Jonjo Shelvey gave a big interview before the match at Southampton on Saturday.
Maybe a classic case of at times players needing to be saved from themselves.
Newcastle United rock bottom of the Premier League and not a single win, Jonjo Shelvey himself with no goals scored and only the one assist, possibly not the best time to be claiming that he deserved to be in England’s World Cup squad and that he can be ‘Up there with the best’ and ‘run a game from start to finish.’
Newcastle then go to Southampton and don’t have a single shot on target, not even creating a chance worthy of the name.
All of this against a very poor team who had won only one Premier League match at home in the previous 11 months.
Those pre-match quotes were always very likely to come back to haunt Jonjo Shelvey, unless he put in a dominant performance going forward, creating chances, causing all sorts of problems for the opposition. He didn’t. Shelvey might have been Newcastle’s best player of the midfield and attack but that is being the pick of a pretty bad bunch, in fact he and Diame were very much second best compared to their Southampton counterparts.
The quotes were simply spoonfeeding journalists and sure enough, Martin Samuel from The Mail has picked up on them.
Not somebody who I am keen on but difficult to argue when Samuel says: ‘Anyone can win games in their head. Newcastle need players who can do so in actuality: and while this dismal run continues, Shelvey’s case for international recognition remains flimsy.’
Jonjo Shelvey also said in the pre-match interview: ‘We don’t play the most attractive football but it works, we have a plan for every game.’
We all know that the problems at Newcastle United flow from Mike Ashley down but where on earth is that quote based in reality?
Newcastle have now won one game in the past six and a half months, one in 16 games (all competitions), a run that has included 12 defeats in the 16 matches.
The ‘plan’ simply isn’t working at this moment in time and if indeed it is to work any time soon, we need the likes of Jonjo Shelvey stepping up his game by a fair few notches.
Jonjo Shelvey speaking before the game at Southampton:
“You felt they (England) struggled to make the final pass (in Russia), to create that chance, I could have been that man.
“I now feel like that I can run a game from start to finish. I feel like I’ve kicked on as a player.
“If I stay mentally right during a game, then I feel like I can be up there with the best.
“I am totally confident that we will stay up, there are definitely three worse teams than us in this league.
“We don’t play the most attractive football but it works, we have a plan for every game.”
Martin Samuel writing in The Mail:
‘Creativity begins at home, Shelvey
‘Jonjo Shelvey knows what could have made the difference for England at the World Cup this summer. Him.
‘The Croatia game, you felt they struggled to make that final pass, to create a chance,’ he said. ‘And I’m sitting there thinking, I could have been that man.’
‘Yet if Shelvey has the range capable of winning a World Cup semi-final, why hasn’t it been capable of winning games against Cardiff, Crystal Palace, Leicester, Brighton and Southampton this season — all opponents he has faced for Newcastle, and failed to overcome.
‘Anyone can win games in their head. Newcastle need players who can do so in actuality: and while this dismal run continues, Shelvey’s case for international recognition remains flimsy.’