His selection policy thus far was already a strong indication but Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Maarten Stekelenburg remains his first-choice goalkeeper for the time being.
The manager was asked about the ‘keeper situation at Everton during his pre-match press conference at Finch Farm this afternoon and whether he felt Stekelenburg had progressed since his time at Southampton.
Having finally usurped Tim Howard as first-choice between the sticks last season under Roberto Martinez, Joel Robles was no doubt hopeful and confident that he would continue to be number one under the Catalan's successor but he has found himself back in the understudy role under the new boss.
The Spaniard deputised impressively against West Ham recently and kept what was the Blues' only clean sheet since the 3-0 win at Sunderland on 12th September but he had to drop back to the bench once Stekelenburg was fit again the following weekend.
“I brought Maarten in to get that competition for the goalkeeper position and, finally, the choice was to start with Maarten,” Koeman explained. I think so far he is doing what I expect and every day Joel is trying every day to give him the best competition and he played very well against West Ham and that is what you like to have if you need to show.
“But overall I'm very happy with the performance from Stekelenburg.
Trying to get a feel for whether Koeman was completely satisfied with his compatriot, particularly given criticism he received for his performance at Chelsea earlier this month, the reporter asked if the Dutchman wanted more from the veteran ‘keeper.
“More? I expect the same as what he has done so far,” the manager replied. “Of course, there is always time to improve but he had two years without any regular competition.
“He is an experienced goalkeeper and he is the first choice for the national team of Holland and that's because he is playing well and that's what I like to see.”
Reader Comments (41)
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1 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:29:49
Of all the problems that need to be addressed right now, keeper is the least urgent.
2 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:36:38
He's doing OK, but other than Man City, he's not saving us points.
3 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:56:44
4 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:58:31
I think he has been generally very good, although he had an off day at Chelsea.
5 Posted 25/11/2016 at 17:26:02
Most certainly he cost us a point if not three at Burnley. He looks comfortable stopping shots at a comfortable height but struggles to get down quickly to low shots.
We need a top class keeper who will be a fixture in the team for the next five or six years. Both Robles and Stek provide decent cover but neither of them have what it takes to maintain top form for 38 games a season.
It was a major omission not to have signed Joe Hart in the summer. It is someone of that stature we need if we are serious about challenging for the top places.
6 Posted 25/11/2016 at 17:52:57
I would try for Schmeichel at the end of the season if Leicester don't do well.
7 Posted 25/11/2016 at 18:23:18
8 Posted 25/11/2016 at 18:38:32
There was zero indication that Hart had the slightest interest in even staying in the Premier League, let alone coming to Everton to play behind a backline that was embarrassingly leaky at the end of last season.
He found his place at Torino. When we do go shopping for a keeper – and I hope it's in the summer, not this January – we should be pursuing a young star for the future, not a veteran with a crushing salary.
9 Posted 25/11/2016 at 19:18:29
10 Posted 25/11/2016 at 20:09:17
11 Posted 25/11/2016 at 20:37:15
12 Posted 25/11/2016 at 21:39:01
13 Posted 25/11/2016 at 21:40:45
14 Posted 25/11/2016 at 22:00:12
As with all keepers, his performances will go a long way to determining how successful we are. On the basis of what we have seen so far, the indications are he will cost us as many points as he will win for us.
15 Posted 25/11/2016 at 23:25:48
16 Posted 26/11/2016 at 00:14:53
17 Posted 26/11/2016 at 01:41:42
Going back, at the start of the season, I was horrified that he was our number 1. He then won me over with his assured performances. Then lost me with some of the soft goals he conceded. However, by my reckoning we have won more points because of him than we have lost.
Ronnie has his favourites, make no mistake and this lad is certainly one of them. And with this statement it's all but confirmed he'll be Number 1 for the rest of the season so looks like we'll have to suck it up until next summer or until Koeman gets the sack, which probably wouldn't happen until next summer anyway ...
18 Posted 26/11/2016 at 08:14:54
The loan story was accurate a couple of days before deadline day. It was a big commitment from Everton which Man City and Hart were keen on. Everything was agreed bar Koeman sanctioning the deal. He didn't, I don't know if he thought the money was too much, he didn't fancy him or he really thought Stekelenburg was good enough.
19 Posted 26/11/2016 at 11:33:23
20 Posted 26/11/2016 at 14:28:24
Moyes says he is expecting him to leave if the right offer comes in!
Not sure Moyes is being sincere, but you never know.
Pickford has proved himself, even behind a leaky Sunderland defence. Sound familiar?
21 Posted 26/11/2016 at 14:45:19
As for Pickford, looks a talent for Sunderland, but it would be a different game if he came to Everton. He wouldn't be expected to make 15+ saves and be involved all the time, he'd be expected to save 3 or 5 and have periods of no action but remain focused.
Robles is being harshly treated in my view. He was finding his feet becoming more reliable.
As for the comment about being Dutch Number 1, hardly much choice...
22 Posted 26/11/2016 at 15:28:00
Getting peppered with shots and pulling of amazing looking saves is one thing but organising and communicating with a defence and keeping your concentration for up to 120 mins is another thing.
David Marshall looked class when Cardiff went down and he's a great shot stopper but now he's in another team with a poor defence and I think the goalie has to take some responsibility for that, no matter how many acrobatic saves they are making, with loads of shots on target to stop.
Butland still for me (look how poor Stoke are at the back without him) but we definitely should be monitoring Pickford and how much that defence tightens up under Moyes as the season goes on.
23 Posted 26/11/2016 at 16:01:28
24 Posted 26/11/2016 at 17:56:31
I still honestly believe that Koeman wants Forster from Southampton and that's why we didn't get a proper No 1 in in the summer. I think he didn't want to go bidding for Saints players then out of respect for them but with his recent comments I think either in January or next summer there will be moves to sign certain Southampton players, Forster being one of them!
25 Posted 26/11/2016 at 18:00:36
Walsh will send scouts to watch all sorts of games in all kinds of leagues and countries and have a portfolio of players that he can recommend to Koeman and they will take it from there.
Koeman has admitted that he tells Walsh and the board what players he likes and wants and leaves it to them to handle negotiations and get him those players.
26 Posted 26/11/2016 at 18:08:03
Koeman has said he doesn't get involved in the monetary side of transfers, not that he has no input whatsoever.
In a recent interview (given in the wake of the 'What a shock: Sam Allerdyce is a gobshite' scandal) Koeman stated his role starts and stops with identifying the players he wants but the actual securing of those players, the fee paid and the contract terms offered, are aspects he actively avoids having anything to do with.
If Koeman were to say he doesn't want a player, do you really think Walsh has either the authority (or affront) to say "Shut it you. You're fucking having him"?
27 Posted 26/11/2016 at 18:42:38
The surprising thing for me was Kenwright was heavily involved. (I was disappointed to hear that, as broadly he's failed in most things connected to Everton, but there you have it.)
He then went to Torino. I guess a deal could still be done in the summer, but certainly for less than last summer or he goes for a lot younger player like Pickford.
28 Posted 26/11/2016 at 18:46:19
The game against Man City was as good as a display as I've ever seen from any Everton goalie and that includes watching big Nev.
The difference between a world class goalie like Southall and Stekelenburg is that Stek doesn't seem to have it in his game to play consistently well.
I believe we still need to bring in an elite goalkeeper this summer (if Walsh can pursued them to sign) but we need to prioritise on bringing in a centre-forward, midfielder and new centre-backthis coming window.
29 Posted 26/11/2016 at 20:14:56
I think you have hit the nail on the head re Forster.
30 Posted 26/11/2016 at 21:21:07
31 Posted 27/11/2016 at 01:09:44
Winter is coming for him, may last a full season, then a back-up. 28-30 full international keeper required.
32 Posted 27/11/2016 at 02:24:13
I understand why you would need to keep your source confidential, but don't get raw with people when they don't automatically buy your input, OK?
33 Posted 27/11/2016 at 03:03:01
Having seen more, via TV, of Heaton and Pickford, I don't see them sliding around on their knees with arms outstretched, they stay on their feet, their positioning and catching is first class.
And I did think that Robles did enough in the game he played to have been kept in the team. Whether it is through form or injury, if a player takes the opportunity, he should be persevered with, it's called competition.
34 Posted 27/11/2016 at 09:31:20
35 Posted 27/11/2016 at 15:34:04
I would remind you that Big Nev was Number 2 with us for his first two seasons, behind the legendary Jim Arnold, and was even loaned out to Port Vale.
Judge Stekelenburg on performance, not pedigree. I would suggest he's proven a capable Number 1 and an improvement over what we had last year, which is all Koeman required in his first season. I have no doubt he'll be Number 2 to somebody next season but, for now, he is definitely good enough.
36 Posted 27/11/2016 at 19:15:30
I say again, keeper is the least of our problems.
37 Posted 27/11/2016 at 22:42:37
38 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:11:31
Yes, I'd have taken Hart, yes all the top teams in the league have better (apart for the RS maybe).
Fact is we have major problems need addressing all over the field of play.
Defence can't defend. Midfield don't create. Strikers not scoring atm.
Major major issues.
41 Posted 01/12/2016 at 13:51:31
No 6-foot-plus player who has the advantage of using his hands should be getting bullied in that situation.
He's not done much to convince me since, admittedly he had a blinder against Man City but fucking Steve Simonsen and Paul Gerrard had the odd good game.
42 Posted 01/12/2016 at 15:19:06
The keeper has done well in my opinion as has Williams and Gana but who has dropped of just recently. Bolasie has been disappointing and Valencia on loan has had little time to impress so may no longer be rated by Koeman.
With a month to go till the window opens, we can all speculate and hope that there will be more strengthening considered as it is difficult to see the present squad improving much.
43 Posted 03/12/2016 at 19:07:03