Robinson claims an assist on USA debut

Monday, 28 May, 2018 47comments  |  Jump to most recent

Antonee Robinson played the full 90 minutes and set up one of the goals as the United States beat Bolivia 3-0.

The young Everton fullback was earning his first cap for the USA and he impressed with his pace and trickery while laying on the third goal for Timothy Weah.

Defender Walker Zimmerman opened the scoring with his first goal with a header in the 37th minute and Josh Sargent made it 2-0 seven minutes into the second half.

Weah converted Robinson's enticing cross just before the hour mark.

Robinson spent last season gaining valuable experience on loan at Bolton Wanderers where he made 30 appearances.

A potential long-term replacement for Leighton Baines, the 20-year-old is one of the players new Director of Football Marcel Brands will likely be keen to run the rule over when he arrives at the club at the end of the week.

His debut for his country bodes well at a time when the US Men's National Team is in the midst of transition and some introspection following their failure to qualify for the World Cup Finals for the first time since 1998.

A number of younger and untried players are likely to be given an opportunity shine over the next couple of years before qualifying for the 2022 World Cup begins.


Reader Comments (47)

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Kieran Fitzgerald
1 Posted 29/05/2018 at 06:37:42
Nice to see. It means that we have him and Kenny as options.
Victor Yu
2 Posted 29/05/2018 at 06:43:28
Probably another year away from making an impact with us?

One more year out on loan perhaps?

John Smith
3 Posted 29/05/2018 at 06:51:16
Bolton want Antonee Robinson for next season.
Sam Hoare
4 Posted 29/05/2018 at 06:58:34
See how he does in pre season but he may be ready to have a crack at our first team. He has great athleticism and got a good amount of games last season at Bolton.
Amit Vithlani
5 Posted 29/05/2018 at 07:04:31
Kudos to young Robinson. A few of our learned ToffeeWebbers stateside and in the UK said the lad had potential.

I hope Brands does something that Koeman, Allardyce and Walsh thoroughly failed to do. Take a close look at the talent inside the club.

Indeed, Brands spoke of how 50% of PSV's first team were home produced so it sounds like he is a believer in generating youth products.

Hopefully Robinson will make the step up and perhaps act as an understudy to whoever we buy this summer to replace Baines (hopefully someone of the calibre of Luke Shaw).

Bobby Mallon
6 Posted 29/05/2018 at 08:22:05
Once again, "not yet ready to step up" are the shouts from supporters. Really, how will we ever know unless he is given a go? Can he be any worse than Martina at left back? I don't think so.

This lad and others have not and won't let us down because they are Everton – give them a go.

Mike Benjamin
7 Posted 29/05/2018 at 08:49:25
My friend is a Bolton season ticket holder and has been impressed with him especially going forward. His main weaknesses seem to be defending. With good coaching... definitely potential.
Si Pulford
8 Posted 29/05/2018 at 08:52:40
Bobby, we will never get back to former glories if we use the mantra "is a player better than the current incumbent"? (In this case Martina!). We should be buying a player better than both and using Martina as a yardstick of the type of quality we should never buy again.

If Robinson is ready I'm sure brands will see that and he will get a chance. However as we want to crack the top 6/4 we should be using the mantra ‘ would he get in another top 6 side' when thinking about all of our players. If not, then they either get replaced as senior players or they get coached to improve and see if they can step up in the case of youth players.

Look at Karius at Liverpool. No other team in the latter stages of the Champions League had a keeper that poor. Klopp allowed that situation to develop and continue and they paid what looked like an inevitable price.

We should not be buying or promoting players from within – no matter how tempting it is – because they are better than Martina or Williams etc.

Dave Abrahams
9 Posted 29/05/2018 at 09:21:15
Si (8), maybe Bobby is pointing out not only of the potential of young players but we should never sign players who were so patently obvious very poor players.

Robinson is still very young but gained good experience at Bolton last season; let's at least give him a new contract to keep him here.

Mike Allison
10 Posted 29/05/2018 at 09:33:38
Si, I hate to break this to you, but if we're only allowed to sign players who would get in a top 6 side, then we're likely to sign no-one at all. Players good enough to get straight into a top 6 side tend to join top 6 clubs.

We need to put players in our side before they're at that level to help them develop. That's the realistic position we're in: unable to sign the very top, ready-made players.

Robinson is a great example of what we should be doing. He's a 20-year-old with an affinity to the club, a Championship season under his belt and now international experience. He will get better the more he plays, and looks good enough to be the understudy to Leighton Baines for now.

If we can sign the next world class left-back then great, but to rule out Robinson because he wouldn't walk into a top 6 side right now severely restricts our options. It even, as Brands pointed out this week, acts as a motivation killer to other young players, their coaches and everybody in our academy system.

Derek Thomas
11 Posted 29/05/2018 at 09:41:56
If he does get sent out again to Bolton, make it only until Christmas.
Paul Kennedy
12 Posted 29/05/2018 at 09:44:14
I see the clubs with proper organisation are already getting in new players (before prices skyrocket for whats left behind) and here we are still awaiting a manager.
Si Pulford
13 Posted 29/05/2018 at 09:56:55
Chaps I Agree about the difficulty in signing top 6 players but to be clear – I'm not talking exclusively about current top 6 players. More the type that would be considered by top 6 clubs or have maybe fallen out of favour.

Look at Martina – a reserve at Southampton. Not his fault but he wasn't the quality we needed and he ended up playing on the wrong side to make it worse.

We should be looking at Shaw (top 6 but it hasn't worked for him) or top 4/6 players from other leagues. Yes, it's a gamble and for every Tosun you may get a Klaassen (who I would keep and give another chance by the way).

Walcott is a great example. He'll do well for us. He's never been anything other than a top 6 player and fitted straight in. That's what we should be looking to do until we can get the currently unrealistic types.

And I'm not saying get rid of Robinson. I'd loan him again and reap the rewards the season after. I've got friends who are Bolton fans who rave about him but is he really ready for the Premier League? Or would we rather have Shaw with him as a back up?

Same with Dowell. Amazing until Xmas then faded. So surely another loan would be better for his development than coming off our bench a few times a month and being screamed at by grown men every time he mishits a pass.


Derek Knox
14 Posted 29/05/2018 at 10:07:06
A bit confused here, the lad is good enough to play for the USA National team, and yet he is deemed not ready for us?

I think having read quite a bit about Brands, he is certainly going to look at the Academy and young players we have on the books.

This makes sense to me, rather than going out and buying another left back, probably at an inflated price. Now that Baines has decided to stay, I think he can definitely provide another season for us. Why not gradually introduce Antonee into that role.

Money needs to be spent on centre-backs, attacking midfielder or playmaker, and a striker. Also keeping Lookman is a must, Robinson & Lookman could be the new Baines & Pienaar combo.

Nathan Ford
15 Posted 29/05/2018 at 10:10:48
Give him a go in pre-season; think of young English players who broke into the top 6 or 7 sides in the last year or two and you'll see why youth has to be given a go.

Players like Rashford, Trent Alexander, Nick Pope under normal circumstances would not have gotten a chance but, when they did, they seized the opportunity. Taking a risk is a double-edged sword but, if you don't take risks, you don't reap rewards.

Hugh Jenkins
16 Posted 29/05/2018 at 10:41:34
In recent years, it seems we built up a reputation as the "go to" team if you were a youngster that aspired to getting an early chance to play in the Premier League.

Unfortunately, over the course of last season, that reputation has become somewhat tarnished.

However, with luck and Brands's stated philosophy, we can once again become champions of that cause.

Don't ever forget the ill-famed words "You'll never win anything with kids".

For my money, bring them on and let them play – one thing you can be sure of and something that has been noticeably missing from our performances in recent seasons, they will not lack enthusiasm.

Gary Edwards
17 Posted 29/05/2018 at 10:50:58
Since watching him several times playing for the U23s, on one occasion 'skinning' Schuups (then playing for Leicester) in a 30m foot race and giving Schuups a few metes start long touted him for (at least) an opportunity. He's fast, athletic, strong and ready (IMO).

We should also be looking at Feeney and Gibson coming through into the first-team squad and it will be interesting to see if Browning, Galloway and Connolly are able to force their way into first-team consideration.

Martin Reppion
18 Posted 29/05/2018 at 10:56:35
The contrasting views here show the diversity of footie fans the world over. I fall in the terminally biased, but also realistic camp.

Leighton Baines has been one of the best left-backs in the league over the last 10 years. He isn't now as good as he was. But he is still, when fit, better than a lot of others in the Premier League.

Antonee Robinson looks like a prospect, who we need to nurture to ensure that IF he turns out to be the real deal, he is doing it for us. Those who think that we should splash out on the best available left back now and have Baines as cover have a valid point. But a cautionary tale:

A few years ago we had a 20-year-old defender who was not yet ready to command a first-team place. He saw us sign other ready-made players in his position and so to get playing time, rather than sign a contract and stick around, left to get a first team place elsewhere. Arsenal then paid £35million for him.

Robinson may not be another Mustafi... maybe more a Duffy. But if there is a chance that he is going to be the next long-term left-back or a future Gareth Bale, we need to make sure he is in a blue shirt as he reaches his peak. And I don't mean playing for Chelsea. If that means having a season looking at him as he plays understudy to Baines, I am all for it. It is no different to Kenny this season understudying Seamus on the right.

I am not hearing any cries for the signing of a new right-back in case Coleman is injured. If we hadn't seen Kenny perform, we wouldn't know that he is up to stepping in when the need arises.

And finally, if not signing a ready-made left-back adds £25m to the transfer fund (and £100k+ per week in wages) in place for a new centre-forward, it is good business.

Justin Doone
19 Posted 29/05/2018 at 10:57:44
I haven't seem him but I presume he must already be decent given the call up. Its all about potential putting in the hard work to improve and develop.

Modern day full-backs are generally pacey failed wingers. Defending is something they need to learn and presuming he has the basic physical attributes and a brain he should learn quickly on the job.

6 months ago, we now know he probably would have been a decent option for us. But hoping Baines or better will have a good full season, his on-the-job development is best playing football.

If good enough now, job-share the left-back role. Otherwise, a full pre-season, 5 months loan, and see where we are and he is in January. I rate Galloway for a defensive left-back, so it comes down to what the manager wants.

Tony Everan
20 Posted 29/05/2018 at 11:05:17
He is 20 and improving. Had a good game against Bolivia. An exciting prospect for us.

To make a top six left back in the toughest league in the world will require more. He will be targeted by Premier League teams as a weakness. Is he tough enough to cope with that at the moment?

Another loan spell and regular game time will improve him further.

Gary Russell
21 Posted 29/05/2018 at 11:12:47
Antonee might be ready and hopefully the new manger will have the nouse to make the call. Baines, a thoroughly nice chap by all accounts, is finished. We have to be ruthless and move players on who no longer cut it. There should be no place for sentiment.

He was once very good, but it was always more about his attacking and link-up. Has he ever been that good a defender? I don't think he has. He is history and should not be a major showing for the future.

Dave Pritchard
22 Posted 29/05/2018 at 11:23:53
He was a Liverpool supporter as a lad (went to school with one of mine) but there is more joy in heaven etc. Definitely worth a go in pre-season for me.
Gavin Johnson
23 Posted 29/05/2018 at 11:33:27
Make no mistake, we will buy a new 1st team left-back this summer. What will be interesting is where this will leave Robinson and Baines. Forget Martina and Garbutt. They'll be shown the door, but it'll be interesting to see whether or not Robinson is sent out on loan again. If not, where does that leave Leighton Baines?

I'm conflicted about Baines. I'd like us to bring in someone like Rose or Shaw next season and we could have a promising back-up in Robinson if we keep him in the squad. Brands wants us to look at younger players and also wants to cut the wage bill so logically we could do the unthinkable and let Baines go.

That said, we need players like Baines and Jagielka while the team is in transition. Baines only has one more year and he is a player I would like to move into coaching. I think he would have a lot to offer. More so than the likes of Franny Jeffers.

Mike Allison
24 Posted 29/05/2018 at 13:22:34
Si (#13), a pretty clear and sensible response. I agree with your general principle, the only thing I think we disagree on is the current status of Robinson, Dowell et al.

If we can sign high-quality players in their position, then I'd loan them out again, but I'd certainly do it in that order, and if we couldn't sign the ready-made quality I'd be excited about giving our young players the chance to prove themselves and develop at the top level.

I'm also a little unsure what's going on with Luke Shaw. I guess we won't know, but there seems to be some ‘character scouting' required, because there must be a reason why United won't play him.

I like all the noises coming from Brands about the academy and developing youngsters, and I get the impression that, shock horror, he may actually intend to create a system to improve players rather than simply buy better ones.

Geoffrey Williams
25 Posted 29/05/2018 at 13:30:32
One suspects that, if Robinson was a Bolton player, we'd be looking to sign him. There always seems to be the idea that young players for other clubs are better prospects than our academy players.
Kieran Kinsella
26 Posted 29/05/2018 at 13:43:17
Derek Knox,

The USA are very poor right now so playing for them doesn't necessarily mean much. Didn't we just have a kid play for Northern Ireland? They are currently better than the USA.

That said, I haven't seen this kid play but what would we learn with another year at struggling Bolton? If a loan is needed, I would send him to a better club where he can face tougher challenges.

Fran Mitchell
27 Posted 29/05/2018 at 13:50:45
Baines should likely be eased into coaching, with his place in the first team reduced to specific games where we feel his experience is needed.

At left back, I feel we should be looking at giving Robinson a chance; look at Liverpool and the impact of Alexander-Arnold, no reason Robinson can't make a similar impact.

I'd like to see us sign someone else too, mind. Two players for every position.

Jon Withey
28 Posted 29/05/2018 at 13:54:31
Geoffrey #25 yeah it's a classic mental trick – grass is always greener - other people's youngsters are better.

Tottenham brought a decent crop of young English players through with a bit of patience, including Kane, Alli, Trippier, Rose... even Kyle Walker was very young when they bought him.

It takes a decent coach though, I don't think Koeman or Allardyce can put themselves in that bracket – Martinez maybe.

I always think back to that Man Utd side with players like Scholes, Neville, Neville, Giggs, Beckham, Butt etc. A nucleus of a good squad (who no doubt people had their doubts about at the time), coached and managed well and then augmented with more mature talent from elsewhere.

Mike Gaynes
29 Posted 29/05/2018 at 14:00:05
Gary #21, strongly disagree. Baines is neither finished nor history. He may have lost a step going forward but he is, as he has always been, a solid and mistake-free defender with a faultless positional sense. Yes, a replacement is eventually needed but we have far more urgent problems to deal with.

As for Robinson, I very much liked what I saw of him last night, and I want to see more. The USA has friendlies with Ireland on Saturday and France next weekend, and I hope he's in the lineup.

Amit Vithlani
30 Posted 29/05/2018 at 14:19:51
"Yes, a replacement is eventually needed but we have far more urgent problems to deal with."

Personally, I disagree Mike. Buying a first team LB is a priority. I don't mean shunting Baines out into the wilderness or relgating him completely to a sub, but it would be fool hardy to pencil him in for more than 15 starts next season.

He has become injury prone and his defending is no longer error free. Due to a loss of pace, he can't defend his flank alone like Seamus does and we will have to play with 2 DMs or have our left winger track back to give him cover.

I think the sensible thing to do is to recognise he has a year or at best two left in him and gradually ease his playing time down. If we buy Shaw, who is by no means the finished article but does have greater pace than Baines, then the coaching staff can work on his defending and bed him into the team.

We are not going to buy a top 6 LB who will walk straight into the team so a period of transition where Bainsey is used in short sharp bursts is needed.

On a similar note, we have started to transition Jags - still our best CB but not guaranteed a start in every game. Keane really needs more time to step up his game and Holgate is young.

Also, I don't see us splashing the cash at CB until we sell atleast two from Williams, Funes, Browning, Galloway.

At LB, Martina and Garbutt will probably be discarded making room for a new purchase and some game time, hopefully, for Robinson.

If we can solidify the left flank, then it would be exciting to see the full potential of Lookman unleashed to do what he does best - run at the oppo rather than track back to cover for Baines.

Mike Dolan
31 Posted 29/05/2018 at 14:56:54
Football being a 'confidence' game, perhaps when it comes to breaking in young players, it depends on the state of the team as much as the natural ability of the player. I think, in Everton's case, given the sudden onset of old age and injury, followed by an inevitable loss of confidence by particularly our central defenders, affected the entire team badly. It was very difficult for young players like Kenny, Holgate, Davies and even Pickford and Keane to develop to their full potential in such an atmosphere and I suspect Robinson might have the same problem.

While Baines and Jags have been stellar professionals for our club for a long time and Williams was an effective if reliably crude center half, for everything there is a season and they are all now way past their sell-by dates and would not be playing for any ambitious team in the top half of any top flight league anywhere on the planet except for the sentimental value here at lovely old fashioned Everton.

If you want to play Robinson at left-back in the Premier League, then you need to cover that massive black hole in the center of our defense, first with a boss centre-back – otherwise, you might ruin the kid's career before it gets really started.

Jamie Crowley
32 Posted 29/05/2018 at 15:10:33
Dave Sarachan (USMNT Interim Coach) is playing the kids, and reports are he'll do so for the foreseeable future.

So if you're young and American, you'll get a chance to prove yourself. Hence Robinson's inclusion.

Mind you, if the USA didn't have such a dysfunctional and corrupt Federation, we'd have qualified for the World Cup and I'd actually be able to watch my country this summer. And as they dawdle along, completely fucking the pooch, only worried about the millions they are raking in while completely ignoring any child remotely impoverished as it can cost upwards of $2,500 to $6,000 per year to kick a fucking ball around, at least Dave Sarachan is trying to get the future right by playing the kids like Robinson.

I hope he's a mainstay for Everton and the USA for years to come.

Jay Harris
33 Posted 29/05/2018 at 15:21:09
Mike (#24) and others, Shaw is rumoured to have some lifestyle issues and haven't we had enough of Man Utd rejects?

If we have to buy, it should be better than what we have. Shaw is not better than Baines but Danny Rose is. My view is we should go balls out to get Danny Rose and let Robinson grow into the position.

It is a chasm from U23 to the Premier League and quite a leap from the Championship to the top six in the Premier League.

Brands, if he is as good as made out, will have a development plan for all the top young players and Robinson will no doubt get his chance, the same way Trippier and Davies did at Spurs.

Gary Russell
34 Posted 29/05/2018 at 15:30:25
Mike (#29),

'He may have lost a step going forward but he is, as he has always been, a solid and mistake-free defender with a faultless positional sense.'

A classic example of how we all see things differently. I am scratching my head with the mistake-free part. You come across as thorough in your research and comments, Mike. I can't regale games and incidents, but positional sense and standing off would be my main gripes.

And he has slowed, obviously as he's not getting any younger. Let's see if anyone else chimes in with his lack of defensive qualities resulting in goals. I'll have to agree to disagree with you squire.

Dave Pritchard
35 Posted 29/05/2018 at 15:51:44
Jay, Danny Rose is a good player but, as someone said earlier, or on a different thread, he is a top-six (or probably top-four) left-back so why would he come to us? Mega-bucks salary perhaps.
Jay Wood

36 Posted 29/05/2018 at 15:52:26
Mike @ 29.

I agree Leighton is far from finished or history, but at 34 in December he is not the player he was.

The left back position was criminally neglected last season and needs addressing this summer. Be that internally or bringing someone in from the outside, Brands (and Silva..?) must determine.

Oh! And as much as I like Leighton, I think you over-ice the cake Mike by saying "he has always been, a solid and mistake-free defender with a faultless positional sense."

Too many examples to list that challenges that perception of Leighton's defensive qualities I suggest Mike.

Steavey Buckley
37 Posted 29/05/2018 at 16:11:54
Everton right now are in a mess when it comes to who is going to be in the squad next season. This is what happens when not appointing the right manager, because another manager has to come in and get to know the players, and some how, in a relatively short period of time, has to work out who he needs, who to let go, and who to send out on loan.

Being an Evertonian is definitely something you choose not to be... but something you are born into.

John Pierce
38 Posted 29/05/2018 at 16:21:00
We need a new left back, that would be my view. Robinson has had one year on loan, those suggesting a second year at the same level is a poor idea... maybe a Premier League side perhaps; however, still folly, I think. That just suggests he is not good enough.

If he is, then stick him in. The likely inbound manager plays a higher-tempo game and would expect more athleticism from his full-back; Robinson would fit this style.

Baines would be a great option if we had European football – enough games there to blood Robinson and fill in with Baines when required.

Baines is no longer good enough purely from a physical angle, so time to buy someone and cash Baines in, albeit with a heavy heart.

Dermot Byrne
39 Posted 29/05/2018 at 16:48:20
My only worry is we seem to loan them out for too long and then find we have not let them learn Premier League football with us. Then one poor spell (Dowell at Nottm Forest) and they are written off or further away from fulfilling their potential. In many ways, the Premier League is a better, more protected game than in lower leagues.

Other clubs seem to have great youngsters playing, or am I misjudging this? Are their youngsters better?

Perhaps I just don't see their failed youngsters?

Wisdom welcome.

Amit Vithlani
40 Posted 29/05/2018 at 16:48:56
Shaw might have lifestyle issues but Danny Rose has greed issues.
James Flynn
41 Posted 29/05/2018 at 17:30:47
Gary (21) - Over-the-top there. Leighton actually had a pretty good season, given the overall disaster it was. And he always was a solid defender. He still has something.

What he doesn't have are the legs to let him play game-in and game-out. He's a once-a-week player now, if we intend to get the best out of him while preventing him from breaking down. In that, he does need replacing. Can't see the need for "ruthlessness" though. He can still play.

Paul Thompson
42 Posted 29/05/2018 at 17:43:20
If we don't give the lad a run out at least in pre-season, we are negating our whole development policy. He's come successfully through our ranks. He's a got a successful season with a decent lower-level club under his belt. He's just played for his country.

If Baines doesn't move on in the summer (and I don't think he will), we would be better spending our money elsewhere and having Robinson compete with Baines for what will be the latter's last season with us.

James Stewart
43 Posted 29/05/2018 at 17:45:21
I like the look of Robinson; he surely has to be in our squad next season.
Gary Russell
44 Posted 29/05/2018 at 18:09:35
Jayzuz James, must be a 'Yank' thing. Nowt over the top. Some can see it and some never will. He has never been the best defender, his main attribute was the opposition worrying about him as an attacking force. With Peanuts, t'was great. That was years ago. Defender, nah...
Jay Harris
45 Posted 29/05/2018 at 20:55:57
Dave, re Danny Rose, Man City are fixed up as are Chelsea and Liverpool. Man Utd apparently don't want him and there has been no interest from Arsenal.

He is on £55k a week at Spurs and unhappy with that, which allowed Davies to get in ahead of him but, for me, he is ideal for us although he does need an attitude check re the money issue.

James Flynn
46 Posted 29/05/2018 at 21:02:29
Gary (#44) – Must be confusing me with Mike Gaynes' remarks on Leighton as a defender. All I called him was a solid defender, nothing more. Because that's the most I ever considered him on defense.

Now he's "finished"? Not by his showing this season. Did you mean finished as an every-game regular? Then I agree. But that's not how your post (at #21) read.

James Flynn
47 Posted 29/05/2018 at 21:51:46
Speaking of our youngsters, Onyekuru is pissed at Anderlecht and saying he will not stay another season: Link

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