Jonjo Shelvey’s schoolboy set-pieces and slow tracking back did not go unnoticed by Alan Shearer last night, with him ‘annoyed’ and ‘angered’ at the midfielder during our 3-0 defeat to Arsenal.
Shelvey was one of eight changes brought into the side for our trip to the Emirates and was a complete passenger against a Gunners side that is lightyears away from the Arsenal of old.
Sloppy passing and a lack of energy made him look like a shell of the player we signed FIVE years ago now – with one of his amateurish corners resulting in Arsenal going up the other end to clinch the game at 2-0!
This left a certain Alan Shearer annoyed, with him having this to say to Premier League Productions:
“Well, this is the really annoying thing that makes me angry because you bring Lascelles up, you bring Clark up.
“You’ve got Carroll in there. You’ve got Joelinton in there. You’ve got others who can head a ball in there and you’re saying ‘come on’ to Jonjo Shelvey.
“Give me one bit of quality. Put the ball into the box, into the danger area, and he hits the front post.
“It also happened in the first half.”
Shearer then bemoaned his lack of desire following the awful corner, slating those who didn’t bust a gut to get back and stop an Arsenal counter attack:
“Then, to make matters worse, you’re thinking: ‘Come on! Where’s your effort? Where’s your determination to get back?’
“That sort of summed the game up for Newcastle with Arsenal scoring from their set-piece.
“Arsenal were much better, much brighter.
“They were more lively in that second half and Newcastle couldn’t live with that and couldn’t cope with that, and Arsenal deserved to win and probably deserved to score more goals.”
There is a real dog fight to see who can make a claim as our ‘least worst’ option in central midfield and hold down a regular berth in that position.
Shelvey did himself no favours last night and a player who I once considered our best now looks disinterested and someone who doesn’t even get in our best XI right now.
The January window is open. However, with lends and freebies our only avenues of transfer activity I don’t think of midfield woes are going to be rectified anytime soon.