Roberto Martinez backs Tim Howard, but admits he could lose starting spot

Tim Howard USA 2

The Everton keeper has been struggling for form this season.

Everton have been doing a lot of things right this season. Going forward there are not many teams in the league better. Romelu Lukaku is on fire, Gerard Deulofeu has been a revelation and Ross Barkley has matured into a top midfield operator.

However, at the back, things have not going so well for Everton.

The Toffees are leaking goals and one man who has come in for plenty of criticism from the Everton fans and pundits is goalkeeper Tim Howard.

The American has struggled for his best form this season and that has been evident in the amount of goals Everton have conceded this season.

With January coming up it has even seen some pundits suggesting that Howard should be moved aside for a different full-time Everton custodian.

Speaking to his press conference today the Everton boss Roberto Martinez admitted that Howard's place in the first-team was not secure. However he also went on to talk up the importance of the experienced stopper:

"Every player's position is always under scrutiny and not just scrutiny. I think we are where we are for the competition for places we have.

"In the same manner I don't think it is a situation down to one individual. It would be very stupid from us to think the solution is to just blame someone.

"Tim Howard had an incredible moment against Newcastle, he had a great save, in a key moment of the game.

"Clearly defensively we haven't been good enough of late and I don't think it is down to one player.

"But in the same way nobody has guaranteed a starting place just because of your name or your past but at the moment we are not realising that the the experience of someone like Tim Howard is important to help a young team like ours to reach our best level and be as good as we can."

He makes a valid point. With Phil Jagielka out and Leighton Baines only just recuperated from injury trouble the club's back-line was young and inexperienced for much of the season - throwing in a young pretender between the sticks might not be wise at this moment in time.

But if Everton do get an opportunity to sign an experienced world-class stopper in the coming weeks, then Howard's time in the starting XI might, rightly, come to an end.

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