Sky Sports pundit Jamie Redknapp has praised Jonjo Shelvey’s ‘brilliant’ passing ability, however he’s suggested that Rafa Benitez’s ‘negative’ style of play may hold him back from an England call up.
Redknapp has also questioned his consistency and temperament when assessing his England hopes, but he seems to think our team and Rafa Benitez’s negative approach isn’t giving him the opportunity to ‘showcase his skills’.
Here’s what he’s had to say in his latest column for the Daily Mail:
“Few English midfielders are better than Jonjo at hitting those raking, 50-yard ‘Hollywood’ passes,”
“He is a brilliant quarterback and has the ability to unlock any defence. What holds him back when it comes to consideration for England is that he lacks that half a yard of pace you need to succeed on the international stage.
“There are also question marks over his temperament. He needs to have at least 10 brilliant games for Newcastle in the coming months if he wants to add to his six caps.
“Whether he will have the opportunity to showcase his skills in a team which plays so negatively remains to be seen.”
It’s a funny one. Shelvey may, at times, be wasted in a team that sees so little of the ball (which has been us so far this season), however Rafa Benitez has done wonders for Jonjo as a whole – significantly improving his work off the ball and discipline in general.
Yes he may catch the eye more in a team like Bournemouth, who are more of a possession based side that play attacking football, but his temperament and decision making is tested more at Newcastle – and there’s been clear signs recently that all those things are improving.
We all know how good he is technically, so him playing in Rafa Benitez ‘negative’ system is surely a test of his adaptability above all else, being something that should prove to Gareth Southgate that he is not just a luxury player who finds one lovely 60 yard pass every now and then.
As for the issues Redknapp mentions around his ‘lack of pace’ and ‘temperament’, has he really shown that these are big enough issues to keep England’s best passer of a football out of our squad? I don’t think so myself..
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