Tim Howard’s position at Everton has become farcical and he must be dropped

30/12/2015  19 Comments  [Jump to last]
In his WST column, ToffeeWeb contributor Matt Jones doesn't mince words when it comes to the American's untenable position as Everton's first-choice goalkeeper.

Howard has come in for regular criticism after the past two seasons as the evidence mounts that, at the age of 36, his best days are behind him and with Joel Robles performing well as the Blues' "cup keeper", calls are growing for the Spaniard to get an extended run in the side.

» Read the full article at World Soccer Talk

Reader Comments (19)

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Anthony Dwyer
1 Posted 30/12/2015 at 03:02:29
Howard is a major problem for us , he is guaranteed his starting place which has allowed him to become complacent and now ultimately a drag on the team.

He is no longer good enough at this level and if Martinez can't see it he's out of his depth too.

Ray Jacques
2 Posted 30/12/2015 at 09:59:18
Wow, strong words, but true. My concern is that Robles must know Martinez doesn't trust him so his mentality will be shaky.If he throws him in against City for the 2 cup games that's poor management and he must therefore play him against Spurs beforehand.
Why did he bring him from Wigan if he doesn't rate him.
Howard should have been dropped after the Arsenal game where he was responsible for both goals in the space of 3 minutes , he hasn't recovered from this.
Darren Hind
3 Posted 30/12/2015 at 10:34:05
Martinez created this problem when he very publicly stated that Howard is his number one, then he reinstated him when he was fit leaving Robles wondering what the fuck he had to do.

Talk about painting yourself into a corner

Jack Cross
4 Posted 30/12/2015 at 14:00:16
A lot of managers seem to play their second string goalies between league and cup games. So that's not unusual.

The problem is of course we don't have much to choose from. I mean Robles, is obvious choice but if we had the chance of bringing in another transfer goalie, would we still want Robles as first choice? I don't think so. So it's really down to Howard, being dropped and being replaced by Robles. Simply because we have no other option.

Not a good place to be in I would say. One slightly better than the other.

There is another point Martinez, did see a lot of him (Robles) at Wigan, so maybe he knows something we don't.

Victor Jones
5 Posted 30/12/2015 at 14:42:52
I have never rated Tim Howard. I could state numerous games were he has made a complete Horlicks of everything. Even going back to the Moyes era. But I guess we all know his faults. Not much point going over old ground. Yes he has the odd good game, but those are few and far between. I don' t seem to recall Southall or Martyn making mistakes , week in, and week out. Also Gordon West, although I only saw him play a few times. And still a few supporters have in the past , put Howard at those legends level. Not in a million years IMO.

Last point on Howard.....how long would he have lasted at most other clubs.....with all the mistakes that he has made? He does cost Everton points......and single handedly undoes all the current good work that our attackers(Lukaku) does. Something really does have to give soon. I really do dread the prospect of starting next season with TH still in goal. Never mind the remainder of this season. The little cameo role from Robles IMO just about saved Evertons season. And he ends up dropped. I just hope that Martinez can bring himself to give Robles a few games this season. And not just in the cup. But I doubt it. And should we reach the League Cup Final.....do you think that Martinez would stick with Robles...or will he revert to his old favourite.....TH. Anything is possible with Martinez. Anything.

Liam Reilly
8 Posted 30/12/2015 at 16:06:21
Its good management to back your players especially if they dip in form; but this is not a dip - it's a chronic failure of form and to state that he's number 1 regardless is lunacy.

There's a need to spend money on a keeper either in Jan or the summer but waiting for the close season may be too late as a mid-table finish will see the departure of key players: Lukaku, Stones, possibly Del Boy and Barkley.

The flip side is, we may not have some of these players if RM wasn't the manager; but needs to open his eyes to failure of form and fast.

Geoff Evans
9 Posted 30/12/2015 at 21:51:25
Gordon Banks would have struggled with this defence in front of him.
Ernie Baywood
10 Posted 30/12/2015 at 22:00:02
The failure is in not replacing him. It doesn't require incredible football insight to know that a 36 year old will be in decline (I should know, I'm 36!). He was a half decent keeper and is now below that standard.

That said, there are people on here who pin every goal on him. He's nowhere near as bad as made out.

Jim Hardin
11 Posted 30/12/2015 at 22:44:55
A little information for those blaming the keeper rather than blaming the back four and the manager for no organization, if Petr Cech says (which he did in a telephone interview with Chelsea's Neil Barnett) that defensive organization and practicing is more important to his success than his own skills then all of you are looking at the wrong position correct? Howard is 9th all-time in clean sheets in the EPL with an average of about 1 in 3 games.

I don't personally care if you like Howard or not. He is not my favorite GK eithr in the EPL or over here in the USA. But stop blaming him for every goal (Odd that Butland gave up three in the same game but he isn't crap right?). Begovic's stats have dropped from his time at Stoke to this year at Chelsea. Could it be he was bad all along? His form is dipping? Or could it be his back four and mids? BTW, guess which other Chelsea keeper's form has dropped?

Howard seems to do just fine over here. Is the grass or air different? How does he manage to once again have the faith and confidence of our current Team USA coach, this one with some impressive European credentials? Shouldn't Klinsy be able to see how poor he is if it is so blindingly obvious? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, you all exaggerate Howard's "weaknesses" and like to point the finger at someone other than the real culprits?

Obviously, Howard is in the last two seasons as an everygame starter. Obviously, a new younger keeper needs to be brought in to mix in with Howard next season to eventually replace him. Obviously, that keeper is not Robles. Robles was so poor in the Barnsley game he is lucky he didn't get dropped for Howard in the League Cup competition.

The back four in an ideal world need changing to sit Stones and Galloway and Mori while they are taught positioning. Three young players in the back four under any manager is bound to cause leaked goals. Under this manager, who teaches them nothing apparently, it is a recipe for disaster in the back, which is clearly what is happening. Stats for this are the number of crosses sent into the box and the number of shots at our keeper.

Having just watched Leicester throwing themselves in front of shots, closing down players with the ball, and helping on defense against Man City, I can't help but think the finger should be pointed at the manager and our lack of playing as a team defensively, including Barkley, and Delboy (who appears to spend so much time whining to the assistant refs or picking himself up after diving that he doesn't have time to chase back up the pitch).

Ron Marr
12 Posted 30/12/2015 at 22:52:32
Howard is done, stick a fork in him. Father Time has never lost
Oliver Molloy
13 Posted 30/12/2015 at 23:52:41
Robles will have an opportunity coming up against Man City that will make him undropable!
Gavin Johnson
14 Posted 30/12/2015 at 00:07:00
Tim Howard continuing to play as Everton GK is like one big metaphor for every misgiving I have about Martinez.

On one level it's commendable that Martinez isn't easily swayed and doesn't bow to boo boys and critics in the media. It's the same as his vision of how the game should be played. I like our style of play and I think there's only cosmetic things that need to happen rather than a complete overhaul. Although I'm seriously beginning to have doubts whether Martinez can make these tweaks.

The little tweaks like a change of GK, signing a leader on the field (Vidic would suit me as an experienced vocal defender in the short term) and also learning to sit back and close shop when we're winning seem like obvious things that shouldn't be difficult to implement with these talented players.

It could be argued that some of our defenders are learning their trade and we'll see the real benefit next season. But are the likes of Stones still going to be here?!

In the case of Howard. He hasn't been at fault for all the goals. The goal against Palace is one example. This all said, when you look at the results when Joel has played, he's kept more clean sheets. He had a run of clean sheets before he was dropped. He also looks more assured on crosses. An area where we look very weak.

It makes me wonder whether it has anything to do with player power and Martinez has fears of upsetting Howard, who is apparently a vocal influence in the dressing room.

John Crawley
15 Posted 31/12/2015 at 00:16:52
He's never been a top goalie and he wasn't good enough to replace Martyn. He should have gone years ago. He's appalling now and shouldn't be in the side. The fact that Martinez is still picking him because Howard backed him up last year is the sign of a fatally flawed manager.
Derek Thomas
16 Posted 31/12/2015 at 00:20:44
Howard will 'pick up an injury in training' and face will be saved.
Paul Hewitt
17 Posted 31/12/2015 at 00:37:28
Blaming Howard shouldn't be the issue. Martinez picking him every week is the problem.
John Hughes
18 Posted 31/12/2015 at 12:04:23
Gordon Banks or Neville Southall would have bullied/cadjoled bollocked this defence till they did the job right and not struggled like Geoff (7) suggested that Banks would. IMO I think Howard does not give confidence to the defence anymore .
Eric Paul
19 Posted 31/12/2015 at 16:51:05
Geoff@ 7, spot on. I do not rate Tim Howard at all but he has 6 international/ex international players in front of him to protect him but teams get at him through the centre and down the flanks due to bad defending and bad management.

Oh, to have a Dave Watson.
Eric Paul
20 Posted 31/12/2015 at 16:55:05
John Hughes @ 16.

If you have no confidence in your keeper you get rid not let them get past you twice like Stones did vs Stoke.
Geoff Evans
22 Posted 02/01/2016 at 13:01:42
Jim (9): The final paragraph of your thread is absolutely spot on. Defenders and midfielders have to be prepared to put their bodies on the line and get hit where it hurts. This in itself is not the whole answer but it is a starting point.

Howard to me has always just been a shot stopper no more, no less. His shortcomings are now being highlighted because their are players in front of him who aren't prepared to go the extra mile in their defensive duties.

Look at the third Leicester goal, if Stones had been prepared to do what Baines tried to, the shot would have been blocked, If golden boys Barkley and Deulofeu would take their hands off their hips when they lose the ball and do the ugly work i.e. tackling and chasing back this would also help.

Yes there are better 'keepers than Howard around but the keeper is the last line of defence. Of course Banks and Southall would have done what John (16) points out, but don't compare those two greats with anyone else in the Premier League (Cech excepted).

I don't believe there is a keeper in the Premier League who would fancy playing behind our defence at the moment. The word potential is used to freely to describe too many in front of Howard. Maybe when that potential starts to come to fruition things will change.

Some of our players want to start standing up to be counted or remember the old adage that goes "Ninety percent hard work ten percent talent

No, Howard is not the best in the Premier League – he is an average 'keeper who has his shortcomings – but he's just a symptom... not the cure.

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