Jonjo Shelvey – From Stand in Captain to ending the season on the bench. Can the Championship get his career back on track?

On 12th January 2016 Newcastle United announced the signature of Jonjo Shelvley for £12 Million from Swansea. A midfielder with natural talent and ability, but questionable attitude from every club in which he has played for. On his debut, a 2-1 win over West Ham 4 days later, he showed only the positives about his play which ended in him being named Man of the Match for his involvement in the build up play to both Newcastle goals.

Now we are in July 2016 and it is fair to say the last 6 months have been a rollercoaster for him at the club from rising to stand in Captain to being left on the bench the last few games of the season. While his attitude has never been questionable since joining some of his performances towards the end of the season were. But with the likes of Wijnaldum, Sissoko, De Jong and Tiote’s future very questionable at the club it gives Shelvey a chance to kick start his career in the beautiful Black and White Jersey!

Even if the 4 named above do depart the club there will still be strong competition for Shelvey to go up against to keep a starting place in the middle of the park this season. Antia, Saivet, Colback and our latest signing from Arsenal on a 5 year deal; Isaac Hayden – a 21 year old Central Defence Midfielder who helped guide Hull City back to the Premiership last season when he was out there on loan.

I personally believe that Shelvey can get back to his best and become a regular in the starting 11. A number of good performances in Pre Season, as a boost of confidence, could very well see him start on our first game of the season against Fulham on 5th August. Rafa may have only dropped him to the bench for a tactical purpose, to try all he could to keep us in the Premiership, but either way I would like to see him make the most of Shelvey’s talents which has gained him 6 International Caps for England.

In Rafa Benitez we trust – the Rafalution is here!

115 thoughts on “Jonjo Shelvey – From Stand in Captain to ending the season on the bench. Can the Championship get his career back on track?

  1. GG – another good piece mate, and a player we are probably all left wondering about.

    Personally, I am/was/am a big fan of Jonjo. I was well pleased when we signed this lad, coz I really like players who can pass a ball the way he can.

    I think to answer the question of the headline – it’s Jonjo that can put his career back on track, not what league he’s in.
    The boy has bags of talent, he just has to apply it in a more effective way – not every pass has to be a 70 yarder!!.

    I don’t know whether McClaren put extra pressure on him when making him captain, and he took on the responsibility of keeping us up to heavily, but he seem to start well then fade off when he captaincy was given to him.

    I’m still a fan, so hope he’s in Rafas plans, but it will also be for Jonjo to put himself in Rafas plans as well like.

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  2. Gallowgate geordie I would like to think a year in the championship would do Shelvey the world of good. However Rafa’s got Toite on standby and might pick him instead. I still think Toite will remain at the club until his contact run’s out. His got to start playing better than Toite or he’ll just be a sub. A lot of money spent on the player but I haven’t written him off yet.

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  3. Hi Sharpy17

    Thank you!

    I think you raise a great point that the captaincy may have been too much too soon which effected his game.

    As you say if he plays with the ability he has in a effective way every game then he could be the star he was when he first joined again this season.

    I do think a lot of it will depend who we offload from the midfield area to how much playing time he will get though.

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  4. Hi Terry,

    Yes I agree that some of his playing time does depend on who leaves. But it’s also in Jonjo’s hands to how much he puts into Pre Season.

    Tiote will be an interesting one to see if he goes. I think if an overseas big money move comes calling it might tempt him away & Newcastle to sell.

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  5. good to see your articles GG

    Re Shelvey as has been said it’s his problem, can he solve it.

    Unfortunately we have had a lot of apperently talented players who could not string two games together.

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  6. Gallowgate Geordie:
    Hi Sharpy17

    Thank you!

    I think you raise a great point that the captaincy may have been too much too soon which effected his game.

    As you say if he plays with the ability he has in a effective way every game then he could be the star he was when he first joined again this season.

    I do think a lot of it will depend who we offload from the midfield area to how much playing time he will get though.

    GG – he just looked so frustrated and with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He looked to play the Hollywood pass to please the crowd more often, rather than just keeping his passing simple & effective.

    Rafa did the right thing dropping him last season coz at times he was a liability, but I’m sure Rafa can get him back onside and an asset again.

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  7. Hi Premandup

    Thank you!

    Agree.

    For me the difference between those players we signed we high expectations and havnt performed in the Black & White stripes and Shelvey is that he did have some great games for us when he first joined and I’m just hoping that he can get back to that!

    Interesting to see links with Thauvin & Lazio. He is someone who was a big let down & I just hope we make back most if not all of that big money we spent on him!

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  8. Sharpy17: GG – he just looked so frustrated and with the weight of the world on his shoulders.He looked to play the Hollywood pass to please the crowd more often, rather than just keeping his passing simple & effective.

    Rafa did the right thing dropping him last season coz at times he was a liability, but I’m sure Rafa can get him back onside and an asset again.

    Fully agree Sharpy17! Well said.

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  9. Thanks GG that’s two canny threads you wrote keep them coming old lad,Ime not sure on Shelvey he seemed to take Swansea so far then faded badly did his England cap affect him in a mentally way which was made worse by naming him as captain,his defensive side needs work lets see if Rafa can improve his overall game if so he could be a “player”

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  10. Can’t comment on the Bernard article for some reason but I’d like to say that he’s spot on NUFC fans are funny: Funny how so many seem to forgotten his attitude when trying to force a move to West Ham which was far worse than Sissoko/Wijnaldum

    Funny that many welcomed him back despite the fact he was knackered & made Xisco & Gonzalez look like value for money. After ironically being brought back by the guy who tried to poach him from SJP…

    prick

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  11. Hi Icedog,

    Thank you! Really appreciate the feedback.

    Yes very true it may have effected him. I’m just glad we have not seen any of this bad attitude that his previous clubs have spoke about.

    I’m sure Rafa can bring the best out in him. Even if he doesn’t fully get there defensively we could always sit Anita, Colback, Hayden or Tiote (if he stays) behind him so he can keep pulling those incredible balls forward we know he has in his locker!

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  12. Well done Gallowgate Geordie. Very nice article. Gru will be very important for us this season. I think Rafa will whip him into shape and convince him to give his best for us. His role is not clear to me yet. I don’t see him as a holding midfielder. That job will go to Colback, Tiote and the new fella. He has to play in an advanced role to be at his best. I’m not sure 4-2-3-1 is the best formation for that but we’ll see.

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  13. Wasn’t even aware that Cisse has gone to Shandong Luneng for 2.5M pounds. Farewell to one of the strangest strikers ever to wear our shirt. Came in and set the world on fire in his first half season. Then sometimes looked as if he had never played football. Couldn’t trap a ball to save his life at times and had injury problems. Definitely time to move him on.,

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  14. I’m thinking:

    ——————– Selz ——————-
    Gamez – Mbemba – Lascelles – Dum
    —————- Hayden ——————
    —- Ritchie – Shelvey – Gayle —
    —– Mitrovic —- Armstrong —-

    Is that too offensive? or too narrow?

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  15. GeordieTwo:
    Well done Gallowgate Geordie. Very nice article. Gru will be very important for us this season. I think Rafa will whip him into shape and convince him to give his best for us. His role is not clear to me yet. I don’t see him as a holding midfielder. That job will go to Colback, Tiote and the new fella. He has to play in an advanced role to be at his best. I’m not sure 4-2-3-1 is the best formation for that but we’ll see.

    Hi GeordieTwo

    Thank you!

    I agree I definitely think he should sit Infront of 1 or 2 of our other midfield and focus on him pushing forward and the others to cover at the back too!

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  16. Sharpy17:
    I’m thinking:

    ——————– Selz ——————-
    Gamez – Mbemba – Lascelles – Dum
    —————- Hayden ——————
    —- Ritchie – Shelvey – Gayle —
    —– Mitrovic —- Armstrong —-

    Is that too offensive? or too narrow?

    For me, although Armstrong was prolific Infront of goal last season at Coventry I’m not sure if should be starting just yet.

    I would push Gayle up where you have put him. Then start Aarons or Perez where you placed Gayle.

    The only other change I might say is Haidara over Dummet. But they will be fighting for the start position over Pre Season.

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  17. Another good read GG, cheers.
    I think Shelvey is a very emotional lad, he’s admitted as much himself when saying how frustrated and close to tears he got when not playing in the first team at Swans. I think he needs an arm around the shoulder approach , whether Rafa will indulge him who knows. It’s very true he needs to know when to let loose with the Hollywood shots and when not to. While you don’t want to dampen his ability to make a sweet pass he needs to know when he should keep it simple too. I do think/hope he’ll be an asset in the championship as when Liverpool loaned him to blackpool he did very well for them, he knows the league and how to do well in it.

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  18. Gallowgate Geordie: For me, although Armstrong was prolific Infront of goal last season at Coventry I’m not sure if should be starting just yet.

    I would push Gayle up where you have put him. Then start Aarons or Perez where you placed Gayle.

    The only other change I might say is Haidara over Dummet. But they will be fighting for the start position over Pre Season.

    GG – I know what you mean about Armstrong. I don’t want to put too much pressure on the kid too quickly – but I want him to know he has a future with us & he’ll get his chance.
    I think your Perez option makes sense mate.

    But you can forget about dropping Dummett!!. He’s my cult hero & I won’t have it!! 😉 😆

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  19. Gallowgate Goerdie the only trouble with Toite is that he expects a club to pay him 100 grand a week. I can see a lot of big clubs being reluctant to pay that much for him. Rafa did seem to prefer him over Shelvey towards the end of the season. Is he going to be happy being Toites number 2 or will it cause problem’s like it did at Swansea ? If Toite gets injured then his got to step up and take his chance. He was a panic buy signing by McClaren and maybe he wasn’t ready to be captain and handle all the pressure. I still have faith in him and Rafa’s a top manager that will get the best out of him.

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  20. Good work GG.

    For me, Shelvey should p*** that League. He’s a very neat and tidy player but I fear ‘neat and tidy’ will always be what he’ll be.

    Good in possession, scores the odd screamer, I see a lot of Mark Noble in him (sans the hair).

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  21. Andy The Magpie:
    Good work GG.

    For me, Shelvey should p*** that League. He’s a very neat and tidy player but I fear ‘neat and tidy’ will always be what he’ll be.

    Good in possession, scores the odd screamer, I see a lot of Mark Noble in him (sans the hair).

    Andy – I wish he had Nobles workrate.

    Is GG one of your crew mate, or is he new to us all?.

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  22. New to us all mate – got in touch via email!

    Sharpy17: Andy – I wish he had Nobles workrate.

    Is GG one of your crew mate, or is he new to us all?.

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  23. We actually have another new writer posting an article tomorrow too – they’re coming in thick and fast at the moment!

    Andy The Magpie:
    New to us all mate – got in touch via email!

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  24. Anyone watching Celtic getting beaten by a team from Gibraltar? I used to play in that League once upon a time but the standard sure wasn’t as good as it was now!

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  25. Reckon he’ll be a success in the Championship and will get some confidence back. Whether Rafa picks him is another thing. Didn’t fancy him last season and preferred two defensive midfielders. Will he go the same again or will we try and blow teams away?

    Suppose it depends on if Gini and/or Sissoko stay.

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  26. Andy The Magpie:
    We actually have another new writer posting an article tomorrow too – they’re coming in thick and fast at the moment!

    Andy – great stuff. It’s the injection I think the site has needed for some time now. Some good people on here, but needed new writers & new opinions to freshen it up.
    I know it’s early doors but GG is a good writer & seems a good egg.

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  27. Icedog:
    Storey Hanley has left training camp,how true your guess is as good as mine

    Ice – I think it could well be likely mate. He’s a player Rafa seems to want & Bburns £6m asking price isn’t outrageous to be fair so hopefully he’s the next in.

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  28. I see Ibe has agreed terms with Bmouth, so that should put an end to the rumours we could be after him.

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  29. Sharpy17:
    I see Ibe has agreed terms with Bmouth, so that should put an end to the rumours we could be after him.

    I always thought that was a rag made up storey along with the Beratov ang now crouch rubbish

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  30. Shelvey doesn’t work hard enough when he doesn’t have the ball. He lets players run off him in midfield and Benitez won’t tolerate that. It’s why he was dropped after the Southampton game where he was partially responsible for the first Saints’ goal. Everybody has to put a shift in which is exactly what we weeps to see. If Beardsley and Shearer can do it, everyone else can

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  31. Wallace:
    Shelvey doesn’t work hard enough when he doesn’t have the ball. He lets players run off him in midfield and Benitez won’t tolerate that. It’s why he was dropped after the Southampton game where he was partially responsible for the first Saints’ goal. Everybody has to put a shift in which is exactly what we want to see. If Beardsley and Shearer can do it, everyone else can

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  32. Absolutely mate – been trying to drive a lot more traffic to the site this month which will mean more people will get to hear about us and want to contribute.

    The ‘Write for NUFC Blog’ banner on the side of the site seems to be doing the trick.

    Sharpy17: Andy – great stuff.It’s the injection I think the site has needed for some time now.Some good people on here, but needed new writers & new opinions to freshen it up.
    I know it’s early doors but GG is a good writer & seems a good egg.

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  33. Andy the Magpie:
    Absolutely mate – been trying to drive a lot more traffic to the site this month which will mean more people will get to hear about us and want to contribute.

    The ‘Write for NUFC Blog’ banner on the side of the site seems to be doing the trick.

    Andy – credit where it’s due then mate. I know we raise issues with the site at times, but the time & effort you’re putting in is paying off too 😉

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  34. Allardyce is getting it apparantly; Lovely stuff. His ridiculously overhyped reputation will be in the toilet by next Christmas & the mackems will be in complete disarray going into the new season…

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  35. Kimtoon:
    Ice & Sharpy He may be our new Nolan, impact on games wise.

    Kim – he has that grit & determination that I think we’ve lacked since the likes of Nolan & Barton. Maybe it’s that Scottish grit, but Hanley has it too and hopefully he’s next in.

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  36. CC:
    Allardyce is getting it apparantly; Lovely stuff. His ridiculously overhyped reputation will be in the toilet by next Christmas & the mackems will be in complete disarray going into the new season…

    great stuff, turning into a grand summer 🙂

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  37. I think Shelvey will do very well in The Championship as we will be on the front foot a lot of the time. He should definitely be played further up the pitch as he is in no way a defensive midfielder. I would encourage him to shoot but also tell him he has to be more discerning. We can’t have another Tiote situation where the crowd shout shooooooot every time he is on the edge of the 18 yard box and he scores 1 in 100.

    I do not think Rafa has made up his mind about Shelvey yet, nor Saivet for that matter. We were in a desperate survival situation and he went with experience and keeping it tight. Remember we had a young and inexperienced centre back pairing so that dictated selection too. Rafa went with Cisse over Mitro as well sometimes and now CIsse is gone so I think it is a clean slate for everybody – maybe even Thauvin.

    C’mon, McWally couldn’t figure out to do with most of our players so why wouldn’t Thauvin also get a second chance? Some write him off as light weight but so was Robert Perez and Solano and Robert for us weren’t exactly imposing physical specimens.

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  38. We will soon have a selection problem unless there are a couple of sales. We have gotten rid of most of the sick notes and has beens (Cisse, Obertan, Colocinni, Taylor, Marveaux) and replaced them with younger players that will actually be available for selection. In addition, Aarons and Haidara are young enough to take a risk on their injuries. I think Aarons in particular could be something special as every time I have seen him he has made an impact (except when Scteve played him at left back).

    Rafa is known for squad rotations though, so hopefully he can keep everybody happy.

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  39. Eric Sykes:
    I think Shelvey will do very well in The Championship as we will be on the front foot a lot of the time. He should definitely be played further up the pitch as he is in no way a defensive midfielder. I would encourage him to shoot but also tell him he has to be more discerning. We can’t have another Tiote situation where the crowd shout shooooooot every time he is on the edge of the 18 yard box and he scores 1 in 100.

    I do not think Rafa has made up his mind about Shelvey yet, nor Saivet for that matter. We were in a desperate survival situation and he went with experience and keeping it tight. Remember we had a young and inexperienced centre back pairing so that dictated selection too. Rafa went with Cisse over Mitro as well sometimes and now CIsse is gone so I think it is a clean slate for everybody – maybe even Thauvin.

    C’mon, McWally couldn’t figure out to do with most of our players so why wouldn’t Thauvin also get a second chance? Some write him off as light weight but so was Robert Perez and Solano and Robert for us weren’t exactly imposing physical specimens.

    Eric – I keep forgetting about Saivet 😯

    I think Rafa started Cisse knowing Mitrovic had more fire in his belly coming on as a sub personally.
    I might be wrong, but I didn’t see anything from Cisse that suggested he should be in ahead of Mitrovic – even that experience he had over him.

    Do you think that clean slate extends to the likes of Gouffran & Riviere?

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  40. Sharpy: from what we have seen Gouffy and Riviere are about Championship level so even they might help us. They both have a good workrate and as I have mentioned before, I am not sure they are totally ****e as they were managed by Pards, Carver and Schteve. Obviously, Riviere needs a goal or 2 to get him going.

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  41. Well, if the Fat Toad gets the England job then I might give up watching until the World Cup. He has done and won about as much in Management as two of the last losers they appointed – Mr. Roy and McCLaren. At least Jowly has a plan to go along with his arrogance. The other 2 looked lost and Mr. Roy was making too many on the fly changes in tactics and to the team.

    It probably will fck the Mackems though as Fat Sam bought players for his system and I think a new Manager would play a different way and struggle to fit them in.

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  42. Good luck to Big Sam if he gets the gig. Our players are not technical so he can probably make the squad play to his strengths.

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  43. If Jordan Ibe is worth 15 million then we are well within our rights to ask for 25 million for Sissoko or Wijnaldum. Ibe has 1 goal and 2 assists in 41 games. I know he is only 20 but please….

    We should be signing up our young prospects if this is the going rate. Aarons and Armstrong need to be offered new contracts now as the transfer market has gone bonkers.

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  44. Eric Sykes:
    If Jordan Ibe is worth 15 million then we are well within our rights to ask for 25 million for Sissoko or Wijnaldum. Ibe has 1 goal and 2 assists in 41 games. I know he is only 20 but please….

    We should be signing up our young prospects if this is the going rate. Aarons and Armstrong need to be offered new contracts now as the transfer market has gone bonkers.

    Eric – totally agree mate.

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  45. I see West Hams owners value Payet at £100m now. Citing the transfer fee situation as gone bonkers this year they feel he has to be worth that if the likes of Progba are. As Eric says, if Ibe is worth £15m then Sissoko has to be worth £25m plus .

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  46. I hope it is Hanley personally, only coz I don’t know much about the lad from Bristol City.
    I remember Hanley coming into the Bburn side in their relegation season & he looked good despite the teams bad form and he was a very young lad at the team – I suppose similar to Lascelles for us last season.
    I’ve kept half an eye on the kid since & without him & Rhodes over the last few seasons the Bburn would have fallen further down the divisions.

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  47. Good article and debate! Thanks!

    Shelvey has surprised me since he came. I really liked him at Swans and he started well here but as the games went on it became apparent that if the other team hassled him he’d get caught on the ball or harried into a poor pass. Once that started to happen to him he resorted to trying first time hollywood balls all the time. He’s a bit slow and stiff but left alone he’ll totally run a game. I think Rafa has doubts.

    Looks like we’ll be facing a lot of park the bus situations this season. Might the name of Andy Carroll have flickered through Rafa’s mind?

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  48. Georgio:
    Good article and debate! Thanks!

    Shelvey has surprised me since he came. I really liked him at Swans and he started well here but as the games went on it became apparent that if the other team hassled him he’d get caught on the ball or harried into a poor pass. Once that started to happen to him he resorted to trying first time hollywood balls all the time. He’s a bit slow and stiff but left alone he’ll totally run a game. I think Rafa has doubts.

    Looks like we’ll be facing a lot of park the bus situations this season. Might the name of Andy Carroll have flickered through Rafa’s mind?

    Georgio – it will be flickering through the minds of the journos mate, it does every window doesn’t it?! 😆
    I’m amazed we’ve got this far in & haven’t had that link with him yet 😯

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  49. Haha cheers mate, the site hasn’t been to everyone’s tastes so far but with the new writers coming in I believe it’s headed in the right direction.

    Sharpy17: Andy – credit where it’s due then mate.I know we raise issues with the site at times, but the time & effort you’re putting in is paying off too

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  50. Sharpy – who was the other CB paired with Hanley at Bburn when they both came in? Think it began with an H?

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  51. Georgio:
    Sharpy – who was the other CB paired with Hanley at Bburn when they both came in? Think it began with an H?

    Georgio – it was mainly Ryan Nelson from memory mate – not sure who you’re thinking with ‘H’

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  52. Big Sam wouldn’t be my first choice for England manager – though I do think he has some credentials.

    But regardless of that, what about Sunderland being in the **** … again!!!.
    Watching SSN and its all about the scum flapping – how many managers will that be in the last 2 seasons?.

    I hear Steve McClaren is available 😆

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  53. He has spent 16 of the last 36 months out injured, consisting of several lay offs. In top of that, he had large periods of not being g match fit Ince back.

    Last season he played 27 games – but don’t let that deceive you. He averaged 53 minutes per game and that was his best season for years.

    He is not worth the risk. Let’s move on and cast his name where it belongs – in the past.

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  54. Re: Shelvey – another good thread GG, thanks.

    Jury still out for me. He has talent and it’s good that he has passion. But he needs the intelligence to harness his emotions and adapt his game when required. If he can’t do those things then his talent and passion is worthless.

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  55. Shamrock:
    He has spent 16 of the last 36 months out injured, consisting of several lay offs. In top of that, he had large periods of not being g match fit Ince back.

    Last season he played 27 games – but don’t let that deceive you. He averaged 53 minutes per game and that was his best season for years.

    He is not worth the risk. Let’s move on and cast his name where it belongs – in the past.

    Sham – 😆 😆 2 anti Carroll posts in a row mate, that’s nearly an Eric rant 😆 😆

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  56. This is getting out of control!

    Kimtoon:
    I see West Hams owners value Payet at £100m now. Citing the transfer fee situation as gone bonkers this year they feel he has to be worth that if the likes of Progba are. As Eric says, if Ibe is worth £15m then Sissoko has to be worth £25m plus .

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  57. Sharpy – I hope we get Hanley. I’m a fan. Strong and assured – a leader to boot.

    I would like a big striker in so that we have 2 big with 2 pacey in Arma and Gayle.

    I’d like another winger as Aaron’s won’t last a full season. We need another defender (at left back) and an attacking CM.

    I expect Gini, Sissy and Tiote to go and hope Heidara, Rivi and De Jong move on.

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  58. Sham – agree 100% mate. I think the left side still looks a bit weak to me – esp the left wing.
    I like Dummett but I think I’d be happy with someone more experienced & one who can go forward from that position too (I’m not sold on Haidara at all).
    I would like a more box to box midfielder who is good going forward – is that Saivet? really don’t know enough about that guy at all.

    As for the forward, I want more of a goal scorer than a big un.
    If we can get both in the same player then great, but I look at our forwards and is there one there that will score 20 goals plus this season?.

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