Are we going to survive without Shelvey? I think the Blackburn game suggests a hearty “Yes”.
All we were missing was a bit of luck. Remember the not too distant past where we actually had games with no shots at goal?
The great Jonjo Shelvey debacle of 2016 reminds me of a theory that I once pushed regarding the great teams of recent years.
Many of the most successful teams in Premier League history have turned out to be one man shows, struggling to maintain form when hit with a single injury or ban.
When Adams was out injured for Arsenal they went through a rough patch, and struggled to replace him when he finally retired.
Then we had periods of poor form coinciding with the absence of other pivotal players. Manchester United almost collapsed when the in-form Ferdinand was out through injury, and again later when Rooney had a spell out.
Frank Lampard proved to be the player that Chelsea couldn’t do without, while Gerrard was Liverpool’s mainstay.
What is interesting here is that it’s rarely the 30 – goals a season striker who kill’s a team by going AWOL. It’s usually someone from the engine room that makes everything tick. Bit of a mixed metaphor there.
So if the game against Blackburn showed us anything it has to be that even without Shelvey being there to orchestrate, we can still create chances. Whether they go in or not is a different matter, but chances were definitely created, and many from telling tackles in midfield that caught the Blackburn players out of position.
Transfer news is as daft as ever though it appears that Rafa is communicating better with the media these days, resulting in a lot less speculation. At least a lot less believable speculation.
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