Roberto Martinez will stick with his policy of deploying Joel Robles as his goalkeeper in the cups this week after confirming that the Spaniard will be between the posts at the Etihad Stadium as Everton hope to book their place at next month’s Capital One Cup final at Wembley.
Despite the manager's insistence this season that Tim Howard remains Everton’s first-choice goalkeeper, Robles has played in all of the Blues’ cup ties and will be handed that responsibility again tomorrow evening as Martinez’s men look to put the disappointment of Sunday’s defeat to Swansea City behind them.
"I think Joel has been magnificent this season,” Martinez said in his pre-match press conference this afternoon. "He’s had a really big role in our success in the League Cup … and that’s what you want from every player — to show that mentality of being ready and to show that the team can rely on that individual."
Pressed to confirm whether Tim Howard is still his number one goalkeeper, Martinez deflected the question by saying, “There’s nothing to comment on that. We’re preparing for the game tomorrow. It was a really difficult result to take at the weekend.
“As we all know, in the first half we weren’t up to the standard as a team and second half we were as good as you’re going to see from a team in controlling the game, dominating and creating chances. That wasn’t reflected in the score and that’s a concern or an aspect that we have to change but now all we’re doing is looking forward to enjoying a second leg in a semi-final of the League Cup.
“It’s a momentous day. We’re going to have 8,000 of our fans and we’re really looking forward to facing a really strong team, as well all know, but I feel it’s going to be a terrific game."
Martinez confirmed that both Seamus Coleman and Phil Jagielka are fit enough to start and he suggested that the skipper will return to the starting XI after being rested entirely against Swansea. James McCarthy will be given a late assessment to determine ‘what sort of role he can fulfil”, in the manager’s words, but Muhamed Besic and Kevin Mirallas are both ruled out with hamstring and thigh tendon injuries respectively.
“Phil Jagielka is a very important player for us but with five games in 13 days it’s impossible for some certain players to play every single minute,” Martinez continued.
“It’s a real opportunity for us to have Phil Jagielka refreshed and fully fit going into tomorrow’s game. We need to make sure we use the squad wisely and well because, as I say, five games in 13 games is a real test of the strength that we have in the squad."
Reader Comments (53)
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1 Posted 26/01/2016 at 17:53:12
Just maybe, fingers crossed
2 Posted 26/01/2016 at 17:53:38
I am sure we can make it through.
The situation is a carbon copy of Chelsea's position against us in the last league cup semi 8 years ago. If we do what they did, and defend well before a breakaway sucker punch late on it will be a job well done.
3 Posted 26/01/2016 at 17:56:04
The manager has to take most of the blame but won't and therein lies the problem.
4 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:09:26
5 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:25:36
Shilton and Clemence used to rotate between the sticks for England but that was different. It was more of a mutual respect thing that did the job many times over for the intermittent international games.
If the club manager was to select his keeper based upon weekly performances in training then OK, but it would then seem Roberto has clearly more respect for Howard than he has for Robles. No issues in principle, except the quality of performances don't seem to match up? Thus it follows that Roberto has more respect for the league than the cup(s).
If Roberto was really doing his job, then surely he would pick his goalkeeper considering form, fitness, attitude, the nature of the opposition, the overall defensive set-up on the day and so on. By not doing this exercise then this does seem to undermine the actual role of the keeper in the mind of the manager, when it is generally acknowledged he is a foundation of a really successful team, such as Arsenal and that rather good ex Chelsea chappie.
The point is, there is no real point to having a 'league' keeper and a 'cup' keeper other than a squad rotation principle. If squad rotation is a requirement then alternating keepers either by alternate games or short runs followed by short breaks would be better than just being played when a cup game comes around. In this approach the cup only goalie is severely disadvantaged with never having the opportunity to get into a groove of form?
The last point reminds us that Robles is performing extremely well in the poorly managed circumstances.
6 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:28:17
Every other answer was a load of waffle, he missed his calling should be a spin doctor.
7 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:33:54
A long time has passed without the club winning some silverware and this represents are best chance this season.
Maybe tomorrow evening will be another Oxford United moment for the club.
8 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:35:38
Just what is he getting out of protecting our magnificent 12th place and shite performance at home, his press conferences are completely doing my cake in.
9 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:40:15
10 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:40:59
If he steps up to the plate over the next two games the jersey may finally be his. Cue a nightmare against City and Martinez telling us all about how important experience is.
11 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:43:16
If we are to be involved in a beneficial takeover the last thing we should be doing is lynching the manager for all the bad form of the players.
12 Posted 26/01/2016 at 18:50:50
13 Posted 26/01/2016 at 19:08:28
His shortcomings are pretty obvious for all to see.
It is a pretty commonly understood principle that you defend and attack as a team.
Good managers know players make mistakes and arrange cover for it.
Good managers encourage their players to put pressure on the opposition. Martinez encourages our players to stand off and give them space.
Of course the centre halves and GK will look as if they have made individual mistakes because they are left so exposed by the fact they are covering the full backs and the forward MF players are allowing the opposition to pick passes out or hit empty spaces.
Its not rocket science but Martinez does not get it.
In addition to that he does not believe in pointing mistakes out and will not pull a player no matter how badly he is playing.
14 Posted 26/01/2016 at 19:45:44
Again we will see Martinez's favourites ploy at work again and the undroppable Stones will be there again, another mistake waiting to happen. Pick the form players, Martinez for God's sake.
15 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:09:54
I would like to see Jagielka paired with Funes Mori to give Stones a break from the pressure and give us two proper defending centre backs against Man City.
16 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:16:35
More rumours Bill is ill and getting out letter to stewards and staff on Sunday thanking them for all their hard work over the years he has been here.
17 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:21:32
If he did ask Stones to pass it back, then that was a bad decision. Or did he advise Stones to hoof it clear? I doubt it. Stones is still relatively young and still learning the game so why isn't Howard helping him? Howard could have even rushed towards Stones for the ball and hoofed it clear himself.
But let's take a step back to the management and coaching staff. Why is this situation repeating itself almost on a weekly basis? Where are the defensive coaching staff? Why isn't Martinez involved in ensuring these mistakes are not repeated?
The answer is Martinez is absolutely terrible. He has no safety strategy in defence. If in doubt kick it up field or into the top row of the stands.
Before people rush to Howard's defense after his game against City in the League I thought his performance was average. All the shots were right at him, and the save in the first half was one any half-decent goalie would have made.
The law of averages will guarantee that even someone as bad as Howard will make contact with the ball when he flings his boots at the ball. Without Howard tomorrow night, I expect a better performance from our defence.
18 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:25:49
Nobody in my opinion "blindly" criticises anyone either. We cheer what we like and criticise what we don't. It's always been like that, at Everton and elsewhere.
If a take-over takes place it's virtually certain the new owner/s will have plans for it to be "beneficial" to their bank balance above all else. Hopefully, because hope is all we fans have, they'll see success on the pitch as the best way to make good.
19 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:28:14
We might play three centre backs tomorrow, who knows?
20 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:34:51
21 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:38:25
22 Posted 26/01/2016 at 20:52:22
I don't think he will play 3 centre backs tomorrow, but if you read ToffeeWeb, many say he's deluded, so who knows?
I don't think he's deluded, but I'm pretty certain that he doesn't pay nowhere near enough attention to detail, and that is the reason I wouldn't be overly surprised if he started this way tomorrow.
23 Posted 26/01/2016 at 21:03:09
24 Posted 26/01/2016 at 21:14:34
25 Posted 26/01/2016 at 21:18:07
Glorious victory at City, followed by disappointment against Stoke.
Everton aren't we?
26 Posted 26/01/2016 at 21:38:24
27 Posted 26/01/2016 at 21:40:33
28 Posted 26/01/2016 at 21:58:33
29 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:32:05
30 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:36:52
31 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:38:26
32 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:44:51
33 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:45:19
34 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:56:47
Regardless of the result tomorrow things will not change under the current manager and he simply has to go.
The sooner the better for me...
35 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:58:53
36 Posted 26/01/2016 at 22:59:12
37 Posted 26/01/2016 at 23:03:21
38 Posted 26/01/2016 at 23:40:20
Watch the difference in our defence tomorrow, with a different keeper behind them, one they have confidence in.
Make the most of these next two games, Joe. Regardless how well you play, Bobby will bench you for the next Premier League game.
39 Posted 26/01/2016 at 23:42:21
"My philosophy and my way of working is not to keep clean sheets,"Ă‚Âť he said. "My philosophy is to win games."
He will never learn, that I am sure of.
40 Posted 27/01/2016 at 00:08:33
Can you explain your post, or can I have some of what you're smoking!
41 Posted 27/01/2016 at 00:17:25
Now I only see the Shite ahead and feel like we'll fail tomorrow.
Surely we can get a draw at City and prove me wrong?
42 Posted 27/01/2016 at 00:17:46
44 Posted 27/01/2016 at 00:39:04
45 Posted 27/01/2016 at 01:27:47
Ironically, I think that this particular game may actually suit us better than most. Given that we are away, with have a small lead against a "big team", I think that the team will be forced to adopt a much more tactical defensive approach. Hopefully with all of the flack that RM has received from the Swansea game will get him to think and plan for that in more detail. If we can pinch one on the break (we are custom made for that) then maybe we make the final.
Finally, in terms of RS in the final Although I always support whoever is playing RS, I think that if we can make it (big IF) then the final will be have a far higher profile being an all Merseyside one. Brings back memories of the mid 80s and would be far more exciting than playing Stoke.
46 Posted 27/01/2016 at 01:51:39
1. Who will be partnering Barry in the central midfield?
James McCarthy / Cleverley
2. Who will be given the left winger role?
Pienaar / Cleverley / Kone (the third is an option since our manager is Bobby Brown)
3. Who will be alongside Jags in central defence? (this is a question since our manager is Bobby Brown)
Funes Mori / Stones
47 Posted 27/01/2016 at 04:29:32
I don't like talking about knives and gunfights but it's probably the right attitude against City. At the end of the day they're a very good, expensively assembled side and we will need to make a bit of luck for ourselves (for a change as we have deserved all the bad luck we've had this season).
KITAP1 doesn't need to be negative, or necessarily mean hoofball. It can be a strategic option involving disciplined defending and striking back at pace when the opportunity presents. Our side has at least as much chance as anyone else in the league of implementing that kind of plan.
Now watch Bobby send us out to play with our arses hanging out.
48 Posted 27/01/2016 at 07:16:29
I think we can guess the outcome.
For me, we will spend most of the time defending, and Aguero seems to be on song now, so we need numbers at the back, energy in midfield and impact players on the bench.
Coleman, Stones, Funes Mori, Jagielka, Baines
Kone, Lukaku, Lennon
On the bench McCarthy to protect a lead if we are in with a chance at the end, Deulofeu to give us his 20-30 minutes if we need to chase the game, Barkley in case of injury to Cleverley (Ross gives the ball away too much to start the game) and Pienaar or Osman.
49 Posted 27/01/2016 at 07:41:42
If we are to stand a chance tonight it will be backs against the wall and more than a fair bit of luck involved sadly.
50 Posted 27/01/2016 at 09:30:03
We are certainly not defending competently as a Unit, individuals (Stones & Howard mainly) are going through a difficult time form wise and he Manager doesn't seem to know what to do or blindly refuse to do so in the face of overwhelming evidence.
As Manager he has to be take the main share of the blame. You can rant against Howard and Stones for their mistakes but it's Roberto who continually selects them and makes it clear that however badly they perform it's fine by him.
While I like a lot of what e has done for The Club I think it's time we got rid though I worry about who we can get to replace him.
51 Posted 27/01/2016 at 12:58:38
52 Posted 27/01/2016 at 13:12:33
"My philosophy and my way of working is not to keep clean sheets" he said. "My philosophy is to win games."
He is not winning games or keeping clean sheets. Surely the quote above warranted a follow up question at the press conference. If we was winning games whilst not keeping clean sheets we would not be concerned.
53 Posted 27/01/2016 at 17:55:47
I am of the older generation who once had the naive idea that it was crucial for the goalkeeper and his defensive back line to have a rock solid understanding usually developed on the training ground but more importantly in consistently playing competitive games together.
I despair at this nonsense regarding one player being seen as the "league"keeper and one as the "cup" keeper. Just how is this understanding being developed by the poor guy who has to come in for the occasional cup tie?
Now Robles comes in against City and one can only wish the guy well and that he performs as creditably as he has in the few times recently when he has actually had the chance to play. However, I fear that should any error on his part lead to a goal or a defeat then he will endure analysis and criticism that may well be misplaced and unfair.
It is the ludicrous management of the position that should be being castigated. After all, these days, these so called reserve guys do not seem to be getting much match action in order to hone their skills do they?
54 Posted 27/01/2016 at 18:21:54
Forget sentiment about a player who's been a good servant in the past, you play players in form and drop players not performing that's why most Evertonians agree, Robles is not getting a fair crack of the whip.
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