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Steve Bruce says Newcastle United star is ‘Paramount to how we play’

2 months ago
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Steve Bruce says that until Saturday, he thought Jonjo Shelvey had no chance of making the squad against West Ham when the Premier League kicks off.

A calf injury ruling the midfielder out of most of pre-season, with 31 minutes on Tuesday at Burnley having been Shelvey’s first involvement in re-season friendlies this summer.

Jonjo Shelvey managed 45 minutes on Saturday though against a much weakened Norwich side, helping NUFC to a 3-0 victory with a much improved team performance after the break.

Steve Bruce reflecting on what he has seen this past week and declaring about Jonjo Shelvey: ‘After looking at him at Burnley, I didn’t think he had a chance [of making the West Ham match]. The way he performed today [though] and another week ahead of him, so lets hope he can take part [against West Ham] in some capacity.’

Fair to say that there are very mixed views amongst Newcastle fans in terms of what Jonjo Shelvey does, or doesn’t, bring to the team.

However, Steve Bruce is in no doubt: ‘Jonjo Shelvey is paramount to how we play.’

The dictionary definition of ‘Paramount’ is:  ‘More important than anything else; supreme.’

There is no doubt Jonjo Shelvey can pass a ball BUT his lack of mobility and desire to get into dangerous areas is a constant weakness in the thinking of many Newcastle fans, as the supposed playmaker and creative midfielder, only one Premier League goal and three assists is surely nowhere near good enough. Especially when there is so little pace, mobility and goals / assists from the other midfield options such as Isaac Hayden, Sean Longstaff and Jeff Hendrick.

Steve Bruce talking to NUFC TV:

“Jonjo Shelvey is important the way we play, you know, he acts as the pivot, that one who can find a pass.

“Especially with the pace we have up front and try to exploit that.

“Jonjo Shelvey is paramount to how we play.

“After looking at him at Burnley, I didn’t think he had a chance [of making the West Ham match].

“The way he performed today [though] and another week ahead of him, so lets hope he can take part [against West Ham] in some capacity.

“Allan Saint-Maximin still has a lot of work to do physically-wise, because obviously we need him to step up and make sure he is capable of playing 90 minutes.

“We have to bear in mind he missed three or four months of last year, so he has got a lot of work ahead.

“Well done to Dwight [Gayle], he’s had his first pre-season for a good couple of years. He looked sharp and lively, great finish for his goals.

“He reminded he can score a goal and he’s knocking on the door.

“We have got some decent players here you know…and we will try our utmost to add to it in terms of numbers, but we played some decent stuff.”

Final Score: 

Newcastle 3 Norwich 0

Goals:

Newcastle:

Ritchie 55, Gayle 74, 88

Norwich:

Newcastle United:

Woodman, Murphy (Manquillo 80), Krafth (Schar 66), Fernandez (Lascelles 66), Clark (Watts 83), Ritchie (Lewis 66), Hayden (Hendrick 66), S Longstaff (Shelvey 46), Almiron (Fraser 46), Joelinton (Saint-Maximin 46), Wilson (Gayle 66)

Unused Subs:

Gillespie, M Longstaff, Langley

Attendance:

20,139

(Newcastle United fitness/injury update – Steve Bruce says now only 1 injury worry for West Ham game – Read HERE)

(Match report – Newcastle 3 Norwich 0 – NUFC improve with ASM to beat relegation rivals in final warm up – Read HERE)

(Steve Bruce – Newcastle United ‘100%’ keeping Saint-Maximin, (still) speaking to Arsenal about Joe Willock – Read HERE)

Newcastle United pre-season friendlies:

Sunday 18 July – York City 1 Newcastle 0

Sunday 18 July Harrogate Town 2 Newcastle 1 (This was originally a first team fixture with some Under 23 added but it became solely a Under 23 NUFC players after Karl Darlow tested positive for Covid and first team and Under 23s had to be kept apart)

Friday 23 July – Doncaster 2 Newcastle 3

Tuesday 27 July – Rotherham 1 Newcastle 1

Friday 30 July – Burton 0 Newcastle 2

Tuesday 3 August – Burnley 1 Newcastle 0

Saturday 7 August – Newcastle 3 Norwich 0

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