By her own admission, Ellie Roebuck has endured a tough few months. Since receiving her marching orders at Manchester United last May, Roebuck has not featured since for Manchester City. Instead, manager Gareth Taylor has relied heavily on 24-year-old Khiara Keating, who has started all of City’s WSL matches this season.
To add insult to injury, Roebuck has lost her place in the England side to Mary Earps and wasn’t even selected for the national side for their matches in November. It’s a dramatic fall for the keeper, once regarded as the best in the country.
What has gone so horribly wrong for Roebuck?
Ellie did have some injury concerns a couple of seasons ago, which allowed Keating to make her mark between the sticks. However, Roebuck returned to help the team finish in third place. But that wasn’t enough to please Sarina Wiegman, who selected Earps as her number one as the Lionesses won the Euros.
This season, Roebuck is yet to make an appearance and has been named on the substitutes bench just six times from twelve matches. Taylor has stated that her absence for the visit to Liverpool in the Conti Cup was illness, but why was she omitted for the other five?
Speaking with Sky Sports in November, Roebuck expressed her desire to play football again and admitted how tough it is being out of the side. “I make no bones about it, it’s been a pretty tough few months of the season. I’m just head down, working as hard as I can, and I’ll continue to support the team. Working hard is all I can control. I want to be playing football, that’s what I do, it’s my job, my love, my passion.”
Does Taylor Have A Problem With Roebuck?
There’s been no official reason for Roebuck’s omission from the side, however, it’s no secret that Taylor has previously omitted players he doesn’t like or agree with. For the last two seasons, Taylor has frozen out at least one player from the team, making sure they barely played for the blues, before finally selling them on.
The first in question is Janine Beckie. The Canadian striker was continually played in defence by Taylor, often at right back. However, in 2021, Beckie fell from favour with Taylor, with her appearances being limited to the League Cup. She helped the blues reach the final but was inexplicably dropped for the match against Chelsea. A month later, Beckie was released.
A season later, Hayley Raso found herself in a similar position. The Australian international also had her appearances limited to the League Cup and, in the same vein as Beckie, saw herself dropped for a big match against Arsenal. City lost that match.
Now Roebuck has found herself frozen out of the side, is there a possibility that Roebuck is in her final season at the Joie Stadium? Her situation is so familiar as it’s happened twice before, that it’s difficult to see her being at the blues next season. No offers have been made for the keeper, but the way it’s going, it only looks like a matter of time.
What do you think? Is Ellie better off at another club, or should she stay and fight for her place?