Tim Howard: England’s late bloomer Leon Osman is Everton’s rock
Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard hails England's late bloomer Leon Osman as the Toffees' "rock"
Tim Howard has hailed Leon Osman as Everton’s “rock” after the midfielder was named in Roy Hodgson’s England squad to face Sweden on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old has started each of Everton’s opening 11 Premier League games, scoring against Liverpool and Southampton as the Toffees look to cement their place in the top four.
Osman has been an ever-present during the David Moyes era at Goodison Park, scoring 45 goals in 315 appearances for Everton after making his debut in 2004.
“This could be a blanket statement for the whole team but I don’t think I’ve been more excited for a human being than I was for Leon,” Howard told Everton’s website.
“You’re talking about one of the greatest guys to be around, a guy who’s hard working and so deserving of that call-up.
“Fingers crossed he gets an England cap because there have been a heck of a lot less deserving guys down the years to get caps.
“He’s just so fantastic and he’s been a rock for this club. I was delighted for him; so, so happy.”
Hodgson revealed that Osman’s form for Everton this term convinced the England boss to give the midfielder a chance to impress on the international scene.
“Leon Osman is a bit different because he has been performing regularly and performing well for Everton but has been passed over, so I thought it was about time I didn’t pass him over and gave him a chance,” said Hodgson.
“Because for many a year now, since going back five years ago to Fulham, he has been one of those Everton players who has been one of the unsung heroes at a very good football club and a very good football team. It’s nice to have him in the squad.”