Ex-Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has criticised Jonjo Shelvey for his role in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Bournemouth, explaining why Rafa will be ‘livid’ after he failed to react to both of their goals in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Lampard, who appeared on Match of the Day alongside Alan Shearer, priased Jonjo’s passing, but admits that his contribution in the latter stages wasn’t good enough.
Here’s what he had to say, highlighting his lack of reaction to the danger in the moments before Adam Smith’s goal which allowed the home side to pull one back:
“As good as his passing was the defensive side of his game in the latter stages didn’t live up to it.
“There didn’t seem to be a problem on the left-hand side but all of a sudden Lewis Cook moved and Jonjo Shelvey doesn’t.
“He seen him clearly and doesn’t move.
“The ball was played to Adam Smith and by the time the ball hit the back of the net, Jonjo Shelvey has got his hands on his knees and he’s bent over, there’s no reaction from him at all.”
Lampard then admits that these moments cost us the game, suggesting that Shelvey simply ‘switches off’, suggesting this is why a ‘livid’ Rafa Benitez doesn’t always play him:
“All of his team-mates are defending for their lives and look at Jonjo Shelvey, hands on his knees, he’s moved forward several metres rather than get back to help his team-mates.
“I don’t understand. I don’t think it’s a physical thing.
“I think it’s an adrenalin thing, I think it’s a concentration thing, he switches off.
“And Rafa Benitez will be livid and that’s why sometimes he doesn’t play him because he’s the best passer in the team but moments like that can cost you the game.”
The most frustrating thing is that it was very close to being another complete performance from Jonjo. He played a key part in our opening goal and did well for 80 minutes – but that’s not enough at this level.
If he’d have stuck his big chance in the back of the net then he’d have been praised by the pundits, but instead he misses and clearly lets that get to him, with his mind seeming to be elsewhere during Bournemouth’s late surge.
As Lampard says, he’s out best passer and he can be a huge asset to us when he performs as he did against Man Utd (and in the first half vs Bournemouth), but lapses like this are so costly and, unfortunately, something he does all too often.
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