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Jonjo Shelvey a luxury NUFC can do without? Newcastle United player stats suggesting so…

3 weeks ago
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A lot of debate surrounding Jonjo Shelvey.

Wednesday night maybe summing it up.

A superb 87th minute goal prevented Newcastle United losing to Newport County BUT the previous 86 minutes had seen minimal impact on the match, from the midfielder.

Jonjo Shelvey spent most of that cup match standing close to the centre-backs, sitting very deep. Getting short passes from goalkeeper and defenders, then trying to hit long balls up the pitch.

Newcastle fans frustrated at Shelvey’s unwillingness to get around the pitch, meaning rarely is he high enough up the pitch to really influence the action in key areas.

So is Jonjo Shelvey a luxury Newcastle United can’t afford, especially when it is so rare for his long balls to ever lead to goals?

Maybe one of the most promising spells in recent times was when great promise was shown in a Sean Longstaff and Isaac Hayden partnership back in early 2019. With two young willing mobile central midfielders helping the team to press high up the pitch, supporting the attacks as well as doing their defensive duties. Or maybe even a partnership of Hayden and Hendrick in the middle?

The thing is as well, do Newcastle not have other players who can also knock the ball about successfully? Maybe not quite as well as Jonjo Shelvey can do BUT also not having the negatives that Shelvey brings.

Having a central midfielder playing so deep and taking five yard passes off central defenders and other midfielders, instead of giving them more freedom and authority with the ball.

With Fabian Schar set to come back into the team, he can bring the ball out of defence and pass it well.

However, a new table of stats also points to one of Shelvey’s fellow midfielders doing very well in the passing stats, indeed, better than Jonjo Shelvey himself.

This table of long ball accuracy from the first three rounds of PL fixtures has been published by ‘The Other 14’ (who specialise in stats/tables etc on the 14 clubs who aren’t the ‘Big Six’):

As you can see, nobody has made fewer mistakes than Isaac Hayden’s three, when it comes to long ball passing this season.

Whilst only James Rodriguez has a better percentage of accurate long ball passing, 88% compared to Hayden’s 82%.

The table goes all the way down to 55% accuracy with long ball passes and still Jonjo Shelvey isn’t featuring…

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