United States international goalkeeper Tim Howard is well informed of the current situation at Old Trafford. The current Everton number was signed by under-fire boss David Moyes in the summer of 2007 following a four-year spell at Manchester United.
Howard previously joined United in 2003 for a $4m fee to replace former French international goalkeeper Fabian Barthez. The American settled quickly, helping the club win the Community Shield and the FA Cup in his first year in England.
However, a howler in the Champions League tie with Porto allowed Jose Mourinho’s former side to progress to the next phase, and Howard struggled to regain confidence thereafter.
The signing of Edwin Van Der Saar from Fulham in the summer of 2005 was the beginning of the end for Howard’s United career. He was loaned out to Everton the following season, before joining the Toffees on a permanent deal for a reported fee of £3m in 2007.
Under David Moyes at Everton, Tim Howard became one of the most reliable goalkeepers in the Premier League. In 2009, the 34-year-old stopper gained revenge over the Red Devils as he saved two penalties during the FA Cup Semi-Final shootout – knocking Man Utd out of the competition.
To say Howard’s former manager Moyes has struggled this season would be nothing short of an understatement. Man Utd have been knocked out of both domestic cups, and currently lie 7th in the Premier League, six points adrift of Liverpool in 4th and a massive 14 points behind leader Arsenal.
Yet, speaking with teamtalk, Howard is adamant the fault lies with the players rather than his ex-boss, adding:
"I think this season was always going to be one where everyone had an eye on them," Howard said. "Sir Alex Ferguson steps down so there was always going to be a lot of scrutiny on Manchester United.
"David Moyes has been under a lot of criticism and one thing I'll say is he's never kicked a ball for Manchester United.
"As players you have to stand up and be counted. It's a very easy thing to talk about the manager and unfortunately that's the pressure of being the manager.
"But you know what he's never kicked a ball for Manchester United and those players who are playing won the title last year so they're a damn good team."
image: © NathanF