Unpopular Jonjo Shelvey opinion
Jonjo Shelvey makes me happy, makes me feel this way…
So sang the teenagers behind me when I sat in the family enclosure.
A strange place the family enclosure if you have never sat there.
Tickets are supposed to be sold to families, or at least adults with kids anyway, yet you get big groups of kids sitting together by themselves every week, whilst you also get adults sitting together with no kids every week.
There are also families.
Families where quite often one or more kids are taken along simply because the prices are so cheap for children up in the gods.
So cheap that it is worth taking kids who are too young to have a clue what is even going on, whilst others simply watch videos on I-Pads all match with headphones on.
Welcome to Mike Ashley’s Newcastle United.
Anyway, Jonjo Shelvey was always popular up in the family enclosure when I sat there, the teenagers had a song for him and of course on his day he can pick out a pass, turn it on.
I think only Mitro was more popular, even when he rarely, if ever, played.
The Serbian ‘running’ up and down the touchline often drawing a bigger cheer from the teenagers around us, than anything happening on the pitch.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is now long gone from St James Park and thankfully I am also long gone from the family enclosure (teenagers sitting at the very back would occasionally randomly throw stuff when bored, knowing/thinking no adult would ever catch/see them doing it, luckily I was never hit but it kept you on your toes).
Remarkably, Jonjo Shelvey is now one of our longest serving players and indeed, now captain.
He is also even more remarkably, scoring goals.
Five already in 10 Premier League starts this season, in his previous three and a half years at NUFC, Jonjo Shelvey only scored two PL goals.
Indeed, when he scored that equaliser against Manchester City only 18 days ago, it was Shelvey’s first ever Premier League goal at St James Park, quickly followed by another eight days later against Southampton.
His fan club in the family enclosure will be loving it.
I do like Jonjo Shelvey on his going days, when he is playing well, but they are few and far between.
It might be an unpopular opinion but I don’t think Jonjo Shelvey is playing that well at the minute.
I think people are being blinded by his goals.
Suddenly he is turning up at the right place right time and getting on the end of things, as well as having scored his first ever Premier League goal direct from a free-kick (at West Ham).
In his general play though I don’t think he is really influencing play that much, give or take the odd moment.
It is nothing like the form he showed in the final months of the 2017/18 season when he and Diame were excellent and winning the midfield battle time after time.
You can’t really say that about any game this season, apart from possibly that West Ham one in the first 50 minutes.
It is a bit like if say Joelinton by some miracle had scored a few goals recently, fans and media would suddenly be saying he was playing well, when it was just a case of right place right time where the ball was falling.
If Jonjo Shelvey can keep scoring goals AND play like he is capable of, then he can be a massive player for Newcastle.
However, I do think that Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden are our best midfield partnership for the rest of the season, despite neither really excelling this season.
If Steve Bruce allows a more attacking formation/tactics then the young pair can be seen to best effect.
I hope I am proved wrong and by the end of January, Jonjo Shelvey already has Newcastle safe and is in double figures on the goals front.
I’m not counting on it though.
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