Confident Howard shrugs off recent criticism

by | 09/11/2015  64 Comments  [Jump to last]
Tim Howard maintains that after 12 years of playing in the Premier League the increased scrutiny of his performances of late doesn't bother him.

The American goalkeeper has faced calls to be dropped from some supporters in light of question marks over his form at times this season, a clamour given extra fuel by Joel Robles's own display in the League Cup win over Norwich City last month.

Just as he was earlier this year when Robles made a good case for a run in the side following Howard's apparent post-World Cup slump, however, the 36-year-old remains defiant where it comes to criticism of his form.

“This is my 13th year in the Premier League [and] I have been criticised every week,” Howard said in the Liverpool Echo. “I know how good I am and know what it takes to be successful.

“There is a belief within the team and the belief of the manager and that is what people miss.

“Criticism means nothing to the players as long as you have the backing of the manager and your team-mates and that is what we have in the dressing room, so right away it doesn't bother me.”  


Reader Comments (64)

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Terry Downes
1 Posted 09/11/2015 at 18:49:01
Sounds like his head is bigger than Birkenhead!
Kevin Elliott
2 Posted 09/11/2015 at 19:14:02
Your teamates aren't exactly going to turn 'round and tell you that they have no confidence in you, "Are they now, Tim?"

Not saying Joel is the answer but you are one arrogant twat.

Ken Pickard
3 Posted 09/11/2015 at 19:21:57
I agree with Kevin. I have never been convinced by him. Need to push the boat out and buy someone ..Ospina or Butland? Goalies tend to be cheaper than outfield players.
Michael Penley
4 Posted 09/11/2015 at 19:24:28
Believing in the bible doesn't mean the world was created in six days Tim. The facts don't lie and the facts say you were the worst keeper in the league last season (look it up) and haven't learned anything from the looks of it. With that arrogant attitude you never will.
Patrick Murphy
5 Posted 09/11/2015 at 19:25:04
Unfortunately, Tim, you might know what it takes, but you don't know what it's like to be successful and, until you and your team-mates lift a trophy at Goodison, you, won't ever know. A decent keeper, but another one of those who believes that turning out in the Premier League is enough to be deemed a success.

If only Tim and the rest of his team-mates could transfer that belief into positive results more often, we may see the real success that we all crave.

Stephen Brown
6 Posted 09/11/2015 at 19:36:16
Marshall from Cardiff available for £5M!
Kevin Jones
7 Posted 09/11/2015 at 19:55:02
"This is my 13th year in the Premier League [and] I have been criticised every week"

So, if you're that good, Tim, please explain why do you you think you get criticised every week? I know footballers aren't the most intelligent but this takes the custard cream. Dozy fucker

Giacomo Trifoglio
8 Posted 09/11/2015 at 19:59:59
I believe I can fly ...
David Hallwood
9 Posted 09/11/2015 at 20:05:30
As my old daddy use to say if any employer can carry out his duties and no matter how many mistakes they make they never get their arses kicked, I'll show you a bad worker who will only get worse. He called it the undroppable centre-forward syndrome... Nuff said really.

Here we have either a delusional player or a player who knows that Old Father Time has come a-calling and he's fronting it out, knowing he's got the full support of Martinez.

At a guess, he lost us 12-15 pts last season and it could be argued that the goals Man City (beaten near post) RS & The Arse (6 yard headers) he's at it again. A total liability.

Paul Hewitt
10 Posted 09/11/2015 at 20:09:27
Don't try it Giacomo @ 7. YOU CAN'T.
Mike Price
11 Posted 09/11/2015 at 20:10:25
Makes me sick that he's stolen a living for so long and somehow talked his way into that ridiculous bumper contract. The worst decision Martinez has ever made.

He's was barely ever average and for years has cost and undermined this team. He's been worse, over a long period, than any other Everton goalie. Wright and Gerrard were shite but not for this long!

Arrogant tool of a man; can't wait to see the back of him and can't think of an Everton player I've disliked more.

Andrew Presly
12 Posted 09/11/2015 at 20:12:22
Compare this guy with a top class keeper like De Gea. Even when one gets past De Gea he'll get close to it, it's going to be something special. Goals against are hard earned.

As opposed to this guy who is either toppling over backwards in a heap the minute the ball is struck goalwards, star jumping over the ball, diving out of the way of a shot straight at him, actually behind his goal line or staying rooted to that line even when a cross comes over in his 6 yard box. There are many examples of all of the above clowning about. It's so depressing.

Even on the rare occasion it's none of the above like on Saturday his leaden feet and sub standard positioning make average shots look like world class efforts.

Why was he on the edge of the 6 yard box when Lanzini struck? That's the time to be on your line to cut the angle down you fool! You were miles away from a shot that didn't even go into the top corner yet almost lobbed you. Miles away!

In Kiev in the biggest game of the season I thought they'd made his goal bigger, he was nowhere near anything. Laughable stuff really. I stopped being angry with him about this time last year and have moved on to blaming the manager who picks him.

Sam Morrison
13 Posted 09/11/2015 at 20:15:36
I'm not Tim's biggest fan, but I think he sometimes gets more stick than he deserves though, and while he's being picked, I for one don't want him full of doubts.
Eugene Ruane
14 Posted 09/11/2015 at 20:28:33
Big soft puddin' - talk about sensitive.

He'll be trying to shrug off a piping hot meat and potato in the grid (hurled from row G of the upper Gwladys) if he doesn't start coming off his fucking line for bread-and-butter crosses.

Two points.

1) He says 'This is my 13th year in the Premier League and I have been criticised every week.'

Every week!?

A lie - absolutely definitely not true.

2) He adds 'I know how good I am and know what it takes to be successful.'

Well bully for you, I also know 'what it takes to be successful' - but knowing it doesn't make me capable of doing it.

Michael Winstanley
15 Posted 09/11/2015 at 20:55:01
I've no idea what Martinez sees in this fool.
Ian Williams
16 Posted 09/11/2015 at 21:34:02
I would love to know how much Schmichel would cost... he is shaping up to emulate his dad and is absolutely wasted at Leicester.
Pete Edwards
17 Posted 09/11/2015 at 21:45:08
Andrew, he's been at fault for plenty but no way was the goal on Saturday his fault, you don't stop those I'm afraid once they have left the boot. No one closing down was where the fault was.
Phil Sammon
18 Posted 09/11/2015 at 21:51:55
Even the very finest players see room for improvement in their game. Not our Tim. He's had the same shortcomings for 15 years and yet seems totally satisfied.

By the way, Andrew (#10)... you don't 'cut down' an angle by staying on your line. And even I can't blame TH for Lanzini's goal.

James Stewart
19 Posted 09/11/2015 at 21:56:53
Never warmed to him. By far my least favourite player in the current squad.

I can't think of a season where he has saved us more points than his errors have cost us.

Darryl Ritchie
20 Posted 09/11/2015 at 22:11:49
Tim's getting a little long in the tooth, even for a keeper. I would very surprised to see him back next season. There has to be a better, younger, cheaper option out there, someplace. MLS is where he should be.
Danny Broderick
21 Posted 09/11/2015 at 22:15:21
I don't know if anyone else out there had the same opinion as me on Saturday, but it was as though some of the criticism had got to Tim, and he seemed to come off his line a bit more. He caught a couple, and punched a few, and looked a much better keeper consequently.

He looks like the type of player who needs to believe he is the best to perform, so I don't mind him dismissing the obvious comments that have been made about him. If it gets a reaction from him, then we'll be better for it. We do need a keeper long term though. And if we could sell him to an American team in the summer, then that would be a good exit for all parties.

Andrew Presly
22 Posted 09/11/2015 at 22:21:22
Phil #14 - fair point that was the wrong phrase used hastily mid-rant but his fondness for venturing 6 yards off his line only when someone lines up a long shot actually creates more of an angle (maybe not the right word) for the shooter to put it over or around him with greater ease. It's to my point that he'll often get absolutely nowhere near some efforts as his starting position facing long shots is usually inappropriate.

Get back to the line for the Lanzini one and surely that should be saved or at least the angles are such that he should get closer to the ball? It was well struck but not at blistering pace, a bit like the Lampard cup final goal he palmed in which is probably what I'm yet to properly get over.

Sam Hoare
23 Posted 09/11/2015 at 22:42:08
He's not as bad as some on here make out but equally I don't think he's good enough. He's nowhere near the quality of Lloris, De Gea, Cech, Hart and Courtois. I don't think he's even at the standard of Mignolet, Fabianski, Adrian and Butland.

If we are serious about challenging for the top 4 or 6 even then we need a top class GK and I don't think many people can believe that that is T-Ho anymore.

Wish we'd got Butland for the paltry £4m he cost Stoke a year or two ago. Now he'd already be worth double that at least.

Ruffier, Horn, Perrin, Leno, Cillessen would all seen to be steps up though some easier to get than others.

David Marshall is decent but overated thanks to MOTD. I think we should aim higher.

Callum McNab
24 Posted 09/11/2015 at 22:57:04
Stephen (#5), I totally agree. Just said the same on another thread. I've been watching him, he has been outstanding and only just turned 30.
Eddie Dunn
25 Posted 09/11/2015 at 23:53:20
In fairness to Howard, who would have thought that Lanzini would hit one in the top corner? Tim was in position to stop an expected shot squeezed past a defender, and was partially unsighted too. It is the wrong example to criticise him with.

He is making mistakes, but needs to maintain his confidence, and perhaps his pride is making him kick back against the stick he is getting.

There is no doubt that we need to look for a quality goalie next summer. A man who will inspire the lads in front of him with confidence.

I think Robles should be given a fair run in the team, but if Tim is playing, we should support him, as he will be doing his best, regardless of these media quotes.

Nick Armitage
26 Posted 09/11/2015 at 00:01:30
In all fairness he wasn't bad against West Ham, but he wasn't good either. In a nutshell he is maddeningly inconsistent. Shots a child would save go flying past him but he saves his share of one to ones.

His decision making and anticipation are both appalling and that is what makes good keepers great. Time for him to go.

Bob Parrington
28 Posted 10/11/2015 at 00:21:57
Much of this is fair criticism of TH but he has also saved us many, many times. This should be recognised at the very least.

However, it is reasonable for us all to expect him to do the basic of coming off his line for crosses to attack and collect the ball. Along with piss-poor defending of crosses by a succession of our players over recent years he has leaked many preventable goals. Is it that our coaching staff can't train this in to him or is it his misplaced arrogance that prevents him from listening?

Colin Gee
29 Posted 10/11/2015 at 00:34:30
If he says the critisim doesn't bother him, then why was he having a go at someone in the Lower Gwladys in the last home game?
Victor Jones
30 Posted 10/11/2015 at 00:50:38
We are lumbered with two not so good keepers. Howard has IMO never been a great GK. And I also don't rate Robles highly, but I admit that he should have never been dropped last season. I really do despair of our management that they are not targetting a top keeper.

Yes, Howard makes the odd save but, on the law of averages, a keeper from the Championship would make the odd save also. How many mistakes and points is Howard going to cost Everton before Martinez twigs on? And how many teams in the Premier League would now sign Howard? He could maybe go to wherever Moyes ends up. He is welcome to him.

James Wong
31 Posted 10/11/2015 at 03:23:04
Aside from his howlers, it's his attitude that really turns me off.

Every interview where he gets asked the question about his form (and the media has done), he never puts up his hand and admits that he fucked up. Or that he'll go back and work harder on the training ground. It's always, "I don't care what the fans say, criticism means nothing to me." I've worked with people like that and they are the worst. The defenders in front of him are fed up.

Sounds like he just wants to take all the good comments, but have nothing to do with the bad.

Brian Hill
32 Posted 10/11/2015 at 06:16:02
Michael Penley, what does your opening sentence have to do with the goalkeeping ability of Tim Howard?
Andy Osborne
33 Posted 10/11/2015 at 06:33:36
I think we should be looking for another keeper, but until then, Robles should be given a run in the team. He has shown enough to convince me he will do a better job than Howard. He is a young guy, who will learn and get better. Worth the risk, in my opinion.
James Marshall
34 Posted 10/11/2015 at 06:37:30
One of the better keepers we've had IMO. Criticizing goalkeepers is easy because their mistakes are so magnified.

I would suggest that overall he's been good for us, and has saved us more times than he's made errors.

Last season he was poor, that's inescapable but he's improved of late from what I've seen. Top class keepers are few & far between, and since Big Nev we've had some stinkers in Myhre, Westerveld, Simonsen, Gerrard, Wright...

Be careful what you wish for.

James Marshall
35 Posted 10/11/2015 at 06:40:43
Oh and a note on Howard's attitude - he's American and they have a very different way of looking at things than British people.

Self-confidence is extremely important in a top class sportsperson and I personally have no problem at all with a bit of arrogance.

John Graham
36 Posted 10/11/2015 at 07:11:15
Get real. He's the best goalie we have at the moment so until we get a better one he's going to be in goal. Anyone who thinks Robles is better needs their head testing.
Ken Buckley
37 Posted 10/11/2015 at 08:48:48
For all his 'criticism doesn't bother me' talk, his display at WHU suggested he had taken quite a bit on board. He came out and caught stuff and from one cross he charged out and took all before him and got the free kick. He hadn't been doing that before.

Long may it continue.

Paul Thompson
38 Posted 10/11/2015 at 08:55:36
Not our best keeper in the modern era, but far from the worst too.

Seizing on this comment is one-sided. As others have said goalkeepers in general and Tim in particular need to keep up a high degree of self-confidence. I'm sure he knows where he has made mistakes and works on them in training.

And on his attitudes – he's a massive Blue and has done a lot to promote the club in the US. He is coming to the end of his top class career and a replacement should be a priority, but a bit of balance please.

Eddie Dunn
39 Posted 10/11/2015 at 09:03:25
Although I have been frustrated with Howard's positioning at corners etc, I think much of the admiration for other Premier League keepers is selective. Adrian, for example, is one I like, and his shoot-out saves against us last season were exceptional.

When Lukaku ran on to that ball from Del, and took it around the keeper, all and sundry declared it a great goal. If it had been at the other end, I expect that we would have been moaning that Tim was too slow coming off his line!

Tim is not the best, or the worst in our league, and it is not his displays that will see us marooned in mid-table, because, contrary to many who see the best squad in years, I see mediocrity, in a relatively poor Premier League, where 4th is up for grabs. We won't get anywhere near it though.

Phil Sammon
40 Posted 10/11/2015 at 09:06:23
James Marshall (#33)

"Self-confidence is extremely important in a top class sportsperson and I personally have no problem at all with a bit of arrogance."

Arrogance is fine if you also have the wherewithal to assess your own weaknesses and strive for improvement. Tim Howard clearly doesn't have this in him. He genuinely thinks Everton are lucky to have him.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Nicklas Bendtner both have 'arrogance'. Only one of them is justified and has gone on to use it the right way.

Phil Sammon
41 Posted 10/11/2015 at 09:12:32
Brian Hill (#30),

I think he's saying that if you actually believe Genesis to be a factual documentary of events then you are probably as big a muppet as Tim Howard.

Brian Hill
42 Posted 10/11/2015 at 09:34:02
Phil Sammon, thank you for replying on behalf of somebody else. Should I call you Kreskin?
Eugene Ruane
43 Posted 10/11/2015 at 10:09:01
A (barbed) Kreskin reference?

Doffs cap.

Dave Pritchard
44 Posted 10/11/2015 at 10:13:44
Which team did Kreskin play for?
Paul Cherrington
45 Posted 10/11/2015 at 11:10:48
I don't like this comment – very arrogant, as others have noted, and basically saying he doesn't care about what we (the fans) think. And they wonder why fans feel removed from the players these days... To be fair, he has been a great servant over the years but time has caught up with him now and he should admit it.

I think it's telling he mentions about having the manager's confidence too. Shows that he knows Martinez will never drop him, hence his arrogant attitude. It also shows that Martinez is far too soft on players who underperform or make numerous mistakes.

Si Turner
46 Posted 10/11/2015 at 12:09:20
Eddie (36) I agree with your point regarding Howard's level of performance.

I think it is shocking that a minority of fans boo him during a game. That is hardly going to improve matters is it....

Denis Richardson
47 Posted 10/11/2015 at 12:54:33
His contract runs until 2019 so we're stuck with him, he holds all the cards unless we're prepared to pay him out. Idiotic to give him a 5-year deal in his mid 30s.

No change of manager = no change of keeper.

We can moan all we want but it's the manager who picks him at the end of the day (and who won't sign a new keeper).

Steve Guy
48 Posted 10/11/2015 at 15:09:38
Whilst TH's frailties have been all too apparent in the past we consoled ourselves that he was a good shot stopper. However, he has 8 times out of ten underperformed since the World Cup. His replacement is now a priority.

I hope RM is already plotting for his replacement and his pronouncements on TH are to help ease his way into the MLS as soon as is possible. Next summer I would hope.

Oliver Molloy
49 Posted 10/11/2015 at 15:35:51
The manager's job is to make the team better, to identify weaknesses in his team, and then in order to make the football team better to prioritise which positions need fixing first, second, third and so on.

Well, Tim Howard has had his best years as a goalkeeper – end of story.

Jimmy-Ã…ge Sørheim
50 Posted 10/11/2015 at 15:40:42
His attitude has gotten worse since Martinez took over, he seems to think he is much better then what he really is.

Delusion, arrogance and on top of that the guy is 36/37 years old, it is a known fact that ability drops with age, Goalkeepers also lose their agility, which has happened to Howard here.

Until Martinez drops him, we must keep him on his toes, since Martinez refuses to!!!!

Matthew Williams
51 Posted 10/11/2015 at 16:06:37
It should bother him. It's time for Robles to be the new number 1.
Christopher Kelly
52 Posted 10/11/2015 at 16:07:20
It's been The Everton Way now for a while now.

These players and managers are so delusional you think they're playing on a children's team. "I don't listen to the criticism..." Well maybe you should because you'd learn a thing or two. This is case-in-point what happens when there is no fear of being dropped. Everyone knows this and sport is not just competition against an opponent. It's competition against your teammates to play and competition against yourself to improve.

As mind-boggling as this interview is, it's the other delusional bloke (RM) who trots him out every week. The player has nothing to do with it, he doesn't pick himself. Until there's some accountability with this team, like 20/30 years ago, ain't nothing changing.

Richard Reeves
53 Posted 10/11/2015 at 17:52:51
He's worked out how to land but it's taking off that's the problem.
Jim Hardin
55 Posted 10/11/2015 at 21:21:35
Paul Thompson and Eddie Dunn,

Careful men, you are talking sense which doesn't really apply on TW.

Odd that the criticisms of our strikers and forwards don't go the same way such as why didn't Del Boy put it in the top right elbow since the keeper covered the left side of the goal or that shot should have been along the ground to the back post? It is only the GK who gets scrutinized so severely and second-guessed by those who have the benefit of replay and can pull the one second of the shot and goal out of the run of play (which determines the GK's decision as to positioning and anticipation of the shot) and put it into a vacuum for analysis.

It is a conflict of styles for some and just mean spirited for others on here. Howard has been a front line starting keeper in the EPL for years (There are only 20 so he must be doing something right) while the critics are merely keyboard warriors or recreational league GKs.

I suggest that GKs have to be self-confident just like an NFL quarterback or NHL goalie. I also suggest that it is unwarranted arrogance on the part of the critics to believe that he doesn't know how to play the position. It is not arrogance to continue to play the way he does, it is simply playing within what he learned. Why would someone admit a mistake when they don't see it as such?

BTW, Barclay's and also Squawka.com has him in the top four overall if you take the time to compare the individual stats if it doesn't take too much time away from the next anti-Howard rant. If and when Howard does ever leave how ironic would it be for him to become a broadcaster doing Everton games?

Ernie Baywood
57 Posted 11/11/2015 at 00:50:08
I couldn't give a shit whether he's arrogant or not.

Whatever he says, he's struggling right now and is doing exactly what you'd expect of a player of advancing years... he's getting worse. Not exactly a staggering development is it?

I think he plays until we have someone good enough to replace him and I suspect that, at present, it isn't Robles. Over to you Roberto... Either come up with a way to get Joel up to scratch or go out and buy someone. The situation isn't going to improve without some action.

Gavin Johnson
58 Posted 11/11/2015 at 03:40:59
C'mon Jim, don't take the anti Howard posts so personally mate. I don't think anyone's being a keyboard warrior or mean spirited by stating the bloody obvious. That being - Tim Howard is not good enough to be Everton GK right now.

If there were one or two descenting voices it could be put down to not liking Tim Howard's brand of goalkeeping - The flapping at crosses and poor positioning, and it would be a case of horses for courses. In which case I would be one of those who don't rate Howard any more.

I don't think he's the same GK since after the WC, and either age is catching up with his reflex's or his head has overinflated with all the US media kissing his arse and he believes all the hype and thinks he's better than he is. Which I'm inclined to believe reading the above interview.

But that's not the case. There was a recent poll in the Echo where 84% of Everton fans thought he was struggling and should be dropped. So are you saying those 84% don't know anything about football because they haven't played in goal at a high level like you (something which you constantly bring up when defending Howard) and their opinion is not valid??

It's not as though the criticism is restricted just to TW. There's been numerous times when pundits on MotD have singled him out for mistakes in recent games. Reporters have been asking Martinez about Howard's form for a reason, Jim. Are these ex-professionals and pundits wrong too?!

Credit where credits due, the negative Howard posts died down in the opening handful of games because he was playing well and I'm guessing any statistics you're using to defend Howard being in the top 4 keepers are from this time period. We did after all have the joint best defensive record up to the United fixture.

That can be the only explanation because we've been letting goals in for fun from the United game onwards. You've clearly got a blind spot, Jim. Maybe it's because he's an American hero to Yanks who follow the game.

Surely you can't take the line that Howard must play come what may?!


Mike Price
60 Posted 11/11/2015 at 06:43:45
Jim, we all know that the only people that are goalies are those that aren't good enough to play anywhere else!

Some other posters on TW have played at a decent level too... probably not enough to criticize John Terry, but just as valid as everyone else on here... even former goalies.

Paul Cherrington
61 Posted 11/11/2015 at 10:46:50
Just because he came out for a couple of crosses in the last game doesn't mean he hasn't been rubbish for a while now or shouldn't be dropped. He costs us points and goals regularly & should be replaced.

Geoff Risebrow
63 Posted 11/11/2015 at 12:24:29
I disagree with people who say he as always been a poor goalkeeper. He was one of the better keepers in the Premier League in his first 3 or 4 years at Everton.

I agree that he has become a liability in the last 3 or 4 years and he now should no longer be in the team and it is time to move him on in the summer.

When Tim got injured last Christmas and Joel Robles came in and played well and kept about 3 clean sheets, Robles should have stayed in the team and Robles should be getting a run now.

Brent Stephens
66 Posted 11/11/2015 at 18:41:23
Brian #61. You deserve the acknowledgement. But I disagree with post #85 from you.
Andy Crooks
67 Posted 11/11/2015 at 19:51:26
Jim # 53, come on, honestly Tim has been poor and I suspect you are suffering from player blind spot. I had it with Shane Duffy so I can empathize.
James Marshall
70 Posted 12/11/2015 at 16:02:55
What a load of rubbish - do you want him to come out and say, "yeah, you're all right, I'm shit, sorry, I'll stop playing in goal now because you all think I'm no good anymore".

What a crock of crap.

Sorry, but some people on here really do love the sound of their own keyboard.

Of course he's entitled to have confidence in his own ability - last I looked, none of you were a career sportsman.

James Marshall
71 Posted 12/11/2015 at 16:11:02
Oh and by the way, I personally believe he's noted his critics, taken it on board and improved the parts of his game he was having a hard time with.

I may be in the minority on many things, but I believe that constructive criticism, especially when the individual takes notice and makes changes is warranted - I also think football fans are famously fickle and love to lay into players as soon as they get the opportunity, rather than backing them to improve.

Goalkeepers always take too much stick, and it's the hardest, most glaringly challenging position to play in football on many levels. Fair play to Tim Howard for having the balls to stand up and be counted.

Paul Cherrington
72 Posted 12/11/2015 at 16:20:23
I think what annoys people is that he could at least come out and show some humility to the fans. Of course he won't (and shouldn't) say he's shite but he could acknowledge he's got areas he can improve on and needs to improve his current form.

And to say we can't criticise cos we don't do the same job is ridiculous, sorry. If that's the case, I take it you will never have a pop at a politician ever, or slate another of our players when he's had a bad game, or at RM when he cocks his tactics up. You can see when things aren't right with a player, whatever job you do personally.

James Marshall
79 Posted 13/11/2015 at 06:58:47
Fair enough, Paul. I guess what irritates me is the way supporters suddenly turn on players who've served our club very well for the majority of their time here - all of a sudden they go from being heroes to a 'shithouse' as is often mentioned in the space of a few weeks, or a bad spell of form.

Every player goes through poor form, and yes, age catches up with players; the thing is though, it's not the players fault if they're still in the team is it? Of course Tim Howard is going to say he's still got it, and still deserves his place.

I like his attitude, I also think he's been one of the best keepers we've had since Southall, all bar Nigel Martyn who was probably the best.

It seems to me that people forget Howard has been a top Premier League keeper for a very long time.

Yes, his form has dipped, but does that mean he should tell the manager he no longer wants to be in the team? Of course not, and of course he's going to say positive things, yet this is somehow perceived as arrogance? That makes no sense to me.

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