Dwight Gayle has explained just why ‘close friend’ Jonjo Shelvey is misunderstood by so many, sharing some brilliant stories about his competitiveness and ‘will to win’ – admitting how he even gets stuck into tackles when playing with his kids in the garden!
The NUFC number 9 also touches on Jonjo’s exclusion from the England squad heading to Russia this summer, admitting that he was left quite upset he didn’t make it, but insisting that it’s Southgate’s loss to have left out a player of his quality.
Here’s what Dwight has had to say during his chat with the Mirror, revealing how it’s his ‘will to win’ that people wrongly misconstrued as aggression:
“He’s perceived to be a bit different, but he’s a good lad and a really good friend.
“It’s his will to win that might make people see him as aggressive.
“Last weekend, we were in the garden with the lads, and some of their kids are having a kickabout. Then Jonjo joined in and started flying into them with full-on tackles!”
I don’t know about you but that one made me chuckle!
Yes he’s done some silly things and has sometimes over stepped the mark on the pitch, but there’s been clear signs over the last 6 months that he’s really starting to learn his lesson – highlighted by the fact he’d been booked just ONCE since Christmas.
Gayle then touched on his competitive nature, mentioning the time Shelvey gave him a rollocking during a game last season:
“We’ve had a few arguments.
“I remember in one game he was meant to give the ball back to their keeper and he accidentally booted it out for a throw-in. I was happy for them to throw the ball back to their keeper and get on with it. But he went mad at me, saying, ‘Do you not want to win?’
“But that’s just the way he is – desperate to win.”
And finally, Dwight admitted just how upset he was following the England snub, insisting that he should have been on the plane based on his quality on the ball and ability to offer ‘something different’ to our current crop of players:
“I am close friends with Jonjo and he was upset he didn’t make it,”
“His range of passes, one touches, and thought process are a lot quicker than other players. And while he is not the biggest guy, you don’t often see him getting pushed off the ball, because he is so forward-thinking in possession.
“He offers something different to some of the other players in there. He should have been called up. England have missed out there.”
A tough one to take for Jonjo but some brilliant stories to take from a good friend and fellow teammate here.
Hopefully he enjoys his well earned summer break and comes back refreshed for next season.
It really is England’s loss. Just look at this clip below of his passing last season. To think they have Jake Livermore in reserve instead..
Here's a short video of Jonjo Shelvey showing he's half decent at passing a ball. pic.twitter.com/GFcwnYUhaN
— John (@jbxnufc) May 24, 2018