Alan Hutton has slammed Jonjo Shelvey and questioned his work rate while playing for Newcastle United.
The Lowdown: Shelvey disappoints against Manchester City
While there were some very good performances from Steve Bruce’s side in their 4-3 defeat to Manchester City at St James’ Park on Friday night, Shelvey flattered to deceive.
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The midfielder, who currently earns £70,000 per week on Tyneside, lost out on six of his duels and also failed to record a single dribble or shot on target, while losing possession of the ball on 11 separate occasions during the match against the newly-crowned champions (Sofascore).
The Latest: Hutton slams Shelvey
Off the back of that disappointing performance, Hutton – who is now a pundit after playing for the likes of Tottenham and Aston Villa in the Premier League – has slammed Shelvey, giving his overall thoughts on the 29-year-old to Football Insider:
“He’s a difficult one. For fans or for outside people looking in, he can be frustrating to watch at times.
“We know the ability he has, he can see a pass, he’s got that in the locker. Even when he was at Liverpool we could see that, when he was breaking through as a youngster. We just want to see it more often.
“I think in the Premier League at the moment, you need to have that ability to get round the pitch. Be hard-tackling, win the ball back and then go forward. Sometimes he doesn’t seem to do the hard yards, if you want.
“I played against him, I know there’s a top-quality player in there. It’s just about being consistent with it. It can be difficult, don’t get me wrong. The way they played at the start the season, they were very defensive.
“It’s one of those ones where, as a midfielder, you get the ball in a defensive situation and you’re trying to play a forward pass but you end up just giving it back to them.”
The Verdict: Shelvey must do more
Bruce’s team are unlikely to have the majority of the ball in most of the matches that they play next season – only West Brom have a lower possession average in the top flight this term – and work rate then becomes a major factor in trying to beat the opposition.
As Hutton suggests, Shelvey has not shown a good work ethic at times this season – he has recently had to address accusations to that effect – and so he needs to improve in that regard if he is going to continue to be a mainstay in the team, especially when fans return to St James’ Park.
With a mere two goals and three assists in 30 appearances across all competitions so far this term (Transfermarkt), the former Liverpool and Swansea City midfielder also needs to work on his end product in front of goal for the Magpies.
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