Jonjo Shelvey bossed the Championship for much of last season.

Ian Holloway even called him the best to have ever played in that second tier.

As an established Premier League player and also an England international, on a reported eighty grand a week, many people would say that at the very least, Jonjo Shelvey should have been able to bully (with his football…) your typical Championship opponents.

Stepping back into the Premier League, much was expected of the midfielder, he was even given the Captain’s armband for the opening game against Tottenham. That didn’t end well.

An anonymous first-half performance was then followed shortly after the break with a selfish and deliberate petulant stand (not stamp!) on Dele Alli’s fingers, a red card and any chance of points thrown away.

Rafa Benitez wasn’t impressed, Jonjo Shelvey had to wait seven weeks to get another Premier League start.

Against former club Liverpool he showed a few moments of quality, including the through ball that eventually led to Newcastle’s equaliser, Lovren kicking the ball off the dithering Joselu and it rolling into the corner to Mignolet’s bemusement.

Apart from that through ball that helped earn a point against the scousers, I struggle to think of any/many significant contribution.

Shelvey has only featured in two PL wins when he has started, the fortunate victory over Palace with sub Merino’s late winner, then the New Year’s day win at Stoke, probably Shelvey’s best performance of the season.

In his latest interview, Jonjo Shelvey has now said ‘The penny has sort of dropped with me’ when referring the disciplinary side of things.

Whilst with the football side of things he admits: ‘I’ve just always tried to rely on my ability…but you realise that the way football is going, you have to add other elements to your game to get to where you need to be.’

Realising and actually doing something about it, aren’t necessarily the same thing, and we wait to see if Shelvey isn’t just talking a good game once again.

Fair to say that in a squad with little real quality, most fans expected him to be an automatic choice this season for Rafa.

However, with only 12 games left, Jonjo Shelvey has zero goals or assists (full breakdown below) in the Premier League but two red cards, the other one also a stupid selfish one, against Everton.

Up against nine of the top 11 in these remaining 12 games, Newcastle need better from the squad (only two point from 39 in the previous 13 matches against clubs in the current top 11) and certainly better from Shelvey.

Can he deliver on the pitch as well as in an interview?

Jonjo Shelvey speaking to the official Newcastle programme (v Man Utd):

“The penny has sort of dropped now with me.

“I know what’s right and wrong, on and off the pitch, and I know what you can and can’t do.

“I’m just trying to stick by that every day.

“It has probably taken a lot longer than what it should do to sink in but I feel like I’m at that stage now.

“I’ve just always tried to rely on my ability.

“I’ve always been able to technically play football and understand the game, and I probably thought that would always see me through.

“But you realise that the way football is going, you have to add other elements to your game to get to where you need to be.”

Newcastle players with Premier League goals and assists 2017/18:

5 Joselu (4 goals, 1 assist)

5 Matt Ritchie (5 assists)

4 Dwight Gayle (3 goals, 1 assist)

4 Christian Atsu (2 goals, 2 assists)

4 Ayoze Perez (2 goals, 2 assists)

3 Jamaal Lascelles (3 goals)

3 Ciaran Clark (2 goals, 1 assist)

2 Mikel Merino (1 goal, 1 assist)

2 Mohamed Diame (2 goals)

2 Jacob Murphy (1 goal, 1 assist)

1 Isaac Hayden (1 goal)

1 Kenedy (1 assist)

1 Aleksandar Mitrovic (1 goal)

1 Henri Saivet (1 goal)

1 DeAndre Yedlin (1 assist)

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  • Leazes.

    This is what you wrote at the start of the season John….

    Shelvey…..Obviously a/the key player for Newcastle if the Magpies are to thrive this season. He may be the same person but actually he looks to be more mobile and fitter than last season when he had also stepped up, so I think both he and his position in the team has improved’….

    I can see he’s personally let you down as you’ve run two articles condemning him for his record…. and one calling for his place in the national team…. bizarre!

    May I suggest he’s still as good a player but playing deeper in the ultra defensive ‘parked bus’ tactic that has been adopted, with nobody to play to except the ultimate ‘goal provider’ who gets the ‘assist’ mark for his record.

    I don’t think he’s lost anything coming up against better defences in the way of confidence or vision,

    There’s just no pleasing some people who want to use figures to prove something, but singling out Shelvey repeatedly is infantile, he’s one of the last players you should take aim at.

    If this article is just another click-bait’ then stop it, grow up!

    • toonterrier

      Spot on

    • Albert Stubbins

      Great research. Jonjo lacks the most important other ingredient to be a top flight player. Pace. Poor engine and lack of mobility is a fatal flaw in this league of what are basically athletes.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        what Shelvey lacks are players in front of him that are good footballers, it`s no good delivering the pass only for it to come back at you faster than a ping pong ball, give him a couple of decent forwards & the goods will be produced, give him Hoss & Gayle & you`ll have no end product.

        • Albert Stubbins

          I agree to a point but there has to be more to your game than simply looking for that elusive thirty yard killer ball. Good players adapt and jonjo hasn’t.

        • Rich Lawson

          Hopefully Kenedy and Slimani can correct that.

      • HarryHype59

        Lack of stamina and energy is another problem!

      • Wor Lass

        I agree with what you say here but he is still the only player we have who can consistently pass the ball in any direction to one of his team mates.

        • Albert Stubbins

          That’s the reason we’re in the shyte.

          • Wor Lass

            Hmmmm …. Yeah!

  • HarryHype59

    In truth he isn’t an EPL standard player as shown by his stats this season. He lacks the energy levels needed to be an effective midfielder in top English football.

    He should be moved on regardless of which division this club is in next season!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      stats are only relevant if the players around you are good enough,
      the hapless Joselu or indeed Gayle would have problems in a
      Real Madrid team

      • HarryHype59

        To an extent yes, however like Richie and Gayle the stats show he isn’t cutting it in the EPL!

        • Leazes.

          No they don’t…. that’s what we’ve been telling you, you have to understand the application of statistics not just collect stuff and say there the ‘stats’ prove it.

          Statistics are widely misused to prove something, but without objectivity can mean very little.

          This is misuse of data to back up a dislike. Personally I don’t care for Shelvey, but as a footballer he ticks a lot of the boxes you might find on the player ratings on a football manager game.

          • HarryHype59

            Actually they do, as the context of those statistics is consistent and valid. Shelvey, Gayle and Ritchie have managed three EPL goals between them in the EPL this season! That is an objective fact free of bias or subjectivity!

            If they had all been injured and hardly played at all, or played out of position e.g. as defenders, then those figures could be explained!

            However, they are playing the same positions and tactics under the same manager as last season. They were successful last season playing in a weaker league! They have struggled to replicate that success in the EPL.

            That is an indisputable fact!

  • Albert Stubbins

    Some of my fellow mags on here rate jonjo very highly. Why I have simply no idea. Give him space and he will look like a good player. Put a man on him and he’s ineffective. Sussed out in the premiership. Guilty of Cameron Jerome syndrome. Too good for championship not good enough for the top flight. Put Gayle and Ritchie in that bracket as well whilst your at it. Talks cheap it takes money to buy beer as my grandad always used to say.

    • Leazes.

      …. or put a better side around him, preferably on that attacks occasionally.

      • HarryHype59

        I would give him a run playing in the no 10 position! He hasn’t the energy levels needed to play CM in top flight English football!

        • Leazes.

          No point hounding people out then is there, especially when the owner has said two days ago that there is going to be no player purchases until the club is sold…. loan deals only!

          So its journeymen and surplus to requirement loans.

          • Mark Potter

            We don’t know he said that. The pics looked like him, but what exactly was said to some random guy in a coffee shop is unreliable, journalists record interviews so they can get quotes right.

            Plus, the guy who told this story could have made the whole thing up, or been duped by some Londoner who happens to look like Ashley.

      • Albert Stubbins

        You could have Ronaldo and Messi in front of him and it wouldn’t make a difference if your being being marked out of the game by better players. Deny jonjo of space and he looks exactly what he is. A good championship player. I get misty eyed over Pedro and Robert Lee but jonjo? Do me a favour.

    • HarryHype59

      Those three are Championship players on Premiership money!

  • robbersdog

    What’s Shelvey’s best position? Deep-lying/defensive midfield, centre midfield or No.10?

  • Arty Hume

    I think we should cut Shelvey some slack, when he was signed he was rated the best buy in the window and too good to be in the championship. IMHO he must be frustrated by the lack of quality he has to work with and this dictates his play and demeanour. Spraying balls to journeymen all shift and seldom seeing a positive result must be soul destroying…..just sayin….

    • HarryHype59

      Too an extent I agree. However, he wasn’t exactly pulling up any trees at Swansea! I would like to see him play in the problem no ten position.

  • Dillon Tovak

    Assist against Liverpool.

    • Mark Potter

      Nope. He played the through ball, but the assist for Joselu to score came from the Liverpool defender who kicked it against Joselu’s shin. Here’s what the article says:

      “Against former club Liverpool he showed a few moments of quality, including the through ball that eventually led to Newcastle’s equaliser, Lovren kicking the ball off the dithering Joselu”.

      • Dillon Tovak

        Technically I guess but common sense says he deserves that assist.

  • Simon Ritter

    Some players never train on (to use a horseracing term). He was highly rated at Charlton as a teenager, after spells at Arsenal and Whammers. Liverpool and Swansea were apparently happy to sell him. That presumably means people at four Premier League teams decided he was not good enough. To be a game changer in the top flight is a tough challenge. I hope he rises to it, for his sake and ours.

    • paul mclaughlan

      He’s good enough. After all he’s been capped. The problem is in his head. He needs to grit his teeth and put performances in for the whole 90 mins instead of sporadically.

  • Paul Patterson

    Good Championship player, average Premier league player.
    But now is not the time to criticise..