'Maybe this could be our year'
The American is cautiously optimistic about the Blues' chances of repeating their feat of 2005 when they surprised the Premier League by snagging a Champions League qualifying spot.
"The Champions League is a real, viable option for us. Very difficult, but it is viable," he told Sky Sports News.
"We talk about it, we achieved it a few years ago and we have the ability on form to do it. But it is a long way off to May.
Howard is impressed with the team that David Moyes has been able to assemble on a sell-to-buy budget in recent seasons.
"This is my seventh season. I think it is the best squad we have had, in terms of quality from top to bottom.
"You'd have to ask the manager his opinion on that but I get the feeling from being around the guys in training and in matches that it is the most talented squad we have had.
"Does that give us the best chance? Maybe, because our grit and determination is always there and that is an Everton trait. Maybe this could be our year."
Of course, the biggest fear for Evertonians is the re-opening of the transfer window in January where covetous rivals could try and pry Everton's best players away from Goodison Park.
"The one thing I hang my hat on is that our manager will dig his heels in," Howard said, "and if you are going to pluck our best players you will have to pay a high price.
"He has also shown that if he gets the right money in the transfer window from those sales that he buys very well, but we do not want to lose Marouane Fellaini or Leighton Baines or any of our top players."
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704 Posted 04/10/2012 at 00:12:05
709 Posted 04/10/2012 at 02:41:45
710 Posted 04/10/2012 at 02:39:24
Basic stuff, cover for LB, no; sharpest thorn in our side this minute, an unchallenged comfy keeper. How ironic, onwards and upwards say our 1st or 2nd weakest link. It's like say Neville being trotted out week-in and week-out.
Okay, you Timmy are a weak link in our team. Already, in this brill season you have cost us – 2/3 is appalling, command your area FFS. YOU are not a top-4 keeper. I see a future, not too far away, where my beloved EFC will be a Chumps League breed, but you will not at that point e our 1st pick place safe goalie.
738 Posted 04/10/2012 at 09:04:28
740 Posted 04/10/2012 at 09:10:25
741 Posted 04/10/2012 at 09:30:11
Some of the goals he has let in are deplorable and his performances surely cannot instill confidence in the defence.
Moyes is no fool and will know this.
743 Posted 04/10/2012 at 09:41:04
But, at the same time he makes too many unforced errors too, the one at Blackburn last season being right up amongst the worst.
I added to a thread earlier in the week to say that he probably is the best we could afford right now, but there is no harm in chasing Jack Butland again next summer.
744 Posted 04/10/2012 at 09:42:26
The only person who "cost us" in the Newcastle game was that crappy Assistant Referee who missed Vic's goal AND gave Felli offside.
745 Posted 04/10/2012 at 09:51:39
Keepers have dodgy phases, and I think Howard may be in one now, but I don't see any reason to think he's declining. We need to review this at the end of the season, not after a handful of questionable displays. He's basically a good keeper.
Having said that, Mucha is not the back up we need. It would be sensible to get a bit of money by moving him on in January - doesn't his contract expire in the summer? - and investing (ha-ha) in someone to actually challenge TH.
747 Posted 04/10/2012 at 10:10:54
The Newcastle game might not have been Timmy's finest hour; but having been a pretty rubbishy goalkeeper in my day (one game - and only one - on the hallowed turf of the Grand Old Lady, as a schoolboy, in 1957) I will defend the "star jump" with my dying breath. Watch Ba's movement, I was absolutely convinced that he was going to chip.
750 Posted 04/10/2012 at 10:24:44
To be fair, I'd slightly revise my earlier comment. The Newcastle goals were not his "fault" as such - but I really think he could have done better with both of them. The first goal: it was a lazy dive and he got his angles wrong. (Ba shouldn't have been allowed to get in that position, which is down to others.) The second: he overcommitted to the star jump. I know the star jump works sometimes - and the fact that he looked like a fool is neither here nor there - but he didn't respond to the actual danger, he just went into "auto mode". Insufficient alertness, if you ask me. Wakey, wakey, Tim lad!
As well as that, his judgement on crosses is well dodgy at the moment. Of course, the Southampton goal wasn't just down to him but he didn't exactly cover himself in glory, did he? ("Shall I, shan't I?) Anyway, as I said, I think he's basically a good keeper and there's no need to panic about him right now.
Hats off to you for playing on the hallowed turf! That must have been brilliant. I'm dead jealous. No, really, I am. Closest I got to anything like that was playing at Melwood! Yeah, well the manager of our under-16s youth club side worked there and he organised a game against an LFC U-16s side. This was around 1976. We lost 2-0. I was centre forward... and I hardly got a kick!
753 Posted 04/10/2012 at 10:37:27
Tim Howard was blameless, it's like saying a keeper should anticipate a deflection.
Anyone who's played could see it was a forwards lucky mistake resulting in a goal.
758 Posted 04/10/2012 at 10:42:31
However some of his positional sense and technique on corners and crosses is woeful; As has been mentioned before this could be down to the fact that he has no serious threat or competition for his place and complacency has set in. On a positive note though he is a true Blue and if he gets wind of some of the criticism he is getting, hopefully he can up his game and put the extra effort in. I hope so because a lot of our play at the moment is awe inspiring and every great team deserves a great goalie!
765 Posted 04/10/2012 at 11:16:53
769 Posted 04/10/2012 at 11:23:19
I'm thinking of a number... and it's not 4th. No, it's not lower. It's higher!
771 Posted 04/10/2012 at 11:47:50
778 Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:14:26
I'd go as far to say that the first goal from Ba was miss hit too.
If you pause the footage of both goals just before he hits the ball, i'd say Howard did nothing wrong.
He either miss hit them both or they were very cleverly disguised finishes.
780 Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:24:04
Tim Krul and Joe Hart both look like they are going to be worldbeaters, but neither are there yet.
781 Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:22:55
We've had a top start, playing great stuff. And all I can think about is the derby.
We've got 2 away games next, they've got 2 at home fresh off smashing Norwich.
The natural pessimist in me sees this optimism dwindling. Hope I'm wrong and this very special test gets passed. 4 points from these away games and then completely outclass the shite. Will make my year.
783 Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:27:24
"The standard of goalkeeping in the Premiership is not good..."...nonsense!
I would say that the standard of goalkeeping has never been higher! Perhaps one or two of the elder statesmen are looking a little less like clean-sheet-machines than was the case previously; but the season is only half-a-dozen games old.
Just as a matter of interest, I borrowed the DVD of the "Stanley Matthews" final recently (1953 - or was it '54 - Blackpool 4 Bolton 3) and I reckon the average Division 2 keeper of today would have saved six of those goals.
784 Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:37:32
786 Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:42:40
After watching the City/Dortmund game yesterday, it reinforced my hope that we could one day find someone with that kind of quality... The performance of both keepers was outstanding to put it mildly. Joe Hart was simply magic and kept City in the cup on his own.
Not only does Howard concede 'soft' goals but, time and again, defenders have to bail him out. Sorry, Tim: not good enough.
787 Posted 04/10/2012 at 12:56:37
[a href="http://..." target="_blank"]Liverpool Echo[/a]
790 Posted 04/10/2012 at 13:06:13
But 25/30 years ago you had Southall, Jennings, Shilton, Parkes, Corrigan etc.
Do you really think that modern goalkeeping is up to that sort of standard. England can't even find 3 first choice keepers for their squad.
Wo would you currently consider outstanding in the Premiership, and who are the elder statesmen losing their way, bearing in mind the two I mentioned (Cech and Reina) are both only 30 and allegedly in the prime for a goalkeeper.
791 Posted 04/10/2012 at 13:10:22
Thanks, just like George Farm and whoever it was in the Bolton goal.
793 Posted 04/10/2012 at 13:13:26
Uncanny, I was just doing my 'Finney on the wing' impersonation at 5-a-side last night for some of the lads (I'm such a laugh) and up it pops on Toffeeweb the next day..
795 Posted 04/10/2012 at 13:27:23
I tell you, Charles 'Charlie' Charles is a heck of a player...
796 Posted 04/10/2012 at 13:32:21
802 Posted 04/10/2012 at 13:46:32
"...4th...it's not lower..higher..."
Now 3rd is a lower number than 4th; but it is also a higher position.
What we need is Martin Mason to arbitrate! He would argue that neither was correct; but that both were.
807 Posted 04/10/2012 at 14:12:44
The thing is, if we finish 4th we have to qualify for the CL - and look what happened last time, we drew one of the best teams in Europe, Villarreal.
I've told DM it's got to be 3rd or he can forget about the usual end-of-season hamper. I think he's got the message...
889 Posted 04/10/2012 at 18:36:16
"Totally agree with Paul 710. It's certainly time we had another 'Nev'"
@Bob(741) - I totally agree. And there's just a plethora of Nev quality goalkeepers out there...
Howard is a good goalkeeper, certainly towards the top end of the spectrum in the Premier League. He's not perfect, to be sure, but I think over the course of the season he definitely earns us more points than he loses, and overall he's given us the long-term solidity we've needed since Southall (not denigrating the superb Martyn, btw, it's just he was near the end of his career and so wasn't the long term option we needed).
972 Posted 04/10/2012 at 22:07:07
012 Posted 05/10/2012 at 01:50:12
017 Posted 05/10/2012 at 03:39:50
020 Posted 05/10/2012 at 05:27:01
Everton/Wigan is deemed the only Prem game not attractive enough to Asian viewers. Which says a whole lot about Sky/Star and about their dismissal of Everton as a flash in the pan. Even the WBA/QPR game is deemed to be a more attractive proposition than Wigan/Everton.
049 Posted 05/10/2012 at 10:04:12
The Newcastle game was one of the strangest for years: a game we won but didn't, and I'm not just talking about the linesman. We scored a 'winner' in the last 2 minutes, then the team were standing around thinking about our position in the league and Howard was confronted by a centre forward who was allowed the freedom of Goodison park. If he'd saved that, we would have been talking about the 'match winning goalkeeper'.
Unfortunately, so fine are the margins that a mis-hit shot, an offside that never was and a ball that crossed the line mean we are 2nd and not joint top. Let's hope Tim's made his worst cock ups while we're still doing well, and applaud him for his optimism in the article: a welcome change from the "Let's hope we get to the 40 point safety mark before Xmas" shite.
051 Posted 05/10/2012 at 10:22:29
141 Posted 05/10/2012 at 17:51:58
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