Lukaku expected to be fit to face City

by | 11/01/2016  78 Comments  [Jump to last]
Roberto Martinez is confident that Romelu Lukaku will have recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in the Capital One Cup semi-final against the Manchester City in time to face them again in the League on Wednesday.

The Belgian striker struck dread into Evertonian hearts in the first leg last week when he pulled up limping heavily after scoring what could prove to be a crucial goal in the tie.

He was substituted shortly afterwards amid fears he might miss the trip to the Etihad his coming Wednesday but the manager expects Lukaku to have shaken the problem off by midweek.

Martinez also suggested there was better news regarding Seamus Coleman who also came off against City with an injury. The Irishman could return in the home game against Swansea City on the 24th, week earlier than the immediate prognosis that was offered on his strained calf.

Furthermore, Martinez indicated that Tim Howard will return in goal on Wednesday after sitting out he back-to-back cup ties in which Joel Robles kept goal for his fifth and sixth victories of the season.

 

Reader Comments (78)

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John Atkins
1 Posted 11/01/2016 at 08:37:42
Play your best team RM

That means put Robles in and not Howard, soft lad.

Joe O'Brien
2 Posted 11/01/2016 at 08:49:49
Great news about big Rom and Coleman but if Howard returns it shows how stubborn RM is. That is a major flaw in him as a manager. As John points out and countless others, he should be playing his strongest team and not his favourites.
Brin Williams
3 Posted 11/01/2016 at 09:40:58
Gutted.
Paul Kennedy
4 Posted 11/01/2016 at 09:49:44
We need to be attacking the likes of Man City, Man Utd, Arsenal etc. The only way you can feel confident going forward is having confidence at the back.

Play Robles, not Tim, please!!!!

Shane Corcoran
5 Posted 11/01/2016 at 10:06:13
Sorry but RM's diagnosis of previous injuries gives me little hope, in particular in relation to Coleman whose injury was muscular.
David Ellis
6 Posted 11/01/2016 at 10:11:45
This is good news...particularly about Lukaku. I worry about us if we were to lose him for a sustained period. I just hope the don't rush him back for the game on Wednesday if he's not really ready.
Liam Reilly
7 Posted 11/01/2016 at 10:51:47
The ankle injury could be just bruising or a cut but 2 weeks for a calf strain is playing Russian Roulette. Thankfully we're in the transfer window so we can buy a right back and possibly a new striker when both are ruled out long term.

As for Howard going straight back in; there is no defense to that decision. Robles should ask for a transfer, because from what we've seen he deserves a run and could do o a good job as a number 1.

Tony Abrahams
8 Posted 11/01/2016 at 10:59:54
Have to agree with Shane, regarding Coleman's injury. It's not very often a player returns on time, unless you're Tim Howard, of course. Fucking stupid, and a decision that most Sunday League managers, would not even make.
Adam Luszniak
9 Posted 11/01/2016 at 11:48:22
I like Martinez but his inability to recognise the need to drop Howard is driving me nuts, and is an obvious weakness as stated by others above.
Michael Penley
10 Posted 11/01/2016 at 12:01:15
Someone should have the balls to ask Martinez this at his next interview:

If there is competition for all places, as he has indicated, then Robles must have done badly at the cup games to be removed. Is this what he thinks?

If not, then what he has said about competition is complete rubbish.
Andrew James
11 Posted 11/01/2016 at 12:30:51
RM has been very consistent in playing his No 2 choice keeper in this Cup. So in selecting Howard – let's hope that means Howard is now the No 2 and Robles the new No 1.

Colin Glassar
12 Posted 11/01/2016 at 12:34:42
Does Martinez have a death wish? His obsession with Howard is bordering on, well, being obsessional.
Ged Simpson
13 Posted 11/01/2016 at 12:38:33
The big story is Lukaku back but, in true TW style, we all call the manager every name coz of Howard. Glass half-empty, lads.
Michael Polley
14 Posted 11/01/2016 at 12:44:21
Relieved over Lukaku, but a big mistake bringing Howard back in. The guy is a liability, why can't Martinez see that!!!
Terence Leong
15 Posted 11/01/2016 at 12:55:27
Nothing we can change about Howard in place of Robles.

I suspect that Martinez will drop Howard only after this season.

The only thing we can change is whether we will boo Howard and put him under further pressure. He won't be dropped this season and he won't play well under boo-ing.
And I reckon it will affect the other players morale as well, especially the defence.

Again, what I would suggest would seem as if we have to accommodate the players. While I can understand this seemingly "ridiculous" notion, I would rather do that, if it can help players perform better. Because ultimately, what we want is for the team to succeed.

Gerard Carey
16 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:01:39
I think the important bit is that Lukaku will be ready. We really have no options up front without him. Maybe a dip into the transfer market is needed for a back up striker. As for the " Tim Howard Saga", its been done to death at this stage. Our manager is not for turning, so we better get used to the bald one for the rest of this season.
Christopher Timmins
17 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:08:57
Folks, when Robles got a run in the side last season when Howard was out injured, it was incredible how Martinez put him, Howard, back in when he regained full fitness.

I just hope that nobody is rushed back too quickly as we have a lot of important games this month.

Those who live by the sword.....

Tony J Williams
18 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:09:28
If anyone expected anything different in regards to Howard, I would suggest they obtain a dictionary and look up the word, "deluded"

We all know Robles is the Cup keeper and has never replaced Howard in the league unless he was injured.

Mike Hayes
20 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:21:10
I shall be happy the day people realise that Martinez is way out of his depth at Premier League level – a Sunday league side will be too much for him.

As a physio and a manager he hasn't a freaking clue about either and acts like he just wings it at every interview. Why no media pundits or sports writers question him, in my opinion, is because we aren't the Sky Four or RedShite darlings.
Brin Williams
21 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:29:14
Mike Hayes - 'Martinez is way out of his depth at premier league level - a Sunday league side will be too much for him.'

With all due respect Mike - stop talking thru' your anus.

His view on the game may differ from yours and many others but what level of football would you feel competent in managing/playing in.

I look forward to reading your next load of drivel.

Stuart Gray
22 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:35:37
I know I'm probably in a minority based upon the vitriol on here, but I rate Martinez.

OK, we lost more than we should but at times this season we have played better football from an Everton team than I have seen in my lifetime. And yes I am old enough to remember the glory days of the 80's.

Personally I don't think we are too far away from something special and whilst we might not agree with everything Martinez does, we also don't have the benefit of being there day to day to know the player's state of mind.

Would I play Robles? Damn right I would but I think in this instance it wouldn't surprise me if the manager's hand has been forced because Howard is an American World Cup hero and so has brought recognition to the club from the US. Rightly or wrongly, that could be it.

Would I play Mirallas ahead of Kone, absolutely but I can't profess to know either of them personally or see how committed either is to EFC.

But I'm willing to back RM like so many others did for the depressing days of Moyes.

Thomas Surgenor
23 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:39:12
Ridiculous decision.

While Robles has not played a 'blinder', I do not think he has performed poorly.

Didn't the same thing happen last season or the one before? Robles kept a few clean sheets and got dropped. I think he kept more clean sheets in that one month period than Howard did that whole season. (Some stato may prove my recollection wrong...)

I still maintain he is not the answer to our goalkeeping situation. Robles is not good enough but at least worthy of the opportunity during Howard's slump in form.

Mike Hayes
24 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:42:41
Brin – the drivel that comes out of my anus makes more sense than the drivel Martinez spouts – now I'm not going to get into a personal slanging match on here with you or anyone else so let's not get into it, thank you. I have more respect for the views expressed on here whether for or against the management.
Eddie Dunn
25 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:43:40
I would guess that Kone is liked by our leader because he is at the best place he could be, is in the twilight of his career, and has overcome a serious injury, and is willing to play anywhere on the park, to be involved. He is always trying his best and smiles on a regular basis.

Mirallas, on the other hand, may have more natural ability, but he has proved himself to be rather selfish. A more difficult personality to manage. Add to this the occasional media leak and regular speculation about his future and you see why old Arouna gets the nod.

Sam Hoare
26 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:45:38
Howard was always going to return, whatever Robles did. Martinez does not pick on form in many cases and it is one of his and thus our weaknesses.
Ged Simpson
27 Posted 11/01/2016 at 13:58:57
Mike Hayes... "out of his depth"? Go 'ed, get in a slanging match and defend the crap in your #19 post. Could do with a laugh on a Monday. (And no explaining what you feel... it is what you wrote!)
Craig Walker
28 Posted 11/01/2016 at 14:05:11
I don't see why you wouldn't play the team, as far as possible, which will be playing in the 2nd leg of the cup tie. Which means, playing Robles in goal. If we can go and get a win on Wednesday, it stands us in good stead for the cup tie.

I didn't see any of the game on Saturday but how did Robles do? Struggled to even get commentary on Saturday but from what I heard, he didn't have much to do.

Bill Griffiths
29 Posted 11/01/2016 at 14:06:37
Bit of a tough decision this. Even though we have struggled and under-performed, the way things have gone in the league this season, there is still a good chance we could just about make the top four or six if we play to our potential for the rest of the season.

Do we therefore go for our strongest team and put Rom straight back in or do we leave him out and give him a longer period of recovery before the second leg against Man City? The way things are on here, Roberto will be damned if he plays him, and damned if he doesn't.
Drew O'Neall
30 Posted 11/01/2016 at 14:06:55
Robles isn't as good as Tim Howard.

The question therefore is, if you don't have an adequate replacement for Tim Howard, unless you intend to sell him, what's the best thing to do for Howard's form/confidence.

The manager obviously believes that dropping him will bury him and we will be stuck with a 'keeper, in Robles, who he knows isn't up to Howard's standard.

We only see Robles for the very odd 90 minutes and we know that anyone can look mustard for the odd 90 minutes but the manager and the rest of the squad see both 'keepers every day and they all know who the better 'keeper is – let's at least credit the manager, who is an intelligent man, with this.

Given all the above, what does this constant barrage of anti-Howard or anti-Martinez sentiment achieve for us as supporters or Everton Football Club? At best it puts added pressure on our manager and at worst it hands an advantage to our opponents by undermining our goalkeeper, the manager and by virtue the rest of the team.

Get behind Howard!

Brian Wilkinson
31 Posted 11/01/2016 at 14:21:18
It is not anti-Howard, Drew@29, it is about giving a fair crack to a player who has come in the team. Had he had a stinker in those games, I would agree.

Truth is, Howard has been poor for a while; if you think playing Howard because our manager thinks he's the better keeper, then you have certainly been watching a different Everton to the one I have been watching.

You cannot justify bringing the guy back in, our defence has looked a lot more comfortable in the last two games, Robles has taken his chance.

In two weeks time, Robles will again be brought back in for the Man City cup game – why not play him on Wednesday where he could at least be ready to know what to expect and experience the atmosphere?

Absolutely crazy to not play Robles on Wednesday.

Brian Wilkinson
32 Posted 11/01/2016 at 14:36:57
The only thing to get behind Howard, Drew, is the bleeding ball! Better keeper or not, he needs dropping on his recent performances. If he's the keeper he thinks he is, he will come back fighting, to regain his place.

Playing him regardless of form is wrong; he knows he's playing every Premier League game no matter how good or bad he plays.

People on here will back any player... but you cannot have players whose form has dipped to be picked every week. There is only so many games you can support a player, Howard has turned my hair grey and aged me 10 years on his performances this season.

Anthony Dwyer
33 Posted 11/01/2016 at 14:54:33
Great news regarding Rom, shame about the Howard news though.

I know Evertonians are usually loyal fans and will not boo our own players, but Martinez is really pushing us now.

Howard has been woeful for 18 months now and needs to be dropped and made to earn his place.

Harold Matthews
34 Posted 11/01/2016 at 15:00:17
Big Nev prefers Robles.
James Stewart
36 Posted 11/01/2016 at 15:28:40
Lukaku is absolutely integral to our team, we have no backup for him so I hope he is fit. I don't think Martinez will risk him on Wednesday with the League Cup semi-final around the corner; Martinez's job is on the line if we don't make that final. League form is abysmal so it's the cup or bust.
Joe Clitherow
37 Posted 11/01/2016 at 16:02:18
Ah, the depressing Moyes days, yes, compared to the nirvana of the legend Martinez.

I'd forgotten how down I got by regular challenges for Top 6 and frequent European qualification, clean sheets and actually turning up to Goodison and seeing us win.

Far more uplifting and not at all depressing to see the team all pile forward like an Under 8's team, have a keeper who has been finished for the past two seasons and still strolls back into the side without question, and have a world class striker who scores for fun and still we get beaten and languish in the bottom half of the table.

John Hughes
38 Posted 11/01/2016 at 16:20:47
I don't believe in booing Howard and I will not boo him or sarcastically clap him but, at the moment, he is not up to scratch so IMO Robles should be in the team for the foreseeable future. At the the moment, it is as Jim (#34) nearly said – it's shit or bust.
Glen Garrett
39 Posted 11/01/2016 at 16:55:14
I hope Lukaku is fit for the game – otherwise, Everton will have to rely on Kone?
Peter Lee
40 Posted 11/01/2016 at 17:08:01
Howard has made his usual number of outstanding saves in the first half of the season. There has been the occasional error that leads directly to a goal but that happens to all keepers. Our overall performances and results are not the fault of any one player.

In all honesty, I don't know many better shot-stoppers in the Premier League. I doubt we'd have been in a different position if we had David De Gea in goal. The main concern I have is Tim Howard's failure to control the area for dead-ball kicks. That said, coming for crosses in crowded areas is always risky, the risks being reduced if you have confidence in the defenders in front of you and you know what they will do and how they'll do it.

In turn, the defenders need to be equally comfortable with the keeper and with their fellow defenders. We have looked anything but that for much of this season, unsurprising given the patched up defence we have had to put out most weeks.

It would be at least sensible if posters were to wait to see how the whole defence operates when we are at full strength. Now I know that all teams have to operate with injuries but it is one thing slotting a replacement into a settled defence and something totally different when we have the situation we have faced with defenders all season.

Changing goalkeepers will not solve these problems.

Michael Penley
41 Posted 11/01/2016 at 17:34:40
Peter Lee – you don't know any better shot stoppers than Tim Howard? Pick any of them. They're all better. The stats don't lie.

http://www.espnfc.com.au/barclays-premier-league/23/blog/post/2547865/tim-howard-worst-of-premier-league-keepers-joe-hart-in-best

That isn't to say he wasn't good once upon a time. He was. But that time has long gone.

Phil Walling
42 Posted 11/01/2016 at 17:47:22
I've accused Martinez of some heinous crimes but failing to drop Howard just to spite us TWers has not been one of them!

Relatives tell me that once he put Robles in for Wigan's run to Wembley. Al Absi, who had been first choice all season, never got a look-in in league matches.

So my guess is that he either made Tim a promise that he would remain his No 1 come what may or that the World Cup hero is so highly rewarded that he is undroppable.

Of course, it may just be that he regards Howard as the safer keeper!

Ian McDowell
43 Posted 11/01/2016 at 17:51:21
To be honest, I hope we can get a new keeper in the summer. As well as Robles has done, if it came down to a game I had my mortgage on, I'd have Howard over Robles between the sticks.
Dave Pritchard
44 Posted 11/01/2016 at 17:58:06
Whether you believe that Howard should be dropped or not, it is imperative that our own fans show him respect and do not boo him or make him feel uncomfortable. We do want him to have a good game, or at least I do, and giving him stick is unlikely to see an improved performance from him.
Don Alexander
45 Posted 11/01/2016 at 18:14:38
Harold at #34 says that Nev prefers Robles but I'd be staggered if Big Nev thought otherwise. Whether or not Howard performs better at Finch Farm is completely irrelevant to who should be in goal this week if the evidence of results and performances in actual matches are taken into account.

It's Robles who's now earned the shirt but Martinez will seemingly stick with TH, and by doing so prove to anyone who can read that "competition for places" has no more significance to him than so many of the other things most of us complain about, like organising a defence for instance.
Darren Hind
46 Posted 11/01/2016 at 19:08:14
I wouldn't take the chance with Lukaku; we need him firing on all cylinders in the second leg.
Terence Tyler
48 Posted 11/01/2016 at 19:30:21
My thoughts to Darren. Should we now prioritise the cups?
Peter Lee
50 Posted 11/01/2016 at 19:53:06
Followed your link Michael. Obviously one you've been saving that one but not worth the effort really was it? It was from August and referred to last season and it revealed that the best goal-keeper for making saves was......(drum-roll) ......... Pantilimon!!!

Don't recall too much urging to sign him up over the summer. He was so good that Sunderland were beating away other bids from err, not sure.

What do you think about my man point regarding settled defence and settled routines?

John Raftery
53 Posted 11/01/2016 at 20:53:25
Peter (#48)

I agree with you that Howard remains one of the best shot-stoppers in the Premier League. He has made some vital saves this season including a couple in the victories at Southampton and Newcastle when the games were goalless.

Howard is not alone among current goalkeepers in being reluctant to leave his line. Indeed the majority prefer to stay on their line unless they are 100% confident of at least being able to get a fist to the ball. Blaming him, as many fans do, for every set piece goal we concede is ridiculous. The fact that our defenders need to take more responsibility in crowded six-yard boxes hardly seems to register with many of our following.

As for Robles he has for the most part played well in the last twelve months despite a couple of dodgy moments at Barnsley in the League Cup. There is however no compelling evidence that he would cope any better than Howard in dealing with crosses and set pieces. He is apparently building up his understanding of the English language which may help his communication with those around him.

In any event, the ongoing discussion about the goalkeeping position is rendered academic by the fact Martinez has made his decision about who plays in the league and cup games and is sticking by it. If he was inclined to change his decision he would have done so a few months ago. The two goalkeepers know where they stand and our supporters should get behind each of them when they are playing. The sarcastic cheering from our crowd when Howard catches a long high ball is just disgusting.

Ken Reece
54 Posted 11/01/2016 at 20:56:20
I would play Howard in the league games and save Robles for the two cups. RM will not get us to finish higher than 11th or 12th in the league. The top three players at the club will leave in the summer so a trophy will do me.

Stuart (#22), we do look like we might be on the brink of something special but Martinez is not the man to achieve it.

As regards to this team playing better football than the '80s team, every team in the league are playing better football to watch than they did in the '80s... but today's teams wouldn't stand a hope in hell of beating that great side.

Christy Ring
55 Posted 11/01/2016 at 20:59:24
Peter Lee, you said, "You doubt we'd be in a different position if we had David De Gea in goal." I cannot believe how you came to that conclusion, we'd be at least 6 pts better off, and our back four a lot more confident.

For Martinez to say experience is more important than form, is an unbelievable statement, especially when it's your last line of defence.

I'm disgusted Robles is dropped for the Man City game, he's played well, and should be picked on merit.

Christy Ring
56 Posted 11/01/2016 at 21:13:03
I see Bournemouth have re-signed Grabban. Naismith to Norwich must be a done deal. Hope a 'Big' signing on the way.
Ian Hams
57 Posted 11/01/2016 at 21:19:02
I hate to be negative but something is telling me we might be better off losing the league game as we need to win the semi-final against them and I just can't see us winning three in a row.
Phil Sammon
58 Posted 11/01/2016 at 21:21:05
John 49

The 'compelling evidence' for Robles playing is the fact that when he plays we generally look a lot surer at the back. He concedes fewer goals per game and our win percentage with him in the side is much better.

I don't know what more you can ask of a keeper.

As for Joel still learning the English language... he's been in England for over 4 years now... I think you're clutching at straws there.

Tony Abrahams
59 Posted 11/01/2016 at 21:51:05
Phil, clutching at straws, is something that Howard does when he comes for a corner, but I do tend to agree with you. I know which keeper grew up talking the English language, but I'm not sure he communicates any better, than his younger Spanish counterpart though. Not on the pitch, anyway!
Peter Askins
60 Posted 11/01/2016 at 22:17:44
I sat on Row One of the Street End on Saturday, right behind the net, and believe me, Robles gave very clear and loud instructions, in English.

I've sat there a few times, and if anything, Robles's communication and calling is clearer than that of Tim Howard.

Granted, Robles had very little to do on Saturday, but watching the warm up closely, it was obvious that Robles has the height and reach advantage over Howard, and in fact, has a much bigger presence all round.

This clearly isn't a major revelation to most Evertonians, but if I were a striker bearing down on goal in a one-on-one situation, I know which keeper I'd feel more confident of scoring against!

Jamie Crowley
61 Posted 11/01/2016 at 23:14:07
Mike @ 24 -

Thank you for that lovely visual. I agree Robles should be playing.

But you should know my gag reflex instinctively "went off".

Oh, and please, for yourself if not everyone else...

Go see a doctor. Hopefully that ailment can be cleared up by a professional. Drivel from the anus is not to be trifled with!

Rob Hooton
62 Posted 11/01/2016 at 00:13:13
Howard,

If Big Nev prefers Robles that's enough for me, Nev was my hero and I was the school goalie and I would still turn to jelly if I were to meet him now!

Even before Nev said this I think it is plain to see that we concede less goals with Robles in goal, you'd need to be a turnip to deny it (no offence meant Mr Taylor). Whether this is because the defence are more on edge or more confident doesn't matter to me, we concede less goals which is the whole idea of that side of the game.

I really like Martinez and think we're on the cusp of greatness but he is a pillock for this decision. Will still give Howard 100% of my support whilst he is picked though – even if it is because he stands in for El Bob in the bedroom or whatever

Dennis Ng
63 Posted 12/01/2016 at 00:18:22
Is it confirmed that Howard is starting next game? RM needs to get his head examined.
Jack Cross
64 Posted 12/01/2016 at 03:22:39
I'm fed to the back teeth hearing about Howard. He won't be dropped. So unless injured Robles, as no chance.

If you lot are not happy with RM's decision, protest at the ground. Those of you that go, that is.

I bet none of you have been on a picket line, never mind protesting at a match.

If you think Howard is the wrong choice, then show the club you're unhappy with RM's decision. Then something might happen. But I won't hold my breath, because you will be droning on about him on here like usual.

James Marshall
65 Posted 12/01/2016 at 07:05:27
I respect opinions on team selection based on form, but how come everyone on here is an expert on players injuries? This always happens and it baffles me how people can have such an insight.

Just a thought, but I suspect Everton have a medical team who, along with the players, make these choices based on actually working with, and speaking to players.

Still, you guys know best eh.

Darryl Ritchie
66 Posted 12/01/2016 at 07:06:29
Howard has made some world class, game changing saves, unfortunately he has also made more mistakes than he usually makes. I don't know whether its because of his age or the ever changing defensive personnel in front of him; probably a bit of both.

A keeper needs to be cocky, even arrogant. Howard's got that in spades, but no one can fight Father Time. We all get old and no matter how well you try to keep in shape, you can't jump as high, you can't run as fast, the reflexes. Tim has to compensate for his diminishing physical abilities by relying on his considerable experience. He needs to justify RM's faith in him by being perfect on Wednesday. No mistakes, because mistakes by a keeper usually end up in the back of his net. Of course, sometimes there is nothing a keeper can do to stop a shot. I just hope that nothing Howard does, or doesn't do, directly results in a goal.

He will have a lot pressure on him to perform well, I hope he's up for it. If he isn't......

John Atkins
67 Posted 12/01/2016 at 07:43:19
Jack,

No, I've not been on a picket line... but yes, I have protested a few times, mainly about the current board and lack of investment which has seen us fall from a 'top 5' club to a mid-table mediocre one which didn't even have its FA Cup number mentioned on BBC last night as a 'here are some of the important numbers to watch out for' – silly, I know... but it wound me up a little.

Back to the point though – it's crossing the line (no pun intended) when you have to protest about a manager making what most fans believe is the wrong decision. He's paid to select the team and we'll have our opinions on who is best for what position, etc, but regarding Tim Howard (who I like, btw, and has done great service for our club) in my opinion and the opinion of many other blues (not just TWers), RM is getting it wrong!

Robles should be given a chance of a run in the first team for all games. I think he gives our defence more confidence.

Paul Tran
68 Posted 12/01/2016 at 07:47:59
Only play him if he's 100% fit. Martinez has form with bringing players back far too early and exacerbating their injuries. Ask Gareth Barry. Surely Kone can lead the line if he's as good as Martinez says he is, can't he?
Ajay Gopal
69 Posted 12/01/2016 at 08:44:58
The more interesting question for me regarding the goalkeeping situation is: If Everton do get into the Cup final, which goalkeeper does Martinez play? Robles – who has done well so far to get us until the final... or Howard – the last great chance for a goalkeeper who has served Everton with distinction for well over a decade to win silverware?

Personally, I will have a lot of respect for Martinez if he selects Robles if we are in the finals.
David Hallwood
70 Posted 12/01/2016 at 12:43:04
Breaking News: RM has just finished the press conference and has intimated the TH back in goal for Citteh. Plus he's not aware of any developments Re: Yarmelenko
Robert Workman
71 Posted 12/01/2016 at 13:13:44
As I commented on an earlier thread, Martinez has the opportunity to keep the same defence together, injuries aside, for the 3 games against Man City. I added that Robles would be playing at the end of the month twice more in cup ties, so why disturb the defence for Chelski and Swansea?

If, as now seems likely, he intends to play Howard tomorrow, my rating of Martinez as a man manager will have dropped significantly. It just makes absolutely NO sense, does it Nev?

Garry Taylor
72 Posted 12/01/2016 at 13:41:26
Martinez appears to have some sentimental reason for Howard to reach 350 games for the club. Why I don't know. Maybe once he has reached this milestone we will see less of him, who knows!

For me Howard has never been a top keeper, good shot stopper yes, but he has never been good on crosses. I would have liked Moyes to replace him, but he didn't and Martinez hasn't yet.

I believe Howard's frailties have been more exposed the last couple of seasons, with the inclusion of Stones, who doesn't attack crosses and clear them in the same way Jags does when playing on the right side.

I don't think Joel Robles is the long term answer either and is prone to mistakes also.

Gavin Johnson
73 Posted 12/01/2016 at 13:58:38
John #60

I know what you're saying. I feel a lot more confident with Robles between the sticks, so I can imagine the players in front of him feel the same. Especially given that we keep more clean sheets when Robles is picked.

Brian Denton
74 Posted 12/01/2016 at 14:03:07
RM must be crazy. He should just look at the recent record of the keepers concerned. Howard's 300 years (or whatever) of experience counts for nothing if is cancelled out by an error which costs us a goal (or goals).

Remember a couple of years ago when City dropped the England keeper after a run of bad form? I don't think Pantillimon was any better than Robles but City had the strength to do the necessary. Hart regained his place and is now as strong as ever.

Dean Adams
75 Posted 12/01/2016 at 14:14:02
Garry Taylor.

I think the next match will be his 350th league appearance for us. However, it sounded like he may well be there for the rest of the season as his experience is worth more to the manager than form.

Whilst I find Martinez very frustrating, he is still building a fantastic squad, arguably the best squad we have had in 30 years. We will see more after the summer, I suspect, when he has had chance to move on a few old heads, who were of course not his players.

It seems that some players experience is worthless though in his mind, albeit that he never actually says anything. His wife must be a very patient woman.

Trevor Lynes
76 Posted 12/01/2016 at 16:42:43
Despite the expected wrath of a few fans on here, I would like to see Shelvey hitting the sort of passes from midfield that Rom thrives upon.He is still only 23 years old and is well worth a punt.
Geoff Williams
77 Posted 12/01/2016 at 17:10:42
If experience counts for more than form surely Big Nev would still be playing. It's a stupid statement.

By modern standards Howard is on the smaller side as far as goalkeepers go as most of the top goalies are giants, at least 6'-5" tall.

John Hughes
79 Posted 12/01/2016 at 17:29:02
Peter at 43:

Robles also shouts to Funes Mori in Spanish and according to some guy by me he whistles in code whether he whistles in English or Spanish we don't really know.
Jack Cross
80 Posted 12/01/2016 at 17:46:22
Geoff Williams (#69),

How tall was Shay Given? Now their was a good goalie.

How many of Everton's previous goalies were 6' 5" plus?

I don't think hight as anything to do with it. If your agile and have a spring in your step and can read whats about to happen, awareness, determination and hunger you'll do just fine.

Tim Cahill, wasn't 6' 5" and tell me how many could out jump him?

All this hight bollocks, is just that.

I'm 6' 4" but I was woeful in goal. On the wing however I was like lightening. Oh those were the days.

Harold Matthews
81 Posted 12/01/2016 at 21:49:05
Whoosh!!! There goes Lightning Jack Cross. Wow Jack, you must have been a frightening blur in full flight.
Christine Foster
82 Posted 12/01/2016 at 21:54:28
No Spring Heeled Jack then Harold?
Phil Sammon
83 Posted 12/01/2016 at 22:04:56
Jack

From your 'picket line' comment, I assume you played left wing.

Jack Cross
84 Posted 12/01/2016 at 22:14:58
Christine Foster. Spring Heeled Jack. How do you know my nickname? Was it the She Club or the Grafton? Haha.

Harold Matthews. Did you ever go the Quill club? I use to bevy with Billy Cook, the Everton defender. Or as he was known the threepenny piece kid. Now that's a good story.

Jack Cross
85 Posted 12/01/2016 at 22:21:04
Phil Sammon 75. Very good. I might use it. Haha.

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