Howson confident ahead of Cardiff

Despite his position as vice-captain, 22-year-old Jonny Howson is hardly a figure you’d expect to be rallying the troops and calling for some perspective from fans ahead of big games. However, with fluctuating results so far this season, the players and management have come in for some rather heavy criticism which has provoked a matured response from Leeds’ longest serving player.

Following on from Simon Grayson’s press-conference earlier this week, where he basically asked fans to get some perspective, Jonny Howson was showing a united front, telling the Yorkshire Evening Post that;

“This is no disrespect to anyone but it doesn’t matter too much what the fans or the press have to say. It matters to me what the other players and the coaching staff say. The manager and his coaches pick the team, they make the decisions, and as players you’re more interested in what they’re thinking.”

Howson goes on to add that whilst he believes paying fans are more than entitled to voice their opinions after abject performances on a cold, rain-swept Tuesday night, there will always be fans unhappy with the performance no matter how well Leeds United play and regardless of the scoreline.

Jonny also talks about the expectation levels which come with playing for a club as big as Leeds United;

“If you look at us as a team who’ve just got promoted, rather than as Leeds United with all the expectation, we were 10th in the league, three points off the play-offs, I’d say it’s not going badly at all.”

Jonny is quick to add, that whilst he believes mid-table to be a respectable finish to the season the club are still pushing to exceed that outcome.

Finally, the vice-skipper turns his attention to tonight’s game, where the big-names of Cardiff City will meet Leeds United at Elland Road. Jonny admits that Cardiff City have the bigger names, but doesn’t believe these players are any more able than their Leeds United counterparts.

I have to admit, he lost me a little with the final part – is Becchio really as good as Bellamy? Johnson as good as Koumas? – but footballers need confidence ahead of big games and Jonny clearly isn’t lacking in it. Let’s just wait and see if he can prove that theory tonight.

38 Responses

  1. Clarkeonenil

    I’m sorry but all player PR pap os dull. By its nature it never addresses the real issue which is this case are thus: why is one of the biggest sqauds, with players on some of the best money in the division, producing such inconsistant crap. The rest is just frabricated cyber fish and chip wraping.

    Oh and the answer to the question is partly Bates, partly Garyson, partly the players and a little bit us…and because it is in that order, Howson, Grayson, Bates et all should shut the frig up and cut this defensive garbage out!

    • TSS

      I’d hardly say we have one of the biggest squads. In League One we did, but I’d be surprised if we were any more than average in the Championship. Same goes for players wages – there’s no way our wage bill is higher than Portsmouth, Cardiff, QPR, Burnley, Derby and Watford (alongside others I doubt).

      Furthermore, it’s hard for you to argue with what Jonny said, because it’s basically echoing your own sentiments pre-season (mid-table finish, supporters getting carried away etc..)

      For a season where we were supposed to be relaxed with nothing no lose and no expectations, they’ve soon come around.

  2. Dje

    All very noble.

    But, once more, the concern is over form, ease at capitulation (especially at home), unbalanced player recruitment, and questionable tactical formations. The current league position betrays these bigger concerns.

    I missed it first time around, but in his moan Grayson dismissed any such criticism as of now … “If we were bottom of the division and miles adrift, people could complain.” I think he’d find that if that was the case, he’d be out of a job.

  3. Matt BB

    the elephant in the room being, why would a club with our resources, support and the cash we have raised in recent years enter the championship with largely the same players we had in league one, and therefore not be competing.

  4. Mark R

    For a young man Howson’s words were, I’m sure, well intentioned.

    True, he has to positively influence the manager with his performances – which have been hot and cold so far this season. Plenty of time to turn things around though.

    I personally believe it does matter what the fans say of any professional club, as ultimately improving or declining attendances can affect a professional club’s fortunes.

    Anyway I’m sure Howson’s determined to make up for his inconsistency and put the record straight this evening if selected.

    Let’s hope we can keep a clean sheet.


  5. Dje


    There are no doubt other possible answers, but, in no particular order:

    ~ There is no money / resources.

    ~ There is money but Grayson is waiting to use it in the New Year

    ~ Grayson is sweetly loyal to his players from last year and has – very generously! – given them half the season to prove they can make the step up.

    ~ There were no feasible transfer targets.

    ~ Grayson is unable to evaluate what makes a player good in the Championship compared to League One.

    ~ The squad, manager, coaching staff, chairman, and humanity is utterly ideal and will burst forth into dynamism as of 7.45 tonight and probably wont drop a point or concede until the end of the season (when we finally will, but only for fun).

    • Matt BB

      @djedjedje Or a combination of all of them. Reviewing where portsmouth are now, can we imagine what Bates would be like if he ended up getting removed? he’d no doubt be turning up every few weeks threatening to take the club under..

      I think its investment that holds us back in short. And i know people label me as plain anti-bates, but this has got to be the nub hasnt it?

      The one area i blame grayson is in relation to our imbalanced squad, a la the o’leary squad inherited by venables, having one left back and 6 strikers, our team has bucketloads of attacking mids and strikers and not enough depth in defence. Thats the managers choice.

  6. Phil

    I dont know what your views are its not the getting beat that worries me its the manner of that worries me, most of the games we have won aint been from vintage performances they have been in the most against very poor opposition ok Millwall excepted but its been like this since xmas last year bar one or two !!!

  7. Adam

    To say Grayson doesn’t know a good player in this division is an absolute joke. Grayson has performed exeptionally during the close season to get us a good squad. He has signed a quality keeper who im sure will be with us for many year in Kasper Schmeical. The two full backs he chose to sign in Connoly and Bessons both have good championship experience as does Collins and Bruce and while these players havent performed to their abilty especially bessons on paper they looked like very reasonable signings and who could we get better on a shoe string budget? Simon noticed that we lacked pace and signed sppedy players in Sam and Watt. And I’m, sure McCormack will come good in recent weeks. So to say he has doesnt know what makes a good player is a joke. In january hopefully he’ll sign a pacy centre half which im sure he will look to do. In conclusion we have to have perspective, we have just been promoted and with the team we have now we would get embarresed in the prem so a season of consildation is a succesful season.

    • Dje


      Obviously you missed the ‘possible’ part of my theoretical ‘possible answers’. Feel free to add others.

  8. kev cressey

    totally agree with phil,it’s not the getting beat it’s how it’s happenening,as fans we all new we weren’t going to win every game and play teams off the park at the start of this season,if grayson or howson doesn’t like abit of critism they should go to yeovil or exeter for a quite life, 70 quid it cost me last tuesday to take me and my sons and another 70 tonight,i’m only asking to watch my home town club play some decent footy !!

  9. Mark R

    There was an interesting post by Cookie on the previous post ‘Is faith in Grayson Dwindling’.

    He states that since the ManU FAC match our stats are :
    L11 W9 D7 Last season
    L6 W5 D2 This season

    Total: L17 W14 D9.

    (I’d be interested to see Millwalls stats over the same period as I’d believe we have more resource than them ).

    Indicatations are that the squad as was evident was struggling in League 1 from January, and the basic core inconsistencies have continued as the key personel have remained the same, and of the ones recruited or given a chance this season, only Kasper & Somma so far have significantly improved the squad.

    Bates : Didn’t / couldn’t attract investment / didn’t invest.

    Players : Some good, some ok, some not up to it.

    SG : Recruited according to budget(?), potentially remained over loyal to some players.
    Defence & Midfield > ?? big question marks about the inability to recruit for these areas of the team.

    Tactically we’ve been found wanting in several matches this season, which is puzzling as thought we had a larger ‘improved’ squad.

    If only SG could replicate the same conditions that existed when we beat Man U and performed so well vs. Spurs.

    Come on SG & the lads – roll up yourselves and let’s see some creativity, intensity and commitment on the pitch.


  10. EW

    Young Mr Howson has a lot to learn about his real paymasters if he thinks he can dismiss criticism from fans as “not worth listening to” after last Tuesdays inept display of football lacking any attempt to even match the relegation placed opposition in terms of physical effort. We can take being outplayed and outthought by better teams but not not out fought. Get real Jonny and get your own lacklustre house in order.

  11. chelpa

    Any sentence that begins with “no disrespect” usually has the opposite effect and as proven so in this case, the fact of the matter is the manager has agreed pretty much with the fans in the sense that the performances have been poor and individual performances and mistakes have cost us massively. So why it matters who plays the broken record to you jonny is beyond me, the truth is blaitant to everyone except the players (YOU HAVE NOT BEEN GOOD ENOUGH!) so why piss off the supporters with comments such as that when they are only echoing the managers thoughts, get a grip jonny boy and put your own performances right before you criticise other people (the fans)!!

  12. White to the core

    @ adam. What on earth have you been smoking. Lets hope you have as much belief in Grayson and his defensive “fantastic four” come christmas when we are fighting a relegation battle. Promotion seems to have blinded too many to this years poor form and on the whole (not all) poor signings. We have added more to the list of robbo, lubo etc that no one else will want and straddled us with an ever growing wage bill. It was quality we needed ,not quantity. In grayson we trust. The only thing on this years form i trust is that the man is rightly running out of time. A return to league one is unacceptable.

  13. Tim Campbell

    Back to 4-4-2 tonight please, we have looked most comfortable when playing this formation – the most inept shows have come with 4-5-1, OK we might lose but I think a better performace is due!!

  14. Colin

    @TSS – i agree, wise words from Jonny, though as you say surely Cardiff have better players.

    As for tonight, I hope that Leeds do put a good performance in, because if they play like they did against Leicester and with the game being on Sky, the Leeds team is going to get battered (harshly in my opinion) on this website.

    • Gryff

      @colin with 12 conceded in our last 3 home games and 3 points from the last possible 15 i’m not sure any criticism of the team can be harsh. They’ve simply not played to a Championship standard atm. While our first-half performances might be reasonable, with our overall performance we deserve to go down (as much as I hope that doesn’t happen).

  15. Adam

    When talking about the defensive signings that Grayson has made I was reffering to an earlier post that said Grayson does not know what makes a good player in the championship. I know that our defence is shocking to say the least but Grayson tried to improve it by signing players with previous championship experience is abundance.

  16. les irwin

    kaspers ,back no naylor ,i had actually forgotten about clayton is it time he had a run and maybe nunez

  17. kohsamuiwhites

    I find Jonny Howsons comments disrespectful to Leeds fans who are by and large pretty knowledgeable footballwise and think he should remember who pays his wages when he continues to go missing in games as often as he does.I smell a bit too much complacency about his comments.I think at a lot of other clubs he,d have been dropped after some of his performances and told to buck his ideas up a bit.But of course SG knows best,he made Richard Naylor captain,i,ll leave it at that i think.

  18. les irwin

    lets be right about 1 thing noone who works in football thinks tha the punters know any thing that includes howson ,bates grayson .they think they know best well just because they were lucky enough to be blessed with the ability to play football doesnt mean they are any better equipped to pick a side bates was never a footballer either .neither was howard wilkinson i know i will get some stick for this but i recon with the players we have i could do a as good a job as grayson lets be right plenty of managers get sacked every year who were footballers how hard can it be footballers are full of shit just look at rooney what he said about being booed off they need a reality check and remeber that they are in a position that can go from hero howson should shut up stop moaning and concentrate on being a footballer because at the moment he is very much part off a very por midfield and has been poor all season himself

    • White to the core

      Wilko was a footballer not the best but played for Brighton then non league boston .

  19. les irwin

    lets see what jonny howson has to say now he was captain of a side absolutely thrashed currently 4-0 the league is too big for us with this team bates .grayson ,howson are out of their depth and if this carries on we will go down its time to start the movement to get rid of bates and grayson and howson

  20. Matt BB

    the manner of these defeats are simply too much to stomach. preceded by complacent comments from the squad. we are in deep trouble this season. really deep trouble. we face relegation unless radical action is taken. by that i mean either investment in the playing and or coaching staff.

  21. Colin

    Okay okay, i’m not going to go too crazy about this. There’s plenty of games in this league left and we’re nearer the playoffs than the relegation zone.

    But watching that – it did remind me for the first time in a long while, of those games in the Championship last time round under Blackwell and Wise, when Leeds huffed and puffed but when it came down to it, just didn’t really do it.

    Sad to say it, but it might be better for Leeds that their next 2 games are away from home rather than at fartress Elland Road.

    And I hope that the FA look at the Bothroyd challenge on Becchio. That was a leg-breaker.

  22. les irwin

    grayson says we all have to stick together the players ,the fans ,the whole city in his post match he is out of his depth and we will be in a relegation situation by christmas lets see if bates sticks by him !!!! i suggest not we are new to this league but you have to give yourself a chance bates didn’t do that when he didn’t sign any decent players now bates will say that was down to grayson ,so therefore its his fault grayson will say and has recently he has spent no money (din’t have any to spend) so its bates fault who will win .the lack of being able to attract players .crappy frees and no quality and poor results and howson and co thinking they are better than they are (never heard his name mentioned with a move away ) will mean , relegation the manager being sacked and 3-4 years back in league 1 and maybe administration again because noone will invest ,

    • Colin

      @mattbb @number1inyorkshire

      we’re not going to get relegated. we have got good players, but I think it’s going to take until Christmas to get the team settled and sorted. If we’re in 12/13/14/15/16th at the New Year and Grayson has sorted the team and his tactics, then getting a run together and getting into the playoffs is quite possible.

      • les irwin

        sorry colin but i do feel that you are saying we are not getting relegated because we have players that are too good to get relegated .welll lets see em our man of the match today was nunez .keeper well conceeded 4 .back 4 well conceeded 4 midfield were at best poor where were they ,somma and becchio are out of their depth where are our good players .we have none i watch a lot of the championship and all the teams look better than us .we are already in a relegation battle as we are sliding there every week grayson was in a relegation battle every season with blackpool we are shite get used to it
        we were thrashed today again .we will loose to scunny and coventry then watch we will be bottom 3 thats a point of no return it will be long before christmas

      • Colin

        our good players are Schmeichel, McCartney, Snodgrass and Howson and a few others that we haven’t seen enough of to tell yet – Kisnorbo (we don’t know what he’ll be like when he’s back from injury), Becchio, Somma, Faye, Parker, Nunez, Collins, Connolly, Gradel.

        It isn’t that the players are bad or not good enough, it’s that they’re not playing together well enough for a full 90 minutes and Grayson has to work on that.

        Fact is, apart from the one defensive abomination in the first half, Leeds were the better side. And that’s good news. The bad news is that in the second half, when the second goal went in, Leeds’ heads dropped and that is what SG has to work on.

        I think the players are there already, it’s just a case of SG working out how to make them play. But surely he needs more than 13 games to work that out. It took Alex Ferguson over 4 years (with poor results) to work out how to make Man Utd into a half decent team.

  23. TheReaper08

    Good news everyone, our rock solid defence and golden boy keeper managed to restrict Cardiff to just the 4 goals on our own patch.

    Great result (not), with Jonny Howsons tub thumping and motivational get behind us press release I thought Cardiff might get 7 or 8.

    • Colin


      In all seriousness though, check out the next 4 games:

      Scunthorpe, Coventry, Hull, Bristol City.

      It’s quite conceivable to see us getting 3 points from each game apart from Coventry where a draw would be good. Get 10 points from those 4 games and guess what Leeds are in the playoff spots. And then all of a sudden we’ll all be raving about Leeds again.

      Remember “the only thing predictable about this league is it’s unpredictability”. Why not enter your favourite Grayson cliche here also :)

      • les irwin

        colin i like your ability to try rally the troups you are my man of the match
        of course your playoff places are reliant on all above us loosing
        as for grayson cliche “we are all in this together “try telling howson and himself to stop moaning about us moaning remeber we pay to go to elland road not get paid like them

      • Gryff

        @colin what highlights our trouble is I was thinking exactly the opposite! Of those clubs i’d see Coventry as the weak link, Scunthorpe as winnable, and the others as potentially winnable (though they all have more potential than we do).

  24. TheReaper08

    @colin I was only kidding (I think). Normally an optimist but when you get on a bad run it is difficult to break. Could have lived with the occasional bad result and the Cardiff result on it’s own doesn’t bother me. It’s Cardiff after Leicester after Preston that’s the concern. It now escalates Scunthorpe, Coventry, Hull, Bristol City to must win or at least musn’t lose when Preston, Leicester, Barnsley proves that probably isn’t going to happen.

  25. lar

    what totally amazes me is what eddie gray and simon grayson said in there post match comments…premiership players,internationals..etc…did preston and others have such players.then grayson tops it off by saying we will take 3 points at scunthorpe…what a f****** mess at elland road.leeeeeds.

  26. Will S

    Well, that result was the minimum defeat I expected, and maybe some work colleagues have made a tidy sum on my 4-0 prediction.

    Howson – good talker, shame about the football.

  27. kohsamuiwhites

    We got promoted last year by the skin of our teeth when we should have been relaxing with six or seven games to go.Our form since early January last season has been well documented,and rightly so.The club we support and love is THE LEEDS UNITED!!!!!! steeped in history and tradition.Wearing our shirt should be enough motivation for any player to spit blood for the team,We,re not mediocre nobodies like preston,leicester,cardiff,watford,pretty much all the teams in the Championship.SG loves to preach his”we,re all in this together” rhetoric then his vice captain as subtly as he can basically says i couldn,t give a **** what the fans who pay my wages think.They don,t seem to be on the same page there.Managing Leeds United is one of the biggest football jobs in the world and a lot of very big names in the game have tried and failed,We are making steady progress towards a relegation battle.I,d give SG until the new year transfer window and then the excuses have to stop,personally i think the job is too big for him and he,s out of his depth and has been for some time.I,d like to see a complete overhaul of our midfield,Johnson should have been dropped some time ago and Howson should be used as an impact player with 20-30 minutes to go if needed.Lets give Clayton,Nunez etc a chance,they certainly can,t do any worse.Time will tell.


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