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Opinion

The reality and not the hysteria with Jonjo Shelvey

1 year ago
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Much has been said about Jonjo Shelvey in the last few days.

After arguably his best ever game for Newcastle in the 1-0 defeat of Manchester United he had followed it up with a bit of a mixed bag on Saturday.

Like most of the team he was decent in the first 60 or 70 minutes and he also helped create the opening goal.

However, the last 20 or 30 minutes Jonjo Shelvey faded and after missing a sitter to make it 3-0, he was guilty of not following runners as Bournemouth scored each of their two goals to grab what had looked for most of the game, an unlikely point.

Tuesday has seen the club report that Shelvey actually injured his knee during Saturday’s game when colliding with Martin Dubravka, then The Mail followed that up with claims that the midfielder had already been having injections in his groin to enable him to play recently.

As is the case these days, especially on social media, many Newcastle fans (and others) have very strong opinions on…pretty much everything.

So the Jonjo Shelvey display against Man Utd had some fans going way over the top, then the hot and cold performance at Bournemouth had supporters getting agitated one way or the other – occasionally both at the same time.

Now that the midfielder looks almost certain to be missing for a little while, or longer, certain Newcastle fans are wanting to see this as some serious setback to the hopes of staying up.

It is common sense that ideally Rafa Benitez would have everybody fit at this point, as Newcastle battle relegation, but are some people getting a little bit over-dramatic about Jonjo Shelvey?

Over the course of the last three months, Shelvey has started eight Premier League matches.

Newcastle have won two of them, the 1-0 win over Man Utd and the 1-0 victory at Stoke. The first eight games the former Liverpool midfielder started this season, Newcastle only won one – when Merino came off the bench to score a late winner v Palace.

Each game, The Mag asks fans to use our interactive player ratings to rate each Newcastle player out of 10.

Here are those last eight Jonjo Shelvey starts in the past three months, his mark out of 10, and then in brackets how high his mark was compared to the rest of the starting 11:

5.7 Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2 (8th highest)

9.3 Newcastle 1 Man Utd 0 (2nd highest)

5.4 Crystal Palace 1 Newcastle 1 (6th highest)

5.4 Man City 3 Newcastle 1 (7th highest)

4.9 Newcastle 1 Swansea 1 (9th highest)

7.3 Stoke 0 Newcastle 1 (6th highest)

5.6 Newcastle 0 Man City 1 (8th highest)

3.6 Newcastle 0 Everton 1 (9th highest)

As you can see, only the Man Utd game does he stand out, just pipped by Martin Dubravka to the man of the match tag.

Jonjo Shelvey definitely has some ability and I think the conundrum is that fans like him in the team because he promises the possibility of better – but the reality is that he usually falls well short of that perception.

Will he be missed if out injured?

Well, that will all depend on the results for most. If Newcastle do OK in his absence then little/nothing will be said but if it goes pear-shaped, then just like the Mitrovic debate, some fans will claim Shelvey’s absence a massive blow and a case of ‘if only’…

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