Paul Merson thinks Jonjo Shelvey has been harshly treated.

The former Arsenal and England player saying that the Newcastle midfielder deserved to be in the England squad because ‘No-one else passes the ball like him.’

Backing up that opinion, Paul Merson makes a big claim…’Jonjo Shelvey has the best range (of passing) in the league in my opinion.’

Clearly, Merson believes that Shelvey has been ignored by Gareth Southgate for only one reason, a perceived lack of discipline – ‘I know people say Jonjo Shelvey is a loose cannon…’

England beat a very poor Holland on Friday night with a single goal by Lingard.

However, they take on Italy on Tuesday night at Wembley and Paul Merson thinks this would have been ideal for the Newcastle man, a real make or break moment for Shelvey.

Merson says the Italians are ‘the biggest wind-up merchants in football, and if he loses his head, see you later.’

Certainly his recent Newcastle form has been excellent and in terms of discipline, Jonjo Shelvey hasn’t picked up a single card since mid-December.

As Paul Merson also says though, Shelvey has no chance now of being on the plane to Russia and the only thing Newcastle fans are concerned about is that he continues his recent club form.

A continuation of that and no more moments of gross stupidity, then even Gareth Southgate (if he still has the job…) wouldn’t be able to ignore the Newcastle player’s claims ahead of the likes of superstars such as Jake Livermore…

Paul Merson talking to The Star:

“I would like to have seen Jonjo Shelvey and Glenn Murray in the England squad for both of these internationals.

“Neither of them has any chance of going to the World Cup now but I think they both deserved a chance to stake a claim.

 “Shelvey deserves a chance…No-one else passes the ball like him.

“Jonjo Shelvey has the best range in the league in my opinion.

Even Jack Wilshere doesn’t have his passing range.

“ I know people say Jonjo Shelvey is a loose cannon but put him in the squad and let him play against the Italians, the biggest wind-up merchants in football, and if he loses his head, see you later.

“I think it’s a shame he’s not being given the chance to prove he can handle it.”



  • TheNutJob

    I agree 100% with Merse, the last England player that could pass a ball over any range & nail it was Stevie G. Jonjo isn`t in his class but he`s still good enough for England.

    • Wor Lass

      Did you watch last night`s game, Nutty? The passing by England was actually very good. However, I did say to my missus that we`d never get very far if our main man in midfield is jordan Henderson and she said, “Is he the on that keeps passing it backwards?”. She`s a natural!

      • TheNutJob

        I watched it with M, the language in the 1st half was terrible
        😂😂

        • Wor Lass

          Not enough red leicester?

  • ghostrider

    Let’s be totally honest. It’s a hard enough task for any Newcastle player to get into an England side, past and especially present.
    The England managerial choice is catered for by people other than the one supposedly in charge. Southgate like most before him, is a puppet.

    The choices are basically made for him.
    There’s a reason why Allardyce and Clough or Venables, etc didn’t get much of a chance with the England managers job. Reason: because they wanted control. They wanted to hone a team how they wanted and take charge how they wanted.
    Not so says the powers that be. (my hypothetical opinion).

    Shelvey should walk into that England team in all honesty. Imagine Rashford and Sterling playing off him…not to mention Vardy, etc.

    What does surprise me is pundits wanting the inclusion of players like Glen Murray.
    Don;t get me wrong, I like Murray but it doesn’t say a lot about England when players like Murray are being touted at this stage.

    All these friendlies and international breaks to end up with the squad close to the world cup and still not in any position to know what the set up is.
    Any manager that actually was a manager of England would certainly have the set up with, at best a few contingency players in case of injuries.

    It seems every player appears to have a chance if they’re the flavour of the powers at the top.

    Pick your squad and trust them. Any Johnny come lately’s should be injury cover and should have already been a part of the set up for a while.
    Any players mentioned at this stage who haven’t been part of the set up should not be part of the set up, including Shelvey…IF……IF…….remember the ….IF…. the England team was actually managed by a proper in control manager.

    Seeing as it isn’t, then the door is open for any player who is a blue eyed boy to gatecrash the party until the official squad announcement.
    This is why England end up walking away from competitions with a whimper, generally.

  • Mrkgw

    For once, well said Paul Merson. Problem is that the stuffy establishment will never allow change or chance taking. Instead, we get served up the same old, cautious drivel. I no longer watch internationals for that very reason. If only we could re-live Italia 90 for example, headed by the great Sir Bobby Robson!

  • Wor Monga

    When a player is playing (even infrequently) at the highest level of the PL in a team packed with top quality internationals, and against other top teams from Europe…then it stands to reason he’ll end up looking the better choice for an England selector, rather than a more talented one who’s simply doing his best to make a much less costly and lesser talented squad punch above its weight…If the first player also plays for one of the London (Southern) media’s favourite clubs, and the other plays for one that’s situated in the far northern outer limits with a much smaller media market then that makes the selectors job (and any following criticism) so much easier…

    …They both have disciplinary issues but even so…Jonjo would need to be getting rave reports, and scoring goal of the week, on the BBC and Sky week in week out to get selected for England…whereas it’s plain too see Wiltshire just needs to get picked to start a game, for his club…now and again!!!

  • Mxpx

    My views on the England team are that alot of players that are great at club level don’t show up with the same level of game at international level and as such I would pick for England players that play well for England not necessarily players who are playing well for their club andros townsend and Jack Wilshere would be no brainers in England teams for me for this reason shelvey hasn’t played enough for England to really know but I would be giving him the chance but not at Wilsheres expense

  • Dillon Tovak

    Glenn Murray definitely not but I think Southgate could have ran his eye over out two. Why not? Instead he’s got some safe players that can’t break open defences *cough Livermore*

    • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

      Southgate likes neat quick passing, Jonjo is not that guy. I’m not saying he’s right but that’s my take.

      • Dillon Tovak

        Southgate like sideways and backwards passing, maybe Colbacks his man?

        • Dont stop bobbi fleckman

          Ha, I was being kind. If his side go to Russia and play the typical England attempt at playing continental possession without the penetration, he can’t go beyond this tournament.

          If he tries to play a fast passing game with movement, I’ll forgive him passing over JJS & understand why he may not fancy an out and out centre half like Lacelles.

  • Dillon Tovak

    Last night Southgate chose Joe Gomez who’s started 2 games in 2018 over Maguire and Rashford who’s struggled to get regular starts over Vardy, who’s been in red hot form recently.
    Gomez and especially Rashford are very good players but Southgate said he’d pick regular starters and players in form. BS! He’ll pick players that play for the big 6.

  • Mark Davies

    Ive edited this as keeps being boynced by the mag.

    I believe there really is a southern bias going on. For example how much of a deal was made about the ongoing investigation into glenn murray by hmrc? It was hidden away on the bbc site when I stumbled accross it. Thats the same glenn murray whos goals have helped save skys darling brighton and who several pundits say should go to russia.

    Now forgive me but I think that should he have been playing for us and scoring regulalry a bigger deal would have been made of it and he would have had no chance of being mentioned for the world cup carrying that baggage.

    Also when they mention shelvey being a loose cannon, how can they then, when talking about the odious deli alli, “oh thats ok, its part of his game, if you take away his spirit he wouldnt be the same”. 2 faced and the reason why I wont watch club london unless its the actual tournament.

    Its a real shame as I used to enjoy watching England and Italia 90 is still a really fond memory.

    Perhaps no coincidence that the start of my losing any care to watch them started as the premier league and sky started to turn footballers into greedy, self obsessed, awful people who you wouldnt want to watch unless they played for your club.

    Such a shame really, but thats football these days in my mind.

  • thewildchimp

    Well, that was all truth. No English player has his passing ability at this point. At least not as consistently. If German DFB would do as much as 10% of the sh’te the FA does, the fans would rip them penguins a new bottom hole each.

    • Dillon Tovak

      The Germans are great, I went to Berlin on my own once and I couldn’t have been welcomed any better, they’re kind of like Geordies in that way. And yeah, when they do stuff they do it right. The trams were bang on time every time.