Everton manager Roberto Martinez has been speaking about the goalkeeping situation he currently has on his hands, with Joel Robles set to start tonight's League Cup tie against Norwich City at Goodison Park after Tim Howard received criticism for his role in the side's 2-1 defeat to Arsenal at the weekend.
Howard failed to deal with two crosses which seemed pretty routine, both leading to Arsenal goals and ultimately it cost them the game. Among many Everton players, the USA international has not been in great form for some time and his mistakes have proved costly.
But Martinez has said tonight is not about Robles trying to force his way into the starting XI, and defended the role that Howard had in both goals at the Emirates Stadium at the weekend.
The Toffees boss is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “You need to remember that the goalkeeper is the last man in front of the goal and when you concede goals, he is the one that is going to be highlighted.
“But when you concede, you want the whole team to see what could have been done better to make it harder for the opposition.
“In both instances at the weekend, we all could have done better than allowing Tim to be in that position in the six yard box."
It isn't just his ability to deal with crosses that has come into question, though there is another example in the most recent Merseyside derby of where the American could have done better. Howard does have this rather poor quality of committing too early when he is in a one-on-one situation with an opposing striker, and the striker more often than not gets the better of him.
Some will also question Martinez's decision making during the middle of last season when Robles filled in for the injured Howard and put in a series of solid display. As soon as Howard was fit again he was back in the side, irrespective of the form showed by the Spaniard. It took him a little time to find his feet, but he was replaced by the more experienced option on the back of three consecutive clean sheets.
One anticipates that irrespective of the display from Robles against the Canaries this evening, Howard retains the backing of his manager and will return to the starting XI for the clash against Sunderland at the weekend.