Jonjo Shelvey is a strange one.
Newcastle fans saw him as the man that made the tick last season.
As the summer has progressed his value to the club appeared to increase by the day, as supporters realised that breaking the 12 year old transfer record wasn’t on Mike Ashley’s agenda.
Instead, Newcastle supporters looked at the established quality players within the squad, to be the ones to lead the charge when stepping up to the Premier League.
Fair to say that four players stood out, who had all, to varying degrees, already showed they could do it in the top tier.
Step forward Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, and…Jonjo Shelvey.
(Last season Jonjo Shelvey started 38 games and NUFC won 81 points at 2.13 points per game, in 8 games without him it was 1.62 points per match.)
An anonymous 48 minutes for the midfielder with Newcastle simply trying to contain Tottenham on the opening day, his day cut short with a stupid step (not stamp!) on Dele Alli. A red card and three match ban following.
Mikel Merino came on for the last 14 minutes against Spurs and showed a few nice touches, at Huddersfield he started the game and did pretty well compared to most teammates, though badly at fault for their winner.
Then on Saturday in the win over West Ham, Merino was very good and one of Newcastle’s best players, as a very poor Hammers side was dispatched with eventual ease.
Last night and today, I have seen countless comments along the lines of ‘Jonjo who?’, as in after Mikel Merino’s display against West Ham, why would we need Jonjo Shelvey?
I find it laughable how reactive so many Newcastle fans are to the latest result/performance – good or bad.
The 3-0 win was very welcome and gave us all heart – but surely nobody is now convinced that it is going to be anything other than a very tough season?
Newcastle will need all of their better quality players and Shelvey most definitely falls into that grouping. Some idiots talking about how selling the former Liverpool player would be a great move.
Looking ahead to Swansea and the following games, I am excited about the possibility of incorporating both Mikel Merino AND Jonjo Shelvey into the team.
In the past, Newcastle fans have often talked of how influential Shelvey could be if he was played further up the pitch, if NUFC had the right team around him.
In my opinion this could be perfect, Hayden and Merino sitting deeper and the Spaniard in particular able to play clever balls through the midfield to a Jonjo Shelvey in a free role behind the main striker. Able to link up the play and get in and around the opposition box to create chances and get shots away.
Nobody in their right mind would want Perez or Diame in the team ahead of Jonjo Shelvey and there is no reason why they should be, just because Merino deserves a place in the team as well.
Opportunities may just be opening up in this current Newcastle team/squad and just maybe a couple more new signings to go along alongside the likes of Merino & Shelvey, could see a major step up in the quality of the first eleven.
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