Howard: Belgians have "all the qualities of being great"

by Kali Korbis on Jun.29.2014
  1. US goalkeeper Tim Howard is familiar with many of the Belgian World Cup players, playing with and against them in the English Premier League.

    The USMNT World Cup veteran, who plays for Everton in the Premiership, discussed many of the Belgians also playing in England with the media, noting that Belgium's lineup is so deep that many talented players can't even make the starting lineup.

    On the team as a whole, Howard noted:

  2. "They’re known around Europe as one of the up and coming really hungry and talented teams. All of their players are playing in top clubs. Certain guys who are playing in the top clubs can’t even get in the starting line up, because there’s other guys keeping them out. Just a young, hungry, really fit, strong team. They’ve got all the qualities of being great. Hopefully, they won’t take flight yet."

    -tim howard-

  3. While the Belgians have yet to hit full stride in the the tournament so far, the level of individual talent that they have is remarkable.  However, some of that talent may not be on display against the US on Tuesday, as several players, including Vincent Kompany, are dealing with injuries and may not be available.

    When asked how he thought the US should approach the Belgium match, Howard said simply:

  4. "Stick to our game plan. We’ve been doing well I think defensively. We’ve been trying to contain teams. Obviously, I think our football going forward has been very good. We need to find a way to bottle up their key players, but they have so many of them. It will be difficult."

    -tim howard-

  5. On those individual players, Howard made the following comments:

    Manchester City's Vincent Kompany:

  6. "He’s known as one of the better captains and leaders and he seems to will that team on at times and he’s well-respected in that regard. He’s one of the best in the league for a reason. He’s what you want from a captain: he’s always out there, he’s always leading the troops. Sometimes he has to lead by example and, as a defender, that’s hard, but he finds a way to do it. Hard tackling, stepping in and winning goals, driving the team forward. He’s fantastic."

    -tim howard-

  7. Marouane Fellaini, who transferred from Everton to Manchester United last year:

  8. "He had a couple of injuries and any time you change clubs, it’s always hard and I think a lot of players go through that their first season. It takes time to settle in. So, no, I’m not surprised. He’s a quality player though, and I think it will be fine."

    -tim howard-

  9. Chelsea's Romelu Lukaku, who was on loan with Everton:

  10. "He was fantastic. He was strong. He was powerful. He led the line well. You know, for us, we really liked having Rom around because he came from a big, big club with a lot of expectation. The second he came into the dressing room, he was willing to bleed for the shirt and the guys respected him for that. He’s a young kid and he’s always wanting to learn and get better and that was a big plus for us. Sometimes, when you get a guy on loan from a bigger club, that doesn’t always happen."

    -tim howard-

  11. Chelsea's Eden Hazard:

  12. "He’s one of probably 100 players who have scored against me. Welcome to the club. I didn’t speak about him, but I was only speaking about the Everton players that I know. Harzard, I think he’s probably one of the best players in the Premier League. He’s shifty. He’s crafty. He’s everything you want in a winner."

    -tim howard-

  13. Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois:

  14. "Arguably he’s making a case for being the top three goalkeepers in the world and he’s so young. I enjoy watching him play. I think he’s been exciting. I love watching good, top goalkeepers...He’s tall, he’s long, he’s a good shot stopper, which every goalkeeper has to be. Mentally he seems very, very strong for a young kid, which is tough."

    -tim howard-

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