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Garth Crooks points to unfulfilled potential at Newcastle United and a dilemma for Steve Bruce

2 years ago
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Garth Crooks has picked his best 11 performers from the weekend’s action.

The Premier League team of the weekend that has most impressed him.

Included in his top 11 is one player from the game at the London Stadium.

After Saturday’s game at the London Stadium, Garth Crooks has declared: ‘This player will look back on his career and genuinely wonder why he never won more caps for England.’

Step forward Jonjo Shelvey.

Garth Crooks picking him in his Premier League team of the week after the midfielder scored a 30 yard free-kick, played a part in the moves for both of the other two goals, as well as hitting the bar with the outside of his right foot from 20 yards with the keeper well beaten.

We all know the situation though and Garth Crooks added: ‘On his day he can be as good as any midfield player in the country, but his fitness levels have always been a cause for concern along with the potential to cause mischief.’

It sums it up that in almost three years with Newcastle in the Premier League before Saturday, Jonjo Shelvey had only scored three PL goals in an NUFC shirt. Now he is Newcastle’s top scorer this season with two in five starts. Also summing up his poor overall stats/return, Saturday was the first time Shelvey has ever scored a PL goal direct from a free-kick.

Garth Crooks says it is a dilemma for Steve Bruce as to: ‘…does he stick with Shelvey or return to those who can regularly provide the grit and the endeavour?’

That decision isn’t immediate though as Jonjo Shelvey will clearly keep his place for Bournemouth on Saturday and then Villa away unless anything really bad happens in between. Only when Sean Longstaff is free from suspension for the game at home to Man City at the end of the month, will the NUFC Head Coach have the decision to make.

The Jonjo Shelvey is best summed up by the groundswell of opinion from both Newcastle fans and neutrals that he had to be on the plane to Russia for the 2018 World Cup. His excellent second half of the season form alongside Isaac Hayden bringing victories over the likes of Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal. However, very quickly it became a case of Newcastle fans thinking Shelvey didn’t even deserve a place in the NUFC team as he started 2018/19  so poorly.

Garth Crooks in his final analysis says that” ‘If Bruce wants the credit Rafa Bentitez received from the Newcastle fans, he will need to get those decisions right first’, in terms of whether to play Shelvey or a different kind of midfielder this season.

These next two games against Bournemouth and Villa should give us a much better indication as to where this season is heading for both Steve Bruce and Jonjo Shelvey.

Garth Crooks explains why he picked Jonjo Shelvey in his Premier League team of the week and then the full eleven are listed below:

Jonjo Shelvey:

“This player will look back on his career and genuinely wonder why he never won more caps for England.

“On his day he can be as good as any midfield player in the country, but his fitness levels have always been a cause for concern along with the potential to cause mischief.

“Against West Ham, Shelvey demonstrated just how effective he can be on the ball.

“The dilemma for Magpies manager Steve Bruce is: does he stick with Shelvey or return to those who can regularly provide the grit and the endeavour?

“If Bruce wants the credit Rafa Bentitez received from the Newcastle fans, he will need to get those decisions right first.

“Did you know? Shelvey netted his first direct free-kick goal in the Premier League with his 31st attempt.”

Ben Foster (Watford)

Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

Steve Cook (Bournemouth)

Caglar Soyuncu (Leicester)

Kyle Walker (Manchester City)

John Lundstram (Sheffield United)

Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United)

Jorginho (Chelsea)

Joshua King (Bournemouth)

Tammy Abraham (Chelsea)

Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

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