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Opinion

Nottingham Forest fans deliver swift verdict on Jonjo Shelvey after move from Newcastle United

11 months ago
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After seven years at St James’ Park, Jonjo Shelvey made the move to Nottingham Forest in January.

Steve Cooper bringing his recruitment since promotion last summer up to 30 signings.

Jonjo Shelvey following in the footsteps of Chris Wood, who had already made his mid-season move to The City Ground.

Fans of both Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest had the perfect chance to see what they had lost / gained.

I must admit that I wasn’t a fan of Jonjo Shelvey and was more than happy to see him go out the door.

However, I was intrigued to see what exactly the Nottingham Forest fans were now making of the midfielder.

Especially after Friday night’s match…

Nottingham Forest fans reflecting on the ‘contribution’ of Jonjo Shelvey since signing from Newcastle United, commenting via their LTLF forum:

‘I think the more we see of Jonjo Shelvey the more likely we are to go down.’

‘Awful. Danilo, yates and Mangala from now on please.’

‘Traffic cones move around better than Jonjo Shelvey.’

‘I’m sure Shelvey has experience but I’m struggling to see what he offers us. Last night there were 2-3 nice passes over 90mins.

The rest were hoofs and slices.

The biggest problem by far is the sheer lack of mobility – we struggle to get near the opposition anyway so adding a player in like Shelvey seems to exacerbate the situation.’

‘Like many others, I’m baffled why he’s in the team. Why he was even signed.

He’s worse than a passenger, he’s a danger who guarantees the opposition will get plenty of set pieces around our box… and he’s one of the slowest players I’ve ever seen… and where’s this passing ability I’ve heard about?’

‘I hate piling on players but he shouldn’t start again this season

Slow, a foul machine and is adding nothing going forward.’

‘One of the real issues last night was playing the 2 man midfield with Shelvey effectively making it into a 1 man midfield. For large parts of the game he was sat in the back 4 making it a back 5 and there was an absolute chasm of space through the middle of the park.’

‘Never really liked him for his attitude when we played Newcastle in some of those cup games, so when he arrived I needed persuading.

Still need persuading.’

‘Unfortunately, he‘s about as mobile as Davros, which kind of limits his ability to affect games.’

‘Can completely see why Forest brought him in, from what I’ve seen of him before he’s aggressive, collects the ball off centre halves and dictates play and can have a shot which was what was required.

Unfortunately we seemed to have brought a player who has lost all that ability.’

‘It looks like his legs have gone, he’s immobile.’

‘I’m hoping he’s still not recovered and is rusty because he hasn’t played much.

My doubts before are still massively outweighing my hope though.’

‘Looked like he was still a Newcastle player last night.

A slow, ponderous, ineffective liability.’

‘And his defending, especially in our box, is absolutely criminal.

‘A luxury player that we cannot afford to start game after game. Really poor off the ball, slows down the entire team when we are in possession by being slow to decide whether to pass it back to our defence or wind up his cross field punts that are so predictable and easy to defend for any team in the league.

I remember the moment in January when news broke that we were signing him (there wasn’t even a saga, it was done so quick) and my first instinct was “Why?”. He didnt seem like the player we needed to upgrade our work horse midfield, certainly not when we’re in a relegation battle.

If we are relegated, which i now strongly fear, it’ll be that exact moment in January that will stay with me. Shelvey and Chris Wood. Both signings were just bizarre given how we looked to be gelling as a team at that point and the types of attributes they brought which were completely out of touch with the team and style of play that we had.

Please prove me wrong chaps.’

‘Hopefully we see a new and improved version of Shelvey after the break.

I’m still not sure if his legs have gone or he’s just not match fit, I would like to think after the two week break we will know which one it is.’

‘With regards to Shelvey’s legs, hopefully Cooper can channel the spirit of Douglas Bader (who was somehow infinitely more mobile).’

‘1 successful tackle in his 5 starts.’

‘I realise I’m not following the script very well here, but to try and add some balance, two excellent long passes against Newcastle – in the build-up to our goal and to put Brennan away for his opportunity.’

‘That ball for Brennan was outstanding. But, the shambolic / catastrophic defending and sluggish movement has not just coincided with our alarming drop in form, it’s largely responsible for it.’

***For a bit of context, I thought you might all be interested in the following.

In the four Premier League matches immediately before Jonjo Shelvey made his debut for them, Nottingham Forest won 1-0 at Southampton and then beat Leicester 2-0 at home, this was followed by a 1-1 draw against Bournemouth and a 1-0 win over Leeds.

Jonjo Shelvey has now played in all six of the Premier League that followed.

Shelvey coming on as a sub in the 2-0 defeat to Fulham, then starting the next five. Those results have been draws against Man City (1-1) and Everton (2-2) and defeats against West Ham (0-4), Tottenham (1-3) and Newcastle United (1-2).

I am not saying the downturn in results is all down to Jonjo Shelvey BUT I have to say that I find it no surprise to hear what the Forest fans are overwhelmingly saying. The contrast between the Newcastle midfielders and Shelvey was stark. Running rings around him doesn’t quite do it justice and the fact it took so long for the referee to finally book Jonjo Shelvey, simply summed up just what a shocker ref Tierney had. The repetitive cynical fouls on Bruno as Shelvey was left chasing shadows were a disgrace.

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