Koeman happy with Stekelenburg as his 'number one'

Friday 25 November 2016  41 Comments  [Jump to last]

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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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:29:49
Good, solid, confident keeper. Some moments of absolute brilliance (vs Man City) and some where he could have done better, but overall he's been a step above what I expected when we got him.

Of all the problems that need to be addressed right now, keeper is the least urgent.

Liam Reilly
2 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:36:38
Jury's still out for me. Good keepers will save the side 10-12 points a season; excellent ones even more.

He's doing OK, but other than Man City, he's not saving us points.

Mark Morrissey
3 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:56:44
Not good enough if we want to be top 6. Okay if we want to be also-rans. That's not where I want us to be. Get Pickford.
Danny Broderick
4 Posted 25/11/2016 at 16:58:31
I beg to differ with that, Liam. He saved us points on the opening day also.

I think he has been generally very good, although he had an off day at Chelsea.

John Raftery
5 Posted 25/11/2016 at 17:26:02
Stekelenburg started well and helped earn us a draw and four wins in the first five games. Since then however he has not been consistent and ought to have done better in at least three games.

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.

Jay Harris
6 Posted 25/11/2016 at 17:52:57
Average to good keeper but totally inconsistent like the rest of the squad. Two brilliant penalty saves and some good shotstopping but a disastrous game at Chelsea which led to us getting a hammering.

I would try for Schmeichel at the end of the season if Leicester don't do well.

Denver Daniels
7 Posted 25/11/2016 at 18:23:18
Typical Everton player. Moments of brilliance but average most of the time.
Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 25/11/2016 at 18:38:32
John (#5), what "major omission"? You mean Koeman dismissing the Sky Sports rumour? Bah.

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.

Ian Bennett
9 Posted 25/11/2016 at 19:18:29
Mike 8 — I can tell you now, terms with the player and the club were agreed; all Koeman had to do was confirm. He said he didn't want Hart.
Mike Berry
10 Posted 25/11/2016 at 20:09:17
Top keeper, and if he is good enough for the Netherlands then his is good enough for us. Show some patience and judge him long term, all keepers have moments of brilliance and lapses.
Mike Gaynes
11 Posted 25/11/2016 at 20:37:15
Ian, how do you know that?
Ian Bennett
12 Posted 25/11/2016 at 21:39:01
It wasn't from the papers or internet Mike.
Paul Hewitt
13 Posted 25/11/2016 at 21:40:45
Not a Number 1... but he will do till we get a better one. But I do feel sorry for Robles. He played well against West Ham but then was dropped.
John Raftery
14 Posted 25/11/2016 at 22:00:12
Well, I hope Stekelenburg does prove to be the top quality, consistent keeper we need him to be because the manager has said he is sticking with him for the time being. That probably means for the rest of this season, unless of course he is injured or suffers a complete collapse in form.

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.

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 25/11/2016 at 23:25:48
Phone taps or computer hacks, Ian?
Jimmy Salt
16 Posted 26/11/2016 at 00:14:53
I'm getting really bored now, all I read read is the same thing. Koeman says some words...
James Watts
17 Posted 26/11/2016 at 01:41:42
I have the love / hate relationship with Stekelenburg. Against City I thought he was amazing against Burnley I could have smashed in the TV screen when his face came up. Against Tottenham I could have married him, against Chelsea I wanted to divorce him, take the kids and all his money!

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 ...

Ian Bennett
18 Posted 26/11/2016 at 08:14:54
Ha, not quite Mike.

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.

Damian Wilde
19 Posted 26/11/2016 at 11:33:23
Stubborn. Has looked poor recently.
Ray Smith
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?

Thomas James
21 Posted 26/11/2016 at 14:45:19
Stekelenburg is doing better than I thought, a few poor games, a few good games – but not bad.

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...

Teddy Bertin
22 Posted 26/11/2016 at 15:28:00
Pickford is having a great season and enjoying his run in the team but I always worry about goalies that look world class in front of a poor defence.

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.

Jack Ellich
23 Posted 26/11/2016 at 16:01:28
I see a pretty major hole in your story, Ian, and it has a name: Steve Walsh. He decides on the players now – not Koeman – and Big Ron has even admitted to this.
Aidy Dews
24 Posted 26/11/2016 at 17:56:31
Good points there about Pickford, Teddy. He looks a talent and would be a good signing but maybe he needs to have a couple of seasons at Sunderland playing week-in, week-out to gain confidence and experience which in turn will help him improve more.

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!

Aidy Dews
25 Posted 26/11/2016 at 18:00:36
That's not entirely true, Jack.

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.

John Daley
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"?

Ian Bennett
27 Posted 26/11/2016 at 18:42:38
Jack, I couldn't give a fig what you believe to be honest. It came from someone who was doing the deal for the player. All was agreed with a substantial loan fee and wages, and Koeman said No.

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.

Gavin Johnson
28 Posted 26/11/2016 at 18:46:19
I rate Stekelenburg. He's been an upgrade on Howard and cost a nominal fee. For that fee, we got an experienced Dutch international who's currently getting games in the national team on merit.

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.

Ray Smith
29 Posted 26/11/2016 at 20:14:56
Aidy (#24),

I think you have hit the nail on the head re Forster.

Mick Davies
30 Posted 26/11/2016 at 21:21:07
Déjà Vu; just Martinez & Howard revisited.
John Pierce
31 Posted 27/11/2016 at 01:09:44
Totally a stop gap, he knows Koeman so can spread his gospel in the changing room.

Winter is coming for him, may last a full season, then a back-up. 28-30 full international keeper required.

Mike Gaynes
32 Posted 27/11/2016 at 02:24:13
Ian (#27), you can't make a blanket statement like that, decline to support it, and then get offended when others express skepticism. Posters here claim inside information from anonymous sources all the time, and you need to understand that the congregation gets a little jaded.

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?

Alan J Thompson
33 Posted 27/11/2016 at 03:03:01
I have noticed this season that there is less "star jumping" and sliding around on knees which has seemed prevalent in our keepers in the last few seasons. I assume this is down to the Dutch keeping coach appointed this year.

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.

Steve Harris
34 Posted 27/11/2016 at 09:31:20
Don't understand how his Number 2 at Southampton is suddenly considered good enough to be our Number 1!!
Mike Gaynes
35 Posted 27/11/2016 at 15:34:04
Steve (#34),

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.

Mike Gaynes
36 Posted 27/11/2016 at 19:15:30
Sure was good enough today, wasn't he?... unlike so many of his teammates.

I say again, keeper is the least of our problems.

Clive Mitchell
37 Posted 27/11/2016 at 22:42:37
He may not be the biggest problem we have, but he's not good enough to play for Everton – and this clown of a manager thinks he is.
Anthony Dwyer
38 Posted 28/11/2016 at 19:11:31
I wasn't happy starting the season with Stekelenburg in goal, but the fact is we should look at changing many players before him.

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.

Franny Porter
41 Posted 01/12/2016 at 13:51:31
I decided he was crap as soon as the goal Middlesbrough scored against us went in.

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.

Tom Bowers
42 Posted 01/12/2016 at 15:19:06
Koeman has yet to prove the players he has brought in are the real deal. The team's record so far underscores that fact.

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.

Geoff Williams
43 Posted 03/12/2016 at 19:07:03
It has to be Sunderland's goalie.

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