From Despair To Where? Howie wasn't even the worst keeper at the club at the time he was here. We had Peter van der Kwaak as well. Not to mention others like Gary Phillips, Nick Colgan and Simon Shepherd.
Virginia is definitely deserves to be in that sort of company though. He's been worth a goal start to the opposition in every game he's played. What bemuses me most is that he's genuinely highly rated at Everton, as he was at Arsenal too but he's awful in every way. Poor shot stopper, poor positioning, doesn't command his area and he's got sponge wrists.
Contractual obligations may play a role. But yep, he might be in that conversation.