Captain Jonny Howson has been called up to the England Under-21 squad for Tuesday’s friendly against Italy.

After a number of withdrawals, U21 coach, Stuart Pearce, has had to call on replacements and Howson is one of them. He has been in good form this season and it’s a well-deserved call up. Howson is 22 years old but his year of birth – 1988 – qualifies him for this season’s squad.

There is strong competition for places in the U21 squad despite former White Fabian Delph having pulled out. Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba, Chelsea’s Josh McEachran and Arsenal’s Henri Lansbury who has been on loan to Norwich are but a few of the central players Howson will be fighting for a position with.

Jonny obviously has our best wishes for the game. We hope it is a success and he returns to Leeds injury free.

The game is being streamed live on the FA website on Tuesday 8th February – kick off 2pm.

  • Colin

    @timhodge I’ve been the first on this site to say that Howson will play for England one day.

    I think this is brilliant. Is he the finished article? No way. And that’s good. He’s only getting better and better.

    Howson is quality. Leeds MUST keep him. Is he the next Frank Lampard? No. He could be better than Lampard.

    All I can say is GOOD LUCK JONNY, you can do it.

    I rate him, I really do. 22 and captain of Leeds United. He’ll keep it as long as he stays at Leeds.

  • TheReaper08

    If he gets 15 minutes I will be amazed.

    • Colin

      @TheReaper08 this is just the start for Howson. He is good. Yes/No?

  • TheReaper08

    @colin He is good at our level yes. Time will tell if his talent extends further than that.

  • Colin

    @TheReaper08 Could you get off the fence that you are currently sitting on? :) Is he PL quality or not? I think he is.

    Howson is 3rd in the Championship Opta stats as highest performance player. I think he’s great.

    • TheReaper08

      @colin Really you think he is great, I hadn’t noticed ;)

      Detailed response to your question below.

  • Gryff

    I think he’s PL quality too, @colin, but time will indeed tell!

    Hope Jonny gets a go. After all, if he’d jumped ship like certain others he’d probably have had a few U21 caps by now (or poss. playing at Carlisle in Div3!)

  • TSS

    Well, I for one am firmly on the ‘Howson IS Premier League class’ side of @TheReaper08’s legendary fence. In fact, I’m so far beyond Reaps’ fence, I’m almost in the next street.

    It’s a no-brainer for me. 22 and he’s improved year-on-year. Whether he can continue to improve at such a rate and challenge for a spot in England’s first team, we’ll have to wait and see. But the evidence of him being capable of holding his own against Premier League teams was there for all to see in our recent cup encounters.

    Lad from the Young Guns blog messaged me earlier about the team selection saying he was very excited at the thought of a Lansbury-Howson partnership on Tuesday. Seems to be a common theme that those outside Leeds rate Howson more highly than we do which is so often the case with these things – hard to appreciate what’s right there in front of you sometimes.

    Good luck Jonny.

    • TheReaper08

      @TSS I am proud of my fence. Let’s make one thing clear before I bore you all, I like Howson and I hope he continues to develop. I hope he is an excellent Captain for Leeds and perhaps eventually one day England.

      Now the boring small print. I am not going to go overboard now on a player that his played well for a brief career and to Championship level. Nor am I going to suggest he can hold his own at PL level because of a couple of cup games (come on @TSS really ? What’s next Crawley to win the Championship ?)

      In my youth I played football with a player called Marcus Phillips (wiki him he is there). Best football player I ever played with and infinitely better than several players I know that made it at a fairly high pro level. You never know what will happen in football, sometimes good ones never make it despite showing all the promise in the world.

      Like I said, time will tell. Now has anyone got any tweazers for this splinter….

  • DubaiWhite

    To be honest, i still find it hard to believe that the England Management prefer picking the Premiership youngster’s who play reserve and youth team games week in, week out over someone like Jonny Howson who is playing competitive first team football. Albeit in the Championship, but there are full internationals playing in the Championship so the standards not that poor!!

  • tim campbell

    Well done captain howson you deserve it! If I was to describe jonny I’d say in cricketing terms he was an all-rounder. I think there is’nt a position on the field he could’nt play in or at the very least have a very good stab at trying

  • Bill

    Nice one and I think fully deserved, really hope he gets a chance.

  • tim campbell

    Emergency loan window opens tomorrow – expect a midfielder, centre half AND possibly a right back now connolly’s injured and mr versatility andrew hughes has left the club

  • Gryff

    @TSS he’s proved it vs. Man Utd, Tottenham, Arsenal & Liverpool but that’s four-five games which is probably on a par with reserves Prem players. The CCC is invaluable experience for him but can we honestly say Exeter, Scunthorpe & Yeovil for the last few seasons were going to provide Jonny with any applicable experience for international matches?

    That said, I agree with you he’s got massive potential and should have been called up sooner… When you look at Tom Soares (ex-Palace) he was playing brilliantly for Warnock for about 3 years before joining Stoke and completely losing his way, yet the lad has 4 U21 caps. Maybe that just goes to show that if Howson performs at CCC level he’ll find it much easier to break into the squads.

    What kind of future team will England have with Lansbury & Howson in the middle? We’ll be playing the famous Leeds 2-0-8! :)

  • TSS

    @TheReaper08 “Nor am I going to suggest he can hold his own at PL level because of a couple of cup games (come on @TSS really ? What’s next Crawley to win the Championship ?)”

    Of course I’m not basing my entire opinion on a handful of games, but they certainly added weight to the argument.

    I’ve seen enough players come through the Leeds ranks now to go on and play at the highest level, and Howson fits the bill. He just needs to avoid injury and carry on progressing, and there’s no limit to what he can achieve.

  • Colin

    For me, it isn’t necessarily the games against the big clubs that stand out for me as proof of Jonny’s quality and his special ability.

    I’ll give you 2 games:

    Carlisle Utd vs Leeds Utd, Play-off Semi Final 2nd leg, 2008
    – Leeds didn’t have a prayer. Injury time and Leeds were going out on away goals. Howson with the last shot of the game, hits it with his left. A great shot sending Leeds through to the finals. Pretty good eh? But that wasn’t the moment for me. The moment was Howson’s reaction – this was a hair on the back of your head moment. At this point, you saw someone who knew what it meant to be Leeds. He basically lost control of his body, arms flailing around and rotating. If there was a point that you could ever see someone spontaneously combust live on TV, this was almost it. That was emotion. That was special.

    The commentator got it spot on. And remember at this point Leeds are out…”Oh hang on a minute, this is Howson, can he win it?….YES HE CAN!!! LEEDS UNITED ARE ON THEIR WAY TO WEMBLEY”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD25ekEyw5M

    Leeds Utd vs Bristol Rovers, 2010.

    Final game of the season. Leeds 1-0 down. 10 men. Must win to gain promotion. Leeds were all at sea. Current status = No chance.

    54th minute, Grayson brings on Howson.
    59th minute, Howson hits a first touch swerving belter past the keeper. Impressive? Yes. But the reaction is again key. Howson is almost in tears. His reaction pumps up the crowd. That was emotion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bNaAV2EB9o

    They’re the key ones for me. Watch those clips and tell me that Howson doesn’t have something special about him. And in each of those games, there were Leeds players on the pitch shitting their pants. Howson never ever gives up and that sums up Leeds United. Not necessarily the best and not necessarily loved, but always respected, because we never give up. We can’t lose that spirit. And that comes in abundance from Jonny Howson.

  • Colin

    For me, it isn’t necessarily the games against the big clubs that stand out for me as proof of Jonny’s quality and his special ability.

    I’ll give you 2 games:

    Carlisle Utd vs Leeds Utd, Play-off Semi Final 2nd leg, 2008
    Leeds didn’t have a prayer. Injury time and Leeds were going out on away goals. Howson with the last shot of the game, hits it with his left. A great shot sending Leeds through to the finals. Pretty good eh? But that wasn’t the moment for me. The moment was Howson’s reaction – this was a hair on the back of your head moment. At this point, you saw someone who knew what it meant to be Leeds. He basically lost control of his body, arms flailing around and rotating. If there was a point that you could ever see someone spontaneously combust live on TV, this was almost it. That was emotion. That was special.

    The commentator got it spot on. And remember at this point Leeds are out…”Oh hang on a minute, this is Howson, can he win it?….YES HE CAN!!! LEEDS UNITED ARE ON THEIR WAY TO WEMBLEY”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD25ekEyw5M

    Leeds Utd vs Bristol Rovers, 2010.

    Final game of the season. Leeds 1-0 down. 10 men. Must win to gain promotion. Leeds were all at sea. Current status = No chance.

    54th minute, Grayson brings on Howson.
    59th minute, Howson hits a first touch swerving belter past the keeper. Impressive? Yes. But the reaction is again key. Howson is almost in tears. His reaction pumps up the crowd. That was emotion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bNaAV2EB9o

    They’re the key ones for me. Watch those clips and tell me that Howson doesn’t have something special about him. And in each of those games, there were Leeds players on the pitch shitting their pants. Howson never ever gives up and that sums up Leeds United. Not necessarily the best and not necessarily loved, but always respected, because we never give up. We can’t lose that spirit. And that comes in abundance from Jonny Howson.

    • TSS

      I think you may have hit the nail on the head Colin.

      Jonny epitomises what it is to be Leeds. He’s one of us basically.

      Does seem he likes to save his best for the big occasions though, doesn’t it? Attention seeker…

  • TheReaper08

    @colin @TSS Did anyone see the youtube video of Felipe Da Costa before he joined us, awesome, absolutely awesome.

    • TSS

      I’ve seen a few videos of players before they’ve arrived. Easy to edit a couple of minutes into pure class.

      Still, bit different with Howson. I’ve seen him player well over a hundred times.

  • TheReaper08

    @TSS At L1 and Championship level, like I said he might end up being something really special, but he has got a way to go yet.

    You’ve seen Howson play hundred times, well I have seen a hundred Jonny Howsons.

    • TSS

      Yeah, but as I said above, we’ve produced enough players that went on to bigger things to be able to compare I think?

      On that basis, as well as the evidence of the big matches he’s played in already, I honestly think he’s Premier League class (and maybe more?)

      • TheReaper08

        Fair enough but most of those players were produced when we were playing at a higher level. How do you think he compares to say Delph ?

        • TSS

          Quite favourably in terms of passing, work-rate and shooting ability. Hard to compare other attributes due to the different positions they both play.

          Reminds me of – and I hate to say it – Lee Bowyer in many ways. Not quite as rough and ready (yet), but always an influential figure who seems to be able to step it up a gear whenever you need him to.

  • Colin

    @TheReaper08 I think you’re being very harsh. You were drooling over Mancunian Andy Hughes when he left for Scunthorpe. You were rating him (rightly) because of his determination and effort and love for Leeds United.

    Howson has more passion and love for Leeds and determination than Hughes ever did. You stuck up for Andy Hughes and I haven’t got a problem with that. No problem whatsoever.

    But don’t go all googly eyes over Hughes and tell us what a great person he is and then have a go at Howson as if he’s some sort of mediocre player.

    Hughes was a journeyman who had spirit and he worked hard for Leeds. But his quality compared to Howson. His determination compared to Howson, isn’t in the same league.

    If you’ve seen a hundred Howson’s, (you haven’t) then I’ve seen a million Andy Hughes’.

  • The Reaper 08

    @Colin Andy Hughes was very limited, he knew it so he tried hard, played where he could and got on with it. It’s his attitude that I and many others admired, not his footballing talent. I don’t think you would ever of heard me say he was the best footballer.

    I never said Howson was mediocre, tell me where it states that ? Either you are deliberately spoiling for a verbal fight or you are mistaking me for someone else.

    The fact is right now Howson is a good Chapionship player, nothing more. He might go on to be a good/great Premier League player but let’s not salivate over things that haven’t happened yet and stick to the known facts.

    Have I seen a hundred promising young midfielders, you bet I have.

  • Colin

    @thereaper08 you’re a party pooper

  • The Reaper 08

    @Colin Do you think I am a party pooper ? You know what I am not even sure how we came to even disagree on this.

    Like I said I never said Howson was no good. I want him to be top class, the very best and I want him to stay with Leeds and drive us right to the top.

    But he plays at a certain level now and until we get to the top flight it will never be truly known if he can cut it, and I mean week on week.

    That’s all mate, that’s all….

    • TSS

      Howson Hater!

  • The Reaper 08

    @TSS And you can cut it out as well. I have enough people rounding on me these days without you joining in :)

    I am just misunderstood.

  • Colin

    he he he :)

    We’re not disagreeing, just slightly different opinions, which is good.

    It’s only banter!