Stekelenburg plays as the Netherlands fall to France

Monday 10 October 2016  14 Comments  [Jump to last]
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Maarten Stekelenburg was back in goal for his country as they took on France in World Cup qualifying this evening.

The Everton goalkeeper didn't cover himself in glory for the visitors' goal in the 30th minute, though, when he misjudged the flight of Paul Pogba's swerving long-range strike and couldn't get enough on the ball to turn it wide.

The result leaves the Dutch in third place in what is a difficult Group A behind the French and Sweden with a win, a draw and a defeat.

Elsewhere, as predicted, Romelu Lukaku sat out as Belgium thrashed Gibraltar behind a hat-trick by Christian Benteke which included the fastest ever goal in a World Cup qualifying match when he netted after just seven seconds.

Lukaku was nursing a suspected thigh strain and he will be fully assessed by medical staff on his return to Finch Farm as Ronald Koeman prepares for Saturday's trip to Manchester City.

Shani Tarashaj, meanwhile, was an unused substitute as Switzerland edged minnows Andorra 2-1.  


Reader Comments (14)

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Frank Boyle
1 Posted 10/10/2016 at 21:48:37
Stek's a "not bad" keeper but he looks to me like there's always a mistake waiting to happen. We need an upgrade!
Paul Conway
2 Posted 10/10/2016 at 22:01:35
Frank (#1)

Exactly, we do need a top keeper. But nearly all keepers make mistakes. They are the last line of defence and there is nobody to mop up for them.

I honestly think Stekelenburg is a grade up on what we have had before. That shows how not so good they were!

Max Murphy
3 Posted 11/10/2016 at 11:23:22
Koeman should have played Robles in League Cup to give him a run out.

I don't rate Stink, sorry, Stek.

Phil Walling
4 Posted 11/10/2016 at 12:00:48
Back home in Cyprus after a 3 week sojourn in Greece (it's a hard life!), I find we have only picked up one point recently whilst playing very much like last season. Perhaps the Koeman influence has already worn off and the sloppy days of his predecessor are being re-visited!

As far as Stekelenburg is concerned, I don't think he did much wrong in the early games but I would have thought Koeman and his Super Scout might have been a little more energised in the cause of signing a top custodian.

I seem to remember Cardiff's excellent Marshall moved in the window but, sadly, was of little interest to our manager who, like Roberto, may like to accommodate his former charges!

Paul Kelly
5 Posted 11/10/2016 at 13:19:47
From the report "when he misjudged the flight " (of the ball), thought he'd done that in the Palace game.
James Stewart
6 Posted 11/10/2016 at 14:43:31
To be fair to him, he made some good saves after the howler and kept the score down but a howler it truly was.

I don't think he should have been beaten by a header that slow against Palace either and questions have to be asked about his suitability long term.

Mark Morrissey
7 Posted 11/10/2016 at 14:56:43
I said it in the Summer and I'll say it again for what it's worth, he's no better than Robles who I don't rate. He came to us because he's a mate of Koeman's.

That's wrong, not a mate. He likes him. Most managers have them, players who follow them around. They follow them around and sometimes they get into the the team purely on merit and other times they are brought in for experience, to lift the players.

We need a top, top keeper. We'll get one but not in the next window. He'll stand by Stekelenburg and Robles. It's a shame that this happens but that's football. Stek's okay and we'll have to put up with his mistakes.. We have weaker areas where we need to strengthen in January.

Erik Dols
8 Posted 11/10/2016 at 15:25:11
I said it in the summer and I'll say it again for what it's worth, he's better than Robles who I hardly rate ;-) he's better than Howard, for that matter. But he certainly is not world class.

No need to knee-jerk now, lads. On his day, he can make saves out there to rival Buffon or De Gea, but he is by no means stable enough to produce that form every match.

He has played in a World Cup Final for a reason; he has played for almost two seasons in the Serie A for a reason. But he also lost his place in that same Serie A for a reason. And hasn't been able to keep his place at clubs afterwards.

When Koeman signed him, he actually hinted quite clearly that Stek was not brought in as first goalkeeper, he was a cheap, reliable, experienced solution to add squad depth. I think Koeman honestly expected to sign another, better goalie but, for whatever reason, it did not materialize. In that light, it is very understandable that Koeman chose a tried-and-trusted option.

Actually, Mark (#7) I think we agree for the biggest part, it's all in the nuance.

Chris Gould
9 Posted 11/10/2016 at 17:29:24
Here we go. Stek's made a mistake and now he's not good enough for us. Forget about the fact that he's already made match winning saves and plays for the Dutch national team. He's not good enough for us. We need a keeper that saves absolutely everything and never ever makes a mistake.
There were so many world class keepers queuing up to join us in the summer, surely we could have done better than that shithouse who's represented the Netherlands over 50 times.
Forget the fact that he's part of a defence that has conceded the second least in the premier league...he's shit because he once couldn't get in the Fulham team (due to missing so many games - and ultimately losing his place - through injury, and then refusing to play in the Championship).
Phil Walling
10 Posted 11/10/2016 at 18:46:13
Chris, I don't think it was anything to do with goalies not queuing up to join us in the summer rather that all the money made available (the Stones sale proceeds) was soon exhausted. So just Stek it had to be.

We could have done worse !

Mark Morrissey
11 Posted 11/10/2016 at 19:51:56
I agree with everything you say, Erik, and I've nothing personal against Robles or Stek. I just want to see us improve all over the park and I always wanted us to oust Howard and go for someone with real class.

Perhaps a cheeky bid for Butland in January might see Stoke sell... or maybe the Malteser from the England game, he looked good. I think it's just an area where we are weak, a bit like up front.

Rob Halligan
12 Posted 11/10/2016 at 21:44:16
Excellent performance from Joe Hart tonight. Kept a very poor England in the game. Wish we'd have signed him in the summer.
Don Alexander
13 Posted 12/10/2016 at 14:02:56
I think the goal he conceded was more to do with the modern day football itself. Balls these days just don't behave as they used to when I was a lad. They veer all over the place now and being a goalie when someone lashes one at him from distance, like Pogba did, introduces an element of lottery.

I just wish our team had a pop from distance every now and then but possessing without risk of losing it seems to be the mantra these days above all else. That's why matches are rarely exciting to watch in my opinion.

Frank Boyle
14 Posted 12/10/2016 at 19:42:51
Paul (#2),

I'd agree with you with the proviso that all goalies make mistakes and, as you rightly say, being the last line of defence, these tend to be critical. Even our best keepers during my time – West, Southall and Martyn – all had their moments but thankfully they were relatively few and far between!

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