Howard ready to end his sabbatical from international football

, 23 July, 26comments  |  Jump to most recent
Tim Howard has revealed his intention to return to the United States national team next month after taking a year off from the international game.

The 36-year-old announced after last year's World Cup in Brazil that he wanted to spend more time with his children but in an interview with he says that he has informed Jurgen Klinsmann that he will make himself available for selection starting with the USA's friendly with Peru on 4th September.

I spoke to coach Klinsmann and we have had open lines of communication as recently as last week," the Blues' keeper said.

We will speak again after that tournament (the Gold Cup) finishes and I will make myself available for selection. We will see where we go from there.

The New Jersey native will have to dislodge Aston Villa's Brad Guzan from the first-choice spot that he has made his own in Howard's absence but he is up for the challenge of winning his place back.

I have missed it," Howard admits. "It was a tough decision to make. It has been a good break, but all it has done is really fuelled my fire. I have missed the boys, the competition and playing in front of the US fans.


Reader Comments (26)

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Peter Fearon
2 Posted 23/07/2015 at 08:35:28
I know that some on this site have lost confidence in Tim Howard but judging by the performance of Joel Robles in Singapore, which I thought showed poor judgement and indecision, and Brad Guzan's showing in the Gold Cup for the USA, Howard need not worry about either his club or his country starting him.
Sam Hoare
3 Posted 23/07/2015 at 08:48:02

Robles has played so little for the first team it will take time for him to get settled but, given a run, he showed last year that he’s capable of stepping up. He should never have been so quickly dropped after his run of clean sheets last year.

One of RMs many mistakes last year was picking on reputation rather than form.

Dave Abrahams
4 Posted 23/07/2015 at 08:52:10
Sam well said, nothing but the truth.
Ant Dwyer
5 Posted 23/07/2015 at 09:12:08
I can’t help but feel we have to invest on a new keeper, Tim has been a great buy for us but he has lost his way. Unfortunately, Robles is simply not good enough, he had a good little period through last season but he’s nowhere near the level Howard was at 3-5 years ago.

Look at sides we should be in amongst this season, Spurs and Southampton for instance. They have Lloris and Forester, levels and levels above Robles.

Liam Reilly
6 Posted 23/07/2015 at 09:14:04
After his shocking season last year, Howard if he had any sense should be focused on Everton and Everton only.

Big one for RM this for me. He needs to tell Howard shite like last season won’t be tolerated and extra travel for US games won’t help.

Duncan McDine
7 Posted 23/07/2015 at 10:27:32
His kids must feel great, knowing that he could only stick a year of spending some quality time with them!!!

If they're anything like my two little ones, I know exactly why Tim came to this decision...

James Stewart
8 Posted 23/07/2015 at 11:17:06
How about playing in front of them on a regular basis Tim? The MLS would be a good move and we need an upgrade.
Eddie Dunn
9 Posted 23/07/2015 at 11:35:26
Goalkeepers need to be sharp, especially as age catches up with them, and travelling long distances is tiring. This will cost Everton, as Tim will be travelling all over the place at vital times in the calendar. He cannot afford to be anything less than his sharpest, so this is bad news for us.

He should be intelligent enough to know this himself – he is kidding himself if he thinks he can manage both. His ego is talking. Martinez should have a quiet word, as he has backed him so much.

If Tim wants to play internationals, put Robles in and give him time and let Tim sit on the bench for a while, and I think he may reconsider and we will see a hungrier, better keeper.

Jim Hardin
10 Posted 23/07/2015 at 16:35:50
How many excuses are people going to make for Robles? Much of a manager's keeper decision is down to how they train. He was the GK for the Wigan coach who is now the Everton coach and knows him and his glaring weaknesses which have not improved. RM has seen him more than anyone else at Everton. Wouldn't RM put in Robles, a player he brought here, if he was better and if Howard was as bad as several of the posters on here continually claim?

The man didn't look decent in the three EPL games he played in last year, he looked awkward, unsure, uncoordinated, and only Sterling's selfishness and Jag's spectacular goal saving clearance (off of a Robles positional mistake) kept his precious cleen sheets and the points in two of the three games.

Flash forward to now and Robles still looks awkward, unsure, uncoordinated, and this time his mistakes and poor form allowed at least two of the three goals versus Arsenal. He was twelve yards off his line and still couldn't get to a ball coming directly at him from 20 plus yards away. He was not victimized by a deflection of the ball in any of the goals. He simply let them in.

As for Howard not playing in internationals then I guess the same logic applies to the English, Irish, Scottish, and Belgian players as well as DelBoy if he gets called? People must be forgetting that Howard had a very good year two seasons ago leading Lloris,Hart, de Gea, and Cech in most categories at the same time the US was playing qualifying matches which have even more riding on them than friendlies.

Howard, a long time servant of the club, is in his last few years as a starting keeper, not due to deficiencies in his technique but rather because of his age. He can't go on forever but Robles is not the answer.

Dave Abrahams
11 Posted 23/07/2015 at 17:48:28
Jim, "how many excuses are fans going to make for Robles?"

About as many as you make for Howard.

James Flynn
12 Posted 23/07/2015 at 17:25:08
Robles has zero foot quickness. None. If he needs coaching, it's in developing side-to-side movement. I'll be as kind as possible and call his movement ponderous. His "wing-span" and height are the best. But slow? My God!

Don't like saying it this way, but if Tim has found a motivation to "try harder", I'm all in. He's going nowhere this season.

Eddie Dunn
13 Posted 23/07/2015 at 18:27:42
Jim, it is true that other Premier League keepers play internationals, but they are not as old as our Tim. I’m not a Howard basher; I am aware of his attributes, but it is his age that is the problem. Fatigue, especially with long-haul flights is a big problem and I don’t think he can do both.

Jim, your criticism of Robles (Jags clearing up for him) is unfair, as Jags does this for Howard on a reg he is a marvellous shot-stopper. He doesn’t command his area enough and has a tendency to stay on his line too much, sometimes almost falling backwards into his net, and perhaps a bigger unit like Robles would dominate the area more.

With a run in the side Robles could improve, surely his confidence will come with games.

As we don’t seem to have yet found either a number 10 or another striker, and even a centre-half(or two), I can’t see another goalie on the horizon, so one of them needs to do the business.

Mike Gaynes
14 Posted 23/07/2015 at 19:13:28
Peter Fearon (#!), gotta partly disagree with you... outside of his brain fart last night against Jamaica, Guzan has been excellent for the US, particularly given the chaos in Klinzi's back line and the number of mistakes he's had to cover. I'd say Howard's got an uphill climb to get his US job back.

No such worries at club level, though...

Mike Gaynes
15 Posted 23/07/2015 at 19:21:41
PS... and Howard did shave, didn't he?
James Flynn
16 Posted 23/07/2015 at 19:25:46
Peter (1) - He might need to worry about his US position. Guzan was fine throughout the tourney.

Michael Winstanley
18 Posted 23/07/2015 at 21:44:10
I can't see Robles starting in front of Howard, he was at fault for the first 2 goals, although I doubt Tim would have saved the first either.

I'm not a massive fan of Howard, I appreciate on his day he's excellent but he doesn't have enough of them and his clangers are bloody awful.

And he better not give Chelsea anything.

Nick Armitage
19 Posted 23/07/2015 at 23:34:36
Howard and Robles are both shit and either will cost us 10 goals a season. Both of them need replacing, or we could sign another centre mid.
Jim Knightley
20 Posted 24/07/2015 at 00:02:08
They will cost us 10 goals a season Nick?! So you are saying that either would be personally responsible for 10 goals?!

There was an article about negativity recently.. maybe we could do with one about mindless exaggeration.

Harold Matthews
21 Posted 24/07/2015 at 05:04:58
Apart from a successful brief spell with Wigan, Robles has spent his whole career playing second fiddle to De Gea, Courtois and Howard. He didn't let us down last season and I hope things eventually go well for him.
Ant Dwyer
22 Posted 24/07/2015 at 16:01:42
I agree with Jim 9 to an extent: Robles simply is not good enough; unfortunately, though, neither is Tim Howard any more. Get £10m together (or the decent amount needed to purchase a quality goalkeeper) and bring in a new Number 1.

Over the past decade(ish), we have been fortunate to have Tim as he's been a quality goalkeeper, but he's past his best. We have other players who need replacing too but, with a goalkeeper, his mistakes are too costly to afford.

Jim Hardin
23 Posted 24/07/2015 at 17:50:40

I didn’t make excuses for Howard. I commented that other international players play and it doesn’t effect them. Relying upon actual statistics, I pointed out factually the performance of TH two seasons ago when he was playing international friendlies. Last season, he actually didn’t play in any and his performance went down for Everton by the way.

I simply cannot stand the continual criticism of a player who has been good for so many years for the club for reasons such as his taking pictures on a beach and his wages. Really? Nor can I stand the gross exaggerations of how many points he cost Everton without recognizing the points he saved them or that the centre-back pairing change from the previous season and lack of practicing defending may have had something to do with the additional goals scored against him.

Excuses are he didn’t get to play last season, he is only 25 years old, etc. Howard is 36 and is nearing his last season of full-time first place goalkeeping. How is that an excuse? Please enlighten me. Or better yet, provide some other witty remark about his now shaved beard or him flapping, whatever that means.

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 24/07/2015 at 21:15:38
Jim, we’ve been over this before; you rate Howard as a very good goalkeeper... I have never rated him more than an average keeper. Any personal remarks about his beard etc. haven’t come from me, I couldn’t care less what players look like as long as they do a good job.

Regarding Robles, you don’t rate him, fair enough, I think he hasn’t had a proper chance under Martinez, he looked dicey in his first games and didn’t inspire confidence. Then he had a few games when Howard was injured and started gaining confidence IMO, then was excluded when your man came back.

He’s played one game since against Arsenal, one game in five months, he hadn’t even been playing for the second team. Give him more games and let’s see if he is good enough... give him a chance, for God's sake.

Andrew Presly
25 Posted 25/07/2015 at 08:38:24
£8 - £9m on Begovic would have been money well spent to let him fight it out with Robles who has shown promise when given a run of games as stated above.

It would’ve been ideal to say thanks and goodbye to Howard post World Cup when his stock was highest. We’d still get MLS interest but I’m resigned to another year now. Here’s hoping he steps it up but all I see is a slow sad decline. I would love to see a renaissance before he goes as he’s always tried his best and represented us with class.

Murdo Laing
26 Posted 25/07/2015 at 12:37:01
Some of the criticism of Tim on here has been really beyond the pale. That said, last season was probably his worst in an Everton shirt, but then he did have an under performing back four for a lot of the season. It was compounded by the fact that RM set the team out in a lot of games with no pressure valve of our being able to launch rapid counter attacks... That is, until we loaned Aaron Lennon, who gave us much needed pace and no little tenacity when out of possession.

It’s funny, isn’t it, how the mind plays tricks when we reminisce on how good players past and present have been? Few Evertonians would I suppose ever criticize big Nev Southall, but I recall Neville having a stinking run of form towards the end of his Everton career.

I think Tim has been an excellent keeper over the years; he does have some weaknesses to his game, but he can walk away from both his club and international career with great pride IMO. If it does turn out to be his last season with Everton, then we should back him all we can. I love hearing the "USA, USA" chants home and away. That’s what I will remember when Tim goes.

Robles is not good enough; it’s sad, but he would be better off playing in the Championship. We should never have let John Ruddy leave us, he would have been excellent backup.

Bobby Thomas
27 Posted 26/07/2015 at 18:20:48
A very unwise & shortsighted decision by Howard considering his form last season. As others have noted, as you get older, you need less football, not more.

One of Howard's worst performances, at home to Palace, came on the back of a Europa League match.

I have actually backed him on here to come good again. However, this decision is just wrong. His performances having returned from international duty will be interesting.

Bill Farmer
28 Posted 26/07/2015 at 18:46:22
I don't feel Tim is being short-sighted at all. I suspect he is putting himself in the shop window for a MSL contract in a year's time.

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