Garth Crooks has named Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey in his team of the week after he scored a free-kick in the 3-2 win away at West Ham on Saturday
Shelvey, 27, netted for the second time this season when he beat Hammers goalkeeper Roberto from distance before running the length of the pitch to celebrate in front of the travelling Toon Army.
BBC Sport pundit Crooks has been gushing over Shelvey since but has admitted that the downside to the ex-Liverpool midfielder’s game is his ability to cause mischief and his injury record.
“This player will look back on his career and genuinely wonder why he never won more caps for England,” said Crooks on the BBC Sport website.
“On his day he can be as good as any midfield player in the country, but his fitness levels have always been a cause for concern along with the potential to cause mischief.
“Against West Ham, Shelvey demonstrated just how effective he can be on the ball.
“The dilemma for Magpies manager Steve Bruce is: does he stick with Shelvey or return to those who can regularly provide the grit and the endeavour?
“If Bruce wants the credit Rafa Benitez received from the Newcastle fans, he will need to get those decisions right first.”
Shelvey has had a very inconsistent season so far for Newcastle – mainly because Bruce does not seem to know where he fits into his squad. Shelvey started the first two league games of the season, then was dropped to the bench for two games, then was back in the starting line-up for two games before being dropped again. Shelvey has started five of 11 Premier League fixtures so far but his performance away at West Ham was no doubt his best. Not only did the midfielder score but stats by WhoScored show that no other Magpies player had more touches of the ball than him . Shelvey also chipped in defensively with two tackles, two clearances and two interceptions. So if Bruce wants to see Shelvey show off his defensive game more often, this was a good showcase of his overall midfield talents. Shelvey will no doubt be in the starting line-up for this weekend’s action.