Isaac Hayden gives insight into the REAL Jonjo Shelvey – and what he brings to Newcastle United
Isaac Hayden says Newcastle United fans saw what Jonjo Shelvey is REALLY about against Manchester City.
However, Shelvey kept his place for Saturday’s game against Premier League champions Manchester City – and the midfielder scored a late equaliser for Newcastle, who twice came from behind to draw 2-2 at St James’s Park.
Hayden, his midfield partner, believes that Shelvey, the team’s leading scorer with three goals, is misunderstood.
“The thing with Jonjo is that it’s a bit of a Catch-22, really,” said Hayden.
“When he wasn’t playing, people were saying he should be playing, and then when he plays, people say he shouldn’t be playing and he can’t do this or that.
“People will always talk about Jonjo being this or being that, but, at the end of the day, the group of players here knows the qualities that he brings to the team. We know what he can do.
“It’s easy for a lot of people to talk on the sidelines, saying ‘he’s lazy’ or ‘he doesn’t do this or that enough’, but his performances show differently. If you look at the stats, that we get to see, then they show his running stats are good.
“It’s a persona thing with him, maybe, because he’s very laidback and chilled, but he puts a lot of effort in and he gets himself about the pitch. He’s good for us as a team.
“He’s got that bit of magic there – that’s the whole point of playing him. If everyone was the same, the team wouldn’t work. He’s got his strengths and he’s got his weaknesses, like everybody else.
“But if you’d watched him, you’d have seen what he’s about, and the most important thing for him is to have that consistency.”
Shelvey, 27, has finally overcome a niggling thigh injury.
“A lot of people don’t realise what the injury he had entailed, and how much it inhibited him in terms of not being able to play for the last year or 18 months,” said Hayden. “To be able to get back to your best, it does take time.”