Premier League 2011/12 GK Preview: Everton

Everton

Tim Howard

1st Team Squad Goalkeepers: Tim Howard, Jan Mucha

Overview: Everton head into the new season with the worst looking goalkeeping division in the league. Thankfully for fans of the Toffees, that’s mainly due to the questionable aesthetics of their latest goalie kit as opposed to any major question marks about the goalkeeping talent at their disposal. It’s a familiar story with Tim Howard being the undisputed number 1 at Goodison Park. We know what to expect with Tim. He belongs to the upper end of mid-level goalkeepers who are perfectly good, but just short of being considered amongst the world’s elite. There’ll likely be a few silly errors during the season, but more often than not you’ll see a reliable keeper with astonishing reflexes and good athleticism. He does make some mistakes but overall he’s a big plus for Everton. Behind him in the pecking order is Jan Mucha. The Slovakian keeper had a decent World Cup and I was a little surprised not to see him contend more with Howard for the starting place. His second season may offer more opportunity, but it will be difficult to shift the affable American on a long-term basis. Eight years of not quite making the grade at Goodison have come to an end for Iain Turner as he has been released by the club. it leaves their goalkeeping ranks looking thin. Everton have a number of promising young goalkeepers in their reserve and academy squads, but none of whom you’d as yet want to be relying in for an extended period of time.

Worst case scenario: Tim Howard has always seemed to have something like brittle confidence. His mistakes seem to come in patches, perhaps after his head has dropped initially. Even if he does slip up, Everton look to have quality cover with Mucha. You’d think they should be fine to get through the season with, but a couple of injuries would necessitate an emergency loan deal.

Most likely outcome: Howard will provide his usual mix of the sublime and occasionally ridiculous. He’ll most likely cost the Toffees a few points during the course of the season, but he’ll still show a net gain for Everton. Mucha may get the odd outing, but Moyes is likely to side with the more tried and trusted option for the vast majority of the season.

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