Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard renews his vows with the club
Everton attempted to put behind them the bitter disappointment of a defeat which has handed Arsenal an advantage in the chase for the fourth Champions League position, by announcing a two-year contract extension for goalkeeper Tim Howard.
The 35-year-old's performances in a campaign which has seen Everton register a record Premier League points haul have erased the impression he might be quickly eclipsed by Joel Robles, who manager Roberto Martinez brought across from Wigan Athletic, where the Spaniard was on loan last summer.
The American's new deal extends his Everton career by up to four years and means he could become only the fourth player in the club's history to make 500 first team outings. His appearance in the 3-2 defeat by Crystal Palace – which left Everton a point behind Arsenal – was his 343rd.
Martinez said Howard had been the best goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. "It is fantastic news," the Spaniard said. "To have Tim performing as he has been this season, I cannot see past him to choose the best keeper in the league.
"I am extremely proud of Tim's achievements for the club. On top of his goalkeeping, it's his personality in the dressing room. He is a strong leader."
Martinez said he expected Howard to play beyond the age of 40. "Being a goalkeeper is not like being an outfield player," he said. "Tim is very fit. I know he will play on beyond 40. He is at the peak of his powers."
Latest in Sport
Andy Murray tells how coach Amélie Mauresmo revealed her pregnancy
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: The biggest fight of all time, or maybe just the most lucrative?
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao start?
Everton 3 Manchester United 0 player ratings: Who scored lower - Marouane Fellaini or Radamel Falcao?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does it start and where can I watch it?
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove