Jurgen Klinsmann is very high on Tim Howard. Maybe too high.
"He I think was in the top three of the Premier League this year, and I look at him as the top five in the world," Klinsmann said.
Exactly how good Howard is has been an endless debate, as some believe he never got his due and was unfairly blamed for his struggles at Manchester United, while others saw a great shot stopper who was deficient in a lot of areas. Some argued he was a top five goalkeeper, while others said he wasn't even in the top 20.
After a terrible 2012-13 season, which led to Roberto Martinez bringing in competition for Howard, the American goalkeeper bounced back with a strong season at Goodison Park. The howlers were gone, he was must more assured coming off of his line and he was better with his positioning, making the 35-year-old look like he was 30 again.
But even now that he is back on top, is he really one of the five best goalkeepers in the world? Nope.
Klinsmann was stretching it a bit calling Howard one of the world's five best. After all, there is Manuel Neuer, Petr Cech, Thibault Courtois, Samir Handanovic, Diego Lopez, Iker Casillas, David De Gea, Salvatore Sirigu, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Hugo Lloris and Victor Valdes.
And then there's the Americans' other goalkeeper: Brad Guzan.
Howard would have a tough time cracking the top 10 goalkeepers in the world, but it's not much of a problem for the U.S. Wherever he may rank, and however good some of the other best goalkeepers in the world may be, Howard is still good, experienced and in form. Oh, and he's healthy, something Emile Heskey won't be able to ruin in Brazil.
So no, Howard isn't one of the five best goalkeepers in the world, but he's a good one so Klinsmann has no problem sleeping easy at night.