Everton fought off a spirited display from Lincoln City to book their place in the fourth round of the FA Cup this weekend. Goals from Ademola Lookman and Bernard proved enough, despite a goal from Michael Bostwick for the League Two side.
Everton made some changes to the starting XI, but put out a string side all-in-all. However, one surprising decision was to play Jordan Pickford. In the past, Marco Silva has shown a propensity to play a ‘cup goalie’ in such games.
Given the patchy form Pickford has been in recently, it could have been a week off would do him good.
So what does this say about Maarten Stekelenburg?
Signed by Ronald Koeman, who had worked with him at both Ajax and Southampton, in 2016 the 2010 World Cup finalist has struggled to find regular playing time at Goodison Park.
In the summer he surprisingly signed a new two-year deal at Everton. It came as a shock because of his form when given a chance by Everton. Many expected the Dutchman to be moved on a new second-choice to arrive.
Silva deciding not to use him in the FA Cup this weekend is surely a judgement call from the Portuguese boss. The veteran stopper has been shown a lack of faith from Silva, even if resting goalkeepers in the cup is a fool’s errand.
It will be interesting to see if the Dutchman remains happy with his bench role at Everton after his FA Cup snub.