Venue: Stade d'Octodure, Martigny, (Swi)
Friendly
 Saturday 12 July 2008; 3:00pm
FC SION 
1-0
 EVERTON
Crettenand (58')
Half Time: 0-0
  
Attendance:
Friendly 3
Referee: M.Stuber

Match Summary

Everton's Swiss training camp ended with a friendly against FC Sion. David Moyes fielded a mixed team with the absence of various senior players, giving a chance for the youngsters and a certain Dutch player, Andy van der Meyde.

It was an interesting chance to see a number of the younger players — Baxter, Kissock, Irving, Rodwell, Agard, Jutkiewicz — who could well form a real reserve crew for Moyes's depleted threadbare, paper-thin squad.

The game was, of course, a pretty low-key affair, Everton looking understandably rusty, while Sion finally got the lead in the second half with a nicely worked goal.

Michael Kenrick

Match Report

Finished work at 2.30 and thought sod it, can’t make the Forest friendly with my best mate (who’s a Forest fan (poor man)) later in the month, so spent a fiver on Everton tv for the preseason games instead. Here’s my analysis of our opening friendly.

FC Sion are a week away from the start of their season and their advanced pre-season preparation was evident throughout the match; looking sharper, faster and more fluid. However their limitations as a footballing side were fairly evident and we will be facing much sterner tests next season in the Uefa Cup.

I would hope we will be fielding much stronger teams though as we started the game with four players yet to make their premiership debut (see below for player ratings). There were some positive performances, most notably from the centre backs Lescott and Jagielka who looked assured and comfortable throughout. Rodwell looks to be eyeing the Carsley role and made himself available for the defence to move the ball out to whilst also putting himself about to break up Sion (although he was partnered in central midfield by Neville and may not have the same level of defensive support with a more attacking team-mate).

The outstanding performance in a blue jersey for me though came from Andy van der Meyde. Shaven-headed and lively, he was our most creative player, showing the most desire and certainly surprised me. Even if he was ultimately not effective enough to produce an Everton goal, we have to remember he was playing along side an extremely junior forward line-up which wouldn’t have even featured regularly in the reserves last season.


GK: Turner: 6/10 Looked a little flappy with balls into the box and not confident claiming balls, but had no chance with Sion’s goal.

RB: Irving: 6/10 Had some good moments showing he could read the game well, but struggled a little for pace and also showed inexperience when dealing with a player running at him.

LB: Valente: 4/10 Sluggish and ineffective. At fault for Sion’s goal (in that he was beaten for pace and position). Maybe it takes the older players longer to get sharp in preseason but I for one am hoping Baines gains full fitness soon.

CB: Lescott: 7/10: Looked in good shape to continue the form of last season. Very important player to have in the side.

CB: Jagielka: 7/10: Assured and strong, hasn’t improved passing.

RM: VDM: 9/10: (Relatively) Best player for us, fingers crossed for next season, some good touches, accurate passes and if we’d had some senior attackers on the park he would undoubtedly have been more effective.

LM: Kissock: 7/10: A young Osman. A bit rusty and looked like a work in progress. Ran at players but lost the ball (maybe a young Faddy then…). Wouldn’t be happy to see his name on the team sheet for the opening game of the season, but maybe later on…

CM: Rodwell: 8/10: Also lots of potential but more of it has been realised. Comfortable on the ball and makes simple passing look easy ala Carrick/Huddlestone. Had a great break into the penalty area near the end. Exciting prospect.

CM: Neville: 7/10: Solid without being inspiring. What’s new?

AM: Baxter: 6/10: Difficult to judge due to lack of senior fellow attackers, but looked anonymous and has some way to go.

CF: Lukas: 5/10: Not a great game although did hold the ball up well at times (strength and neat feet), but so little support. 451 is a tricky formation for a young striker to lead (although…see below)

Subs:

CR: Agard 8/10: Much more dangerous than Lukas. Pace, strength and given a some decent service I could see him doing very well. Had or was involved in some of our best chances. If we are short of forward players for whatever reason he is a realistic option (more so than Lukas on the evidence of this game)

CM/AM: O’Kane: 8/10: Can pass, attacking, decent touch and whilst I wouldn’t expect him to breakthrough this year, definitely a prospect.

LM: Molyneux 5/10: Not sure he got a touch (although my wireless connection did drop off occasionally)

All in all not a great performance, and the most worrying thing was the lack of senior players involved (Osman, Vaughan, Baines injured…AJ?). But for the first game of the pre-season not entirely dis-heartening and the performances of VDM and Agard were real causes to hope being ‘like new signings’ as they will be. Rodwell, and O’Kane also showed that if we are short of senior players the academy is continuing to produce quality options. Would still love to see Fernandes/Moutinho/Cana in the squad in the next few weeks though!

Andrew Humphrey

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FC SION (4-4-2)
  El-Hadary
  Bühler (72' Nwaneri)
  Kali
  Vanczak
  Reset (72' Grosicki)
  Serey Die (66' Geiger)
  Dominguez (66' Beto)
  Ahoueya
  Germanier (46 Brellier)
  Saborio (72' Adeshina)
  Crettenand (72' M'futi)
  Subs not used

EVERTON (4-4-2)
  Turner
  Irving
  Jagielka
  Lescott
  Valente
  Neville
  Rodwell
  Kissock (72' Molyneux)
  Van der Meyde
  Baxter (62' O'Kane)
  Jutkiewicz (46' Agard)
  Subs not used
  Ruddy
  Sinnot
  Unavailable
  Johnson (injured)
  Cahill (injured)
  Arteta (injured)
  Hibbert (injured)
  Osman (injured)
  Baines (injured)
  Vaughan (injured)
  Gosling (International duty)
  Yobo (on leave)
  Pienaar (on leave)
  Yakubu (on leave)
  Anichebe (on leave)
  Howard (on leave)

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