Go On Jonjo! – Three Aspects Of His Game That Shelvey Should Improve To Become A Class Midfielder
If you’re looking for the definition of an enigmatic footballer, Jonjo Shelvey is just about one of the strongest contenders coming to fore — a player capable of being magnificent one moment and absolutely ruinous in the next moment.
Such has been Shelvey’s case, who started his professional career with Charlton Athletic back in 2008. Having played for Charlton, Liverpool and Swansea, the 25-year-old currently plies his trade for Newcastle United.
Playing professional football for nearly a decade, Shelvey has come a long way from the kind of player that he was. Despite a considerable growth as a player, Shelvey, if he wants to become a class midfielder and don the England colours once again, he has few aspects of the game which need improvement. Here they are:
The first and foremost thing Shelvey needs to improve is keeping his temperament in check. The former Liverpool man has a miserable history in getting entangled in situations that has seen him get marching orders, thereby putting his team into big trouble.
The nature of the impetuous youth who accused Sir Alex Ferguson of “grassing him up” after a red card back in 2012 has not gone yet. Despite claiming to have been receiving psychiatric help since his sending off at Nottingham Forest last season, the 25-year-old still continues to be a madcap.
The ugly side of Shelvey is something that puts a black mark right next to his name, which leaves a manager in dilemma while selecting the team.
Shelvey, for the undeniable talent that he is, showed a moment of madness in Newcastle United’s season opener against Tottenham Hotspur, where he stamped on Dele Alli’s foot, with the referee observing from about five yards away. The result was always going to be the red card that quickly followed. Spurs eventually won the game 2-0.
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez will expect more maturity from Shelvey, who is now available for selection after serving his three-match ban.
Lead The Team By Example
Shelvey is one of the senior members of this Newcastle team with a substantial experience of playing in the Premier League. So it’s obvious that the players look up to him for motivation if things are not going the right way.
Benitez too hopes for Shelvey to stand up and lead the team by example, although he has chosen Jamaal Lascelles as the main man to lead Newcastle.
The Championship days are gone and Shelvey, apart from the creative player and outspoken that figure he is, should be able to lift spirits and bring a fighting attitutde into a team that is now competing in the Premier League.
If anything that Shelvey needs to improve more than his disciplinary record to be a top midfielder, it is his consistency.
Shelvey was without question one of Newcastle’s most creative players last term – a playmaker with the technical ability to change a game with just one well-placed pass. A regular in the centre of the park, he was a key part of the Newcastle side that dramatically won the Championship title on the final day of the season last time out.
The six-time England international, at times, seemed to show signs of a player making actual progress, notching up 8 assists and 5 goals. But it came in the lower league and Benitez expects more spark from him this season.
Benitez’s squad is short in certain departments and to be frank, there’s not enough quality either. However, Shelvey is a creative player who also has an eye for goal, such that he could well suit an attacking midfield role.
So far, the 25-year-old has scored no goals this season, creating no chances and no assists. But Shelvey’s principal job will be to gain Benitez’s and the Geordies’ faith back after the moment of madness on the opening day. Once he is successful, the creative midfielder should start delivering consistently.
Well, Benitez wouldn’t buy the idea of tweaking his current formation, but it’s certainly worth a try to fit one of Newcastle’s best players into the starting lineup.