While last weekend’s 3-2 victory over West Ham United saw many Newcastle United players deliver excellent performances, perhaps midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was the most impactful of all.
The 27-year-old surprisingly came into the team for the London Stadium clash in place of teenage star Matty Longstaff and put on a show, scoring what turned out to be the winning goal with a magnificent free-kick.
However, Magpies head coach Steve Bruce believes we hadn’t seen Shelvey at his best until now: “With Jonjo, I honestly believe that he was not fully fit,” he said at his pre match press conference, as per The Chronicle.
“I think he was carrying something and it was frustrating for him. His stats last week were massive so physically, he can do it,” he finished.
So if you thought Shelvey looked a man reborn last time out, perhaps his return to full fitness is the reason why. He certainly looked rusty in the early part of the season, so perhaps Bruce is right in what he says, and so the Newcastle supporters are surely buzzing about what the England international could produce in the weeks to come.
His display against the Hammers certainly whet the appetite, that’s for sure. The statistics demonstrate just how dominant the former Swansea City man was in east London.
As per WhoScored.com, Shelvey scored, had two shots, produced one successful dribble, four crosses and 12 long balls knocked forward to the front three.
Nor did he shirk his defensive duties. He made two tackles, two interceptions and two clearances, on his way to a game-high WhoScored rating of 8.12.
If that was an indication of things to come then that is very exciting for the Newcastle fans. Shelvey has always been a talented player, but consistency has been his problem on Tyneside. Now, though, we might be about to see the best of him.