I heard a very interesting fact the other day… “70% of the Earth is covered by water, the rest is covered by Jonny Howson”.
It sounds about right in all honesty.
Has Howson ever stopped working hard during his time at Norwich? I don’t think he has. It is safe to say that in Howson’s four and a bit years at the club he has been a standout performer.
He has been one of my favourite players ever since he signed for the club. He came as a very highly rated young midfielder from Leeds United and it is safe to say that he has lived up to the hype during his time in Norfolk.
So far this season, Howson has made the most appearances for Norwich, playing 31 matches in all competitions. I doubt there has been more than 2-3 of those games in which he has been below average. You always know what you’re going to get with Howson. He is reliable, dependable, any other verb you can think of that evokes trust.
His stats this season are not amazing, however. His passing accuracy has been 75%, he has scored three goals, won 41% of his duels. Although he has created 20 chances for his teammates this season, only Robbie Brady, Wes Hoolahan and Nathan Redmond has created more. (Stats from Squawka)
The odd thing with Howson is that no one outside of Norwich seems to rate him. If you ask a fan of another club who Norwich’s top five players are, they probably wouldn’t even mention him, with players like Wes and Redmond stealing the headlines.
If we went down this season, there probably wouldn’t even be that much interest in the midfielder. There wasn’t when we went down almost two years ago and it is quite baffling why people don’t take notice of him. Although saying that, I can see why people may not rate him; it is because they don’t watch him play. If you watched Howson in a one-off match you may not be overly impressed. Yet, if you watched him during a run of games you would easily see why he has such a high standing amongst Norwich fans.
I am still confident that we will stay up. But, if we were to stay up or go down, Howson will be crucial next season. He shone in the Championship last season and was clearly a class above the rest. This season in the Premier League has been hard for a lot of Norwich’s players to impress but Howson has been one of the few who have actually supplied the goods on a regular basis.
He does so much work that goes unnoticed. Players like Alex Tettey and Gary O’Neil get plaudits for being good defensive players because they charge at players and commit fouls, which by the way isn’t actually good defending in case you didn’t know. Instead, Howson defends cleverly and rarely lets a player go past him with ease. His closing down and tackling has been his most underrated feature this season, in my opinion.
A lot of people will disagree with this (mainly non-Norwich fans) but I think Howson should have had at least one England call-up by now. You could argue that England have better midfielders, but surely he has been worth a shot at some point in the last four seasons?
Now 27, Howson doesn’t have that much time to earn some international recognition. However, if Norwich stay up and he continues/improves his current form then I see no reason as to why he can’t amass an England cap or two.
In conclusion, I think that Howson is very underrated by the world outside of Norfolk, but there is no doubting that the Canaries faithful love the Yorkshire man and his talents.