Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Tim Howard credits penalty save against Aston Villa to his bushy beard

Everton goalkeeper admits facial fur has "given him strength" as he continues excellent form for Roberto Martinez's side
Bearded hero: Tim Howard has received the plaudits following his penalty save against Villa
Bearded hero: Tim Howard has received the plaudits following his penalty save against Villa
Ben Hoskins
Everton and US goalkeeper Tim Howard has paid tribute to his beard following the club's 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday.
The Blues scored two second half goals at Villa Park, with Romelu Lukaku and Leon Osman finding the net but they could have been behind had it not been for Howard's first-half heroics.
The American stopper denied Christian Benteke from the penalty spot with a fine save before keeping out Andy Weimann and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
And Howard told Everton's official website how his facial hair had a part to play in the penalty save, before offering a more serious account.
He joked: "I think I've gained most of my strength from the beard."
"If I'm honest it was lucky. I thought Benteke would go to the right. He is a very powerful boy and for a right-footer, that's his power side.
"I didn't get it quite right as he went high but I got a little bit of luck, reacted and kept it out."
Howard's facial hair has become a social media revelation, after a Twitter handle was created, specifically dedicated to it.
He also pipped Newsnight's Jeremy Paxman to The Telegraph's 'Beard of Autumn' award, however Everton boss Roberto Martinez has commended him for his more familiar attributes.
The former Wigan manager has heaped praise on the 34-year-old for his displays this season, following the arrival of Joel Robles.
But Howard claims his job is made considerably easier by the form of defensive pairing Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin.
He continued: "They are mountains for me and I've had success because of those two guys.
"Nothing goes past them and they orchestrate and conduct things at the back.
"Every week it's a pleasure to play with them."

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