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A Newcastle enigma that continues to frustrate

A Newcastle enigma that continues to frustrate

Everyone will have their own thoughts on Jonjo Shelvey.
Frustrating, a complete enigma and an absolute marmite of a footballer - is the only way I can describe him.

His ability to hit a perfect diagonal pass, shooting from range, as well as some pin point set pieces makes us believe we have a complete footballer on our hands; however, there is the other side and the total indiscipline that has followed him from the very beginning of his career.

Ask any Liverpool fan about the midfielder`s most memorable moment in a Red shirt. It wasn`t a goal, or sublime piece of skill; however, it was when he was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Jonny Evans against Manchester United, and then proceeded to accuse Fergie of grassing him up to officials.

Reflecting on the incident in 2015, he said he regretted it, and that he had a lot of growing up to do at the time:

'I was a bit immature then and a bit silly. I pulled him aside afterwards and apologised to him and he was spot on with me.

He said, 'no I like it. It shows you`ve got a bit of balls about you`. I got a few high fives around town for the next few months, but it was silly from me on the professional stage. You don`t do something like that.

I was immature, the occasion got the better of me. It was part of growing up and you learn from those sort of things.'

Three years on and question marks remain over whether our No.8 has actually grown up at all since then.

Rafa needed to be convinced that he could trust the playmaker when he first arrived on Tyneside, but he put in the hard graft with extra training sessions to come back into favour for our season in the Championship.

The pair have had their ups and downs since then, most recently last month when Jonjo snubbed a handshake when he was frustrated at being substituted against his former club Swansea.

Prior to that, the 25-year-old had apologised to his manager and team mates following a silly sending off on the opening day of the season against Spurs.

These incidents tend to proliferate with Shelvey to the point where his respective bosses begin to tire of him. He spent three years at Anfield before moving on, and then he had a two-and-a-half-year spell at the Liberty Stadium before we snapped him up.

On both occasions, there were genuine footballing reasons for him to be sold.

With the Reds, he could not find a place in Brendan Rodgers` starting eleven, while with the Welsh outfit, he was sold following the sacking of Garry Monk. However, with the talents he possesses, you would have thought these teams would have fought harder to keep him.

That`s where the conundrum lies with this playmaker - who is brilliant on his day, but then others where he flatters to deceive.

Under Rafa, he is no doubt playing under a manager who will give him the chance to grow even more as a footballer and as a person. Hopefully then, the ill discipline and lack of maturity that have plagued his game will begin to fade in time, leaving a talisman that we can both trust and rely upon.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Looney Toon
Date:Wednesday February 21 2018
Time: 10:00AM

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