Bent: Bruce harsh to drop Matty Longstaff

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Former Sunderland striker Darren Bent has slammed Jonjo Shelvey and has questioned the work-ethic of the central midfielder.

Shelvey, 27, has returned to Steve Bruce’s starting line-up in recent weeks and although he scored an impressive goal away at West Ham, there were some fans on Twitter who were not pleased with his display against Bournemouth at the weekend.

Sky Sports pundit Bent has called on Shelvey to work on his desire and start leading my example at St James’ Park rather than expecting his team-mates to pick up the slack.

“It was harsh but it showed it was the right decision. He scored a great free-kick (v West Ham),” Bent told Football Insider.

“I do like Shelvey, I think he’s a good player. I do think he needs to be giving more to the cause and maybe realise he’s not at Liverpool any more, he’s not playing with these so-called better players any more so he does need to put a shift in.“It’s going to be tough at times but at the same time he needs to show them he’s willing to fight for the cause. It’s not always as simple as playing with good players, but he showed his quality and he has got a lot of quality.

“It was harsh on Matty Longstaff but I think he’ll understand and appreciate why.”


Even if Shelvey did not play that well against Bournemouth in the eyes of some fans on Twitter, you have to admit that his return to the starting line-up has made an impact for Newcastle. He’s started the last two matches alongside Isaac Hayden in the centre of the midfield and the Magpies have won on both occasions. There have always been concerns about Shelvey’s work-ethic and that is something that has definitely held him back at St James’ Park. He has a lot of ability and a lot of natural talent but he is so picky about when he decides to show it. Is Shelvey frustrated at Newcastle? Maybe. He is a high-earning player according to Spotrac, earning £70,000-a-week. However he is not starting that often and that could be why he does not look 100 per cent committed at times. When Shelvey turns up, he is a joy to watch but when Newcastle are worried about relegation, you cannot have luxury players around like that unless they are fully committed.

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