Robles to remain first choice despite Stekelenburg's availability

Monday 30 January 2017  25 Comments  [Jump to last]

Joel Robles will continue to be rewarded for his fine recent form by retaining the starting goalkeeper's role at Everton for the time being.

Just as he did last season when Tim Howard was out through injury, the Spaniard stepped into the breach and staked his claim for more regular action with some impressive displays when Maarten Stekelenburg was sidelined with a leg injury.

And manager Ronald Koeman indicated to the media today that he sees no reason to reinstall his compatriot as the first-choice ‘keeper, not with Robles having been partly responsible for three successive clean sheets in the Premier League so far this month.

“It's not fair to talk about who is the number 1 and who is the number 2,” Koeman said this afternoon. “But, of course, Joel is doing well and there is no reason at the moment to change that.

“He gave real competition after a disappointing period [for him] from the summer. In that situation, Maarten was the goalkeeper who played from the beginning.

“He is improving, he gave Maarten that competition and, okay, sometimes you need to be lucky in sports. Maarten got the injury and [Joel] did really well when the team was good. We had some clean sheets and most of the games we won.

“It's difficult and hard to take for Maarten but that's football, that's business, and sometimes you need to wait for your opportunity to come back. But that means that Joel is starting on Wednesday.

“Maybe for next season [we will think about strengthening in that position]. There are still three or four months to go and it's too early to take those kinds of decisions.”


Reader Comments (25)

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Darren Hind
1 Posted 30/01/2017 at 18:41:55
Penny's are dropping like raindrops. All good news
Anthony Dwyer
2 Posted 30/01/2017 at 18:43:25
It as though Ron has got a GCSE in the bleeding obvious.

He's treating the squad as most fans would if they were to turn on champ manager or something, he's binning players who aren't worth a carrot, he's blooding the youngsters, he's loaning players out to gain experience, and he's making players play for there spots rather than just saying he's my number 1.

It really is refreshing.

Liam Reilly
3 Posted 30/01/2017 at 18:46:15
Can't see either being #1 next season, if I'm honest.

Joel is doing well but to challenge for the Champions League places we need a really top keeper. I may be wrong but I just don't think he has that X-Factor.

Brian Wilkinson
4 Posted 30/01/2017 at 18:59:20
Must read ToffeeWeb does our Ronnie – sticking with Robles, giving youth a chance and getting rid of some deadwood.
Colin Metcalfe
5 Posted 30/01/2017 at 19:10:18
I honestly don't think there are much better keepers in the Premier League than Joel at the moment.

He's playing really well commanding his area, barking out instructions to the defence and making important saves when called upon.

If there is a weakness in his game it is his distribution which I hope will improve in time.
Mick Davies
6 Posted 30/01/2017 at 19:31:59
Liam @ 3, Joel is doing well but to challenge for the Champions League places we need a really top keeper. I may be wrong but I just don't think he has that X-Factor.

Erm... explanation please?

Colin @ 5, I honestly don't think there are much better keepers in the Premier League than Joel at the moment.

I was thinking the same a few days ago... I bet our neighbours wished they had him...

Richard Reeves
7 Posted 30/01/2017 at 19:56:46
It's like someone's changed the coffee.
Gerard Carey
8 Posted 30/01/2017 at 19:58:21
And so it should be, play the ones who are in form and making a difference, not manager's pets. Well done Ron.
James Flynn
9 Posted 30/01/2017 at 20:04:25
Colin above mentioned Robles, "commanding his area". I had the same thought, mine expressed as "Where did THIS Robles come from?"

Well, he spent the entirety of EPL career under OFM. Maybe he received about the same amount of defensive training as Stones did. He did mention, "I got angry". In the best way possible, it seems.

I think his "anger", combined with getting professional goalkeeper coaching for the first time in years, has really improved his game. Who knows? Maybe he's a late developer. "Commanding" fairly describe his current form.

I'm especially glad seeing Koeman taking a different approach to earning the starting keeper spot than Martinez did.

Andrew W James
10 Posted 30/01/2017 at 20:06:42
If Joel continues as he has been the last few games, of course he's good enough to match our ambitions for Champions League. How he's performed has been brilliant and can't ask more.

IF and it is an IF he does not continue as he has been, the OK, we may need to go shopping. But lets not give up on him yet and lets see whether he can continue or maybe improve further with more game time and a decent run in the team.

Joe Rooney
11 Posted 30/01/2017 at 20:14:36
Loving Joel's performances so far since getting back in. If he does make a mistake (which all keepers do these days), let's not just dump him!

Needs to be given chance to bounce back. I think he has everything to be that top class keeper we need! Great age for our squad!

Bobby Mallon
12 Posted 30/01/2017 at 20:16:29
What people forget is that Joel was understudy to Man Utd's keeper then Chelsea's keeper at Atletico. He is a good goalie.
John Wilson
13 Posted 30/01/2017 at 20:30:22
Actually most fans – if they have any common sense they're born with – will realise that a transfer window changes the dynamics to the Premier Keague. This is why some games seem harder. You might call Koeman's acts or omissions refreshing I on the other hand, think they're potentially problematic.

In this new transfer window except for the top 4 - 6 clubs, who likely already have a surplus of strikers, or the lower tier clubs who have sufficient striker/s to be a threat, lots of Premier League teams have apparently been buying strikers or transferred them on loan.

What have Everton benefitted that they didn't before the transfer window, not much as they already benefitted a good defence and midfield, with a detriment upfront before and now, it seems, still a detriment up front as no striker except Lukaku. Is it any wonder he (Lukaku) tried to steal the glory from young Davies? No, not really as Everton dictate the tune and Lukaku plays his instrument to that tune like a good boy.

Everton do not reinforce their A-team in terms of strikers, but they do reinforce and shape their young squads in their academies, which is good in the long term but bad where this requirement is not necessary in the short term, ie now. It's like an army reinforcing the defence but not reinforcing the front line for battle.

It's a shame Koeman / Everton do not have West Ham's fore-seeability to attract the services of even lower tier strikers such as Snodgrass, to strengthen Everton's striker positions. Koeman is about as predictable as a soap cliffhanger. There is just no originality of thinking with Everton.

Lev Vellene
14 Posted 30/01/2017 at 21:17:26
Joel, like our former GK Howard sucked at commanding their field for crosses and the like. So the understudy had to copy the original?

Now that Robles has given us clean sheets regularly by his own actions, I'll never ask for us to get Joe Hart (shoot down to his left, dummy! ...)!

Lets give Joel the support he deserves for being as good as he is at this moment! If he falters, then jeer...

Jack Convery
16 Posted 30/01/2017 at 00:03:48
Joel is on notice – show me how good you really are and the jobs yours, that's Koemans way. Martinez kept bringing Howard back when we all knew he was past it.

I like Koeman's style. If you do well you stay in, whoever you are. Competition is everything at football clubs and we are getting there.
Mike Moore
17 Posted 31/01/2017 at 00:05:56
It's down to him, he has all the attributes to be a top class Premier League goalkeeper for many years, this is his chance to take it.
Nicholas Ryan
18 Posted 31/01/2017 at 00:45:58
Some people say Joel isn't quite good enough; but who's better? ... And don't say De Gea and Curtois ... 'cos they ain't coming!!
David Ellis
19 Posted 31/01/2017 at 02:18:37
John@13 I'm not staking you but you keep popping up on threads with views I struggle with. You say that "lots of Premier League clubs" have been buying strikers (although you did qualify the statement by excluding those that didn't need to).

I had a quick check on the facts. 9 Premier League clubs have bought strikers so far in this window ( less than half) and Everton are one of them. In fact after Jesus to City Lookman is the second highest transfer fee paid for a striker along with Snodgrass this window so far.

Buying top of the line strikers is tricky. I agree we need cover for Lukaku but at least we have him, other clubs outside the top 6 do not have players of his calibre or profile. In fact his presence makes it harder to sign any cover because they know they won't be first choice.

I don't think Bony or Benteke (two summer transfer High profile players that went to lesser clubs) have really worked out- it's a high risk purchase

Declan Martin
20 Posted 31/01/2017 at 03:38:59
There are no great keepers in the Premier League at the moment. Even Lloris, whom Nev rates the best, has made a few howlers recently.

Robles has improved hugely – presumably given the extra game time – and is well ahead of Stekelenburg on current form.

Brian Porter
21 Posted 31/01/2017 at 06:23:26
Current stats show Joel to be the best shot stopper in the Premier League at present. Say no more.
Alexander Murphy
22 Posted 31/01/2017 at 09:24:39
Opportunity presented itself to Joel and he caught it with two hands. As others have said above, he does now command both his area and his defence.

He has always had the physique and his instinctive shot stopping was really good, now he is displaying superior technique and confidence in other areas (such as claiming crosses rather than punching). There has been some criticism here of his distribution, but I'd counter that he does move the ball out quickly when he spots the possibility. Sometimes at cost of accuracy, but worth the risk I think. Continuing in this vein can only be good, surely.

Seems that Koeman is at least interested in seeing how this pans out by close season. Over to Joel to continue to prove his claim.

Dan Egerton
23 Posted 31/01/2017 at 17:52:04
I've liked Joel since his heroics against Many City that won Wigan FA Cup. He should have been our number 1 keeper 4 years ago with Tim Howard starting losing us games. He should have left us when even Martinez kept the faith with a horrible Howard. He's been patient and loyal. He's been our number 1 keeper for 3 years. He just hasnt been given a long run of games. Ive been defending him for years, often the only one.
Barry Jones
24 Posted 01/02/2017 at 18:04:08
I have been a critic in the past but right now he does not look like the same player as last year. He is solid, dependable, commanding and making good decisions about when to go for the ball and when not to.

He deserves his place for sure. More power to him and the coaching team.

Terry Farrell
25 Posted 02/02/2017 at 07:45:54
I'm with you Dan. Apart from one howler in a Europa League game early doors, Joel has been our best keeper since Big Nev. Played well in all the big cup games last season and is a big unit which is important between the sticks these days.

I used to be angry as hell when Tim Howard came straight back in after injury. Joel is the real deal.

Mick Davies
26 Posted 04/02/2017 at 01:40:04
Yep, I agree with all the positive comments above (even if Terry @ 25 is being a tad premature – he hasn't had a long enough run in the side to prove he's better than Nige, but I hope he's as good, as he's much younger).

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