Thursday, August 8, 2013

Howard on status as Everton's No. 1: 'I don't think that's ever been a question'

The USA goalkeeper has no worries about a challenge from Joel Robles and is all for the implementation of goal-line technology this season.

As Tim Howard prepares for his eighth season in the Premier League with Everton, he is confronted with a serious challenger for his title as No. 1 goalkeeper after manager Roberto Martinez signed Joel Robles -- who played on loan for Martinez at Wigan last season -- from Atletico Madrid.

Howard doesn't quite see it that way, necessarily. The 34-year-old USA goalkeeper has no qualms about where he stands in the pecking order at Goodison Park and is fully expecting to handle the reins as Martinez's top option between the posts when the new season kicks off next

"I don't think that's ever been a question," Howard said on a conference call with reporters Thursday. "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. Unless I've been asleep for a few months and forgotten something, all is pretty well in my camp."

With Howard active in the net, he will be one of the many goalkeepers whose statistic lines could be affected -- for better or for worse -- by goal-line technology, with the English FA introducing the Hawk-Eye system in the Premier League this season. The New Jersey native is all for the new addition to the game, though, saying it is a no-brainer to incorporate the technology to make sure calls are correct.

"I'm looking forward to it," Howard said. "It's such a simple tool, and you start to wonder why it hasn't been used before. When you look at how many examples of goal-line technology can be used, it's so difficult for referees to make that call from so far away, both the linesman and the referee. The fact that they have help is going to be great.

"There may be a few that go against us, but I always feel like, in the end, there will be a few that we think cross the line over the course of the season, and we'll get that luck too. It'll be exciting.

"If it gets called a goal, I'll still be arguing it anyway, but irregardless of that, that's just me."