Lookman sends England into U20 World Cup quarter-finals

Wednesday 31 May 2017  92 Comments  [Jump to last]

Everton's Ademola Lookman scored twice as England overcame Costa Rica and progressed to the last eight of the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea.

The 19-year-old netted a goal fashioned by Toffees team-mates in each half, the first set up by Jonjoe Kenny and the brilliantly-taken second by Dominic Calvert-Lewin, to put his country 2-0 up and also saw a free kick attempt come off the crossbar.

The Central Americans, who had an earlier goal disallowed for offside, pulled one back a minute before the end but the Young Lions held on for a 2-1 win.

England will face either Mexico or Senegal in the quarter-finals next Monday, 5th June.

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Reader Comments (92)

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Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
1 Posted 29/05/2017 at 04:19:10
I couldn't find the Eurosport coverage. Can someone post the details? Ta!
Brian Wilkinson
3 Posted 29/05/2017 at 19:41:06
Hi Mike, I have been following all the games, however unless there is a programme change on the Day, the England game is not being shown live on the usual channels or Eurosport.

Fox Sports and various overseas channels are streaming the game live, so hopefully one of our fellow Evertonians might put a link on for us to be able to watch the game.

There is a game on live on Eurosport at 2 am later that Day, hopefully will show some of the hilights of the England game.

Brian Cleveland
4 Posted 29/05/2017 at 19:53:23
Just checked and it is being shown live on DirecTV if that helps any...
Tony Hogan
5 Posted 30/05/2017 at 07:52:05
Anyone know if the next England game v Costa Rica is on Eurosport, and what time?
Tony Hogan
6 Posted 31/05/2017 at 09:12:00
Eurosport 2 @ 9.30 Wednesday night until 11, obviously not live, highlights only ?
Brian Cleveland
7 Posted 31/05/2017 at 11:59:55
I would share my DirecTV if I knew how to!
Chris Williams
8 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:12:45
England U20 team v Costa Rica has 4 of ours starting

Kenny, Dowell, Calvert Lewin, Lookman

Brian Cleveland
9 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:35:20
Yessssssssssssssss – goal Lookman!

(Assist Kenny!)

Chris Williams
10 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:39:45
Made in Everton!

Sounds like a lively start by all the Blue Boys.

Sam Hoare
11 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:43:33
They are good, these lads, aren't they? Think we'll see a fair bit of Lookman and Kenny in the first team next season, hopefully.
Brian Cleveland
12 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:48:37
Half-time 1 - 0

Lookman lively, especially last 15 minutes and Calvert-Lewin coming more into it.

Kenny and Dowell solid without being spectacular for the moment, doing what is needed.

Chris Williams
13 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:49:57
By the sound of it, he could have scored again.
Jay Wood
14 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:54:25
Lookman is terrorizing Costa Rica every time he gets on the ball.

Our 4 lads are again playing well. I also like England's #7 – Spurs Josh Onomah. Very tidy and confident on the ball in midfield.

And for those bemoaning the lack of transfer action at Everton, using the Liverpool's signing of Solanke (a Chelsea reserve who never played for the 1st team) as a stick to beat the club with, Calvert-Lewin is showing better movement and involvement than the lastest pinkie recruit.

Brian Cleveland
15 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:54:52
Yes, had a couple of chances in the last 5 mins, both Lookman and Calvert-Lewin. Their keeper seems pretty decent, kept them in the tournament in previous matches.

Pity the stadium is practically empty, it sounds like the Emirates!

When the competition was here in Colombia, the stadiums were pretty full.

Tom Bowers
16 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:58:27
Let's not get carried away with these young players. Quite a few never make the step up when expected.

Of the Everton contingent we have seen the promise of Lookman, Dowell and Calvert-Lewin in the first team so let's hope at least that these and Kenny become good fixtures in the future.

Peter Gorman
17 Posted 31/05/2017 at 12:59:15
Seems Kenny is being his usual excellent self at both ends – I really hope Koeman is paying attention.

As expected, the only press interest is surrounding that lot's new boy Solanke. It is enough to make one bitter.

Jay Wood
18 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:01:47
Who's getting carried away, Tom?

I only read posters accurately reporting what is happening in this game.

Enjoy the 2nd half. I intend to, with a jaundiced eye watching, in particular, players associated with Everton.

Brian Cleveland
19 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:04:43
Yes Jay agree, Onomah looks tidy too.
Brian Cleveland
20 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:08:33
England lucky there, fractionally offside.
Brian Cleveland
21 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:14:26
Unlucky Lookman, hit the bar with a free kick... keeper no chance
Brian Cleveland
22 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:19:02
Fantastic! Another cool finish by Lookman, assisted by Calvert-Lewin!

The Everton show rolls on!

Jay Wood
23 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:19:14
Lookman again!

Very cool!

Chris Williams
24 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:20:23
Everton U20 2 Costa Rica 0
Thomas Surgenor
25 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:24:03
Reading the minute by minute updates (no access to a TV at work).

Lookman is getting rave reviews. Says he is beating his man every time.

What position is he playing? What formation are England playing?

Also says Calvert-Lewin had a few good chances but fluffed his lines.

Brian Cleveland
26 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:29:10
Lookman is playing out on the left but comes inside too. And he really is cutting through them every opportunity, quick feet. His second goal really was a peach, good control and nutmeg on the keeper with the outside of his foot.

I wouldn't say Calvert-Lewin has fluffed his lines, played a good team game. Just gone off.

Jay Wood
27 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:31:20
Lookman playing wide left, but also cutting inside to dangerous effect.

Overstating it to say Calvert-Lewin is fluffing his lines. No clear-cut chances, being denied by a very good 'keeper, Costa Rica's best player on the day. Calvert-Lewin set up Lookman's 2nd for him.

Brian Cleveland
28 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:31:56
Haha, Jay, did you copy and paste me?!!
Ajay Gopal
29 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:33:25
Wow, getting all excited here!

Everton Boys 2 Costa Rica 0

(Okay, maybe that is getting a bit too carried away – blue tinted specs and all!)

Jay Wood
30 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:37:12
I think there is an echo-echo-echo in here Brain!!!
Brian Cleveland
31 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:38:13
England getting sloppy at the back now trying to play where they shouldn't. Lost concentration since the long stoppage for the Costa Rica keeper...
Brian Cleveland
32 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:40:52
Dowell off... him and Kenny have a really good understanding on that right side
Peter Gorman
33 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:40:57
And Zambia are leading Germany 2-1!
Brian Cleveland
34 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:44:08
Oh shit, penalty to Costa Rica...
Brian Cleveland
35 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:45:44
Keeper made a decent save but nothing he can do with the rebound... England losing momentum with the changes, not got the same rhythm and understanding.
Jay Wood
36 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:52:24
The 'keeper Woodman was unlucky on the penalty. Saved, but they scored on the follow-up.

That got unnecessarily tight for England at the end having dominated for so much of the game.

Shouldn't have subbed out 2 Everton men!

Brian Cleveland
37 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:52:31
We're through but made hard work of it in the last 15. Should have taken advantage of other opportunities to kill it before that.

Both keepers look pretty decent prospects to mention non-Everton connections!

Brian Cleveland
38 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:54:20
Zambia - Germany 3-3 now!
Brian Cleveland
39 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:57:42
Was 3-1 Zambia until 89th minute... then equaliser after 93 mins... guess extra time there, but I've not got that game. :-(
Chris Williams
40 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:59:26
If it goes to penalties, I bet Germany win!
Jay Wood
41 Posted 31/05/2017 at 13:59:48
Could only find a link to the 2nd goal.

(Disclaimer: I am not responsible for the accompanying sound track!).

Link - Now blocked by Fifa

Calvert-Lewin is the player who breaks free down the left and who pulls the ball back for Lookman to work his cool finish.

Jay Wood
42 Posted 31/05/2017 at 14:04:15
Just found a link for Lookman's 1st goal. Ignore the opening commentary – it's out of sync with the action.

Link

Kenny threatening first time cross from the right the defence struggle to deal with, Lookman on hand to finish.

Peter Gorman
43 Posted 31/05/2017 at 14:18:26
As ever, much obliged, Jay
Minik Hansen
44 Posted 31/05/2017 at 15:10:23
Boost to his confidence, this is very important for him. When you have players around that you look up to and they look down on you is a real shame, it brings you down and perform less than your potentials. I hope Lookman and other youngsters are taken good care of, and Lookman continues to shine. COYB.
Paul Thompson
45 Posted 31/05/2017 at 15:15:30
Goals made and scored at Everton. Full highlights here:

Link

Michael Kenrick
46 Posted 31/05/2017 at 16:13:03
Tremendous work by our Blue Boys!!!

If you want to see some more fine goals, that Germany - Zambia game looks to have been a fun one:

Andrew Ellams
47 Posted 31/05/2017 at 16:33:06
I'm always a bit sceptical about getting too excited over the youngsters coming through; for every Wayne Rooney or Ross Barkley, there are always a lot more John-Paul Kissocks but we seem to have an excellent bunch on our hands here and hope they don't disappear under Moshiri's millions and the modern day obsession with buying instant success.
Mwila Mwenya
48 Posted 31/05/2017 at 16:37:12
Zambia just won a nail biting encounter with Germany...Everton should look at some of those Zambian boys amazing stuff
Tony Hill
49 Posted 31/05/2017 at 16:42:18
Big result that, Mwila. I assume we have African scouts, do we? I know we have European ones but don't know the position further afield generally. Do the Zambian lads play in Africa or do they play elsewhere, does anyone know?

John Quilliam
50 Posted 31/05/2017 at 16:53:04
As regards TV coverage; I have watched last two games on t'Internet; Mobdro; one of the Bein channels. (If you don't know Mobdro you'll have to download it.)

Hope this helps (and works next time).

Just to add to what's been said, the Toffees did us proud.
Mwila Mwenya
51 Posted 31/05/2017 at 16:55:20
A few, I think two of them, play in Europe. Heard one scored a couple of goals in a Champions League junior league final of some sort.

The rest play in Zambia. Maybe I should put my hand up and become scout for Everton in Africa – much better than being in Corporate Finance, I reckon. :)

Brian Williams
52 Posted 31/05/2017 at 16:58:16
So Kieran Dowell puts England through the last round and Ade Lookman puts England through this one.
Dom Calvert-Lewin to win England the next round anyone?

Ademola's second was a peach by the way.

Ian Bennett
53 Posted 31/05/2017 at 17:27:32
Is on Eurosport 2 tonight at 9.30 UK time.
Dan Egerton
54 Posted 31/05/2017 at 17:52:42
You can see both goals here
Link

Will Mabon
55 Posted 31/05/2017 at 18:11:17
Excellent. Looked better than Everton.
Brian Murray
56 Posted 31/05/2017 at 20:37:15
Andrew (#47),

Haha, I wasn't sure if you were serous about potential Moshiri's millions being spent. Rest assured, Kenny, Lookman, Dowell... even a young Beni Baningime will feature partly because of a no-show in transfers but also (hopefully) because they are a class above Barkley, McCarthy, Besic, Mirallas etc...

Lev Vellene
58 Posted 31/05/2017 at 21:05:00
Andrew (#47),

No need for the 'over-excited' bit here! Lookman did so very well earlier in the tournament, but got no goals out of it... If that, combined with today's total haul, will make him a more reflected and better player, then so be it!

He never feared trying with his appearances for EFC, or with the National team. We may have to ease him into it... I'd assume Messi was 7 feet tall and twice as broad, for all those goals he scored, and even HE made it... :D Eventually...

David Currie
59 Posted 31/05/2017 at 21:10:54
Terrific second goal by Lookman who was lively throughout and another assist by Kenny. Like the look of Dowell who has touches of class.
Brian Cleveland
60 Posted 31/05/2017 at 22:01:36
There are two things really for Lookman to learn still in the big boys game... first is knowing when to play with it and when to get rid. We saw a few examples of him losing it in dangerous areas last season, so his decision making needs to improve, hardly a surprise at his age and the fact he is only just getting to play with seniors at top level. I expect he'll learn that along the way.

The second is just learning to be a bit "bigger" and not pushed off it easily which he can sometimes still tend to be, and thinks a lot of them are fouls. Again, experience needed.

I'm usually a "glass half-empty" kind of person (on reflection, I'm usually a "glass almost-empty" kind of person!), but on today's performance, he certainly looked the business. Very neat feet, looked like a hot knife through butter at times. Very exciting to watch.

Today, Dowell was perhaps the quietest of our contingent, but by no means played badly. He has a good eye for a pass and links up very well with Kenny, almost a Baines - Pienaar type combination in the making if I dare make such a comparison.

Calvert-Lewin seems to hold the ball up quite well when it comes to him out of defence, allowing others to get up in support, perhaps a certain Romelu Lukaku can learn from him (if he bothers to stick around).

Kenny seems to have an outboard motor fitted getting forward and back the full length of the pitch on many occasions over the course of every game.

Roll on Monday and the next opposition, well done lads.

Dave Abrahams
61 Posted 31/05/2017 at 22:14:37
Just got in, great result, made up for all our young players and the rest of the England team, hope they make more progress.

Thanks for all the reports and the link off Jay Wood.

Tommy Davis
62 Posted 01/06/2017 at 00:35:09
Hey Michael K, for all USA blues, beinSports are showing all the U-20 WC games on Directv, it is on ch:620!

Very pleased with our youngsters yet again, great to see Lookman displaying the ability that we know he has, he ran their backs ragged & scored two well taken goals, should have been three, with a superb free kick that thudded off the bar!

Calvert-Lewin had another good game, as did Jonjoe Kenny once again! I do hope Koeman gives Jonjoe a few starts, like he's done with Lookman & Calvert-Lewin, if he turns out like Tom Davies, then Seamus will have a fight on his hand, or Koeman may have to play a 5-3-2 formation just to appease them!

James Watts
63 Posted 01/06/2017 at 00:45:37
Nicely played boys.

As others have stated, Lookman had a very fine game. Playing on the left, cutting in when he could. Would suit Koeman's formation.

A lot to be pleased with for us with Kenny and Dowell also doing very well again.

Paul Ferry
64 Posted 01/06/2017 at 02:02:50
The match is being shown again onBeIn sport – as Tommy says, channel 620 -– at 10PM (central).
Paul Ferry
65 Posted 01/06/2017 at 04:04:57
Crap! It's not BeIN 620, Tommy, but Fox 618 and it's just starting!
Mike Gaynes
66 Posted 01/06/2017 at 04:31:34
Having seen the replay of the full match, I'm absolutely dazzled by Lookman. Best player on the pitch by a rifle shot. Quick, stronger than last fall, intelligent, fierce, deadly. Scored twice, could have had four.

Kenny was impressive as always going forward, but also demonstrated excellent fundamentals on defense – positionally flawless, anticipates well. However, I'm concerned he doesn't yet have the physical strength or presence to play the backline in the Premier League. The Costa Rica players he marked on corners seemed to toss him aside easily, and Costa Rica doesn't exactly make big guys. IMO, Kenny needs to spend a whole lot of time in the gym this summer and put on about ten pounds of muscle before he'll be able to defend Premier League forwards.

Paul Ferry
67 Posted 01/06/2017 at 04:34:13
4 Everton lads in this starting 11 and Davies would have started if available – 5/11.

Last time for England was Mexico 1986 right?

Something good is happening.

James Watts
68 Posted 01/06/2017 at 05:35:01
Mike (#66). It's a momentous day. One I will mark down in my calendar. I fully and utterly agree with your comments, especially the first paragraph.

I feel like I need to start a Martina thread just so we can argue again. But I won't, I'll enjoy agreeing with you for once! *tips hat* until next time sir.

Brian Porter
69 Posted 01/06/2017 at 07:00:53
Lookman definitely Man of the Match. The free kick he took that hit the bar was better than any dead ball strike provided by any of our senior professionals last season. Koeman should be giving him far more game time in the coming season as I have a feeling this lad could turn into something special in time.

We paid a sizable fee to buy him from Charlton, based in part on his goalscoring prowess in League 1. He's now producing some of his best form on the international stage, ably assisted by his Everton teammates. A star in the making!

Jamie Morgan
70 Posted 01/06/2017 at 09:21:27
Well done, the young Blues!

I'm having a right rant about Sky Sports at the moment! I know we all hate the Sky bias but this morning I look at the Sky Sports App. All I see is "Who should Liverpool sign"?

And now my all time favourite "Solanke Watch" – how did their redshite new signing do for England U20s.

It reminds me of Anchorman, when "Panda Watch" had a reporter posted outside the zoo for the birth of a Panda! And bugger all happened there too!

Oh and how did Solanke do? He was totally overshadowed by our boys who get fuck all mention!

And breathe!!!!

Dave Abrahams
71 Posted 01/06/2017 at 09:24:43
Mike (#66) don't be concerned about Jonjoe's size, he is around the same size as Leighton Baines. Leighton has been a great full back for Everton and Jonjoe has the ability and desire to be a fixture in the team for many years.

These young players coming through are going to be a big part of Everton's team building in the future unless Usmanov comes onto the board, then unfortunately a lot of these kids will be overlooked for ready made stars.

By the way, Mike, I realise you were not having a go at Kenny but offering useful advice, but again, I don't think you should worry about his size – it's not as big as his heart and that will do for me.

Peter Gorman
72 Posted 01/06/2017 at 10:32:31
Jamie, I feel your pain. I was surprisingly surprised to see that the first real mention in the press of this cup at all was in the context of Solanke the new Red.

However, thanks to Lookman, the team finally made it onto the BBC website and it makes for good reading. Everton to Everton goal, times two. Proud of the lads.

James Watts
73 Posted 01/06/2017 at 11:00:04
Jamie, Sky are embarrassing the way they fawn over their darling teams. None more so than Liverpool. They should be ashamed of themselves but they won't be as they are fucking deluded.

Even if we win the league, all we'd see is how Liverpool (or Man Utd or Man City or Chelsea) have played badly and they'd be back next year – similar to Leicester who they gave very little credit.

I hate Sky nearly as much as some of the embarrassing rag tops.

Sam Hoare
74 Posted 01/06/2017 at 11:07:26
I wonder how Koeman will play the Europa League? Will he send out full-strength team or will he use it as a chance to integrate a bunch of the title-winning U23 kids? Maybe he'll take the night off and hand over to Unsworth! No doubt Mr Hind would like that...

I have mixed feelings as I really want us to do well in Europe and see it as our best route into the Champions League. But I also really want these kids to get some first-team opportunities next season.

I guess it depends on who is in the first XI but I'd like to see this 'second' XI get an opportunity against the weaker teams:

Robles;
Kenny, Holgate, Funes Mori, Baines;
Walsh, Gana;
Dowell, Mirallas, Lookman
Calvert-Lewin

I am sure Everton will be watching the U20 World Cup carefully...though how the lads do in pre-season may be more telling and important.

Kieran Fitzgerald
75 Posted 01/06/2017 at 11:48:22
Sam, you would hope so, at least for the group stage.
Barry Pearce
76 Posted 01/06/2017 at 12:13:23
Well put, Dave (#71),

Jonjoe has a great heart, also he's pretty dam good in the air as well. He's even played in the heart of the defence a few times.

Brian Harrison
77 Posted 01/06/2017 at 12:16:59
The Everton lads have all performed really well and the future looks very bright indeed. For me, Kenny was the stand-out performer against Argentina, I only saw the highlights of the South Korea game, but two nice finishes from Ademola Lookman against Costa Rica. I am sure all 4 of these lads will get a lot more game time next season, especially with our involvement in the Europa League.

Dave, I noticed in your post also that you think like me they will feature strongly next season. But as for Usmanov joining, I think given his statement about Arsenal yesterday, this seems way off the mark. He seems just as committed to Arsenal as he was a week ago when he launched his takeover bid. He says he hopes the board back Wenger with the finance he needs and that he will be watching to make sure they do. So this doesn't strike me as a guy willing to leave and move to another club.

Brian Cleveland
78 Posted 01/06/2017 at 14:20:03
So next game against Mexico, Monday midday UK time (if my maths serves me correctly!)

Looks like it will be live on DirecTV.

Brian Wilkinson
79 Posted 01/06/2017 at 14:53:53
I have watched the Mexico games and this is winnable by England, fully expect England to win this game, like some have said not to get too Carrie away, but Kenny has not put a foot wrong all through this tournament and has got to be involved pre season for the first team.
Mike Gaynes
80 Posted 01/06/2017 at 14:59:00
James #68, we should issue a commemorative coin to mark the occasion.

Dave #71, it's not about size, it's about physical strength and maturity. Baines has 15 extra pounds of muscle that Kenny doesn't, and he and Coleman both know how to use strength and leverage to mark bigger people in the box. They may not win the headers, but nobody shrugs them off as I saw with Kenny (admittedly one game is a small sample). Kenny just isn't as physically mature as the other U-20s, and I think he's a few thousand bench presses away from being fully ready to defend in the Prem. I have no doubt he'll get there -- he's already vastly superior fundamentally to where Coleman was when he returned from Blackpool -- but at the moment he'd be a boy among men. So off to the gym, young man!

Ian Bennett
81 Posted 01/06/2017 at 15:51:44
A lot to like about this England side. Lookman was the pick of the punch excluding the goals, whilst Kenny looked good at right back again.

I really liked the centre midfielder Josh Onomah (Spurs), the left back Kyle Walker-Peters (Spurs) and the centre half Tomori that reminds me of Ledley King (Chelsea).

For Everton watch DCL was lively upfront, but finishing isn't too natural. Dowell is a funny one - a lot of play goes through him, but he can frustrate in equal measures. He's either hot or a bit of a passenger, interesting to see how he develops.

Dave Abrahams
82 Posted 01/06/2017 at 16:32:59
Mike (80) you may be right about the physical difference of Kenny and other players, I wouldn't argue too much about that, what I will say is, I love Seamus Coleman but would argue that Jonjoe is a better footballer than him even now, but we will wait and see, don't want to put too much stress on Kenny at this stage.
Peter Lee
83 Posted 01/06/2017 at 17:03:48
I agree with all that has been said about Kenny but I fear that he is a generation too late.

Full-backs these days are quick - able to make contributions at both ends of the pitch - but they also have become increasingly tall. This second attribute is about defending dead balls.

Dave Abrahams
84 Posted 01/06/2017 at 17:22:47
Peter (83) I understand what you are saying but Kenny will more than make up, for any failure in defending dead balls, with his all round ability in tackling and getting up and down the field and picking his own men out with his centres when attacking, come on Peter you have seen Jonjoe,loads of full backs don't win dead ball situations and have failed to do so in every era of football, did you like one of the very best for Everton, Ramon Wilson, how good was he in these situations?
David Ellis
85 Posted 02/06/2017 at 01:11:47
Peter (#83) – I don't think full backs are getting taller... unless they play for Pulis. Full backs now need to be able to cross the ball well and go past defenders – something that does not come so easily to those who are 6ft 2" . Who are the best full backs in the Premier League? – The two that play for Spurs, Baines, they are not giants.

On the other hand a good player like Holgate in my view cannot make it as a full back because he can't attack well enough. But hopefully will make a decent centre back.

On a totally irrelevant tangent, I was watching an episode of the Crown recently. They were talking about a child "growing up to make an excellent centre back one day". In the 1950s they would never have said "centre-back" – they would have said "centre-half". I claim my anachronism bonus point!

Also the child they were talking about was Prince Charles... so either way they were talking tosh.

David Pearl
86 Posted 02/06/2017 at 01:42:57
Full backs have to be able to cross well. They can now be traditional full backs with a license to roam or converted wingers that will work hard. I don't think height matters as much because more teams will play with 3 centre-backs next season. It's the new thing and I like it. Aha aha!
Peter Lee
87 Posted 03/06/2017 at 09:49:30
Love everything I have seen with Jonjoe Kenny; I did with Ramon too but talking about future trends in football.

Our teams have not shrunk but compared to most sides we face we are at a physical disadvantage all over the pitch. Yes, there are other factors and playing three at the back could sustain shorter full-backs but it doesn't alter the dead ball problem by much.

One glaring difference between the two sides in the recent U23 derby was the size of the opposition. Not saying I approve of the trend but it is there.

Just to pre-empt: I know Mess is a midget and that Alan Ball was so small his voice never broke.

Eugene Ruane
88 Posted 03/06/2017 at 10:46:32
Peter (#87) – 'Our teams have not shrunk but, compared to most sides we face, we are at a physical disadvantage all over the pitch.'

Agree.

Of course there's always that psychological thing that happens when you look at your opposition (something that went through my head before every game I played in the Sunday League) when you think "Fuck, these are massive."

But having actually seen us pushed around for a few years now, I know it's not (just) the mind playing tricks.

Far too often in recent seasons, I've seen big-shouldered grocks simply lean on players like (for example) Deulofeu and come away with the ball.

I remember watching Coleman giving everything against Diego Costa (at Goodison) a couple of years ago and thinking "Fuck, he's just bouncing off him."

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting an entire team of Bernard Bresslaw-shaped players but if the trend is that physical/athletic (or whatever) is having more of a say; we need to be able to combat it and be able to dish out a bit ourselves.

Same goes for speed.

And brains.

And concentration

And corners.

And...

Tony Hill
89 Posted 03/06/2017 at 11:55:40
Our lack of physical power was most evident against Tottenham away last season. It isn't just height and strength, it's an overall fitness which I trust Kluitenberg is working on.

Pace, instant control and cohesiveness can overcome the deficit but we are still short there too, of course.

Encouragingly, I think Lookman is carrying more athletic heft for England. He's a marker for us in fitness terms and I can't wait to see if he can assert himself next season.

Chris Williams
90 Posted 03/06/2017 at 12:08:38
There is a tendency towards powerful athletic footballers as well as big athletic footballers, I think.

Of the former type, players like Sanchez and Aguero don't look that big but are built like brick shithouses. Bolasie looks a bit like that or Mane. Powerful and fast.

Of the latter type, look at most of the Tottenham team, Watford and of course West Brom. Some of Mourinho's Chelsea teams were like Land of the Giants.

Deulofeu and Osman could be easily dispossessed by players bigger or more powerful. Arteta and Cahill were less likely to be bullied out of it by anyone, which probably had something to do with determination and sheer bloody mindedness. Pienaar was a bit like that too. If anyone breathed on him we got a free-kick too!

Peter Reid was not one to back down, but size wise, there wasn't such a preponderance of big powerful athletes then.

Gana wins the ball through speed and anticipation with interceptions and timing of tackles and he's no giant.

So a combination of physical types of player who all have determination and will to win are probably necessary in a good team. Skill and creativity would be good too.

John Daley
91 Posted 03/06/2017 at 12:20:09
I vaguely remember seeing a table somewhere this season that ranked each squad according to average height. We were about 12th or 13th on the list. Man City were the squad with most short arses and Arsenal were way down there as well.

As for a lack of physical power/strength, Koeman himself bemoaned the fact his men were not physically equipped to battle against certain Premier League sides back before Christmas. (Something along the lines of "if it becomes a physical battle then we have a problem, because we don't have those sort of players at the moment.") He most definitely made it sound like that would be something he would be looking to address in upcoming transfer windows.

Chris Williams
92 Posted 04/06/2017 at 10:10:09
I think the Mexico game is live on Eurosport2 tomorrow 12-00 noon.
Chris Williams
93 Posted 04/06/2017 at 15:17:42
Apparently there's a lad playing for Mexico tomorrow currently playing for Everton in Chile, according to the Echo. Vanegas.
Tommy Davis
94 Posted 05/06/2017 at 06:08:47
Just an update for USA blues, the England vs Mexico U-20 game will be shown on FS1 (Fox Sports 1) Ch: 219 June 5th at 5:50am Central time, yeah it's a bad time for those who have to work etc. However, if you have the day off & happen to be a night owl, the Italy vs Zambia game is on at 2:50am Central time!

I do hope the Everton lads can help the 3 Lions to get through to the semis in style & if not in style, score & assist in the goals, so COYB!!

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