Jonjo Shelvey makes honest admission at Newcastle United as he addresses online criticism

Jonjo Shelvey had his critics over the past season.

Thursday, 27th May 2021, 12:48 pm

Yet, week in, week out, he was one of the first names on Steve Bruce’s Newcastle United teamsheet.

Also, Shelvey took the captain’s armband in the absence through injury of Jamaal Lascelles late in the campaign.

The midfielder, signed from Swansea City in January 2016, led the team to a 12th-placed finish. However, Shelvey’s selection through a difficult and challenging season for Bruce and his players often proved contentious.

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The 29-year-old – who reacted to early-season media criticism by making a “shhh” gesture towards the press box at Rodney Parade after scoring against Newport County – addressed accusations of on-pitch “laziness” in a wide-ranging and revealing programme interview for last week’s win over Sheffield United.

“I’m not being funny, but they can’t not like me as a technical footballer – that’s the one thing I’ve got,” said Shelvey, who played on after losing a tooth in the game at St James’s Park.

“Don’t get me wrong, I’m not the most mobile, I haven’t got the best engine, but, honestly, I walk off the pitch, and I’m done in. For two days, I can’t walk after a football match.

“I don’t know if that’s because I’m getting older, or whatever, but football’s getting quicker and quicker, and I’m adapting to that as well. I’m still adapting to the way you should live, what you should eat. I’m learning new things all the time”

Jonjo Shelvey points to a missing tooth against Sheffield United.

Shelvey is not on social media – and he “won’t lose sleep” over what is said about his performances online.

The 29-year-old said: “I’m not going to lose sleep over it, to be honest with you.”

Shelvey signed a new deal keeping him at Newcastle until 2023 last year – and the Romford-born player and his family are settled in the North East.

“I’m comfortable living here, I love living here,” said Shelvey. “For my kids, it’s probably the best place I could be in terms of them growing up.

Jonjo Shelvey makes a "shhh" gesture towards the media at Rodney Parade.

“They just love it. I’ve just bought a house up here now after five years. I wish I did it earlier, because I wouldn’t have wasted all that money on the rest. It’s a lovely place to be. It’s nice, it’s settled, it’s chilled.”

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