Garth Crooks has chosen his Premier League team of the week and included one Newcastle player despite him exhibiting a ‘real dark side’ according to the BBC pundit.
The player in question is Jonjo Shelvey, who appeared to single-handedly transform the ponderous and snail-like approach play Newcastle fans have become used to this season, into a far more progressive and fluid team, with fast precision forward passes.
Shelvey was also instrumental in the two goals that won the game for Newcastle against West Ham.
Yet despite this, Garth Crooks has chosen to use one other less positive moment as the basis for his write-up.
Crooks described it as showing a ‘real dark side’ to Shelvey when he collided with Enner Valencia. The incident happened right in front of the referee who gave nothing, whilst there was clearly nothing really wrong with the player as when he eventually got to his feet he ran over to remonstrate with Jonjo Shelvey.
It looked nothing more than Shelvey making sure he didn’t get hurt as he realised the two were going to run into each other.
It just seems silly for this to suddenly be made into an issue now he is at Newcastle, when I never heard him described as any kind of real problem player at either Swansea or Liverpool.
In club football and for England, I make it that Shelvey has played 238 matches and only once given an instant red card, which came three and a half years ago in the intense rivalry of a Liverpool v Manchester United match.
Apart from that, Jonjo Shelvey has only had one other sending off and that was for two yellows against Everton last season. That being also the only year when he has had more than five yellows in a league season – not bad going when you are in the midfield battle area, especially when you compare it to Cheick Tiote and Jack Colback’s ridiculous yellow card records.
The Garth Crooks write up on Jonjo Shelvey and his full Premier League team of the week below:
“What a ball from Jonjo Shelvey for Daryl Janmaat to cross for Georginio Wijnaldum to score in Newcastle’s win against West Ham.
“Paired in the centre of midfield, Shelvey and Jack Colback look capable of transforming Newcastle’s season.
“However there was also a real dark side to Shelvey’s performance when he appeared to take West Ham’s Enner Valencia out of the game, which suggests to me that Shelvey is prepared to do whatever it takes in order to win a football match.
“The only problem with tactics like that is they can win or lose you matches.”
David de Gea (Manchester United)
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City)
Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
Mamadou Sakho (Liverpool)
Fabian Delph (Manchester City)
James Ward-Prowse (Southampton)
Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle)
Christian Eriksen (Tottenham)
Kevin Mirallas (Everton)
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)