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Sky Sports pundit says England need Jonjo Shelvey ‘not workmanlike midfielders’

2 years ago
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Jonjo Shelvey for England, is the call.

Former West Ham, Everton, and England, striker Tony Cottee, the latest to add his voice to the growing popular momentum behind the Newcastle midfielder getting serious consideration for the plane to Russia.

Cottee says he understands that Gareth Southgate might want to concentrate on a style of ‘possession and [negative] passing’ but that the England boss also needs to give himself alternatives.

The Sky Sports pundit says that ‘there isn’t anyone who can pass the ball better than Shelvey’ when it comes to England’s oppositions.

He lists the likes of Henderson, Dier, Livermore and Wilshere, plus anybody else anyone can put forward, and says that none of them can touch Jonjo Shelvey when it come to passing.

Tony Cottee has challenged the Newcastle player to keep it going for the final half dozen Premier League matches and if he does so ‘he deserves to have a chance of getting on that plane’.

Shelvey and Diame are one of the most in-form central midfield partnerships and have played a key role in a run of four wins and a draw in the last six games.

They were clear winners against Man Utd, with Mourinho taking off all three central midfielders – Pogba, Matic and Lingard.

Whilst in recent games against the likes of Southampton, Leicester and Huddersfield it has been a similar story.

Sunday’s televised live game against Arsenal could be a golden opportunity for Jonjo Shelvey to finally embarrass Southgate into considering him. Jack Wilshere could be opposing and if Shelvey comes out well on top then it will be interesting to see if that helps tip the balance.

Tony Cottee speaking to Sky Sports:

“Whether you are talking about Eric Dier, Jake Livermore, Jack Wilshere or Jordan Henderson, whoever you name that’s been in that England squad, there isn’t anyone who can pass the ball better than Shelvey.

“He needs to keep doing it for the last five or six games, but if he carries on like he is, he deserves to have a chance of getting on that plane.

When we are playing the likes of Tunisia and Panama, we’re going to have a lot of the ball. You need someone who can do something different.

“You need a Wilshere in the team, or a Shelvey, who can open up defences. You don’t want loads of workmanlike midfielders who don’t create and pass the ball.

“Jonjo brings something different to the table. I wouldn’t definitely have him in the squad, but if I was Gareth Southgate I’d be looking at him and thinking very carefully.

“Gareth has the style he wants for England which is based around possession and passing, but when you get teams like Tunisia and Panama who will both pack the defence, it will just be a challenge to break them down.

“At that point, you need something different. That could be a Jonjo Shelvey, it could be a Peter Crouch or an Andy Carroll, but something that gives you something different.

“He is probably the best English passer, in terms of passing it 40-50 yards. That’s not smashing the ball forward, that’s quality passing.

“What you need to do with him is get some legs around him in the team, if he’s going to spread the ball around, but I think he would give the squad something different.”

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