Everton U23s 2 - 0 Chelsea U23s
Everton U23s scored a fine win over Chelsea at Goodison Park in Premier League 2 on Friday night.
The form of the U23s has slipped badly again as the news that their manager of 9 years, David Unsworth, is leaving the club. The side has lost 5 of their last 6 games and they have slid down the PL2 table into 12th, place, just 4 points ahead of their opponents. Tonight, they were managed by John Ebbrell, assisted by fellow former players, Jose Baxter and Leighton Baines.
Jarrad Branthwaite dropped down from the first team to captain the side. Everton should have gone ahead on 12 minutes when Dobin slipped but Dobbin's penalty lacked power and was poor.
But Everton went ahead after the half-hour through Tom Cannon with a fine strike on a backheel pass from Onyango on a ball over the top.
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Rafael Garcia was back in action after a season or more of injury problems, and he made it 2-0 for the home side with a superb strike in added time following a mazy run by Stan Mills.
Chelsea dominated the second half and threw everything at Everton but could not alter the scoreline.
Everton U23s: Tyrer, Mills (80' Butterfield), Campbell [Y:90+5'], Welch, Branthwaite, Price, Whitaker (65' McAllister), Onyango, Dobbin, Cannon, Garcia (87' Lawrence).
Subs not Used: Crellin, Anderson.
Reader Comments (54)
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1 Posted 15/04/2022 at 09:17:32
Is John Ebbrell taking charge of coaching tonight? Hes been around quite a bit since he retired as a player, at Tranmere, scouting and coaching at Everton, hopefully he will show what he can do if he stays at Everton.
2 Posted 15/04/2022 at 09:33:03
It goes back to the dysfunctional nature of how the club has been run. No system, no strategy. Left hand (academy) not talking to right hand (first team). They have almost been operating as 2 separate entities.
The eternal optimist in me senses we may just be starting to address that with the new broom. I'll tune in later. Or log in to coin a more contemporary phrase.
3 Posted 15/04/2022 at 09:46:24
Pardon me while I butt the wall ( again) just thinking about the way this club has been run.
4 Posted 15/04/2022 at 09:53:48
Part of our recent issues have been that our best players Price, Welch, Whitaker, Dobbin, Onyango, Warrington have rarely played together due to a mixture of first team training, injuries and loans. As ever, Im hoping for a better performance from them tonight, maybe some minutes for the likes of Emilio Lawrence, Martin Sherif, Ishe Samuels-Smith who have done well at u18 despite being u16s. But maybe the pragmatic approach is just to get the game won.
5 Posted 15/04/2022 at 10:45:19
Not sure why.
At least four of that starting line-up will probably leave in summer as out of contract. So maybe we're putting them in the shop window to try to find a new club.
I hope Onyango plays tonight in particular as it will be good to see just how close or not he is to first-team football.
6 Posted 15/04/2022 at 11:08:26
I think Onyango has been injured, Price and Welch have been on the first-team bench recently, Dobbin signed a 3-year contract earlier this season so I think that only leaves Astley who will be out of contract in the summer.
They do however miss Ellis Simms and Warrington out on loan and Charlie Whitaker, who has just come back from injury. I think Mills's form has dropped lately, maybe because he has been played out of his normal forward position.
7 Posted 15/04/2022 at 13:13:03
The lads who look set to leave this summer (unless offered another deal) are:
Wish them all the best.
Of those, Anderson in particular is a steady player and I can see him having a decent career.
It leaves the u23s a bit light for next season - especially if some of the best are loaned out. There'll be a few promotions from the u18s but we could probably do with buying in one or two from other academies, lower leagues or even abroad.
8 Posted 15/04/2022 at 13:51:07
Hunt has been around for quite a while and looked a very good prospect before injuries took a toll on his progress and Astley was also well rated but I think Welch has gone ahead of him now.
Lawrence and Samuels Smith are the latest young lads to get in the spot light and I think, personally, Samuels- Smith is a better prospect than Small who left for Southampton last summer, although there is still some doubt that Lawrence will sign a professional contract with Everton and Chelsea lingering in the wings ready to snap him up, alledgally!!
9 Posted 15/04/2022 at 14:37:44
Small had all the physical attributes – like Alphonso Davies – but Samuels-Smith is a much more intelligent footballer.
10 Posted 15/04/2022 at 15:48:37
11 Posted 15/04/2022 at 15:49:49
Chelsea have somehow been able to develop their academy with useful young acquisitions from abroad and elsewhere.
12 Posted 15/04/2022 at 16:02:12
If you want Everton in the community, get out there into grass roots and promote football rather than charity. We are a football club. Develop the local youth football setup for the many rather than cherry pick an elite few. Both grass roots and the club will benefit.
And no, I am not a Corbynist. I just borrowed the phrase.
13 Posted 15/04/2022 at 16:22:08
Chelsea's academy graduates are not just foreign imports, Steavey.
In fact foreign imports are massively outnumbered. There might be more but I can only think of Christensen and Gilmour at the moment.
That compares with Abraham, Tomori, Anjorin, Solanke, James, Livramento, Broja, Loftus-Cheek, Hudson-Odoi, Lamptey, Mount, Guehi, Chalobah and Gallagher etc. Some of them qualify for other countries because they come from a cosmopolitan city, but they're all British / London I think.
14 Posted 15/04/2022 at 17:34:53
The village I visit annually due to historical links has a footballing facility that puts our parks to shame. A village team in the arse end of nowhere with no connections to any professional club. The kids play and train on clay pitches to keep them on their feet and make them care for the ball.
My suggestion is that Everton could pioneer. Get amongst the local community and sponsor teams. Send coaches to coach them. Fund them and give them facilities. It would serve as benefit to the community whilst concurrently acting as a scouting network.
But coach and leave lads in there natural environment until ready. Don't poach one or 2 into the closed gates of Finch Farm. The closed bubble.
I would love to replicate Schalke or Ajax. We couldnt. I would just like to see Everton promote football in the community. Pioneer something in the British game.
Everton in the community from a footballing perspective that we get benefit from for our core business. Football. Not the charity it currently is.
Apologies. I can get emotive about this! Looking forward to this evening.
15 Posted 15/04/2022 at 18:09:03
Incidentally, in the last month, our U14s and U15s have won their age groups' PL Youth National Tournaments and the U16s finished runners-up in theirs. So things may not be too gloomy, it looks like we have the talent in our youngsters, just need to convert more of them into regular first-team players.
16 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:05:22
17 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:06:27
18 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:07:07
The English academy system is creating talent, but it's definitely destroying a lot more imo. They mostly go off the same hymn sheet, and it's mostly all about “today”, (with kids for goodness sake) which is why I think it's destroying a lot more talent, than it's actually creating.
I went to an Under-8s tournament today, and what impressed me was that every team played each other but no trophy was given to the best team. No quarter, semi's or final, which meant no parents screaming, for them to get the ball away, and this also helped the lesser players get more game time, and was definitely much more beneficial to the kids, than half a season of a 40-minute game every weekend, imo.
19 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:12:30
20 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:14:33
21 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:21:56
22 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:34:57
23 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:35:11
They are playing a lot better on a decent pitch.
24 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:44:35
25 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:47:13
26 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:48:33
27 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:49:45
28 Posted 15/04/2022 at 19:55:08
29 Posted 15/04/2022 at 20:01:10
30 Posted 15/04/2022 at 20:28:21
31 Posted 15/04/2022 at 20:59:56
32 Posted 15/04/2022 at 21:00:33
33 Posted 15/04/2022 at 21:05:19
34 Posted 15/04/2022 at 21:38:41
Passing and movement not very inspiring though.
35 Posted 15/04/2022 at 22:28:38
Chelsea pressed us very high in the second half, and condensed the game to the extent that our midfielders struggled to find any time or space on the ball.
We didn't move the ball quickly enough - and we have a group of players who often take too many touches when in possession – Rafa Garcia, Charlie Whittaker, Tyler Onyango and Lewis Dobbin were all guilty at times.
Like several other posters, I thought Branthwaite again looked noticeably superior to anyone else on the pitch. Big, strong, quick, decisive – he really could be something very special.
Tyrer had a very good game, Campbell and Welch were solid, Mills gave a very good account of himself at right-back – with lots of very good and expansive attacking moments, and Cannon worked hard and took his goal well – as did the live-wire Garcia, who was a general nuisance for Chelsea for most of the game.
36 Posted 15/04/2022 at 22:50:08
37 Posted 15/04/2022 at 23:01:40
38 Posted 15/04/2022 at 23:03:39
Garcia (haven't seen him before) looked skillful and positive. A clever goal too.
Dobbin is very quick and would benefit from better players around him, I think.
Price impressed me most in the first half, I was wondering why he had been around the first team a couple of times. He looked calm and composed on the ball, can spot a pass and gets around the pitch. One to watch there.
The second half was a mainly defensive effort with Branthwaite standing out, as he should. Welch was good alongside him too.
I was a bit disappointed by Onyango. He had some good moments but I felt he could do more. Still has time though and looks the part physically.
A good win. I wish they would play more U23 games at Goodison.
39 Posted 15/04/2022 at 23:38:32
40 Posted 16/04/2022 at 06:58:04
41 Posted 16/04/2022 at 08:57:47
42 Posted 16/04/2022 at 09:13:38
43 Posted 16/04/2022 at 09:41:49
I've only really seen Branthwaite against Chelsea away this season, so would need a more qualified opinion.
I get the impression he is similar to Keane but more aggressive and with better anticipation?
So you wouldn't want to play those 2 together regularly?
Hence the ongoing need for a commanding (and quick) footballing centre-back. No, I won't leave it until we do it!!!
44 Posted 16/04/2022 at 09:53:34
Maybe Im wrong, because consecutive managers have refused to play him, but this kid definitely needs to be playing first team football somewhere, otherwise its possible he might begin to stagnate?
45 Posted 16/04/2022 at 10:10:20
Harry Tyrer has always looked a good solid goalkeeper yet they signed another ‘keeper from Fleetwood, I think, in January, who is around the same age as Harry. He didn't look very good on his debut for Everton U23s, makes you think does anyone know what they are doing with Mr Moshiri's money!!
46 Posted 16/04/2022 at 10:24:09
It amazes and disturbs me to read posts from Dave #3 outlining how badly our teams have been run. What did Brands do as DoF? Surely it was his job to coordinate all of the teams and get the youngsters playing decent football?
What was Unsworth doing etc? Why did the first team managers over the years not get involved? Was it a case that they all thought there was a bottomless pit of money to buy established players so no need to develop our own?
It really is a total disgrace and maybe Unsworth was “gently ushered towards the door” as the start of a revamp? It's certainly a hell of a coincidence that he has taken this decision to move on so soon after the new DoF has arrived.
47 Posted 16/04/2022 at 10:51:40
48 Posted 16/04/2022 at 14:49:17
“What did Brands do as DoF?”
For me, Brands initiated the significant changes that have taken place at U18 and U23 level in recent years. A few years ago, when he was clearly our best U18 player, Gordon played about 5 or 6 U23 games as the mantra was “It's a big step up from U18 to U23”.
Last night, 6 U18 players featured, plus a 16-year-old schoolboy. The majority of the outfield players last night were in our FA Youth Cup team last season. These youngsters may not be good enough eventually, but we'll find out early instead of them clogging up the U23s at 22 as we had years ago.
49 Posted 16/04/2022 at 17:29:30
Genuine question as I don't know if he did or if he ignored it.
50 Posted 16/04/2022 at 18:34:16
There was the story before Christmas of when Unsworth was playing 3 at the back and Brands told him to “play like the first team” and the set up was changed.
The U18s and U23s certainly play out from the back more than they did a few years ago when only Man City and Chelsea seemed to do that back then. But you couldn't really say we have developed a genuine style from U18 through U23 to first team. That's almost impossible to achieve with the turnover of managers and DoFs we've had.
51 Posted 16/04/2022 at 19:23:03
Every time I see Branthwaite, I see a physical colossus with pace, intelligence and ability on the ball. He's our best centre-half – just lacking a bit of experience.
I want him starting every game next season, alongside someone with a bit of nous to organise him.
52 Posted 16/04/2022 at 21:14:05
Tony, I think you make a very good point with regards to Branthwaite. This is a player that now needs to be playing to continue his upward progress. It's as clear as day that he is beyond the U23s now.
I think this issue needs taking seriously, it would be a crime against football if Jarrad became stagnated or disillusioned. If he was 23 and playing like he has been he would probably be getting more starts. I think the fact he is 19 makes people doubt his reliability because of inexperience.
Robert, he definitely deserves all those adjectives, I was trying to think of one for him and the best I can muster is ‘assurance'. Of all the teenage players, he's the one you would bet your house on being a consistent Premier League class player. A potential Top 4 standard defender, that's real potential and not the confetti sort.
One more thing: I love that he has a bit of the John Terry goal threat about him too. Determined to get on the end of set-pieces and working on them with Anthony Gordon. The Chelsea goal was magnificent because it involved these two special lads conspiring for it.
53 Posted 16/04/2022 at 22:22:39
54 Posted 17/04/2022 at 05:38:55
I said at the time, possibly a hidden legacy that may take time to realise the benefits was the apparent under-the-radar restructuring of the academy. Or at least sowing the seeds of change that others will now build on. Bumping up younger players into more senior teams and leagues was a start and is obvious even to the likes of me, who doesn't get to watch the youngsters as much as some.
As we've seen with Chelsea, restructuring of youth setups and the subsequent benefits takes several years. It's not an overnight thing. Hopefully that will be Brands' contribution to Everton even if he just started the change rather than be allowed to see it through.
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