2021 at 13:42:47
His contract is up in June so I hope this isnt a “ Right lad find yourself another club” type loan, he needs a couple of years further development and is well worth another contract. And no shouts of “ anothers Pennington!!” please.
19 Posted 20/01/2021 at 13:51:28
In addition Southampton are probably playing better than they have done for a long time, and at this moment in time sit just 3 points below us. I doubt whether they would even consider us, as being a close rival, should we even put in a bid for him.
20 Posted 20/01/2021 at 14:01:58
Keep them here to develop and grow under the watchful eye of Don Carlo
21 Posted 20/01/2021 at 14:18:52
22 Posted 20/01/2021 at 14:20:36
The True Believers can be guaranteed to come out with Seamus Coleman and Lean Osman as proof positive that the lower-league loan is the perfect pathway for the up-and-coming Everton U23 player looking to advance themselves, with all the cliched benefits of professional competition, experience, etc. Yeah, just how many times have we heard that?
Well, I can give two equally contrasting examples: Rooney and Hibbert, who prove otherwise – that staying in-house, paying your dues, and working your way up into the top team, as quickly or as slowly as it takes, is the Everton Way.
The truth is, neither path carries any guarantees... in fact, based on history alone, the odds are all stacked against him because so few make it through before they are tossed aside – loan or no loan. But that means there are far far more who have gone out on loan and failed than have gone out on loan and made a name for themselves.
But I guess that's not what anyone wants to hear!
23 Posted 20/01/2021 at 14:37:03
Stan Collymore has been advocating going back to full-on reserve league where first-team players not playing regularly mix with younger players.
Might be worth considering?
24 Posted 20/01/2021 at 14:52:10
25 Posted 20/01/2021 at 14:52:36
Rooney didn't need a loan because he was a very physically strong 16 year old with more talent and football nous than seasoned professionals.
Hibbert didn't need a loan because there was no-one better in the first team to block his path. Similarly Jeffers and Rodwell, both more talented than Hibbert also.
Simms, if not a success at Blackpool, is very unlikely to be a success with us. It's in the balance for him. He can do U23s football but he's not an exceptional talent (like Rooney & Jeffers, say). Proper football will be a really big test for him.
Branthwaite looks exceptional already, and needs some game time to stop stagnating. There are too many established players ahead of him in the queue. However, with a couple of successful loans he could be first choice in, say, 2 years.
It's all about finding the best route to the first team. In exceptional cases it will be direct from the academy (eg Foden, Greenwood, Rashford standard players). In other cases it will be having matured through the loan system.
26 Posted 20/01/2021 at 14:52:45
Another point. Looking at most of the top young players in the Prem who have broken through over the last few seasons. Common denominator? They have all been out on loan.
We know it's a system that works. Important thing is game time for young players. The higher the standard, the faster they develop surely.
27 Posted 20/01/2021 at 15:10:27
28 Posted 20/01/2021 at 15:22:34
29 Posted 20/01/2021 at 15:29:23
#22 - Michael Kenrick - stay in-house
The choice is ours to make, but having watched the Under 23's the other night, none of them were knocking on the first team door including our young Dutch left-back.
30 Posted 20/01/2021 at 15:32:01
31 Posted 20/01/2021 at 15:37:48
That was my take on the team performance to.
32 Posted 20/01/2021 at 15:43:42
Whatever level you played at I thin once you hit about 19 you learnt a lot more playing against grown men.
It would also be more entertaining to watch and keep the squad players match fit! I cant think of many negatives really?
With all due respect to the lads playing on Monday I cant see many knocking on the first team door but if the best 5 were to be playing regularly with first team men Im sure theyd progress quicker!
33 Posted 20/01/2021 at 16:04:03
The halfway house right now is the Championship and League One.
To get to the halfway house is the biggest difficulty and it does necessitate going out on loan to a lower league team IMO but that has a couple of problems. Those teams rely on quite a few old heads for survival and therefore will be reluctant to play "kids" regularly and secondly the standard of football is not that great.
There has to be a better way of developing promising talent to Premier League standard and the academies have improved exponentially since I was playing when you normally played for Liverpool boys and then Chester, Southport, Tranmere or South Liverpool in the hopes of being spotted by a scout.
Top teams didn't have the layers of U23, U18, U16 and so on then so it was easier to concentrate on a smaller pool of kids and develop them.
I don't know the answer but something has to be done to better bridge the gap between talented kids and making it in the Premier League.
35 Posted 20/01/2021 at 16:07:03
“Simms, if not a success at Blackpool, is very unlikely to be a success with us.”
But what would make him a success at Blackpool? Goals? Regular starts? What is the best metric to judge his time at Blackpool, and his future prospects with Everton? Hard to know – but many players have found their first loan spell to be more difficult than they hoped, and have only really found their feet in subsequent loan moves – or when given first-team chances; Harry Kane (though admittedly very young at the time) didn't exactly prove to be a future superstar when he spent 6 months on loan at Leyton Orient, and later loan spells were also a bit hit and miss – to the point that his eventual breakthrough at Spurs was a surprise.
As far as I am concerned, if the loan spell at Blackpool provides Simms with some useful experience, and makes him more equipped to be a meaningful part of the first-team squad next season – or to take on another loan next season ideally at a higher level – then it will have been time well spent.
36 Posted 20/01/2021 at 16:17:01
But why wouldn't we get behind a 20-year-old who came from our Academy? I'm rooting for him and, if it comes to realism defeating my optimism and he crashes, then so be it.
After watching Blackburn and Branthwaite last Saturday, I'm not sure how many Blackpool matches I can take but eh, I'll give it a try. Go Ellis!!!
37 Posted 20/01/2021 at 16:27:45
I've been advocating a proper reserve league for years. In Moyes's time, he spoke in favour of it too. Matches to be played at the home grounds in front of a few thousand fans (in normal times). I imagine with our local support we could fill one stand easily.
The Under-23s isn't working in my opinion. Simms going out on loan is good but he's 20, not a kid anymore. He and Beni and maybe others should be in the first-team squad by now.
38 Posted 20/01/2021 at 16:29:36
[SPOILER ALERT] Calvert-Lewin looks absolutely hopeless against a Dutch enigma whose name I forget, but the rest as they say, is history.
39 Posted 20/01/2021 at 16:37:36
But if he just doesn't look up to the playing standards of Third Tier football then it really is unlikely he'd make it in the upper echelons of the Premier League.
For info, Harry Kane was 18 when he went to Orient, 19 at Millwall and 20 when at Leicester and Norwich. He was patchy in terms of goals - no idea how he developed as a footballer.
40 Posted 20/01/2021 at 17:30:19
41 Posted 20/01/2021 at 18:17:32
Some game time in the first team, even just off the bench, might have given us a better idea of what he is capable of.
42 Posted 20/01/2021 at 18:20:25
We still need to sign a striker now, Tosun is our only other striker and he's not good enough for the Premier League, especially with Calvert-Lewin injured.
Playing two midfielders as against Wolves, even though it was a massive result, is not the answer.
43 Posted 20/01/2021 at 18:42:53
Ancelotti must have a big say when it comes to loaning players. Many screamed for Gordon to get a game. He looked unprepared when his chance came. None will come back technically better players but they will have learned a bit more about the game.
44 Posted 20/01/2021 at 18:44:36
Simms will get match experience in a pressured environment. It can only make him stronger, whether that's with us or another club if he does only have 6 months left on his contract.
45 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:00:29
A question for someone who knows, how came Liverpool got to play Villa's U23s in the FA Cup, but the same rule didn't apply for the Everton Premier League match?
46 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:15:04
47 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:19:26
48 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:26:18
49 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:37:46
It's a modern era thing. Another non-Everton example; David Beckham. That wasn't Ferguson getting rid of him, it was managing his career.
50 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:44:57
Villa Vs Liverpool was in the FA Cup. So firstly, different governing body. But principally, it came down to either forfeiting the game, or playing with u23s and u18s. The FA Cup game had to be played, it couldn't be delayed and played at a later date as the 5th round is this coming weekend.
Premier League games can be more easily reorganized.
Simple really. Not A Conspiracy.
51 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:45:53
Echo a few other comments the young lads need to get out on loan earlier. 20 is leaving it pretty late.
52 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:57:07
Ellis Simms is not good enough for Everton, he will be lucky to hold down a starting position in Blackpool.
Just like all the rest of the overhyped players Unsworth has touted as top top players, do I need to mention them all! Jesus, that would be a long list... but good luck to the lad, I wish him well.
53 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:57:38
Good luck to Simms, because he looked like he might be ready to go and do okay in League One. I hope he does well and enjoys the experience.
55 Posted 20/01/2021 at 19:59:55
If the Premier League remains the global elite, and we want to compete at the tip end, we'll predominantly have to buy players and get the very occasional academy product (who will often have been bought relatively recently, like Calvert-Lewin).
It would be interesting to know whether the academy funds itself off player sales to smaller clubs – I imagine other big clubs' academies do.
56 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:12:03
Maybe the academies are not competitive enough, and the kids are spoilt, and treated with kid gloves, and when they are finally sent on loan into the men's league, it is to much of a culture shock for them?
Beni Baningime looked decent when he first played in our first team, but he's had a couple of bad loan moves, and it seems to have sent him backwards, because he never played with much “desire” the other night, and this is such a key element.
57 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:15:47
I've been talent spotting.
58 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:16:32
59 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:18:57
Simms has just turned 20.
At the same age, Ollie Watkins was at Exeter in League Two, scoring 8 goals in a season.
At the same age, Jamie Vardy was at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
At the same age, Harry Kane scored 2 goals in 13 Championship games for Leicester.
At the same age, Mohammed Salah was playing for Basel scoring just 9 goals in the Swiss League in almost 50 games.
At the same age, Aubamayang was a journeyman loanee from Milan, at Saint Etienne.
At the same age, Danny Ings was making the move from League One Bournemouth to Championship Burnley.
But yeah, if you ain't a top Premier League player by the time you're 20, may as well just hang up your boots.
60 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:26:40
Beni's a good example of the uncertainty. Was he simply not as good as he looked in those dozen first-team games three years ago? Did the ankle injury sidetrack his confidence? Did he not have the drive? Or did making a half-million pounds a year as a teenager just seem like enough?
Whatever the reason, it's clear he won't make it. And as you, Phill and Mark Rankin all said in different ways above, most promising youngsters don't. That last rung on the ladder is just too high a stretch for all but the special few.
61 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:36:48
There's numerous players who don't start making it at the top level until well into their 20s. Look up Drogba, Gueye, Lingard (probably a bad example now), Trippier, Matic etc.
62 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:41:19
Hes got the desire and will but this and the drive to work hard and improve could be the making of him, or like any other youngster, he could regress.
As has been said on TW, the restructuring of reserve football from the Central League to tiered age groups has not brought many good players through the Everton ranks.
I reckon now that getting out on loan here in the UK or abroad can provide invaluable experience for young players.
Good luck Ellis, I hope you do very well at Blackpool.
63 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:49:16
And Tosun is so much better than Simms!!!! What a waste.
64 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:49:38
65 Posted 20/01/2021 at 20:50:28
66 Posted 20/01/2021 at 21:01:19
I remover Eamon's goal v Soton in an FA Cup replay at Goodison, and that was the first time I got on to the pitch at a Goodison with many others.
Forty years, scary, but good times then and since, but exceedingly frustrating but enlightening in the book of life as an Evertonian.
67 Posted 20/01/2021 at 21:05:28
What I will say is, Simms will not play centre-forward at Everton. He may find a level but it won't be in the Premier League.
69 Posted 20/01/2021 at 21:54:38
Although yes, it was a long time ago and, like Vardy, both scored a hatful, particularly Ian Wright who was one of the best.
70 Posted 20/01/2021 at 22:04:54
Aside from the odd freak like Rooney, it is very difficult to predict if players will make it and all develop or suddenly click at different ages. Not an academy product, but Seamus Coleman is a good example.
71 Posted 20/01/2021 at 22:18:38
73 Posted 20/01/2021 at 22:30:54
Whether Simms will be or not I can't say, I haven't watched him play and know little about him. I was just contradicting your affirmation that 20 years of age is enough to judge whether a player will be good enough or not.
74 Posted 20/01/2021 at 22:32:33
75 Posted 20/01/2021 at 22:40:29
As you allude to, they grow up in a protected "bubble". They are detached from the realities of life and live with an air of entitlement so don't know how to fight for it. When it comes to the moment they have to compete to get into a first team with players from other parts of the world or from less privileged backgrounds in a footballing sense, their mentality is found wanting.
I am probably massively over stereotyping but our academy system just seems wrong. It seems wrapped up in its own cotton wool and they only play each other. I had it on good word from a coach at Watford that the general aim is to identify one player who can possibly make it. Surround them with the best players in the area who they know won't, but will support that players development. Those kids get false hope but ultimately get spat out of the system once they have served their purpose.
To the point of losing players at such a young age. Having grown up in the elite bubble, if they don't make it, many simply drop out of the game as they are disillusioned or don't have a desire to drop down to the trenches and start again in lesser surroundings.
We just seem to get it so wrong in comparison to the likes of Holland and Germany. I don't know if still the case as my years are growing, but in those countries, under the age of 14, the youth teams used to play in the local leagues, not in a closed shop elite academy bubble. So there was an element of reality to their footballing life whilst still knowing they were representing a professional club.
Apologies for the long winded response. Subject close to my heart as a player / coach of the beautiful game at my own level.
76 Posted 20/01/2021 at 23:09:58
But I'm guessing. I haven't heard Carlo comment on Simms.
77 Posted 20/01/2021 at 23:20:30
78 Posted 20/01/2021 at 23:32:16
Wake up, man, for some reason, people are posting of examples of players progressing up the leagues. I agree, hundreds of players do,
How many players from Everton U23s have broken through at 20?? Answers on a postcard, Fran...
79 Posted 20/01/2021 at 23:33:20
80 Posted 20/01/2021 at 23:37:32
Yours is a valid point, but so is the counter.
Chased to Blackpool or sent to gain competitive experience? Depends where you sit on the viewpoint.
81 Posted 20/01/2021 at 23:55:14
I disagree that 20 is some sort of benchmark age to determine if a player is good enough or not, usually players only really break through at 22+ unless they are special talents.
Not many have done at Everton, mainly because not many have been good enough. That's an issue with our recruitment and development, and probably because the best young local players are attracted to the dark side before us. But each player is different. So I'll make judgements based on their performances rather than their birth certificates.
82 Posted 20/01/2021 at 00:25:40
Derby U23 are currently 6th in the PL2 table, one place above us.
I think this proves beyond doubt that the PL2 is well below the standard of the old Central League.
83 Posted 20/01/2021 at 00:32:10
Bodies and minds mature. It may be the last few years of genuine development, progress, the real understanding of what it takes both mentally and physically just to compete to be a professional.
Many turn to other distractions, many think they have already made it whilst others doubt their own abilities to makes it.
Then there's long term injuries or reoccurring injuries and the time and development missed is a struggle to catch up on, especially compared to their piers.
Barkley, Rodwell, Stones, Holgate, Dowell, Rooney and many more all repeatedly missed several months due to injury in their late teens and early twenties. I do wonder what impact that played in slowing or stopping them fulfilling their potential.
As for Beni, I didn't see much in his game time to think he was Premier League standard.
84 Posted 21/01/2021 at 01:02:21
Simms has played most of his time against players in his age group and has moved up against players in the leagues against players his age and a couple of years older and been successful.
Going to Blackpool he will be playing against young players trying to make the grade but also against more experienced players. Lots of young players are sent to lower league clubs so they get more playing time, and see if they continue to improve away from their normal routines.
85 Posted 21/01/2021 at 07:31:33
I very much doubt he'll make it at Everton. Hope I'm wrong, but I think his loan is about putting in a shop window. Blackpool probably the level.
At 20 years old, Moise Kean had been to Verona on loan, played for Juve and Italy, and secured a move to Everton. He has been maligned by many. If you haven't made a first team breakthrough somewhere in your teen years, I take it to mean really your future isn't going to be at the top level.
86 Posted 21/01/2021 at 07:44:44
Auybameyang was at Legue 1 at St Etienne having done the first season at Monaco;
Watkins had made his first team debut at 18 etc;
Danny Ings had played 40 first team games by 20;
Kane over 40 games, including Championship level.
87 Posted 21/01/2021 at 08:09:17
They get the kids in very young because, if they don't, somebody else will, and I'd also say that this system is also doing more harm than good.
Imagine having great ideas and trying to revamp everything? I'd say such a move would have to come from the very top, and even then you'd need a very strong stab-proof vest, for every time your back is turned!! That's my view anyway.
88 Posted 21/01/2021 at 08:47:21
The club has also put a huge effort into turning him into a better footballer and he's responded. U23s was a challenge at first because his physique was no longer a huge advantage. Having met that challenge, he takes it up a step. This is all part of the clubs development. It's no indictment of him that Tosun, experienced international + Champions League striker, is ahead of him.
That said, he does need to show he can meet this challenge. Whatever posters say, 20 is quite late to make your debut in league football.
89 Posted 21/01/2021 at 09:20:07
In my opinion academy football is ruining a lot of kids' upbringing.
Take a kid of four years of age (Yes, 4!), train him three nights a week, then spew him out a few years later.
And they are the lucky ones, plenty of time to build thier lives.
The really unlucky ones are the kids who have been at acadamies for many years, stopped from playing football for thier schools and playing football with thier mates, only to be chased when deemed not good enough at 15 or 16.
Naturally, most kids in the above category have convinced themselves they will make a living from football, thereby forgoing their education. Kids of 11 and 12 getting many hundreds of pounds a week sees thier parents convinced their child will be the next… [insert name].
They pay the kids through food, travel, clothing, grants to parents, an easy way around rules.
The academies are here to stay… Unfortunately.
90 Posted 21/01/2021 at 09:36:32
It was better with the old Central League but, with a coach load of substitutes allowed on the bench now, those days have gone.
91 Posted 21/01/2021 at 11:56:10
Your last point about the parents getting some form of benefit from those clubs didn't apply to me, maybe I was naive but I never asked for anything and only once was I asked if I needed anything, I said no I was okay thanks.
Tony himself was well looked after by Notts Forest and Man Utd, while he was at school, spending time with them at Christmas and Easter, Liverpool and Everton invited him down to Wembley for cup finals while I went to the Watford final with the job of bunking my young nephew in, while Tony sat in comfort on an Everton FC coach. I got my nephew in no bother, along with a couple of thousand of other Bluenoses I think.
92 Posted 21/01/2021 at 12:55:17
These players are all good enough to get game time in a Premier League side, but they're not getting it for us, which is sad. I think we'd have a lot more coming through if they were only given time to develop. How much time has Tom had? Only recently has he started to look like he's shaping into some kind of player.
I think the Premier League should introduce a law where all teams must start with 2 or 3 academy players in their side to aid this. Might see teams like Southampton and Leicester do even better.
93 Posted 21/01/2021 at 13:10:40
The money side of acadamy football mate. I was talking to a girl whose son was at the acadamy of one of the biggest clubs in England when one of my grandsons was there. The kid was 12 years of age and they were getting £800 a week. An exceptional footballer, outstanding for his age, but that was an eye opener for me.
94 Posted 21/01/2021 at 17:35:03
I had a team play West Hams U20 team in the ‘90s. Their head coach told me if 2 out of 30 made it to the first team, it would be a roaring success. They would be happy with just 1 and that maybe 4 would make a living in lower leagues.
You need to have talent, drive, determination, athleticism, endurance, belief, fitness, and luck.
95 Posted 21/01/2021 at 17:57:05
Play with your mates and play for the school team. Then, and only then, join up if you are good enough.
Too many kids losing thier best days on a pitch due to them taking the slimmest of chances to progress to first teams.
96 Posted 21/01/2021 at 18:48:51
I see Tosun needs his head re-spraying! (Sorry, Cenk!)
97 Posted 21/01/2021 at 19:26:23
Maybe that is a model to add more normality to those formative years. Only to adopt something like that, we would need to seriously overhaul and streamline our grass roots football as I believe it to be a total shambles personally.
98 Posted 21/01/2021 at 19:34:12
Pete @94, I'm aware that not everyone can make the grade, but Martinez was right imo, and for whatever reason too many good players fall by the wayside in England.
I've spoken before about how when England won the under 20 World Cup, with a few Everton players in their squad, but 2 years later, it was the German under 21 squad, (same squads) that had a load more experience of playing first team football, and this must be down to them using a different system, I'm sure
99 Posted 21/01/2021 at 19:34:19
I posted a while back, the Dutch used to not let kids play on full size pitches until they were teenagers (think it was 14 years old).
That can only enhance first touch, awareness of space and awareness of players available for a pass.
In my opinion, the major EU countries are miles ahead in youth development.
100 Posted 21/01/2021 at 19:48:35
Before one game, a coach from Barcelona was walking past their pitch, smiled and said to the parents, are you English? Yes they said, how did you know? Because only the English kids warm up in the goal, he replied.
The English kids will probably beat the best teams from all the EU countries, up until around the age of 14, but whilst we are usually all about winning, they are more interested in working on technique, and that's why they always look more comfortable on the ball when they get older imo.
101 Posted 21/01/2021 at 19:54:32
102 Posted 21/01/2021 at 19:54:58
England had a clown in charge of youth development years ago, I can't remember his name. Charles something.
Long ball merchant. I read a report of his one time and cringed. It's historic, mate, and will take years to get rid of.
104 Posted 21/01/2021 at 21:11:40
105 Posted 21/01/2021 at 21:27:03
The priest was on the double click in the next turnstile to Dave
107 Posted 21/01/2021 at 22:12:08
108 Posted 21/01/2021 at 22:13:38
We are so focussed on winning. I saw it first hand. The important thing for the "coach" was to win the Harrow District U-12s league. So, they pick the biggest, fastest and most powerful players who can simply outrun and bully the other players. Meanwhile (and tongue in cheek), young Messi who is a great footballer, doesn't play as he is "too small" and would risk losing.
Young Messi get's disillusioned and gives up football to focus on something else. Meanwhile, by the time those players who where bigger, quicker and more powerful aged 12 get to adult level, it becomes apparent they aren't actually that good a football player and now they aren't necessarily as big and powerful as everyone else so that doesn't work any more either.
Thomas, much to learn from the Germans and Dutch on grass roots. Firstly, the focus is on development, not necessarily winning. I believe we have now adopted the mid-size pitch thing, which they have had for years. And the facilities. They train and play on gravel pitches up to a certain age. That makes you stay on your feet and pass the ball. When they do go to grass, it is on very high standard pitches that promote good football. Also, they rotate players around the pitch to give them a feel for different positions as you never know how someone will develop physically or technically. No point teaching an old dog new tricks as they say. Also, it is streamlined. Right down to village level, they play for well organised clubs.
Our kids play on mud saturated pitches in over-subscribed leagues because Johnny's dad has started up yet another team so Johnny can play centre forward (as he is only a centre forward and his last "coach" was playing him centre back, which is ridiculous as he is clearly the next Duncan Ferguson; dad knows best). You can't play football on those pitches, so they are reduced to "getting rid" and lumping it down the park bayed on by the screaming mob of aggressive parents on the sidelines encroaching on the field of play and threatening to assault the voluntary official.
As Tony mentioned above, dare to have ideas and a revamp. It is needed.
Apologies. As you can probably tell, I get quite vocal and emotive about this subject!
109 Posted 21/01/2021 at 22:43:21
The best people in youth football now are the ones who set teams up just so the kids can have a game, no illusions of grandeur from these lads. No cherry-picking the best kids so they win the lot.
I watched a fair bit of youth football as my son and then grandsons played. My kids are fortunate enough to be blessed with decent ability so play to good standards.
I got more enjoyment out of watching the year below one of my grandsons while waiting for his game to kick off. A group of kids who got twatted each and every week by big scores.
Regardless of that, the enthusiasm shown by the kids, coaches and parents was a joy to see. To see the gradual improvement until they achieved thier first win was fantastic.
They all deserve better off the powers that be.
111 Posted 21/01/2021 at 22:54:18
112 Posted 21/01/2021 at 23:02:22
They made us what we are.
113 Posted 22/01/2021 at 02:33:35
114 Posted 22/01/2021 at 09:31:33
Id say there is no right way or wrong way to play football, mixing it up is fine, although another contradiction, because I also agree with Danny@108, and feel that kids football at grassroots level, is really mixed-up!
115 Posted 22/01/2021 at 09:53:12
Thomas (109), yes those fellas who run kids football teams are usually the salt of the earth, going to great lengths at their own expense to provide enjoyment to young lads growing up and also character building, applies to amateur boxing clubs as well, maybe more so in boxing.
There was a team from Kirkby ran by two fellas who played in the Walton and Kirkdale league and they came week after week, got battered by huge scores, never gave up and provided those watching with comical moments off the field as well as encouraging their young players throughout the game. I think of them now and again and I always have a smile when I do, great days. Winning is lovely but it's not everything, playing trying to win is.
116 Posted 22/01/2021 at 10:53:17
Kids football is great and all the people who give up so much time to run these teams deserve all our credit. The only downside to kids football is the small minority of parents watching on the touchline who hurl abuse not only at their own kids if they aren't playing to the standard the parent thinks they should be, but also kids in opposing teams.
I used to know Mick Lyons and he ran a team in West Derby, off course all the kids wanted to play for Micks team, and his team attracted most of the better kids. But Mick encouraged the kids in the opposing side as much as he did his own players. And most of the time just encouraged his team to keep their shape, not trying to over complicate it for the kids.
118 Posted 22/01/2021 at 12:11:10
I suspect it's no more than a dozen at the most!
120 Posted 22/01/2021 at 12:38:02
Clarke (recently made his 800th career app)
Also, Lookman, Calvert-Lewin and Holgate all spent some time with the academy.
122 Posted 22/01/2021 at 13:05:53
123 Posted 22/01/2021 at 13:10:50
125 Posted 22/01/2021 at 13:23:23
127 Posted 22/01/2021 at 14:02:15
Here is a comprehensive list of Everton academy players who had some sort of professional career, dating way back to the 1958 age group:
The first name on the list if you order by age group, a lad from Bootle who I only remember as a WHU player, Alvin Martin. Capped by England, wasn't he? Anyone have any recall of him on Everton's books? 'cos I most certainly don't. Also surprised he hails from Bootle.
It's an incomplete list because I don't see the likes of Brian Labone, Tommy Wright, John Hurst, Jimmy Husband, Joe Royle, Alan Whittle from the 1970s championship side listed.
Three pages of names. If you look by the decade (given the caveat of the previous paragraph) we are actually churning out more professional footballers that make the grade somewhere than ever before.
128 Posted 22/01/2021 at 15:35:58
129 Posted 22/01/2021 at 15:45:06
130 Posted 22/01/2021 at 16:01:13
Not on that list:
John Stones (arguably)
131 Posted 22/01/2021 at 18:24:47
Which means one star in TAA then two decent players in Coady and Wilson. The rest are Championship players.
I've ignored their present crop like Curtis Jones – and players they pinched from other academies like Sterling, Brewster, Ibe etc.
It's a shit return in 20 years.
UK academies have been truly appalling – and really poor at giving opportunities to the communities they represent.
We should aim really high with ours, for the community, the sustainability of our club and because its great to see young, local talent make it.
132 Posted 22/01/2021 at 20:40:11
Also, look at us with Adeniran and Josh Bowler. Those lads cost serious money. Where are they now? What improvement have they had?
For years post Gerrard, Liverpools academy was a joke. No longer.
133 Posted 22/01/2021 at 21:04:47
134 Posted 22/01/2021 at 22:48:36
We can argue all we want about not giving local or English / British players the opportunity, but if the grass roots system was feeding it with players that were good enough, our clubs wouldn't need to look elsewhere and abroad. They have to because the system isn't good enough.
Sorry to bore everyone with my Schalke thing, but do a quick search on what their academy has produced in the last 10 to 20 years. A team that is currently in dire straights, had some recent highlights but in general has been average. But look at the standard of player their system has provided the game. It is more than impressive. Bayern Munich's number one, his likely successor and now backup keeper (probably Germany's 1 and 2) both products for starters.
Unfortunately they have treated the academy as a revenue stream rather than something to build a successful team on.
Final point. My dismay at the state of our grass roots should not be taken as disrespect to those of us who stand there in the rain on the side of the muddy quagmires we ask our kids to attempt to play football on; I won't call them pitches. Total respect fo those of us who take the time, effort and, yes pay from our own pocket, to encourage young players to play and enjoy the beautiful game. I just want better standards.
135 Posted 23/01/2021 at 00:50:41
Was Tommy Jackson the best of the rest, or did anyone go on to achieve something notable?
136 Posted 23/01/2021 at 01:24:56
Your Schalke thing is really interesting. Lyon is another example. They players they produce are outstanding. I hadn't really thought about this in the context of grass roots but I expect it's right.
I do also think that we still prioritise physical attributes ahead of technique here (big goals and pitches for kids makes no sense to me). And there's always the easy temptation for a cheap quick fix from, say, France instead of nurturing an academy player.
The Premier League generally has a dreadful track record in this respect. I would love us to be a shining light. I'm convinced the raw talent is there.
137 Posted 23/01/2021 at 09:48:54
The most successful, unfortunately, was David Johnson.
138 Posted 23/01/2021 at 11:33:55
139 Posted 23/01/2021 at 11:49:34
The talent is definitely out there.
Needs a lot more investment in grass roots football.
The prem clubs should be contributing a lot more than they curently do.
If we could get the government to invest, proportionately, the same amount they invest in rugger we would be in business.
140 Posted 23/01/2021 at 12:10:45
141 Posted 23/01/2021 at 12:33:48
142 Posted 23/01/2021 at 14:17:21
I see Luke Garbutt and ex academy players Jordan Thorniley start for Blackpool.
143 Posted 23/01/2021 at 14:43:58
144 Posted 23/01/2021 at 15:48:01
145 Posted 23/01/2021 at 16:28:04
146 Posted 23/01/2021 at 16:54:28
147 Posted 23/01/2021 at 18:29:07
148 Posted 23/01/2021 at 18:37:27
149 Posted 23/01/2021 at 20:07:03
150 Posted 24/01/2021 at 01:12:35
151 Posted 24/01/2021 at 22:32:21
I agree with your sentiment that a bad loan doesn't mean it wouldn't work out for Simms at Everton when he came back. Harry Kane had 5 loans and hardly set the world alight on any of them. Some players are late bloomers.
152 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:17:52
153 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:48:27
154 Posted 26/01/2021 at 21:57:28
155 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:01:49
156 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:03:23
Made up for him
157 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:21:00
Difficult to rate the subs, but I will say that Simms looked very good. Finally we have someone that made some great runs - we've really missed that because Madine and Yates often play with their back to goal. Could be a KDH quality signing. or I might be getting carried away bit.
And others saying he looked great as well
158 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:28:19
159 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:33:52
160 Posted 26/01/2021 at 22:48:29
161 Posted 27/01/2021 at 16:39:27
"I agree with Anthony, here. Some good people on Twitter who I trust and who watch the U23s say his all round game is poor. He scores the same goal; put the ball over the top and he uses his physique at that level to beat the young defender. Heading and link up play are non existent apparently?"
2 headed goals on his league debut - it's a funny old game
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.