Jonjo Shelvey certainly wasn’t at the back of the queue when it comes to believing in yourself.
Which is obviously no bad thing when you are talking about the player Newcastle are most reliant on to provide creativity.
It also transcends to the national stage as well, with Jonjo Shelvey believing he should get the chance to show what he can do for England, and potentially be on the plane to Russia.
In his latest interview Shelvey confidently declares ‘Everyone knows I can pass the ball and that I’ve got a good footballing ability’.
It must be strange, and frustrating, when you know you can do something [passing a football] better than anybody else in the country, yet you aren’t even considered for the squad.
The Newcastle midfielder says he hasn’t given up and would be happy to lose the money he has already paid out on summer holidays, if he got the call from Gareth Southgate.
I wonder if Southgate will be at St James Park tomorrow…if not, he will at least watch on TV.
If Shelvey repeats his dominant displays of recent times against an Arsenal side that could include England rival Jack Wilshere, it will only heap further embarrassment on the England Manager if he refuses to acknowledge what the former Liverpool player can offer.
Jonjo Shelvey believes he has dealt with the discipline side of things and points to the fact he has had relatively few cards this season, indeed non in the Premier League since 13 December 2017 when two yellows added up to a red against Everton.
He does kind of bend the truth when claiming that red card came about because ‘I had to make the foul to stop the geezer from going through and scoring’.
As I remember it, yes Everton were breaking but it was in their [Everton’s] half over towards the East Stand and not somebody going through on goal. The really stupid non-negotiable part was that this was the 94th minute and the game was already gone, the referee only seconds away from blowing his whistle.
No further cards in the Premier League for 123 days is proof that Jonjo Shelvey has his priorities right now and is Southgate is really ignoring him because of disciplinary reasons then it is quite ridiculous. Then again, what other reasons can it be?
No doubt, like most previous England bosses, Southgate will be taking midfielders who he has no intention of playing, simply as cover. You can understand that, not every player you take is there to start every game.
However, it is mental that is you have a player with Shelvey’s passing ability, that you don’t use up one of those spaces to have him on the bench at least, able to come on and potentially play the killer ball, rather than having even more midfielders who will get off the bench and do the same backwards and sideways passing of those they replace.
Jonjo Shelvey talking to Sky Sports:
“I would love to go to the World Cup.
“It would be such an amazing achievement and every kid’s dream is to go to the World Cup and play for your country.
“But there’s only so much I can do in terms of on the pitch and off it to get into that squad, and then it’s down to the manager to select you.
“You can say anything about disciplinary issues but I had two red cards this season, the first one [a stamp on Dele Alli] was very stupid and I feel like I’ve learned from it, but the second one I had to make the foul to stop the geezer from going through and scoring.
“That’s just part-and-parcel of what happens in football. Look at the yellow card situation and I’m probably one of the lower ones in the Premier League.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a discipline thing, I think it’s from the past and obviously that’s the reputation I’ve got, but I think I’ve done a lot to iron that out.
“I speak for probably every English player out there that you want to go. You can have six weeks off, lying in the sun, but you don’t want that.
“It’s nice that a lot of the pundits are coming out and saying I deserve a chance to be selected. I think that’s down to what I’ve been doing on the pitch. Everyone knows I can pass the ball and that I’ve got a good footballing ability.
“You want to go to the World Cup, to keep playing football.
“I booked my holidays probably 3-4 months ago when I was miles away from a call-up, but I’d lose all that money, just to get a chance to go.
“I have been playing very well but I owe a lot to the manager and my team-mates.
“It is quite easy to come in and play the way I have been because of how we all work together and the team spirit.
“I think the Championship season was good to drop down and get that confidence back, and the run of games to show I can be consistent, and I feel like I have taken that into this season as well.
“He’s a very detailed coach, yesterday he kept the four midfielders after training to do a passing thing where you’re looking over your shoulder to see if the opponent is coming.
“It was weird, he was using bibs up in the air and you had to shout out the colour of the bibs. It was something I’d never done before but you can tell it’s paying off.
“He pushes us every day. He’s always on to us in training about stepping up a gear, and you’d think being on 38 points it would come down a notch, but the tackles are still flying in and everyone still wants to win, which is good.
“I think he has been good for my career. He’s made me understand the game a lot better, and tactically. I owe that to him.”