Leighton James has another go at Jonjo Shelvey saying Swansea fans won’t forget what he did
With perfect timing, Jonjo Shelvey has seen his suspension end just in time for him to make his first return to Swansea City since leaving on bad terms 20 months ago.
The midfielder felt he wasn’t getting a fair chance at the time from manager Alan Curtis, whilst Swansea fans were getting on his back.
Shelvey’s final game for the Welsh club ended up being in a 3-2 defeat to League Two Oxford in the FA Cup, with the player being the main focus for the travelling supporters’ anger.
It reached the point where Jonjo Shelvey became involved in a heated confrontation with one particular fan and appeared to ‘invite him outside’ to continue it further.
Former Wales and Swansea (and Sunderland) star Leighton James says that ‘People do no forget things like that’ Oxford game and Shelvey has to expect ‘boos and some hostility’.
Whilst it is the first time Jonjo Shelvey has returned to Swansea, he did face his old team three months after leaving. In the relegation run-in of 2015/16, Rafa brought him off the bench for Cheick Tiote with 25 minutes to go with the score 1-0, Newcastle going on to win 3-0 with Shelvey’s help.
Leighton James slated Shelvey when he went to Newcastle in January 2016, saying it had been a great deal for his old club and still insists ‘Swansea did good business getting £12m for him’.
However, he does admit that Jonjo Shelvey is ‘a talented player’ who can ‘hit brilliant cross-field passes’, although he claims he is equally capable of missing easy 10 yard passes and puts his team in trouble with a lack of defensive discipline.
The big talking point ahead of Sunday for Newcastle fans is whether Rafa Benitez will find a place for Shelvey in his team. It is hard to see him drop Hayden or Merino after the dominant 3-0 victory against West Ham, so the best chance for Shelvey looks to be Rafa shaking things up and playing the England international in a more advanced role in place of the disappointing Ayoze Perez.
If he gets on the pitch, hopefully the Newcastle midfielder will use the atmosphere/stick in a positive way and not do anything along the lines of his embarrassing incident against Spurs on the opening day of the season.
Leighton James talking to Wales Online:
“I think overall you would give Swansea a seven out of 10 this summer (on transfers), but it could be higher if Sanches and Bony, as well as the likes of Sam Clucas, make big impacts and have good seasons.
“It will take a bit of time for everything to fit together but there is a feel-good factor around ahead of the visit of Newcastle and Jonjo Shelvey to the Liberty.
“Jonjo is a talented player but he was often frustrating to watch. He could be inconsistent and his discipline let him down.
“He could hit brilliant cross-field passes, yet miss team-mates less than 10 yards away. Defensively he would race out of position and put the team in trouble.
“That discipline is a key thing for a player and his sending off on the opening day of the season for stamping on Dele Alli showed it is an area he still has to work on.
“He had some great moments for Swansea but I would not expect him to have a good reception.
“The final memory Swansea fans will have off his time at the club was the way he played and conducted himself at Oxford in the FA Cup.
“People do not forget things like that and he will have to be ready and able to handle a few boos and some hostility heading his way on Sunday.
“Swansea did good business getting £12million for him, but they will still be hoping he does not come back and haunt them this weekend as former players have a habit of doing.”
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