What a performance.
Maarten Stekelenburg is no doubt earning his place as Evertons no.1 keeper and it’s becoming obvious why Ronald Koeman thinks so highly of him. The Dutch international has already saved the blues valuable points this season by pulling off some world class saves – the opening game against tottenham comes to mind – but his performance on saturday was another level.
It’s safe to say we knew Manchester City were going to dominate…and well…they did…for the whole 90 bloody minutes. I dare say if the now Belgium manager, Roberto Martinez, was still in charge it would have been at least 4-0 at half-time. However, it’s easy to see that having an ex-barcelona defender as manager is having an impact on Everton’s backline as no team has scored more than one goal against them in the league so far. It wasn’t just Evertons goalie that had a blinder of a game, Ashley Williams cannot go unnoticed. It is clear why he was captain at Swansea, he is a natural leader and in my eyes, he commands his defence better than our own captain, Jagielka, but as long as long as the job gets done, it doesn’t matter who wears the armband. Both Jags and Williams have struck up a great partnership so far that shows a mature, no nonsense attitude which gets the job done and done effectively and it was evident in the resilient performance put in against the league leaders. Let’s forget for a minute that two mistimed challenges by Jags gave away two penalties his performance, like the rest of the backline, was exceptional and not once did any City player find themselves in a one-on-one situation with Stekelenburg.
As I mentioned before, two ill-timed tackles lead to two penalties which subsequently lead to two damn great saves. City haven’t exactly been clinical with their penalties this season but by saving both shots from the spot, it meant Stekelenburg became only the 8th player in the PL era to save two in one game. Already there are some Blues hailing him as the next Neville Southall…personally I think he has a way to go before getting to his level but if Stekelenburg can continue to be a rock at the back and put in consistently good performances like what we have seen, then maybe, just maybe he could be one of the best.
Everton will be taking a trip to Turf Moor for their upcoming fixture against Burnley and whilst, in theory, Stekelenburg shouldn’t find himself as busy, he will have to keep on his toes and continue to bring his A game. A point from Manchester City should be a great confidence booster for the Blues especially with Lukaku in good form as well, so with that in mind I am predicting a 3-1 win for the Toffees. Feel free to leave your score predictions in the comments below.