Everton manager Ronald Koeman has said that while he would like to have three goalkeepers, he is happy with the current situation and is willing to wait until the summer transfer window before looking around for another goalie.
We had discussed the goaltending situation at Goodison Park at length before the beginning of the season in a writers’ roundtable. Since then, we’ve all been confounded with the level of play that starter Maarten Stekelenburg has brought to the team.
That is not to say the player doesn’t have flaws in his game, and appears to be prone to making the odd mistake or two here and there. However, it is indeed a sign of how well he has played that he was recalled to the Dutch national team, six years on after he got them to the World Cup Final.
Koeman said to the media -
“I am happy with two goalkeepers. I want to have a situation with three first team goalkeepers. That is the decision we need to make, but I don’t know if winter is the right time to make that decision for next season.
“I can’t do anything about speculation (surrounding Joe Hart). We are not doing anything about that at this moment.”
Unlike the current obsession with some managers of having a ‘sweeper-keeper’, Koeman’s thinking is a little more old-school regarding the goalkeeper’s role -
“First of all if you can get a good goalkeeper in the goal and he’s very good with his feet then he’ll be the best, but if I have to choose one of the two I choose the goalkeeper who will save and not with the ball at his feet.
“I am talking generally.
“The goalkeeper’s job, in my opinion, is the most important. If you can have one that is good at playing from the back that is perfect. Maarten’s quality is he has both.
“He is a good goalkeeper at the back, with a good touch, but I always tell my defenders and goalkeepers: ‘Don’t take too many risks building-up close to the goal or the box’. I hate that.”
With that, it’s a reasonable expectation that Koeman’s next goalie signing is not going to be expected to be developing plays from the back between the centerbacks.