Could there be “deja vu all over agan?” for Everton and United States National Team goalkeeper Tim Howard? A topic came up on conference call with Howard that was reminiscent of his controversial departure from Manchester United. He felt he was the unquestioned #1 goalkeeper in Old Trafford, but the Club thought otherwise.
And history could be repeating with Tim Howard and Everton.
Tim Howard was on conference call to discuss NBC Sports Premier League coverage, which will make all 380 PL games available in the U.S. more than anywhere else, including the U.K. when this question came up from a reporter with the Associated Press.
“Just on your current Everton prospects and plans I mean have you been offered any assurances by Roberto Martinez about whether you are still first choice with Robles arriving?”
The response from Tim Howard:
“Well, I don’t think that’s ever been a question, maybe in your mind. I’ve never asked for assurances. I know where I stand. I think my performances over the last 450 games have merited my place where I am right now. So unless I’ve been asleep for a few months and forgotten something, I think all is pretty well in my camp.”
Love the slightly snarky and a tad defensive response there. As anyone would, he tried to squash any bit of controversy before it even starts. Of course, it does raise an interesting question of whether he should receive a vote of confidence or not.
At the end of the 2004–05 season, Howard signed a new contract with Man U, which was to run until 2009. In 2005, Manchester United released both of his competitors for the goalkeeper position — Ricardo López Felipe and Carroll. However, they also bought experienced Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar soon after. An uncharacteristically outspoken Tim Howard fumed in an media interview that he would not have signed that new contract had he known at the time that Van der Sar was on his way to United (Van der Sar did in fact replace Howard as the Red Devils first choice goalkeeper). Tim Howard felt that his play had spoken for itself and that he deserved to remain as the first choice goalkeeper for United.
Could Robles be the new Van der Sar for Tim Howard? Or is this situation apples to oranges? Let’s see if he handles this situation differently; given what he learned from the situation 8 years ago. The situations are quite different, but have some similarities.
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, a Fox Sports affiliate. He is also an analyst for 95.7 The Fan, and writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows his Twitter account (@PaulMBanks)