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Time finally up for Jonjo Shelvey

1 year ago

That must surely be the end for Jonjo Shelvey.

He is what he is.

A 27 year old midfielder who can obviously pass the ball but a player for who modern era Premier League football is a step too far.

Steve Bruce was seduced in the summer by Jonjo Shelvey, seduced that is into thinking he could be his key man.

The Head Coach watched him in the friendlies and Shelvey looked good, which of course he can do when presented with his ideal scenario. Weak opposition standing off you in friendly conditions, allowing you to knock the ball about.

The exact opposite of the Premier League.

A league where you have to fight for every second of time and space, a league where you have to match your opponents physically before you have any chance of showing anything else.

Jonjo Shelvey can’t do it.

Maybe back in the 60s and 70s he would have thrived, players having far more time and space, a period seen as the glory days for flair players as they were allowed to do their stuff.

Steve Bruce even constructed the team plan around Jonjo Shelvey, ripping up Rafa’s blueprint of an attacking trio, with two players supporting the main striker.

The Head Coach playing with three in central midfield so Jonjo Shelvey had his dream luxury position, freedom to play without being expected to do much running or chasing back. It was doomed to failure as it left Newcastle with next to zero attacking threat, Joelinton isolated and Miguel Almiron alone trying to fill this massive void between midfield and the Brazilian.

Even the limited Steve Bruce realised this had been a disastrous move and after defeats to Arsenal and Norwich, he quickly binned the idea, reverting back to a 5-2-3, or rather a 5-2-2-1. Newcastle won at Tottenham, Shelvey dropped and Longstaff & Hayden in the middle. Obviously Tottenham were terrible on the day but still, if Bruce had kept Jonjo Shelvey in the team there was no way Newcastle would have won.

Rafa Benitez quickly decided last season that it was pointless thinking you could rely on Shelvey. Playing eight PL games early on, after injury at the start of November, even when he came back early in 2019, Rafa didn’t even put him on the bench. Only in the final few weeks after safety was ensured, did Rafa give him two more starts, hoping no doubt that it might help him sell the midfielder in the summer to help raise cash for his own Newcastle targets…

Instead, we had the disaster of the manager leaving and also the midfielder staying.

On Saturday, Isaac Hayden ran himself into the ground at Anfield as he tried to make up for Shelvey’s shortcomings and lack of mobility. Hayden was visibly exhausted and lucky to, hopefully, get out of the game without injury.

Jonjo Shelvey only got a game because of injury to Sean Longstaff but that can’t happen again.

If Longstaff is still out then Ki has to play against Brighton, he isn’t great but at least he is mobile and willing to carry the ball.

Failing that, I would honestly give Matty Longstaff a chance in his brother’s place, Jonjo Shelvey is a liability.

To rely on him having a good game is a bit like saying you are relying on a fit and staying fit Andy Carroll to get the goals…Doh!


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