Savvy looks at the recent Jonny Howson interview in which the midfielder expressed his disappointment at having to make do with a bit-part role…
Jonny Howson has spoken of his disappointment at being on the sidelines for the majority of this season, suggesting that he has been cutting a frustrated figure until recently when he has replaced Alex Tettey in the side.
“Whatever I did before is in the past, it`s happened. Maybe it does take a little bit of getting used to because it`s something you don`t want to get used to,” he said. “But it is difficult when you have players used to playing regularly. It`s a challenge and something I don`t want to shy away from.
“When I came here it was a case of coming to the Premier League for the competition and a better level of football and I`ve got that. Now I have a run of games I hope I can do well enough to keep my place in the side.
“You can never switch off as a player and I think a lot of football is judged on your mentality. Confidence comes into it as well, so you can look at it two ways. If every day you give it everything you`ve got and you do your best then you know you can have no complaints.”
“I think when I came in last season, I was still finding it a tough test,” he said. “For me personally, I would like to have played a few more games but it`s not about individuals. It`s about the team and I think the position we`re in at the moment is a good position. Our aim as a team is to stay in the division and at the moment we`re doing that.
“The lads who have been playing have been doing exceptionally well, so I can`t have too many complaints. If it was up to me I`d be playing every single week, but it`s part of football and sometimes as much as you may not like it, you learn from not playing.
“You get to look on from the sides and I think it makes you stronger as a player, because maybe when you do get that next chance you know you have to take it because you`ll be back on the sides.
“I`m no different to any player. I`m sure if you asked any professional footballer, no one wants to be sitting on the side on a Saturday afternoon.”
“It doesn`t change your ability as a player, it just changes your mentality more than anything else,” he said.
“Not that you switch off as such, but you learn from your experiences. You ask anybody when they`ve had a run out of the side, for some reason you get a little hungrier and it`s no different in that respect. No professional footballer wants to have a regular place on the bench.
“The fact of the matter is someone has to be there. When you`re out, it`s your job to push the ones that are playing, to keep them on their toes. You know when you are in the side you`ve got someone on your shoulder, pushing you to get back in. You want competition for places because it keeps everyone on your toes. No one can switch off in the squad because when you have quality players around you know it`s going to be harder to get your place back if you do lose it.”
Howson doesn`t sound a particularly happy man by all accounts, but being honest he has not exactly made himself indispensable over the last few games. However, it`s obvious for anyone who watched him at Leeds that Howson`s strengths are as an attacking midfielder, and he hasn`t looked comfortable since Chris Hughton`s more rigid system replaced the gung-ho one favoured by the previous manager.