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The Liability That Is Tim Howard

By Scott Campbell :  09/02/2010 :  Comments (55) :
A huge error from Tim Howard on Saturday cost us our best chance for a long, long while to win at Anfield! People can talk about whatever they want but the simple fact is that Tim Howard's focus on Dirk Kuyt rather than the ball allowed the Dutchman to score the weakest of goals. Liverpool had been no real threat to us by that point and were no threat to us for the rest of the game.

I have been enormously critical of Howard for quite a while now, and it seems this season that my criticism of him is coming to fruition. I really cannot understand it when I hear people talking about him as being one of the best keepers in the league. I would rate Howard as one of the poorest goalkeepers in the division. Pretty much every first choice goalkeeper in the Premier League is, for me, better than Tim Howard.

Saturday was a classic example of Howard's lack of concentration and his failure to do the basics right. He is seemingly unable to read the game or display any anticipation whatsoever. Worse still it is that erratic moments like Saturday or bizarre decisions such as his jack-in-the-box impersonation against Wolves are beginning to specifically cost us points. His decision making really is exceptionally off! How many times have you seen him end up in the back of the net when attempting to save a shot or a header? His performances when he is tested time and time again certainly leave an enormous amount to be desired.

I have no confidence in Howard when a shot is struck towards him or a cross comes over! Something tells me our defenders feel the same way. First and foremost, the goalkeeper needs to be solid and reliable inspiring confidence from his defence, Howard does not.

Clearly, Sir Alex Ferguson saw something iffy with Howard when he let him join us. He never really got over that parry he attempted that got United knocked out of the Champions League against Porto in 2004. He carried on at United into the following season, allowing him to make a number of huge errors early on before he was permanently replaced by Roy Carroll.

Needless to say, Manchester United did not win the league in either 2003-04 or 2004-05 and in 2003-04 when Howard was United's starting keeper in 32 of the 38 games played, United conceded 35 goals, a tally they have not come close to since. The arrival of Edwin van der Saar in 2005 brought stability to the United back line and Howard was sold to us.

The point I am trying to make by discussing United at such length is that Tim Howard represents no stability whatsoever. Contrast Howard with Nigel Martyn, a real class act, dependable to the last; that is the sort of thing we need once again, a stable reliable goalkeeper — not an unpredictable jack-in-the-box!

In 2004-05, the season in which we qualified for the Champions League we won 1-0 on nine occassions! Nigel Martyn was between the sticks and kept the clean sheets earning us 27 points from these single goal victories! Our defence today is better than it was five years ago and yet, aside from last Saturday, Stoke City and Wolves at home this season both come to mind as games where a potential 1-0 victory has been lost.

Howard's unreliability, I am convinced, will cost us time and time again this season and beyond. No doubt there will be repeats of last Saturday and Wolves at home and suddenly those 3 points from 1-0 victories will turn into 1 point from 1-1 draws.

For me, an alternative must be sought and installed in goal for the long term. We have already snapped up Slovakian keeper Jan Mucha on a pre-contract agreement to arrive in the summer. The purpose of Mucha's arrival, I really do not know. I have heard the phrase "competition for Howard" used in one or two circles but I am a great believer in having a Number 1, a keeper who starts week-in, week-out, in every single competition.

There are keepers out there both at home and abroad. My solution would be a Fellaini-esque big money plunge for a fantastic young goalkeeper — for me, Hugo Lloris from Lyon would be perfect or Igor Akinfeev from CSKA! But, the realities of the money situation at the club might dictate that a swoop of that sort is unrealistic.

However, there are any number of other great goalkeepers out there who would be no doubt affordable to us. Diego Lopez from Villarreal for example or perhaps the best of the young English keepers, Joe Hart! Whatever your view, the point is that there are better goalkeepers than Tim Howard out there; keepers who could go on like big Nev and play for us long into the future.

Reader Comments

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Simon Kirwan
1   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:34:11

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Totally disagree with you. I would have to assume you don't watch a lot of football if you think Howard is one of the worst in the Prem.

As for Van der Sar, he is utterly shit. Complete wank. To say he is the reason to United's recent success is laughable. At least compare Tim to a good goalkeeper like Given.

I agree, we need backup for Howard... and I admit he’s not perfect but your opinion is deluded.
Kevin Tully
2   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:32:56

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Howard has always been reluctant to come off his line for crosses. I sit in line with the 18 yard box in the main stand, and you can guarantee he will hesitate to take command of the penalty area. Saturday was a case in point, he should have flattened Kuyt & Neville to take that one. Very average goalie for me.
Kevin Murphy
3   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:43:26

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What about Phil Neville not being goalside of Kuyt which stopped Howard concentrating on the ball only?
Declan O'Shaughnessy
4   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:43:20

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For me, Howard is a pretty typical "modern" goalkeeper. By that I mean he is a good shot-stopper, doesn’t catch the ball and doesn’t command his box. Why the change, I don’t know, but goalkeepers have changed a lot in the last 20 years.

I do think, though, that Howard is towards the upper-end of goalkeepers in the PL. He’s certainly not worse than most other first choice keepers. He’s kept a lot of clean sheets for Everton and saved us on many an occasion.

I don’t think he’s been helped by the ever-rotating back link in front of him this season. And I don’t think he’s helped by Distin at all.

As far as Kuyt goes, Kevin gets it spot on: Howard should have cleaned both Kuyt and Neville out of it. I do think he should also have told Neville what he wanted him to do and probably also simply stood in front of Kuyt himself. Standing behind a 6ft bloke gets you nowhere. Stand in front, back into them and get a freekick if you make a pig’s ear of it.
Chris Fisher
5   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:42:03

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What shit. He does make the odd mistake every now and then as does every goalkeeper but he is easily one of the best goalkeepers in the league. There have been a number of occasions when he has bailed us out.

I think we all just like to moan at our players, Osman and Hibbert get it constantly, sometimes fairly, sometimes not, and then there's Neville, Fellaini for a long time, Heitinga early on, Bily & Distin presently, Jags when he first joined, the list goes on.

It seems that it's after a bad performance everyone just wants to have a moan at someone which is fair enough but some of it is over the top, such as this post.

Ray Kelly
6   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:47:28

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He is a good shot-stopper but anything from distance or from wide and he is very dodgy and has been at fault for several goals this season, he doesn’t communicate with his defenders and fails to come off his line when he should resulting in corners and throw-ins being unnecessarily conceded, some of which have led to goals. I think we need someone to come in and challenge him for his place and do we need to ask questions of Chris Woods who seems to have ruined every keeper we’ve brought to the club?
Doug Hast
7   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:02:37

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I would not say he’s the worst keeper in the Prem, what he needs is competition. At times he really annoys me when he’s shouting and screaming at Everton defenders for no reason, he really needs to get his own weaknesses sorted before critiquing others.
Franny Porter
8   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:04:31

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I don't think Scott is being deluded at all, I have posted on many occasions pointing out this epic weakness in our team.

So Howard is a great shot-stopper, so is my Nana if you twat the ball straight at her. Like Howard though, she is shit at every other aspect of the game.

One last thing — that fucking starfish jump thing he does is fucking embarrassing.
Michael Kidd
9   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:07:25

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Not the best but better than most in the Prem. The only keeper in the Premier League that I would prefer if he were offered to us is Shay Given. Remember he was the best keeper (deservedly) at the Confed Cup. He did cock up on Saturday but if you lose 1-0 then the people to look to for blame are the people who should be scoring, and I am sure you would agree that that’s not Howard’s job!
Roger Domal
10   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:13:23

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How’d he do on the Defoe penalty stop against Spurs? If Kuyt where Cahill the whistle would have gone for the kick coming out. No DOUBT!
Ollie Taylor
11   Posted 09/02/2010 at 14:50:12

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Akinfeev. Jesus mate.....

He’s about 23 and already talked up as one of THE best keepers in the world. United have apparently already had a £15M bid knocked back a season or so ago. So I don’t really think we can get our hopes up on that one. I’m sure we can get Iker Casillas on a loan-to-buy though.....

In all seriousness, Howard is a good Premier League goalkeeper. Not great. Good. Certain parts of his game are top notch. But like Shay Given, people are beginning to realise that in a keeper, a good all round game is better than a stunning shot-stopper who can’t catch.

Howard’s a good keeper but his panics and lapses of concentration undermine his athleticism and reflexes. For every amazing double save he pulls off, there will be a brainstorm which will undermine the confidence of the back four or a fluffed moment of concentration (Kuyt's goal, Doyle’s goal for Wolves).

The reason Van der Sar is talked up so much is because of his reliability and consistency. He may not be Lev Yashin throwing himself around the goal or a sweeper-keeper coming out and starting attacking moves like Reina, but you know he’s not gonna bollocks it up once a game. To me, that’s the most important thing in a keeper.

Does make you wonder though, if we’d have got Joe Hart on loan instead of one of the extras from City of God as part of the Lescott deal, we would have a very nice selection problem between the sticks.....

Ultimately, goalkeeper isn’t one of the problem positions for Everton. We could do with an understudy with real potential of making the grade. Possibly this will be Mucha. Who knows. But to get a better keeper than Howard would cost upwards of £10M. Would we really want that £10M spent on a keeper as opposed to a a real pacey winger, barn-storming right-back or a partner in crime for Saha?

Andy Crooks
12   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:05:19

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Tim Howard made a mistake on Saturday but I think he’s had a pretty good season. I actually don’t think there is a great goalkeeper in the Premier League. Certainly he has not been kept on his toes by competition. I don’t know what Nash was like and Ruddy and Turner were rightly or wrongly never given a chance. I know that Turner was highly thought of at Wednesday.

The problem is that a good goalkeeper won’t usually be happy on the bench and most coaches are understandably reluctant to give a young goalkeeper the experience he needs.

We’ve been lucky to have an above average goalkeeper who has stayed, relatively, injury free.

Max Main
13   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:25:51

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Doesn’t Howard hold our record for most number of clean sheets in a season? Well he does, I looked it up. So there.

I think you’re being a bit harsh. He’s not the best keeper in the league, but he’s certainly not the problem. Bit of a nightmare on Saturday but these things happen to all keepers. Considering the shit we’ve had in the not too distant past (Simonsen, Gerrard) I’m happy with Howard. USA USA and all that...
Damian Scott
14   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:55:22

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I think you are being over-critical of Howard. He is a very good goalkeeper and an excellent shot-stopper. The amount of times he has saved us with unbelievable stops is crazy....

Every goalkeeper has weak points.. even the likes of Shay Given has his faults (I know! I’ve sat behind him enough at Lansdowne Rd and Croke Park)... Petr Cech has had bad spells as has Edwin van der Sarr. All goalkeepers can drop a clanger. I think we forget quite quickly about all the good saves they make and focus on the errors too much.
Matthew Tait
15   Posted 09/02/2010 at 15:59:32

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I’m sorry but this article is very foolish.

It’s always easy to blame the keeper for a goal, especially in these days of super slow-mo and super-light footballs. And every keeper in the world makes the occasional mistake, Howard included.

But the simple fact is that anyone who watches a broad range of football knows that Howard is an excellent goalkeeper. Most clubs, Premier League included, would be glad to have him. He’s not the best in the league, but he’s certainly not even close to being a weak point in our team, quite the opposite.
Brian Donnelly
16   Posted 09/02/2010 at 16:06:39

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I completely disagree. He was obviously at fault on Saturday and he is poor at coming off his line for crosses, but he’s a lot better than any of Englands goalkeepers. Joe Hart is about number 3 or 4 in the England pecking order — below David James for God’s sake.

Howard is a brilliant shot stopper and very rarely drops the ball. Also for crosses, defenders know he’s not going to come for them so at least there’s no possibility of misunderstanding. With the number of centre-back combinations we have used this year, is it any wonder that we have conceded so many goals?

Max – I may be wrong but I thought it was Gordon West who had the most clean sheets, or are you just going from when Sky invented football in 1992? I know there were 4 more games in the old days but I think West got about 3 more clean sheets.
Max Main
17   Posted 09/02/2010 at 16:28:33

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Wikipedia - "During the 2008–09 season Howard set the club record for most league match clean sheets in a season"

And I dare anyone to find me a more reliable source than Wikipedia.

Seriously though, I have no idea if that’s Sky "history" or actual history, if it’s even correct at all. I do remember commentators banging on about it when it happened though so I’m sure there’s something in it.

Anyway, it seems we’re pretty much all agreed that Howard is decent enough.
Simon Dixon
18   Posted 09/02/2010 at 16:50:58

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Sort yourself out.
One mistake and he,s become a liability.
Grow up.
Albert Dock
19   Posted 09/02/2010 at 17:05:50

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The Times Fantasty League has him as the eigth best keeper in the EPL.

This is based on league games only and uses both clean sheets and defensive play to determine positions.

With a couple more clean sheets he would be easily in the top three or four.

Kevy Quinn
20   Posted 09/02/2010 at 17:11:49

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Tim is good when he doesn't have to think and it's a reaction save. On crosses and shots from distance he has always scared me and will continue to do so. For the money we paid for him, I don't think we can complain; overall, he's done a very good job. I agree he has his dodgey moments but so do most keepers and unless, we're going to pay £30 million for the Buffons of this world, I think we’ll just have to accept these moments every now and again.

Although I still haven't forgiven him for Lampard's strike in the Cup Final last year.
James Boden
21   Posted 09/02/2010 at 17:20:16

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Totally agree. Howard I fear everytime a ball goes anywhere near him. He dithers constantly and regularly concedes piss poor goals. The fact he got the clean sheet record means nothing to me. He had our strongest defence since we won the title.

Martyn on the other hand brought stability and strength to a shit defence. Forget the saves he made from Defoe or in the Semi Final — they were hit at him and so piss poor anyone on the planet could have saved. The sooner we bin Howard, the better.

Tony Williams
22   Posted 09/02/2010 at 17:23:42

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I think we are romanticising Martyn a little bit here lads, he was beaten easily many times by low angled shots, that was his weakness, he wasn’t fast getting down to low shots. Tim is.

The biggest thing that winds me up about Howard is his inability to go through his own players and the opposition to get the ball, I still have nightmares about the Carling Cup semi-final first leg when the diminutive SWP out-jumped Lescott for their second, a proper goalie would have taken out Lescott and SWP and won the ball with ease, this lad sits on the line and relies on his reactions to save him, a lot of the time this will not be enough.

He is a very good keeper but winds me up so much about how timid he is in his area, apart from when he is shouting at his defence after a shot.
Steve Collins
23   Posted 09/02/2010 at 17:35:30

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Howard should have, like one poster said, lamped both Kuyt and Neville out of it, plain and simple.

Keepers nowadays get the benefit of the doubt and are untouchable, he should have knocked both of them over to win the ball.

He probably would have prevented the goal and even got a free kick out of it.

To say he is one of the worst is ridiculous to say the least.
Nick Entwistle
24   Posted 09/02/2010 at 18:13:56

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A hundred ways to slag off a decent player with some football manager tossed in at the end. Brilliant!
Liam Reilly
25   Posted 09/02/2010 at 18:13:19

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If Howard wanted to leave, I doubt he would have much trouble finding another club in the Premier League. He’s not the best, but he’s far from the worst.

Re-the RS goal. If you look at the replay, Howard is boxed in on his line and Kuyts presence makes it imposible for him to get any momentum to take him and Neville out. Neville or Osman should have hassled Kuyt out of that position. That said, the ball delivery was excellent and difficult to defend.
Alan Kirwin
26   Posted 09/02/2010 at 18:26:07

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Ha ha ha ha, aah ha ha ha ha ha.

Never in the field of football analysis has so much been written about nothing. Tim Howard is our biggest problem...aah ha ha ha ha ha!

Get a grip.
John McLoughlin
27   Posted 09/02/2010 at 19:07:05

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Howard is a good keeper, not the best in the league but better than most. Factor in the fact we are skint and cannot afford any keeper that is better than Howard... I will settle for him.
We’ve got other areas of concern before we replace Howard.
Dave Wilson
28   Posted 09/02/2010 at 19:44:20

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You get what you pay for when SAF is doing the selling.
Ray Robinson
29   Posted 09/02/2010 at 19:35:33

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"My criticism of him is coming to fruition"... says it all really. If I wait long enough, I’ll be able to find fault with Pepe Reina, in my opinion currently the best keeper in the PL, followed by Joe Hart.

Given — actually hopeless with crosses, Cech — a bit uncertain himself these days, James prone to the occasional howler, likewise Green and Foster. I could go on.

The point is that Howard does have his weak points — shots from distance, commanding the box etc but his agility, reflexes and handling are all top notch. It’s horses for courses. Unless we have money to burn on a top class Spanish or Italian keeper, there’s nobody better available and there’s certainly more pressing areas that need addressing.

Having said that, some genuine competition from a young goalie with potential can do no harm whatsever.

Keith Foley
30   Posted 09/02/2010 at 20:13:17

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Scott.... One swallow doesn’t make a summer mate. In the last two seasons he has been very close to equaling the great Neville Southall’s clean sheet record. Says it all really. Why do people like you (I told you so) only post after a mistake. Sad really.
James Elworthy
31   Posted 09/02/2010 at 20:28:44

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Neville Southall was the best, he could catch one handed what Howard parries away. A good goalie to buy would be Boaz Myhill who has an interesting background and is technically Welsh like Big Nev & American like Howard; he is playing well for Hull.

He has interesting pedigree: Born in Modesto, California, as the son of an American father and a Welsh mother from Llangollen, Myhill moved to England at the age of one. He attended the Marches School, Oswestry.

Myhill’s parents originally intended to name him Boaz, a Hebrew name which they encountered and liked while travelling in Israel, but were dissuaded from doing so by relatives. Nevertheless, Myhill has been called Boaz, rather than by his official name Glyn, throughout his life.

David Hallwood
32   Posted 09/02/2010 at 20:47:46

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If we have any money to spend, IMHO a keeper is the last thing we should be looking at, a left-back, decent winger (Eagles?) a striker that can score, has a bit of pace and isn’t terminally crippled would be my priorities.
Kevin Spencer
33   Posted 09/02/2010 at 21:59:41

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Like people already have pointed out, his biggest problem is long-range shots and crosses. He clearly doesn’t know how to dominate his area. When Martyn played, there were some strong and big characters in the centre of defence such as Weir and Stubbs for example.

The need for a commanding keeper has never been bigger than now. Heitinga is too short for being the answer to the long balls and crosses towards our penalty area. Distin is never really where he should be anyway, as he runs around like a headless chicken. The demands for Howard to go out and collect the ball at every opportunity is really adequate, as it is his job. Simple as that.

Joe Hart would have been a great addition to our team, as I consider him being one of the top keepers in the league. He really has the potential to become the best.

The fact remains, the goalkeeper's job is to prevent the ball from going in. To do so, he has to be GOOD at, not only stopping shots. He also has to dominate the whole area. I can not see (as James Elworthy), why Boaz Myhill's background would be the perfect solution to our problems? The fact, he is the son of an American father and a Welsh mother with a Hebrew nickname, taken from their travelling in Israel, does not make him a better goalkeeper.
Gerry Western
34   Posted 09/02/2010 at 22:15:19

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Howard is a good shot-stopper but lousy at commanding his area. He often hesitates and this can cause the central defenders difficulty. I consider him fairly average by Premier League standards.

With respect to the goal conceded on Saturday, he was certainly culpable, however it was a comedy of errors. Neville wrong side of Kuyt also looked distinctly uncomfortable, given his tendency to panic under pressure — why on earth was he given the responsibility to mark Kuyt?

Add to that Osman who took up a position in front of Kuyt and then confounded everyone by ducking down instead of looking to head it clear. Replays clearly show Osman cowering down... it may be he was concerned someone might clatter into him from behind.

There is the argument that Howard may well have been expecting Osman to head it clear and was distracted when he failed to do so. In my view, they were collectively responsible and if we harbor ambitions of a top 4 spot we will almost certainly need to say goodbye to all three.

Dennis Stevens
35   Posted 09/02/2010 at 22:21:03

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Howard is a good ’keeper, but not a great one — however, I doubt we could afford a great one... and if we unearthed one we’d then proceed to sell him anyway.

As for his "record", it’s Prem only — he’s got a way to go to an Everton "Great", imho. Just been looking at the "Everton Results" site (more reliable than wiki!):

Prem only:
17 Howard 2008-09;
15 Southall 1995-96;
14 Southall 1995-96, Myhre 1998-99, Howard 2006-07 & 2007-08.

League only:
21 West 1969-70;
19 Wood 1977-78;
18 Sagar 1938-39 & Southall 1984-85;
17 West 1968-69, Southall 1986-87, Howard 2008-09.

All matches:
31 Southall 1984-85;
25 Southall 1983-84;
24 West 1969-70;
22 West 1968-69; 20 Sagar 1938-39, Wood 1977-78, Southall 1987-88 & 1990-91, Howard 2008-09.

These records would put Howard roughly on a par with Sagar, Woods & Myhre — but some way off West & Southall. No surprise there, I’m sure.

By the way, I also don’t understand the criticism of Van der Saar — I always thought he was a quality keeper at Fulham & couldn’t understand why he was there so long before another club came in for him.

Luke Dunn
36   Posted 09/02/2010 at 22:48:54

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After all the other player/Moyes bashing posts, Howards' turn has finally arrived. Get a grip, he is not perfect, but who would replace him?

I can’t really think of any great keepers at the moment on the world stage, let alone in the Prem, who are that much better. Maybe Hart, as a part of the cash that is probably due in five years time from the Lescott transfer?

Ray Robinson
37   Posted 09/02/2010 at 22:56:19

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Boaz Myhill ffs?!! Apart from one recent truly inspired performance at Tottenham, I actually count him as one of the WORST keepers in the PL. So bad that even Hull dropped him earlier in the season. If we’re talking potential alternatives to Howard, for God’s sake suggest someone sensible! Tell you what let’s go for that other American at Wolves, Hanneman (that was an attempt at irony by the way)!

Hennessey on the other hand...
Gary Sedgwick
38   Posted 10/02/2010 at 02:24:05

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Might it be that his "Tourette’s Syndrome" is not under control properly?

Just putting out another take on his form...
Kev Bracey
39   Posted 10/02/2010 at 03:34:42

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Last season, the back four picked itself. This season, it has been different pretty well every game. No consistency; no rhythm; no development as a unit. Most of you write as if Howard is solely responsible for every goal he lets in.
Pete Gunby
40   Posted 10/02/2010 at 04:47:13

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Clearly, Saturday's goal was Hibbert's fault. He was nowhere near Kuyt and wasn’t on the front post. He did, however, have more influence on the game than Osman.
Jason Lam
41   Posted 10/02/2010 at 06:04:21

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How about Mark Schwarzer, a potential Martyn successor? He could play well into his 40s.

Best keeper in the Prem right now admittingly is Reina. Plucks out crosses, covers his angles well, and almost pseudo-sweeper at times racing off his line. Yet Howard can’t command his 6-yard box. No leadership qualities at the back, Howard, Yobo (never seen him shout), Distin the liability. Who knows if Jags gets his speed back. Heitinga’s looking to be a good buy,
Spragg Johnson
42   Posted 10/02/2010 at 08:53:35

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Bollox... quality keeper but both he and Neville made the basic mistake of being pre-occupied with the man and not watching the ball...

End of.
James Elworthy
43   Posted 10/02/2010 at 09:07:22

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FFS Hennessey is the biggest clown in the Prem, Richard Wright in disguise.
He got dropped for Hannemann and if you saw him against Palace when they got thumped, you would see why...
Christian Yandell
44   Posted 10/02/2010 at 09:45:24

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What a complete load of bollocks! I have read some knee-jerk, ill-conceived poorly thought out nonsense on this site but this Mr Campbell you have taken it to a whole new level pal.

So he made a mistake (along with Neville) last Saturday. DID YOU SEE THE FUCKING PERFORMANCE FROM EVERY OTHER PLAYER IN BLUE ON THAT PITCH?

Does he does hold the record for the amount of consecutive clean sheets? Not sure? Well yes he does with 16 consecutive! So you can stick your Mr Nigel 1-0 Martyn comment up your arse you clown. Average keeper? Fuck off.

Look I am sorry to vent on you Scott but I have had it with people making sweeping statements based on one performance.

Were you moaning when he saved that 95th minute penalty against Spurs?
Keith O'Brien
45   Posted 10/02/2010 at 11:51:33

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Listen, he is a decent keeper better than the average, the point you are missing here and a lot of people of this forum and MotD the other night was that captain Phil was never ever goal side of Kuyt. This for me is where the problem was, basic school boy marking error really, not acceptable for a professional player.

Terrible goal to lose a derby for and a poor game where we could not even draw with or beat a poor 10 man Liverpool team, end of.

John Hughes
46   Posted 10/02/2010 at 12:11:50

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Kevin Murphy and Keith O’Brien. Sorry Guys but Phil Neville’s position was spot on. From where he stood he could get in front of Kuyt if the ball came in low and everything to his right is Howard’s. The danger of getting goalside in that situation is that you obstruct your own keeper’s territory. Howard should have taken ball, man... the lot. Definitely down to Tim, I’m afraid. That said, some of the criticism on here of him is very unjust in my opinion.
Guy Wilkinson
47   Posted 10/02/2010 at 13:53:36

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Tim Howard should have simply leant over and without leaving the ground taken that ball with both hands before it got to Kuyt.

He’s a great shot stopper but too frequently we have problems when he won't come for crosses.

Best keeper in the league at present is Hart. McLeish knows his stuff and is polishing turds much better than Moyes at the moment.
Peter Fearon
48   Posted 10/02/2010 at 14:43:09

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This criticism of Tim Howard is way way out of order. He was at fault for the goal in the derby. So was Neville, incidentally, who ostensibly was marking Kuyt and had hold of his arm. So was Hibbert who did not intercept the cross and so was the referee who should have given a foul against Howard.

Generally, however, Howard has been a great goalkeeper for Everton even when he has had a sometimes shaky and ever-changing defence in front of him. He is a great shot-stopper and usually organizes his defenders well. As for Ferguson letting him go, he went through a whole posse of goalkeepers, some of whom where absolute crap. He also let Ronaldo go and Tevez. They’re crap too I suppose...

Goalkeepers make errors. Unfortunately, when Saha doesn’t turn up a game he gets subbed and no-one says a word. When Yakubu can’t be bothered, it’s forgotten in a day. When Howard, or any keeper, makes an error, he’s picking the ball out of the net and some people who should know better are calling for his head.

Christian Yandell
49   Posted 10/02/2010 at 16:48:00

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Very well said Peter.

100% Agree
Peter McHugh
50   Posted 10/02/2010 at 16:43:15

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Disagree Peter, Ferguson didn’t let them go and criticism of Howard is fair. He is susceptible to crosses, has bad distribution and does not come off his line generally. Also, he lacks bottle on big occasions and he seems to see long distant shots late.

Reina, Van De Sa, Given, Cezh, James, Friedel, Jaskellinan , Hart, Schwarzer are all better in my opinion.

I would try and buy Hart.
Dennis Stevens
51   Posted 10/02/2010 at 16:54:33

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Christian, your knee-jerk response lacks credibility when you can’t be bothered to check your claims - Everton have never had 16 consecutive clean sheets! Our record run in the League/Premier is 7 - & that was back in 1994.
Howard is a good ’keeper who happened to make a mistake but he’s not that special, either in comparison with previous Everton or current Premier ’keepers, imo.
Pat Finegan
52   Posted 11/02/2010 at 04:07:55

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Show me a goalkeeper who doesn’t make mistakes and I’ll agree with you that Howard is a liability. Until then, that is a ridiculous claim.
Derek Lee
53   Posted 11/02/2010 at 07:46:02

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The author is bitter that we lost to the Red Shite.

While you can blame Howard for THAT mistake, you should also blame Phil for not doing his job... Christ sake, Phil has won more medals than anyone in the team combined, not to mention he was meant to make sure no one disturbs our keeper.

Lastly, that comment about being the worst or one of the worst... that doesn’t even qualify to be a statement. Just like a little kid being upset.

Howard has been more consistent than most keepers and, given we don’t have the money do buy anyone... he is THE BEST we have! No doubt a number of clubs would watch Everton and ask themselves ’Why can’t we have Howard as our keeper?’
Dominic Timmons
54   Posted 11/02/2010 at 09:56:12

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Any goal the team conceedes is the fault of the whole team, yesterday's win over Chelski proved that. As soon as they scored the whole defence unit gathered together and decided they weren't going to give away another. They didn’t. Maybe Howard should have come for the ball against Liverpool but he didn’t and someone else in the team should have helped him.

Still a great keeper as far as I’m concerned

Kevin Murphy
55   Posted 11/02/2010 at 10:52:31

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Away from the Howard story, my comments of Phil Neville being the wrong side is backed up again with last night’s goal conceded.

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