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Steve Bruce should brutally sack Jonjo Shelvey from Newcastle’s midfield to face Manchester United on Sunday.
The former Liverpool player has been a mainstay of the Magpies unit for much of the season, but was only able to contain his side in Monday’s 2-0 loss to Chelsea.
Shelvey put on a lethargic and often lazy performance at Stamford Bridge while earning his 15th start of the Premier League campaign, and a streak of seven uninterrupted starts in which the 28-year-old has played the full 90.
Should Shelvey start against Man Utd?
If you have to start
No he’s not playing nice
Newcastle fans would have been forgiven for forgetting that Shelvey was on the field at times in South West London as the game frequently passed the £ 13 million forms the international city of England.
Shelvey showed no interest in shutting down the Blues when they began throwing passes around the field in the run-up to an early opportunity from Timo Werner, which the German could only send agonizingly off Karl Darlow’s post.
It sets the tone for Shelvey’s performance, as £ 70k per week Bruce’s favorite happily stood by and watched his United teammates get separated, on a night when Thomas Tuchel’s team could easily have produced a cricket score with a bit more precision.
Their performance improved marginally after the break, but by that time, the game had gone with Chelsea two goals in favor after shots from Olivier Giroud and Werner.
Shelvey has had trouble breaking an average Who scored rating of 6.56 in his last two league outings, while in matches against a trio of the top six teams at Villa, Arsenal and Leicester City, the Toon star failed to beat a mediocre 6.67 with a humble 6.06 against the Foxes, who it just shows that you are holding them back most of the time.
The Magpies are now preparing for a trip to Old Trafford on Sunday to face Manchester United, who will be desperate to rediscover the fluidity that made them title contenders just a month ago.
Shelvey’s selfless display at Chelsea was a far cry from the player that Bruce praised him for being towards the end of last season, when the Newcastle manager singled out his midfielder for accepting the system United were trying to develop.
“It is always difficult for a manager to distinguish an individual, but if there is someone who has taken into account what we require and what we want, then it is Jonjo”, Bruce. saying. Jonjo has always been blessed: it becomes easy, the game of soccer, like a game of golf for him. You are blessed with a natural ability. You can see a pass other people can’t, you can hand over a pass, you can score a goal.
“What we just tried to do is get him in good shape physically and mentally well, and physically and mentally he has accepted everything we have tried to offer him, and fair play. Right now, he’s reaping the benefit of how good he looks and of course he’s playing at the top of his game, which is always good to see because he’s been outstanding the last few. “
But that Shelvey is gone, and Bruce is sacrificing results keeping the six cap midfielder on his side. The Toon boss should realize that after Monday’s loss and call in the players who will bring energy and lead to the role against Manchester United.
Otherwise the magpies could easily be disarmed by Bruno Fernandes or leave the Portuguese master enough room to create a moment of magic as he only needed one shot to make a difference against West Bromwich Albion last weekend after a largely quiet performance.
As ruthless as he is, Bruce simply must cut the midfielder from his starting eleven this weekend.
And in other news, Newcastle have been offered a free agent with 77 career goals in the Premier League …