Jonjo Shelvey thinks Newcastle United ‘are doing alright’ so far this season.
The Newcastle midfielder thinks that one of the positives of coming up to the Premier League is that you get a lot more time on the ball.
However, the downside as he sees it is that top tier teams ‘are a lot more tactically aware’ and especially when it comes to defenders, they take up better positions.
The net result has been fewer goals for Newcastle, although even with four conceded at Old Trafford, Rafa Benitez’ team have still only leaked 14 in 12 Premier League games.
Last season, nobody scored more goals in the Championship than Newcastle’s 85 but with only 11 in 12 this time, Jonjo Shelvey accepts ‘we probably need to score a few more goals’.
He admits it isn’t just down to the strikers either and indeed the midfield have been pretty poor so far in contributing.
Only three goals (Merino, Atsu, Hayden) have come from the midfield area with the same from defenders (Lascelles (2) and Clark), whilst the two forward positions have given the other five (Joselu (2), Gayle, Mitrovic, Perez).
Stats this week actually showed that Newcastle had two midfielders featuring in the top seven Premier League players, in terms of number of shots without scoring.
Matt Ritchie has 23 so far and Jonjo Shelvey 17, last season they contributed 20% of Newcastle’s Championship goals (Ritchie 12, Shelvey 5) between them and would be great if they started converted a few of those shots, starting this weekend.
Both are decent at shooting from distance so it should only be a question of time before they break their ducks, hopefully sometime soon.
As we all wait to see whether Rafa Benitez will be allowed the funds to bring in more goals in January.
“The (opposition) players are a lot more tactically aware in this league and it is a lot harder than the Championship.
“You probably get a lot more time on the ball but then the defenders are in better positions.
“So it is a lot harder to create chances and score chances.
“At the end of the day we are doing alright and we probably just need to score a few more goals.
“It isn’t just down to the attacking players either – you need to chip in with goals from all over the pitch.
“That’s something we’ll keep working on, on the training pitch, and hopefully it will pay off.”