Sunday, 6 November 2011

Loan Watch: 6th November

Shane Duffy (above) got another ninety minutes of playing time under his belt as Scunthorpe lost 2-0 at Bournemouth in League One. Scott Malone and Wes Thomas scored the Cherries' goals.

Femi Orenuga was not involved as Notts County drew 1-1 with Wycombe Wanderers.

Jose Baxter missed Tranmere's goalless draw with Colchester through suspension following a red card last time out.

Luke Garbutt helped Cheltenham Town into third place in League Two with a 0-1 away win at Bradford. Robins boss Mark Yates described his side's performance as 'the best of the season'.

James Wallace made his debut for Shrewsbury Town, but only lasted 24 minutes before he was shown red for a lunge on Dagenham & Redbridge's Jon Nurse.

Connor Roberts made his second appearance for Northern Premier League side Burscough and impressed in goal for the Linnets, despite his side going down 2-1 to Frickley Athletic.

João Silva played for Portuguese side Vitória de Setúbal as they drew 0-0 with Gil Vicente on Sunday evening.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Newcastle United 2-1 Everton

An Everton side beleaguered by injuries to Sylvain Distin and Tim Cahill and the suspension of pivotal midfielder Marouane Fellaini travelled to Tyneside to face high-flying Newcastle United, who had begun the season with a very impressive 6 wins and 4 draws from 10 league matches.

Tim Howard, who was this week pipped to the U.S. Player of the Year Award by Fulham's Clint Dempsey, started as usual between the sticks. Sylvain Distin's absence meant a back four of Tony Hibbert, Phil Jagielka, John Heitinga and Leighton Baines.

Phil Neville filled a Marouane Fellaini-shaped hole in midfield alongside Jack Rodwell, Leon Osman, Royston Drenthe and Seamus Coleman with Frenchman Louis Saha on his own up top.

A warm-up injury to Apostolos Vellios meant teenager Ross Barkley was promoted to the bench where he sat alongside Jan Mucha, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Denis Stracqualursi, James McFadden, Sylvain Distin and Tim Cahill.

It was a slow and sloppy start to the game from both sides and the game’s first goal was scored in bizarre circumstances. A right-wing cross from Danny Simpson was prodded inadvertently by John Heitinga past Tim Howard, who had come out to claim the cross, into the empty net. S-Heit.

When you score an own goal like that there is a feeling that it just isn’t going to be your day. When you concede a second to a stunning volley from the opposition’s full back (Tony Hibbert take note) that feeling multiplies. Ryan Taylor’s 28th minute goal came ultimately as a result of Everton’s failure to properly clear their lines, but one has to admire the technique of Taylor, who, like John Heitinga, gave Tim Howard no chance, hitting a dipping volley into the top right-hand corner.

The game was by no means one-sided, though, and Everton had opportunities through Osman, Drenthe, Coleman and Saha, who turned one shot against Tim Krul’s left-hand post and spooned another into Row Z of the Gallowgate End. Newcastle’s French midfield string-puller Yohan Cabaye picked up an injury and was replaced by a certain Dan Gosling. Talk about rubbing salt into wounds.

On the stroke of half-time Everton halved the deficit. Our two best players from the first half combined as Royston Drenthe’s corner was powerfully headed home by Jack Rodwell for his second goal in three league games. It was a justified reward for Everton’s first-half efforts and put an intriguing spin on a game that had looked out of Everton’s reach.

Just as much as you wanted Everton to come out all guns blazing after the interval, you knew deep down that you were clutching at straws. Everton aren’t we?

The second half was a largely sloppy affair – and credit must go to Newcastle for that. They broke down the few meaningful opportunities we had and proved why their defence has shipped the fewest goals in the Premier League so far this season. As is becoming all too familiar with Everton, we lacked a cutting edge, a penetration, a spark or piece of trickery in the final third. The guile that, say, Mikel Arteta or Steven Pienaar would have provided, had gone.

One player capable of stepping up to fill that void left by our two most creative players is Leon Osman. At times last season he was at his brilliant best, unlocking defences for fun and with apparent ease. But therein lies the problem with ‘Ossie’: when on form he is fantastic; when he isn’t he is less effective than Steven Gerrard’s elocution tutor.

We were, however, denied a clear penalty when Saha’s goal-bound shot was saved by the fingertips of… err… Dan Gosling. Shown by replays to be a clear handball, the former Everton midfielder got away with the offence and the remainder of the game passed without too much incident.2-1, then, the final score.

A(nother) depressing day in the life of an Evertonian. We’ve been beaten by a team with Danny Guthrie and Dan Gosling in the centre of midfield. Ah, well. Same time next week.

Stoke City U18s 1-2 Everton U18s

Goals from striking duo Chris Long and Anton Forrester (above) meant Everton leapfrogged opponents Stoke City in the Academy League table.

Long, who played 45 minutes for the reserves in midweek, struck shortly before half-time and Anton Forrester doubled the lead after the break with a 20-yard effort.

The Potters pulled a goal back through Michael Clarkson but Everton held on for a 2-1 victory.

Everton: Fitzgibbon, Higgins, Heneghan, Dier (c), Barrow, Grant, Molyneux, Jones, Forrester, Long, Hope.

Subs: Taudul, Green, Shannon (Grant).

Stoke City: Bachmann, Roberts-Nurse, Parry, O'Reilly, Hall, Richardson, Clarkson, Dawson (c), Scott, Musungu, Nardiello.

Subs: Richards, Eve, Sinclair, Debayo, Rossi (Roberts-Nurse 89).

Elsewhere, Everton U16s beat their Stoke counterparts by a goal to nil. The match-winning goal was scored by Courtney Duffus, recently signed from Cheltenham Town along with his brother Tyrone, and assisted by Danny O'Brien.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Trio In England U18 Squad

Everton Academy defender Eric Dier has earned a first call-up to the England U18 squad for a fixture against Slovakia in two weeks' time, joining clubmates Hallam Hope and John Lundstram in Noel Blake's 18-man party.

The squad travel to Slovakia on 16th November for the friendly fixture.

Dier, born to English parents, grew up in Portugal after his family moved there when he was young. He came through the ranks at Sporting Lisbon's academy but has spent the last two seasons on loan at Everton.

It is unclear whether Everton will be able to keep hold of Dier after the latest loan spell expires as Sporting are thought to value the player highly.

Thanks to his childhood having been spent abroad, Dier is eligible to play for Portugal, but has in the past stated his desire to play for England, for whom he participated in a promotional photoshoot back in 2008 (above).

Midfielder Lundstram and forward Hope both played at the U17 World Cup in the Summer just gone and both have retained their places in the squad for the Slovakia game.

The trio join Jake Bidwell, Ross Barkley and Jack Rodwell in being called up to various England youth sides in recent days. The future's bright, the future's blue.

Manchester United Res 2-0 Everton Res

Goals from Will Keane and Jesse Lingard saw off an experienced Everton side in this lively encounter.

Everton's travelling party included names such as Marcus Hahnemann, Ross Barkley, Magaye Gueye and James McFadden, as well as players such as Chris Long and Anton Forrester who have been impressing for the U18 side of late.

The Everton line-up was; Hahnemann, Browning, Mustafi, Nsiala, Bidwell, Forshaw, Lundstram, Barkley, Gueye, Stracqualursi, McFadden, with a substitutes bench consisting of Davies, Hope, Dier, Forrester and Long.

United started brightly and found themselves a goal to the good after just 6 minutes when Will Keane jinked through the Everton defence and lashed a shot past Marcus Hahnemann.

Ross Barkley saw an effort fly over the bar, although the majority of the action was at the other end of the field. Davide Petrucci and Jesse Lingard were both denied by Hahnemann, whilst an exceptional sliding tackle from Shkodran Mustafi blocked a goal-bound Mame Biram Diouf shot.

United's England U19 international Larnell Cole was thwarted by Hahnemann, but Everton shaded the final 10 minutes of the first half and both Adam Forshaw and Denis Stracqualursi had opportunities to draw the visitors level.

James McFadden was replaced by Chris Long, rewarded for his fine goalscoring form with the U18s, at the break. The hosts also made a change, bringing on Sean McGinty for Ezekiel Fryers.

With almost an hour on the clock, Everton came within inches of an equaliser. Magaye Gueye smashed a left-footed shot onto the bar with United keeper Ben Amos a spectator.

Ross Barkley showcased his talent with a free-kick and a long-range strike, but it was United who scored the second - and decisive - goal. McGinty crossed and forward Lingard secured the win on 82 minutes.

Wallace Joins Shrews On Loan

Midfielder James Wallace has become the latest player to leave Everton on loan, joining League Two side Shrewsbury Town for a month.

As with the loan deals of Shane Duffy, Jose Baxter and Luke Garbutt, Wallace's stay at the Greenhous Meadow is likely to be extended once the initial one-month deal has expired.

Central midfielder Wallace, 19, is an established member of Everton's reserve team and has been capped at U20 level for England. He already has some experience of playing in the lower leagues, having previously enjoyed loan spells at Bury and Stockport County.

Shrews manager Graham Turner said of his new recruit: "He comes highly recommended by David Moyes both as a player and as a professional."

Wallace could make his debut for Shrewsbury, who currently lie sixth in League Two, against Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Bidwell Named In England U19 Squad

Young Everton defender Jake Bidwell has been included in the England U19 squad to face Denmark next week.

Last year's Academy Player of the Season Bidwell is a versatile player who can play as a full-back or in the centre of defence, and his good form for Everton's Academy and reserve sides has seen him rewarded with international recognition.

Having previously played for England at U16 and U17 level, he has been named in an 18-man squad for the U19 game against Denmark at Brighton & Hove Albion's Amex Stadium on Thursday 10th November.

The full England U19 squad is:

Goalkeepers: Sam Johnstone (Scunthorpe United, on loan from Manchester United), Connor Ripley (Middlesbrough)

Defenders: Todd Kane (Chelsea), Andre Wisdom (Liverpool), Jack Robinson (Liverpool), Jamaal Lascelles(Nottingham Forest), Jake Bidwell (Everton), Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea).

Midfielders: Conor Coady (Liverpool), George Thorne (West Bromwich Albion), Ravel Morrison(Manchester United), Larnell Cole (Manchester United), Luke Williams (Middlesbrough), Nicholas Yennaris(Arsenal).

Forwards: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Adam Morgan (Liverpool), Saido Berahino (Northampton Town, on loan from West Bromwich Albion), Will Keane (Manchester United).