Everton U21 side soundly beaten by Carlisle United

Tuesday, 28 September, 2021 57comments  |  Jump to last
Carlisle Utd 2 - 0 Everton U21s

A team of Everton Under-21 players, drawn primarily from the ranks of David Unsworth's U23s, were dominated by Carlisle United on Tuesday night in their second group game of this season's EFL (Papa John's) trophy.

For the hosts, former Everton Academy players included Morgan Feeney who was very solid in defence, while Manassa Mampala came on as a second-half sub.

After a long period of pressing, with Barret making a number of key saves in a tough first half, the home side went ahead just moments before half-time.

Unsworth made some changes and for a spell, Everton showed some attacking intent to relieve the relentless pressure. But his third change approaching the hour-mark, that saw Kouyate enter the action for the first time this season, was immediately followed by another soft goal for the hosts, headed on easily over Barrett.

And that's how the game finished, with Everton needing to pull out their tripe at Hartlepool in the final group game in November.

Everton U21s: Barrett, Welch, Anderson, Astley, John, Campbell, McAllister, Whitaker (46' Butterfield), Price (46' Warrington), Garcia (57' Kouyate), Dobbin.
Subs not Used: Leban, Hughes, Quirk, Mills.

 

Reader Comments (57)

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Alan J Thompson
1 Posted 28/09/2021 at 05:46:48
Branthwaite to captain the side?
Robert Tressell
2 Posted 28/09/2021 at 08:54:34
Wonder if any of Simms, Gordon, Dobbin or (if fit) Onyango will play in this alongside Branthwaite?

Might be good for them to get more minutes in a professional game and might also bring more out of the likes of Warrington, Welch, Whitaker and Price.

On that, anyone know if Onyango is getting close to fitness?

Phill Thompson
3 Posted 28/09/2021 at 13:49:12
Robert, as well as “going up” age-wise with the players you mention, I wonder if we will go down in age and use some of the young U18s like Metcalfe, Kouyate, Barker? It's possibly too early for the Schoolboy Lawrence but matches are coming thick and fast and it would be a great show of intent to include some of them on the bench or start.
Robert Tressell
4 Posted 28/09/2021 at 16:56:14
Would be great to see our most talented together regardless of age, Phill. It'd be a strong line up.

Do you happen to know whether Onyango might be in contention or still recovering?

Brent Stephens
5 Posted 28/09/2021 at 17:27:25
Robert, I think it was 10th Sept when Onyango said he was about to return to full training.
Brent Stephens
6 Posted 28/09/2021 at 18:34:53
Can't see this on EFC website...
Brent Stephens
7 Posted 28/09/2021 at 18:35:41
Ah, ok. Now it's on.
Phill Thompson
8 Posted 28/09/2021 at 19:39:22
Phill Thompson
9 Posted 28/09/2021 at 19:39:22
This a great test for the youngsters, they’re going to have to dig in here, , let’s see what they’re made of.
Brent Stephens
10 Posted 28/09/2021 at 19:44:42
Deserved lead for Carlisle. Astley slower to the cross?
Phill Thompson
11 Posted 28/09/2021 at 19:46:48
Charlie Whitaker should have made it harder to cross too for me Brent
1-0 half time
Brent Stephens
12 Posted 28/09/2021 at 19:50:39
Fair comment, Phill.
Brent Stephens
13 Posted 28/09/2021 at 20:03:22
Second half Warrington and Butterfield on for Whittaker and Price.
Brent Stephens
14 Posted 28/09/2021 at 20:23:54
0-2. Free header. No challenge again.
Tony Abrahams
15 Posted 28/09/2021 at 20:39:04
Tough night for the kids, Brent, but it's a long time since I saw any young player fetch and carry the football. Pass and move is fine, it's the real name of the game imo, but players don't seem to be encouraged to take the ball forward, whenever they've got space in front of them, in which to attack, and it's rarely out their feet into attacking mode, with most first touches tending to set the player up to turn sideways or backwards.

I know it's hard, it's men against young lads, but I like to see young players wanting to express themselves, although sometimes I get the feeling that the way they're being coached doesn't allow it.

Brent Stephens
16 Posted 28/09/2021 at 20:44:22
Tony is that a confidence thing or coaching, not taking the ball forward?
Peter Warren
17 Posted 28/09/2021 at 20:45:53
Old boy Gueye scores against Man City
Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 28/09/2021 at 20:49:05
Probably both Brent. I think they are taught to get it out there feet and keep the ball moving, especially because the game is very quick, but it’s very methodical sometimes, and you do wonder if a young player might feel he’s breaking rank, if he does try anything a little bit different?
Brent Stephens
19 Posted 28/09/2021 at 20:52:02
Well good experience for the young lads. I do like Warrington. And Kyle John quite lively again. Toure (?) for them was a handful.
Tony Abrahams
20 Posted 28/09/2021 at 21:06:48
Gana Gueye, from Schniederlin to Mbappe, and Messi!
Phill Thompson
21 Posted 28/09/2021 at 21:07:24
Tony, agree with that, in my view it's been a weakness in our midfield all season, nobody who dominates possession in midfield, carries it forward, does something different.

Warrington was good at spraying the ball about from deep but no killer movements from us. He reminds me a bit of Ryan Ledson who was similarly good at spraying the ball about but lacked something special when it came to carrying it forward. I wonder if Onyango can make that difference when he returns?

Some of these kids are looking leggy and tired, that's probably the worst that Whitaker and Price have played this season. Another game Friday night too. It's a tough run of games.

Robert Tressell
22 Posted 28/09/2021 at 21:40:53
Tony, when I've seen the U23s, I've been pleased with some aspects of the performances but left wondering how they expect to score. It is very rudimentary stuff. Crosses from quite deep positions, pressuring mistakes and occasional breakaways. No real structure to the attack whatsoever.

It might be a lack of genuine talent. But players like Whitaker, McAllister and Garcia are good footballers who should be capable ahead of the likes of Warrington and Price in deeper positions.

There's just no quick passing or movement in the attacking third. Onyango will help because he's so big, almost like Fellaini, but we could really use a couple of talented wingers at this level – people to dribble, ask questions etc.

Tony Abrahams
23 Posted 28/09/2021 at 22:22:20
Brian Harrison mentioned how revolutionary Arsene Wenger was on another thread, and if someone like Steven Pienaar is really interested in coaching (he is: Heitinga has took him in to help with the Ajax Under-18 squad) then I can't for the life of me understand why Everton are not trying to bring in my ex-players like Pienaar who had real genuine quality, and could probably teach young footballers so much imo.
Karl Graham
24 Posted 28/09/2021 at 22:52:26
5 at the back again it neither mirrors the first team or keeps players in natural positions. Should have gone 4 at back with either Campbell or Welch on the bench and Anderson at left-back. Warrington and Butterfield starting in midfield with Price. Whitaker and Garcia either side of Dobbin. McAllister has been better from the bench.

Unless Unsworth has been specifically told to play that system from above, they should always where possible try to mirror the first-team system in under age teams as it means you play exactly the same whatever level – just the quality grows. If Unsworth really thought that team system would beat a team of seasoned pros when it can't even beat other U23s teams, he needs to wake up.

As for resting players, there is enough about to rotate but he doesn't do it much then plays some but blames them because they come in from the cold and some were out of position.

Andrew Keatley
25 Posted 28/09/2021 at 23:19:23
Phill (21),

I didn't catch tonight's game (but did watch the recent narrow defeat against Man Utd) but if Whitaker played worse tonight than he did against United then that is really saying something.

Not quite sure why Unsworth thought Whittaker could play as the lone central striker against United as he seems very lightweight to me. And it's not a size thing as Rafa Garcia looks smaller but somehow manages to make himself a nuisance against bigger defenders, while Whitaker gets brushed aside far too easily.

Don Alexander
26 Posted 29/09/2021 at 02:12:12
It's only one (more) match with a bad result and a moribund performance but it raises the question, again as far as I'm concerned, as to just what Unsworth does to justify his top-banana reputation (according to some of us) as a developer of genuine first team talent?

Maybe he'd say our Kenwright-appointed scouts deliver such inadequate sprogs that his job is impossible before he, Kenwright-appointed as he is in his own right, even starts, or maybe he's just hoping that the Everton fan-base never begin, repeat, begin, to ponder just who's been amiss in the boardroom of our club, for the past thirty fruitless years?

Danny O’Neill
27 Posted 29/09/2021 at 08:25:25
Wenger was outstanding Tony. Visionary even. I could never understand why the Arsenal support turned on him. Not all of them, but certainly a sizeable percentage. I know all good things come to an end, but be careful what you wish for as they say.

Good shout on Pienaar. I know we've discussed this previously, but I always feel regret when I see Leon Osman on the tele doing his pundit thing. He's doing well, but what a waste in my opinion.

As much as I'm no advocate of the comfy zone old boys club, I'd much rather he was on the training grounds at Finch Farm than commenting on the box.

Tony Abrahams
28 Posted 29/09/2021 at 08:25:52
I haven’t watched much under 23 football, but unless there was nobody else to play in that position, (a bit like Rondon in the first team) I would never in a million years let a young talent like Charlie Whitaker play up front on his own, simply because it just wouldn’t compliment his game.

The kids will get tired Phill, and something that I thought was a great idea, (playing everyone up at a higher level) has obviously got its drawbacks, and finding the happy medium that people like Michael Kendrick have talked about, has hopefully also got to be part of the plan?

Danny, Osman and Pienaar both played at the top because they had great little football brains, and never because they could win a race or a full blooded tackle, and they are the two who I’d love to see at finch farm teaching 16-21 year old footballers, especially Pienaar because of his connections to the great Ajax academy, and the way he always came towards the ball. Obviously coached into him from an early age?

Kevin Prytherch
29 Posted 29/09/2021 at 08:58:12
Tony, I was going to post something similar. It’s all well and good promoting these young kids at an early age to get more experience early against older players, but it doesn’t benefit the strikers who are then starved of service and chasing shadows. We need a happy medium where there is a mixture of players to make us competitive in order to benefit everyone.
Phill Thompson
30 Posted 29/09/2021 at 09:15:16
Andrew #25 & Tony #28 re Charlie Whitaker.

I'm a big fan of him but happy to call it when he has a bad game. Yes, he's not an out-and-out lone striker, but for the Man Utd game, he was our only option, Dobbin was with the first team, Cannon has missed our last two, presumably injured. Garcia came on at half-time against Man Utd to play up front.

In a previous game, with Dobbin and Cannon ahead, Whitaker played as a No 10 behind them, then alongside Cannon when Dobbin went off, then on his own up front when Cannon went off. I like that kind of versatility and giving them exposure to different positions when young, so I'm not too critical of Whitaker being played up front occasionally.

Ellis Simms, Branthwaite and Onyango would have made a big difference last night. But overall you can't help but feel a bit deflated by this run of results from the youngsters, and the inescapable conclusion that some are just not good enough.

Robert Tressell
31 Posted 29/09/2021 at 09:31:50
In fairness to Whitaker, it would be like the first team playing someone like Leon Osman as a lone striker. He's a good footballer with a nice touch and intelligent movement – but he's not a striker or physically imposing enough to do a job.

I've generally defended Unsworth because I think he gets a lot of stick through association with Kenwright – but I would like to see the style of play develop. In the current system, the players seem to stand out for physical attributes more than ability.

Dave Abrahams
32 Posted 29/09/2021 at 10:59:48
Tony (28), good point about Pienaar and the way he always moved towards the ball and collect it. Tony Grant should have had a better career, unlucky with injuries apart, but he always waited for the ball to come to him instead of moving towards the ball and gaining a couple of yards space.

I watched Grealish last night for City, he was the same: waiting for the ball, then getting it standing still, giving the opposition time to come and cover him. At the very top level, he will struggle, and this is one of the reasons why.

Danny O’Neill
33 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:04:42
I'd agree on Pienaar Tony.

He is Ajax through and through having started out as a youngster in one of their satellite academies in South Africa before moving to the real thing. And then a spell at Borussia Dortmund.

His footballing pedigree and, as you say, he brain, is impressive to say the least. And he does no doubt have an affiliation to Everton.

Imagine him bringing some of that academy and development philosophy to Finch Farm?

Michael Kenrick
34 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:13:51
Some starkly different takes on the game in the respective local rags:

In Tiny crowd says it all at Carlisle United v Everton U21s in Papa John's Trophy, the Carlisle journo pulls no punches in disdainfully condemning the EFL Trophy as "the thin end of the wedge" on B-teams entering the Football League – a good read for Danny to comment on, perhaps.

Then the Echo takes an entirely different tack with the bold claim that Everton have a raw but exciting potential left-back solution, talking up the performance of Eli Campbell, who is a 17-year-old centre-back barely out of the U18s – a bit premature for me but, yes, that's what the new system of young teams and lost games is meant to produce: players ready for the first-team.


Tony Abrahams
35 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:24:45
It’s fine lines Danny, partly brought on by coaching and partly brought on by having natural ability, but also having the brain to both adapt and learn imo.

How often do you watch a game of football and mutter to yourself - play it quicker? How often do you watch a game of football and think - he’s passed that to soon?

I’ve watched a bit of academy football over the last few seasons, and I honestly sometimes get the feeling that it’s not about the players, but it’s about the coach, and with most of them seeming to run off a similar program, I just get the feeling that rather than harnessing natural ability, it’s actually stopping these kids from sometimes thinking for themselves?

Barry Hesketh
36 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:37:13
Looking through BT's live schedule last night I became aware that there is a European competition for the u19s which exactly matches the draw for the Champions League proper. I didn't know there were European club games being played at this level, is this a new format or has it always been the case?
Phill Thompson
37 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:46:38
Barry#36, this competition has been around in this format for at least 6 years as far as I can remember,, maybe more. Chelsea won it a few years ago, maybe other English clubs have.
Unfortunately it’s only for those clubs who’s senior teams have gained CL entry, so when we had decent league wins at u18 and u21/ 23 a few years back we never got to enter.
Danny O’Neill
38 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:51:27
Dave (and Tony), one of the basic principles coached into you as a kid is come to the ball right? Don't wait for it. Unless you're making or running into space.

I'd agree on all of that Tony. On top of ability, desire, commitment and fitness, there's the intelligence aspect to the game. The decision making. Now only the best will have all, but intelligence & decision making are a crucial aspect of any player's game. Knowing when to go and when to hold.

The Pep Guardiola "Take the Ball, Pass the Ball" philosophy. See it play it mindset. Don't think about it, the first pass / option is probably the best one. If you haven't watched the documentary, I recommend.

Then to contradict that, patience on the ball if you think you have time and space. Kevin Sheedy against Bayern Munich where he seemingly slowed the game down (in his own head) and waited until the timing was right. I'm not comparing, but dare I say Allan last season against Southampton on the edge of his own box. He waited and waited until he saw the pass was on then executed, which resulted in an assist to a goal.

Decision making and football intelligence, regardless of whether you go quick or you hold.

I agree, too much is about the coaches at the younger levels. It should be about letting the kids express themselves and make mistakes, not constrain their natural ability. Let it develop. Results don't matter.

Barry Hesketh
39 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:57:53
Thanks, Phil, as you can see I pay very little attention to the competitions that Everton aren't involved in, but it gave me pause for thought that our lads are trying to improve by facing the likes of Carlisle whilst the Champions League teams are facing top European teams who you would expect to have more talented youngsters. It must also help the participating clubs to ask a premium price for any of their youngsters as they have an enhanced CV compared to those at clubs like Everton.


Phill Thompson
40 Posted 29/09/2021 at 11:58:18
Michael #34, that’s an interesting take from the Carlisle journo, and highlights why EFL clubs will fight tooth and nail to keep “ B teams” out of any league pyramid. In Scotland Rangers and Celtic have B teams in the Lowland League this season, but won’t be allowed to try to progress upwards to Scottish League 2 if they win the Lowland League competition.

In the other article, Eli Campbell has been a welcome surprise at left wing back, he’s been quietly competent defensively, gets the ball forward well but attacking wise is no Nkounkou/ Small. They also failed to mention that Campbell played centre back for the u18s last Saturday, so he’s played a lot recently. And in that u18 game we had a young 15 year old left back Ishe Samuels-Smith, cue a “ the next Small” from the Echo soon!

Robert Tressell
41 Posted 29/09/2021 at 12:29:00
There's a risk of reading far too much into one game but, falling into that trap anyway, it raises a lot of interesting points.

On the subject of B teams / feeder clubs, it makes sense in many respects but I can't see it happening any time soon. The big 3 have used the Dutch, Belgian and other leagues instead. Leipzig obviously done similar. This might be better for brighter talents than a spell in the third tier having the shit kicked out of them while the ball flies over their heads. Good life experience too. Lot of West African players in particular have to grow up very quickly far from home. We tend to expect much less from our local boys.

Danny O’Neill
42 Posted 29/09/2021 at 12:32:33
Interesting read - thanks for the link Michael.

Obviously as an advocate of the B Team concept, I'm likely to lean one way here, but I see the concern that it could undermine the lower leagues with further infiltration from the bigger clubs.

I would also consider that this is a meaningless trophy and considered as such by both Carlisle and their fans. And rightfully so.

Drawing parallels to my Director of Football views, don't half bake it. Go full in or just don't do it at all. Would the Carlisle manager have made 9 changes and only 825 fans turned up if they were playing Everton B in a competitive league match that meant points on the board to seek promotion or avoid relegation? An Everton B team that wouldn't have just contained U21 prospects, but also some seniors playing in an actual league fixture?

Remember the Full Members Cup? Everton v Liverpool in a so called competitive match but we all knew it meant nothing so I think only 20,000 turned up for a Derby.

I still think the B Team concept is a way forward. But I also think that is linked to an overall restructure of English football. There are too many professional teams. Sorry to bang my German drum again, but 3 professional leagues with 56 teams in a country with a population of over 80 million.

We have 4 leagues of 92 plus and effective 5th tier professional league in a country with a population of 55 million (England).

Phill Thompson, what you allude to is the German model. The B teams have to remain in the regional leagues that underpin the Bundesliga and can't be promoted. I'd prefer the Spanish model, but that's a radical overhaul. And I appreciate, unlikely to happen. But it's what I'd do.

Dennis Stevens
43 Posted 29/09/2021 at 13:03:36
How does the Spanish model work, Danny?
Danny O’Neill
44 Posted 29/09/2021 at 13:24:37
In short Dennis, it's kind of a cross between what we would call reserves and a feeder club system.

The B Team plays in the same league system as the senior / first team but can't play in the same league. They could just be called Barcelona B (as is) but might also be another club that gets re-branded. For example Real Madrid Castilla.

They also compete in the cup competition and there was an instance of when Real Madrid played Real Madrid Castilla in the final. Imagine that day out; Everton playing Everton at Wembley?!!!

So let's say Everton B won the Championship and Everton remained in the Premier League, Everton B wouldn't get promoted and the place would go to the next best placed team.

Similarly if Everton got relegated, Everton B would automatically drop to League 1. Double jeopardy!

It happened in Spain once when the top 2 teams in the second tier where Real Madrid Castilla & Bilbao Atletico (obviously Real Madrid B & Atletico Bilbao B respectively) took the the top 2 berths. The 3rd and 4th place teams got promoted. You could argue big club domination, but then those clubs benefited even though they didn't finish in the promotion places.

Also, the clubs are entitled and allowed to make "transfers" between senior and B teams throughout the season, even outside the transfer windows.

I like the concept. In all honesty and realistically, we're more likely to see a model where clubs like Everton formally have relationships with, let's say, a club like Blackpool. So it's a hybrid model that straddles the B-Team / Feeder / Loan system constructs and lets them keep their brand and identify. But you're doing it with one club, not scattering our players to the 4 winds to be overseen by different coaches, systems and techniques. They're all Everton players, playing together in the same team in a competitive league as they develop. And Everton can influence the coaching and how that club plays. So its effectively a B Team in all but name.

Tony Abrahams
45 Posted 29/09/2021 at 13:49:54
I think the echo report on the young player, just shows how reporting standards have really dropped with regards to this newspaper covering local football over the last few years.

Danny, that Spanish system makes loads of sense imo.

Barry Hesketh
46 Posted 29/09/2021 at 14:04:45
Tony @45
It was never a great local paper for Everton FC, I always preferred the coverage of football and Everton in particular in the Daily Post. The trouble with most regional newspapers today is that they all come under a single umbrella and the format is universal for them all.

List of Titles

If a person from outside of the city was to take the Echo's website 'news' page as a guide to what the city of Liverpool is like, they would avoid visiting, as mostly the representation by the Echo of its residents is one of drug-fuelled, layabouts harbouring criminal and violent intentions. How this helps the city in any way is a mystery to me, but I suppose it helps to sell copy and garners enough clicks to justify the output.

Brian Williams
47 Posted 29/09/2021 at 14:33:25
On a different note, for which I make no apology. Would those that pledged to donate to Derek Knox's collection for Cancer Research and haven't yet done, do so please?
Derek's put a lot of effort into the collection and also the ToffeeWeb get togethers.
So if you pledged to support the charity please do it, and if you didn't then do it anyway.
Dennis Stevens
48 Posted 29/09/2021 at 14:33:46
Thanks, Danny. Sounds like either the German or Spanish models would be an improvement, although we could develop our own English model, no doubt.

In the scenarios you describe, I presume the "B" team always has to be in a lower division. So you couldn't have Everton "B" promoted to the top flight in the same season Everton were relegated. I suppose, if that was allowed the "A" team might never get back!

Brian Williams
49 Posted 29/09/2021 at 14:34:48
On a different note, for which I make no apology. Would those that pledged to donate to Derek Knox's collection for Cancer Research and haven't yet done, do so please?
Derek's put a lot of effort into the collection and also the ToffeeWeb get togethers.
So if you pledged to support the charity please do it, and if you didn't then do it anyway.
Danny O’Neill
50 Posted 29/09/2021 at 14:43:12
Interesting scenario Dennis. I guess we'd flip the names and "transfer" the players!!!

Keep donating for Derek's collection if you can. Do you know what we're at Brian / Derek?

Brian Williams
51 Posted 29/09/2021 at 15:35:48
Danny I'll find out and let you know mate.
Robert Tressell
52 Posted 29/09/2021 at 16:57:16
I'm not keen on the Spanish system you describe, Danny. I think we'd end up with 3 or 4 clubs' reserves playing at the top end of the championship stuffed with quality British and foreign youth. It basically allows them to have an even bigger squad and bigger advantage over everyone than they do now.

We currently struggle to field a decent First XI, let alone have a B team. I'd rather some arrangement like a tie up with say Dundee Utd or Brondby or even a club in the MLS whereby we loan them our best and also buy players to place with them for development. I don't think we'd ever manage to support our own version of Salzburg for example. But we could have the likes of Simms, Gordon and Onyango all playing top flight football for the same club in Scotland, competing for trophies and even playing in Europe.

This sort of arrangement kicked things off for Solanke, Mount and others at Vitesse Arnhem. Might also have been away to keep talents like Vlasic and Lookman at the club, sparing us the need to buy the likes of Iwobi.

Robert Tressell
53 Posted 29/09/2021 at 17:29:00
As I reflect on this it occurs to me the future might involve B teams playing top flight league football with the A teams released for the European super league.

Grim thought

Andrew Keatley
54 Posted 29/09/2021 at 18:03:12
Where would these B teams be introduced into the Football League pyramid though? Surely they'd have to start at the same entry level as any other new club as anything else would be elitism. Would we - or any other Premier League club - be happy to commit their young players into what would surely be several tough years of 38+ fixtures against non-professional players in the hope of it bearing fruit further down the line? Or would the Premier League strive to create a new tier - perhaps to sit between the current Tier 5 (National League) and Tier 6 (National Leagues North and South) - and then allow fate to take its course and promotion and relegation to allow those respective B sides to climb the ladder or not?

For me, at a time when lots of smaller clubs in the lower reaches of the EFL and in the National Leagues are really struggling to survive and thrive, the prioritising of how the richer clubs get bigger and stronger in terms of the development of young players is not a great look.

Dennis Stevens
55 Posted 29/09/2021 at 18:08:40
Perhaps the answer is for some of these struggling clubs to effectively become feeder / "B" team clubs for the bigger ones. Bury might still be here if they'd had that sort of arrangement.
Robert Tressell
56 Posted 29/09/2021 at 18:51:02
I think the big clubs would buy smaller local clubs and run them as a B team. Could be a way of helping clubs like Bury survive. I don't think they'd try to enter a new team in the league for the reasons you suggest Andrew.

It feels like an unpleasant place to end up with community clubs losing their sense of identity.

I do like the idea of some feeder / affiliation arrangement though as a better transition to first team football thanU23s and the daft competition we played in last night.

Danny O’Neill
57 Posted 29/09/2021 at 19:29:21
I'd agree with that Robert. I'm not saying make the Spanish or German or Italian system fit English football. We'd have to fix grass roots first for that and don't set me off on that scratched record!!

I just think we need to restructure. And that could be a way to do it. The bigger clubs "adopt" a neighbour club as their B team. It helps us, it helps the likes of Bury as Robert mentions.

Which leads me to your point Andrew Keating. It's not about making it fit the current pyramid. It's about overhauling the pyramid and re-designing it. We have too many professional clubs playing in national leagues.

Germany - 3 national leagues before it goes regional.
Italy - 4 national leagues (but only 3 professional) before it goes regional. The 4th tier is defined "inter-regional".

I'll repeat, I like the B Team concept, but I think for English football, the more realistic model would be to adopt a club and farm our fringe players out to them and influence how they are coached and play. Depending on which way you look at it, you can call it B Team, Reserves, targeted & consolidated loaning or feeder club. But we have our players all playing together in the competitive league football system. Not behind closed doors on a training pitch at Finch Farm.

And it wouldn't just be young players, although they would likely make up the majority. There would be other squad players in the mix too. See above.

But ultimately, they're playing league football and which ever way you look at it, representing Everton with a view to progressing to the senior team.


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