Joel Robles has revealed his anger at being told by Ronald Koeman that incoming goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg would be first-choice between the posts this season but says he elected to stay and battle for his place.
After a difficult spell at Fulham and a season on loan under Koeman at Southampton in 2015-16, Stekelenburg was drafted in by his compatriot last summer in what many assumed would be a back-up role either to Robles or a new acquisition before the August transfer deadline.
Instead, the Spaniard says that Koeman informed him that Stekelenburg would be the new No 1 and that he would be second choice.
It came as a blow to Robles who had spent a long spell on the sidelines awaiting his chance to supplant Tim Howard as the Blues' first-choice ‘keeper and he finally succeeded in the last few months of Roberto Martinez's tenure.
The American's declining form, coupled with his eventual move to Colorado Rapids, appeared to have opened the door for Robles to make the role his own but he remained as the understudy until Stekelenburg suffered a leg injury in last month's Merseyside derby.
Just as he did at times when Howard was out injured, the former Atletico Madrid man has taken his opportunity to shine with a string of good performances that has included three clean sheets in the last five games. With Stekelenburg fully fit again to start, however, Robles will have to see what decision Koeman makes for this weekend's trip to Crystal Palace.
“He told me that I was the No 2 and that Maarten was going to be No 1,” Robles said in the Liverpool Echo when asked what the manager had said to him when he succeeded Martinez at Goodison last summer.
“Obviously, I am angry in this moment with him but this is football, I respect the situation and that I needed to change my mind and work hard.
“In one moment, I did think about leaving because I like to play but when you go home you need to think about everything and I want to play for Everton for many years.
“I had reason to leave the club but I said no because I want to play for Everton for many years.”
Reader Comments (49)
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1 Posted 19/01/2017 at 19:38:19
2 Posted 19/01/2017 at 19:41:58
I also like his attitude. Guys like McCarthy, Deulofeu, Funes Mori, etc... get dropped from the starting XI and their immediate reaction is "Get me out of here." But Robles seems to have genuine affection for the club and appears willing to fight for his spot. You have to respect that.
3 Posted 19/01/2017 at 19:56:02
Maybe that's because there's a new coach who he responds to; whatever the reason Robles has improved and as far as I'm concerned is better than Stekelenburg. He was outstanding against Man City with his kicking being especially effective and his handling top class.
to drop him would be harsh on Robles part and foolish on Koeman's.
4 Posted 19/01/2017 at 19:58:01
5 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:00:19
6 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:06:47
And for the first time since he joined the club, I think he should be our #1 keeper right now. He didn't let his last-minute derby error get him down, and he's more aggressive right now than I've ever seen him. His improvement is palpable and deserves reward.
7 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:11:03
8 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:11:56
9 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:16:05
10 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:22:11
11 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:23:48
I don't know if he is the long term solution but he probably needs a decent run of games to try and cement his claims. There may be a decent keeper in him given the chance.
If there is it could save us about £20m and I may end up saying "thanks Roberto". However I'll reserve my judgement a little longer.
12 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:23:56
13 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:33:38
"like McCarthy, Deulofeu, Funes Mori, etc... get dropped from the starting XI and their immediate reaction is "get me out of here."
I don't recall McCarthy saying anything of the sort. The speculation has been in the press. Same for Deuofeu; Koeman has told him, if he wants to play he has to leave.
For what it's worth, Robles has played his way into the #1 position and deserves to keep his place.
14 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:36:00
It must be athe hardest life in football being a keeper when the manager's got a favourite, even when your better.
15 Posted 19/01/2017 at 20:51:04
I think Robles attitude and reaction to being dropped is spot on: get angry, get motivated, get back in the team. Koeman preaches mental toughness then this is the reaction as a manager he surely must be looking for.
Robles has come on in leaps and bounds, he's always been a good shot stopper, one-on-ones, as well as, being reasonable with the ball at his feet when played back to him.
His handling has come on, catches far more than he punches now, it was always punching the ball away when he first came, kicking, positioning, reading of the game have all improved, but does he have the ability to maintain his concentration levels.
Thi is vital for a keeper which leads to consistency and cuts out the errors which Robles has been prone to, that's the big question mark over him as far as I'm concerned, I hope so and I hope Koeman gives him a fair crack of the whip as he's earned it.
16 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:03:49
Robles isn't the world's best keeper, but he's certainly the best keeper on our books.
17 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:05:33
Makes me laugh, he worries me sometimes, and often makes me think of that saying about having to be mad to play in goal but he's obviously not mad because he went home and he thought about it!
I loved that, Joel, because it shows you have got an appreciation of where you are, and an even bigger appreciation of what you want to achieve and who you want to achieve it with. For that alone, I hope you are good enough to keep your place, and help take us where we all want to go. Good luck, Amigo!
18 Posted 19/01/2017 at 21:13:58
19 Posted 19/01/2017 at 22:21:40
He's certainly the best keeper we have and deserves a good run to see if he can be our No 1 for the next few years.
20 Posted 19/01/2017 at 22:24:37
21 Posted 19/01/2017 at 22:36:36
22 Posted 19/01/2017 at 22:37:45
23 Posted 19/01/2017 at 22:46:51
Robles is top of the charts but has played far fewer games. That said, 4 out of 6 is pretty solid and if he maintains anything like that consistency, he'd certainly be a top performer in the league.
24 Posted 19/01/2017 at 22:54:25
25 Posted 19/01/2017 at 23:13:51
Stekelenburg isn't young. We are probably his last kick at the can. Any mistakes are ingrained. There's no chance of improvement with him.
Stay with Robles.
27 Posted 19/01/2017 at 23:43:03
Joel deserves a prolonged run in my eyes. Stekelenburg, although has the odd amazing game, has made too many mistakes and let in too many soft goals. And if Joel impresses, like he has done for the last few games, he could be a good long term option for us.
Do the right think Koeman don't play favourites.
29 Posted 20/01/2017 at 01:12:58
In fact against Chelsea he should have saved both the first 2 goals. As we saw with Manchester City on the weekend this seems to erode confidence in the whole team and let to a proper thrashing.
Robles is the best we have now and deserves the remainder of the season to prove we don't need a new keeper next season
30 Posted 20/01/2017 at 01:26:01
31 Posted 20/01/2017 at 01:53:26
Keep players in the team who are on form. His isn't bad at all this season, in what is the most thankless of positions. Give the lad a chance, he deserves it, big time.
Good luck, Joel
32 Posted 20/01/2017 at 01:58:59
I honestly thought Robles was looking like a top keeper when Howard was injured, and the run of games did him good. What a sickener it must have been when he got dropped after all those clean sheets.
I say he needs more game time to build up his confidence again, and to show the management that they don't need to rush out and risk big money buying a replacement.
Also, I agree with Liam, that McCarthy hasn't sulked about being on the bench and asking for a move think Bill's thinking of Mirallas. Macca has done his best every time he's played, and it's actually injuries that have lost him his place.
At the moment, we must have the best midfield squad in the Premier League: Gana, Schneiderlin, Barry, Davies, Barkley and McCarthy. To win trophies, you need a big squad and if Ronnie K can keep them all happy, the engine room next season won't need any strengthening for an assault on the top places
33 Posted 20/01/2017 at 03:00:36
34 Posted 20/01/2017 at 05:37:44
I don't think Bergovic is much of an improvement though. Hart would be. If you look at his stats over the past few seasons, he is up there with the best, and Man City haven't always had the best of defenders in front of him since Kompany faded
35 Posted 20/01/2017 at 06:49:30
Players need to be picked on form. Keep him as Number 1. He has deserved it. Once again.... 4 clean sheets in a row!!!
If Koeman drops him, he's no better than Martinez who dropped Robles in favor of an ailing Howard after he did 5 clean sheets in a row.
Robles has been remarkably loyal and patient. Keep him as No 1. I still remember his brilliant performance against Man City and the games leading up to Wigan winning the FA Cup. He deserves to be No 1. Especially after the Dutch lad has made mistakes.
36 Posted 20/01/2017 at 06:54:55
His command of his area is far better than Stekelenburg's and as others have said, the way he bombed up the pitch to join in the goal celebration really showed where his heart lies. He's far more vocal in defence than Stekelenburg, and as it was when Howard was in decline you can't help feeling that the outfield players seem to feel more confident with Joel between the sticks.
As someone else has already stated, I hope Koeman doesn't do a Martinez this weekend by dropping him when he's the man in form. If he does, not only could it rebound badly on us against something of a bogey team force us, but Koeman, who has just begun to win some of his doubters over, me included, will go down In a lot of people's opinion.
37 Posted 20/01/2017 at 06:59:13
38 Posted 20/01/2017 at 07:09:34
39 Posted 20/01/2017 at 08:07:36
In other words... NOOOOOO!!!!!!
40 Posted 20/01/2017 at 09:51:31
If Davies maintains the form he showed against City should he be dropped when Gana returns?
41 Posted 20/01/2017 at 10:05:17
42 Posted 20/01/2017 at 10:30:38
Although he has still had his moments since then, he has developed into a good keeper. I also think he's going to get better, so we should stick with him.
43 Posted 20/01/2017 at 12:50:31
I'm not a big fan but you can't argue with his stats when he has been dumped into the team when the first keeper is injured.
Thought he had an excellent game on Sunday, particularly when he was out like a shot to close down Silva. Saved a certain goal.
44 Posted 20/01/2017 at 14:43:46
45 Posted 20/01/2017 at 15:28:14
A pressure position when you're not the manager's first choice could've rattled him but he's done great and the defence look comfortable with him too.
46 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:16:43
Just by way of lateral thinking. If Lukaku had been injured and Valencia had scored in four consecutive matches. Valencia would not get dropped just cos Lukaku was fit again, surely?
Joel really looks far better now that when he first arrived. Looks far better than at the end of last season, truth be told. His reaction to Koeman's information says loads about his character too. That is exactly the reaction that Koeman must have wanted.
As has been said 26 is still apprentice for a keeper. I recall an ex-binman who turned out very nicely, but he had a few dodgy performances in the beginning, as Jim Arnold's understudy. Jim Arnold.
We can but hope that Joel has found his way. That really would be terrific.
47 Posted 20/01/2017 at 17:50:43
I'd really love for Koeman to keep Stekelenburg as a backup keeper for now, let's see what Joel can do!
Any 'keeper will have the occasional howler, let's just give Joel the opportunity to show us we've actually been nurturing a pearl when we hid him away... ;P
Many have been wanting Joe Hart in as a main goalkeeper, but unlike him, Joel hasn't really shown a consistent 'blind' area (down to his left...) to exploit for the opposition!
48 Posted 20/01/2017 at 18:42:46
For the first time since he joined the club I thought he could be our 1st choice keeper, even though I'd prefer a better quality and more proven goal-stopper.
And ... help me out here people. On this video on the official site, young Sunderland fan Bradley's Day At Goodison... right at the start of the video are 3 Everton players with the middle one holding Bradley in his arms.
Tell me, the one holding Bradley ... isn't that Robles ... wearing ... GLASSES???!!!
49 Posted 20/01/2017 at 19:09:42
50 Posted 21/01/2017 at 19:47:53
Another clean sheet for him.
51 Posted 21/01/2017 at 00:00:12
He never concedes many and he seems to have come on a great deal as a keeper. He fully deserves the Number 1 shirt out of both keepers, in my opinion.