Everton U21s walloped at Manchester City Academy

25/02/2023 27comments  |  Jump to last
Manchester City U21s 5 - 0 Everton U21s

Everton U21s were walloped at Manchester City Academy Stadium in their PL2 encounter this afternoon.

Despite showing good form against European teams in the Premier League International Cup, Everton U21s came into this game with only one win in the last 7 games in Premier League 2. 

And Sean Dyche was not watching this one, nor were any online streamers, as it clashed with today's Premier League fixtures for the senior teams. 

Sean McAllister returned after a long injury absence but came off at half-time. 

Article continues below video content

Everton went behind on the stroke of half-time and conceded another four goals in a disastrous second half.

Everton U21s: Leban, Campbell, Ishe Samuels-Smith, Metcalfe [Y:57'] (71' Higgins), John, Welch, Hunt (19' Heath), Price, Mills [Y:55'], McAllister (46' Kouyate), Okoronkwo.

Subs not Used: Barrett, Mallon.



Reader Comments (27)

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 ()

Tony Abrahams
1 Posted 27/02/2023 at 14:38:26
I just read about Whitaker being injured on another thread courtesy of Michael K and, although I had already spotted this page, I honestly thought it was from a few months ago, and didn't realize our Under-21s had been given another mauling by Man City.

It's a shame about Whitaker being injured, although when a team loses 5-0, then I don't think one different player would have made much difference.

City are obviously streets ahead, but I think Everton need to revamp everything, because I'm not hearing any good reports about the club lower down in the pyramid. I think when you come from a massive football city, like Everton do, then we should definitely be bringing more and also better players through.

Michael Kenrick
2 Posted 27/02/2023 at 20:22:57
I think we may have been here before, Tony.

In my simple mind, there's only two factors at play here:

1. The quality, talent, motivation and personal drive of the players coming in (Okay, that's four right there!)

2. The training they are getting and the football they are playing.

Unless you've got some really good players coming in, chances are they are going to be found out, they are going to crumble, they are going to stall, get injured... fail.

And for those surely exceptionally rare players of the highest quality, does the training and football programme actually bring them on further? Or is it designed to test them, to put them under stress, to make it as hard as possible for them to succeed?

You'd know the answer to that better than me, Tony. You bin through it.

Robert Tressell
3 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:04:04
Man City are certainly streets ahead through the players they bring in. There's a lot of elite potential foreign talent there from Soutth America, the Balkans, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands etc.

They also raid other academies including ours (Emilio Lawrence) for top prospects.

However, there's still a core of kids there like Palmer, Doyle x 2, McAtee, Harwood-Bellis, Lewis and Charles. That's in addition to selling £45M of talent to Saints and Leeds in summer (Bazunu, Lavia, Edozie, Larios and Gyarbi) - 3 of whom are British or Irish despite the names.

These British and Irish kids are all better than anything we have other than Branthwaite. We should be aspiring to similar. Honestly, I think the coaching and culture must be a big part of this. My assumption is that they're well ahead of us there too but of course I can't evidence any of that.

But neither can I evidence that Ajax have great coaches and a great culture (although there's plenty to read on the subject) – I just don't believe one club can keep getting it right consistently because of the catchment area and luck.

Tony Abrahams
4 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:20:03
Training matters, Michael, but so does the scouting network. My own view is that the best five young players we have had at the club over the last 10 years, have been Stones, Holgate, Calvert-Lewin, Branthwaite, and Gordon.

We bought four of them for nominal fees, and Gordon came through the youth set-up, along with Kenny and Davies, who maybe would have pushed on a lot more if we had a more settled club.

We have been here before, and I think I've got some great ideas (in my own lunatic brain) in how we could genuinely narrow the gap.

My own view is that competition is the most beneficial thing you can give anyone. Training and playing with good players definitely brings talent on, but it's how we go about finding, teaching and then keeping the most talented kids. This is where we are currently falling down, and in a city which is a hotbed for talented kids, this is simply not good enough imo.

Tony Abrahams
5 Posted 27/02/2023 at 21:45:20
Of course coaching matters, Robert, but I always think that clever coaching is all about clever people just giving little common-sense pointers and trying to get young players to really look at themselves?

Encourage them to play free, and be confident enough to try anything, just as long as they are always putting 100% effort into their game.

It would also be good to see young Everton players getting the ball out of their feet, and look like they were really enjoying the game, but it's not easy either because of the constant pressure a lot of these kids constantly feel under, which usually brings us back to the coaching!

Michael Kenrick
6 Posted 28/02/2023 at 20:13:26

This is one we'll never solve. And we have to believe they're doing it wrong simply because we're seeing very little coming through.

Tony, you say the city is a hotbed for talented kids. I wouldn't know. But is it though? Is it really? Really, really talented? I mean like Rooney talented?

Coz if it is, that means Part 2 of my scenario applies, and our Academy is so naff, they are just destroying all this fabulous talent, every single one of them, one way or another.

Gordon, Davies... could have been brilliant, world-beaters… but they've been destroyed by our Academy, because they are just not being coached and trained right.

Nah, sorry I'm not buying it.

The reason our academy is not all that great is because it's really really hard to find players who are in fact really really talented. I believe the coaches probably do their best for the kids we do get in, but clearly they are just not that great. Not when they are being compared with the very best footballers – not just from Fazakerly but from all corners of the world.

Tony Abrahams
7 Posted 28/02/2023 at 20:24:39
Yes, Michael, the premier league is brutal and Rooney talent doesn't come around that often.

One thing I don't like about the academy system is that, because they are bringing kids in very early age-wise now, I definitely believe that they are taking away the natural aggression and also natural talent but it's also true we will just go round in circles debating this.

I'm going back over a few years now and identifying kids who have made it at both football clubs, but Billy Kenny, Unsworth, Michael Ball, Wayne Rooney, Gerard & Carragher, all had this natural aggression that I'm talking about. Of course the game's changed, so how are these modern-day coaches helping these new kids apply their natural aggression?

Robert Tressell
8 Posted 28/02/2023 at 20:36:43
I would expect the city / region could compete at least with, say, Lyon or Bilbao – and generate a decent supply of Premier League quality first-teamers of the standard of, say, the standard of Patterson and Garner. Every few years we might get a Gordon or Barkley. Once in a blue moon we get a Rooney (as Lyon did with Benzema).

That seems like a realistic aim. More Ball, Jeffers, Gordon, Rodwell etc types. Supplemented by bought-in youth like Calvert-Lewin, Holgate, Stones and Branthwaite types.

At the moment, we're falling short and whether it's coaching or something else, it's not luck.

Tony Abrahams
9 Posted 28/02/2023 at 20:40:41
Sorry for going on but you do see loads of kids with natural talent, (I honestly couldn’t believe the talent I was witnessing in some 7/8 year old kids, and I only used to watch my son playing) and I personally believe that aggression is also an integral and very natural part of a lot of young scouse kids. They are taking six and seven year old kids, and taking away the best bits of at least 95% of them imo, Michael. (Parents with stars in their eyes, also then begin to create a lot of pressure on their children, instead of encouraging them to just have fun)

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve watched academy football and questioned if it’s more about the coaches, rather than the players. “Do as I say, not as I do” and then they get lauded, every time they bring through a kid from the academy, who can’t even use either foot, to get the ball out of his feet?

I don’t know if the coaching is good, bad or indifferent, but it’s starting way to early, and this is not helping our kids. We will go on forever- singing we shall not be moved!!

Tony Everan
10 Posted 28/02/2023 at 20:48:14
Michael, Tony, Robert . Also the vastly improved scouting networks bringing very talented African, French/African players in through countries like France. These players are often physical specimens at 21 and have pace, aggression as well as technique. A lot have come through the hard way and have really earned their places. Same to a lesser extent with South American talent, and the ever creeping up US talent.

The young boys as soon as they get to the Premier League hit a brick wall of competition. Only the very best can break through and it’s much tougher than even twenty years ago when the last real top quality player we had burst through.

Luckily 20 years on Branthwaite may be the next, unluckily he will be sold if the unmentionable happens. It would be heartbreaking. It’s so important to stay up on so many levels, I can’t believe that we are in this position. Especially as all it would have taken is the signing of a journeyman striker like Ings or even Chris Wood to haul us to safety. I despair.

In true Everton fashion, In Calvert-Lewin’s absence, I live in optimistic hope that Ellis Simms is given a good chance and rises to the challenge. The alternatives don’t ever look likely to produce goals from the CF position.

Michael Kenrick
11 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:00:19

Your vast knowledge of other clubs, of developing footballers around the world... surely if you listed your top 100 and put a pin on the map for each one in answer to the question "Where did they come from? What Academy did they develop in?" – you'd have pins all over the map – not loads from 5 or even special 10 academies who are doing really really well, while we're one of thousands falling short.

You're dealing right at the end of the bell-curve, in extreme probabilities. Where they show up is random. So yea, basically luck. You either get one or you don't. Most don't. It's not something you can manufacture.


You're saying the Academy system itself is destroying the talent (or 'aggression' now, or whatever else you are defining it as). I know Danny agrees with you, the whole thing needs changing. I wonder how many of the infamous 120 points relate to this? Maybe your insider ITK could shed some light?

Tony Abrahams
12 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:08:41
Good post Tony. I was thinking about the French, and how they seem to out-physical, (aggression) the once very, very physical, English footballer, and you have just made a very good point, about how our kids are getting swallowed up, or hitting a brick wall, because of how physical the EPL is.

There’s still no substitute for skill, but it’s got to be Messi skill, rather than Grealish skill, otherwise physical strength and pace, often overcomes it?

Everyone is quick, so you have got to have Mbappe speed, if you want to make a real difference, because football is played nearly everywhere and has become such a global sport.

It’s easy sitting here talking about it, and it’s obviously a lot harder finding ways to achieve success, although I still maintain that youth football in this country, carries a lot of protocol, has loads of nepotism, and definitely lacks real innovation, imo.

Michael Kenrick
13 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:14:50
Tony E,

The USA must be a very interesting case in point, because of a number of different factors:

1) The sheer effort they have put in over the last 30-odd years to embrace 'soccer'.
2) The college system which is lock-step integrated with the development paths in other major US sports, and therefore, highly developed and well structured.
3) The whole immigrant ethos, which gives anyone the belief that they can succeed – the so-called American dream.
4) The incredible amount of money they have to thrown at it.

From that utterly vast population. With some of the best sports facilities in the world. Yet they are still years and years behind (try watching MLS). And where are their Premier League superstars? Landon Donovan was probably the best I've seen... They seem to have hit a massive plateau.

Tony Abrahams
14 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:18:00
I'm saying too much pressure way too soon isn't beneficial Michael, and I'm saying that natural aggression is definitely getting taken out of these kids.

I also believe that they are concentrating on the wrong things, because above all else, football is now a running game.

Seriously, Michael, we all like skill, but it's been rapidly overtaken unfortunately. It probably doesn't even come in the top three things required now to be a top footballer, and this must raise a few eyebrows and will surely have people coming on to disagree with me.

Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:21:14
Michael (11)

On what I see of the younger teams from the Academy over the last few years, I'd say some decent coaches would make a huge difference to the performances. I've been bored stiff more times than I've been entertained and unfortunately there isn't one player in the younger teams that I would expect to improve the first team at the moment. None of them look like they have the temperament and winning attitude that is needed right now. Although I'd be delighted if one of them came in and made an absolute fool of me.

Tony Abrahams
16 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:23:21
Listening to people like Jamie Crowley, commenting on how it works in America, then it seems they have always looked towards English style coaching? That’s a wrong move, imo that, although you can understand why people look towards the premier league.

I also think the weather is very important, because you can practice “all day” if the conditions are good.

Robert Tressell
17 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:27:23
Michael, you seem to be saying kids of magnificent talent are born all around the world and come through at random. If that is true, where are the Chinese, Indian and Indonesian superstars? Why so few from Nigeria and almost none from South Africa? And why are so many of these exceptionally talented kids born in tiny countries like the Netherlands, Croatia and Uruguay?

The Netherlands in particular absolutely does manufacture through coaching players of immense technical ability. The French system and Belgium too.

There is a bit of luck of course and a country's football culture plays a part too. But mostly these days it is about investment into very high quality academies - and Lyon and Bilbao both produce consistently over a long period a lot of first team and international quality players despite not being loaded. That consistent output pretty much rules out luck.

Basically as soon as you write something off to luck, you let others steal a march by taking ownership instead of waiting for their luck to change.

Tony Abrahams
18 Posted 28/02/2023 at 21:34:40
I think it's the same with money, Robert (great point, by the way, and this is a sensible debate imo) although the human race is a very greedy animal, and the one true religion is definitely money.

I'd love Everton to try and be innovative but the club does seem void of ideas on almost every single level right now.

Danny O’Neill
19 Posted 28/02/2023 at 22:14:53
I think most of the regulars know my views.

We over coach and bring kids into the modern academy set ups way too early, piling pressure on them for results and the dream of making it, rather than focussing on development.

We would do better leaving them in their natural environment getting into the community and assisting local football teams. Aren't we supposed to be leaders with the EitC scheme? Get it focussed on football as well as charity. We may just uncover a few gems in our passionate football centric city and region.

Over coaching at a young age can be more damaging and confusing to young players. Keep it simple. Guide, advise and point out mistakes as well as praise where necessary.

But keep it simple. Football is a simple game. See it, play it was a phrase I often used often with my Hayes & Yeading boys. They equally often took the piss out of me back for using it too often! Cocky shits!!

And learn to kick with both feet.

Let them enjoy the game we all love playing (well played in my case now) and following. Let them develop. Results don't really matter at youth and understudy level, as much as we all want to win.

Robert Tressell
20 Posted 28/02/2023 at 22:28:24
Danny, is over-coaching the issue or just very poor coaching? I don't see too much wrong with the Ajax model that combines the intensive football coaching with a rounded education.
Danny O’Neill
21 Posted 28/02/2023 at 22:44:12
Personal opinon Robert.

Over coaching of young players below a certain age. Over expectation.

Poor coaching once they get to a certain age and progress into the adult game.

It obviously differs with individuals. Some, like Rooney for example, don't even need coaching. But generally that's how I see it.

The likes of Ajax and Schalke (sorry), just let the kids play. They only speak to them calmly at half time and at the end to offer advice and feedback..

I've stood on the sidelines at both watching the youth teams of what are two of the most successful academies in European football of recent times. No screaming, ranting or shouting. No concern about the result. And really good training sessions.

Although Schalke fell into the trap of cashing in too early, which has bitten them lately.

Tony Abrahams
22 Posted 01/03/2023 at 08:14:45
The only way you can compete with money, is by getting a very good reputation for giving your young players a rounded education, imo, Robert.

This is where my own personal innovation would take place, (maybe it’s already been done?) and this is how I would begin to try and build up the reputation of any football academy.

Money will still win, and definitely in the short-term, but these things are not about instant results, they are about consistent results, and having consistent results, has got to be the number one aim.

Learn to kick with both feet Danny, has surely got to be the first thing that is learned?

Dave Abrahams
23 Posted 01/03/2023 at 10:56:19
Tony (22) “ Learn to kick with both feet has surely got to be the first thing that is learned”. definitely Tony and yet kids go right through the Academy without being able to kick with both feet,don’t any of the “ coaches” notice this!! Mind you one of the senior coaches there went right through his football career only able to kick with one foot and he played for England, once!!

24 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:04:40

25 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:04:40

26 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:04:40

27 Posted 28/04/2023 at 13:04:40

Add Your Comments

In order to post a comment, you need to be logged in as a registered user of the site.

» Log in now

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.

How to get rid of these ads and support TW

© ToffeeWeb