24 Feb 2012

Jonjo Shelvey: Was it really worth disrupting his development...?

It appears that Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey is being shunted out on loan again, with Middlesbrough his likely destination. Since being recalled from his previous loan spell at Blackpool, Shelvey has been granted one start in 15 games, which begs the question, why was he recalled in the first place if all he was going to do was warm the bench?

According to Sky Sports, the midfielder is set to move to Teesside on loan after the Carling Cup final this Sunday.

Prior to being recalled, Shelvey was doing superbly at Blackpool, and contributed six goals and two assist in 10 games. Back at Liverpool, he never really had the chance to get going. Let's look at the facts:

* Given only one start in 15 games

* In the last month and a half, given only 25 minutes of pitch time.

* Played only 280 minutes of football, at an average of 18 minutes a game.

* On the bench for 13 out of 15 games.

* Was an unused sub in 9 out of 15 games.

* Scored a goal and created another in his solitary start against Oldham. his reward? Dropped for the next game, and an unused sub for the next five games.

With these things in mind, why was Shelvey brought back to Liverpool in the first place? Surely his development would've been better served by allowing him to continue learning and *playing* at Blackpool? How does warming the bench for thirteen games help his development?

After scoring/creating two goals against Oldham, I find it hard to understand why he was then dropped for the next six games, yet the totally ineffective likes of Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing were chosen to start practically every game.

Based on Shelvey's comments over the last month, I'm sure he'll be slightly demotivated at being sent out on loan again. The situation has not changed: Lucas is still injured, and Liverpool are short of genuinely creative attacking midfielders.

If the club don't need Shelvey for the rest of the season, why was he needed for the last two months? Based on his appearance stats above, it's obvious that he wasn't actually need at all.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. better player than spearing, keeps the ball well, and offers something different. wat a waste

  2. I think he should be in the team in the place of Adam easily, but Kenny loves his signings can't see anything separating him form them 

  3. Knee jerk reaction after losing LL for the rest of the season!!
    really should have left him at Blackpool! He was doing great there......

  4. Shelvey is already better than Henderson and if it was not for the price tag Shelvey would be starting ahead of him.

  5. one for the future, this lad as bags of talent & confidence, always wants the ball, never goes hiding

  6. More important is the story from the BBC website but not on Northwest tonight http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-17160761?  The KKK mask saga, no prosecution and they are suing the police for loss of income.  Fergie has really pulled in some favours here, but then the authorities are all in his pocket.

  7. @WinstonCL come on lads, he was recalled as cover for a midfield that had just suffered the season ending injury to Lucas. it was strictly precautionary and that's why the loans are structured as so, for just this sort of situation.  i wish he stayed at Blackpool because of the type of impact he was having.  Ian Holloway's side is a good fit for forward thinking center mids. i.e Charlie Adam.

  8. For training purposes? When he was recalled, it was not known if Gerrard was going to make it fit through the season, although it now looks like that will indeed be the case. However, they would have needed the numbers in training. Imagine if Jay and Henderson lacked competition!

    I too, and maybe alot of the rest of us would've loved to see him start more games, but the reality is Adam and Gerrard would always start ahead of him and all 3 of them offer something similar in terms of style and personality of football. Notice Adam and Gerrard don't start too many matches together either, with them being subbed on/off for each other?

    Perhaps why Henderson is preferred could be he has greater discipline than Shelvey and is less likely to be error prone or errs on the side of caution. It could be because of Henderson's price tag. Henderson is also significantly faster/pacier than Shelvey. We also have to consider the season has been about integrating the unfamiliar players so that they will be genuine options to slot in at any time next season. Based on his cameos, Shelvey seems better integrated with the team than even Adam - much less Downing and Henderson. Shelvey also doesn't seem as badly in need of a confidence booster as those 2. Spearing was always going to get more games because we are short of defensive options.

    Personally, I was wondering why Shelvey was even recalled from Blackpool because the absence of Lucas upsets the balance of leaders vs supporters even more, seeing as Lucas is a water carrier and Shelvey likes to lead(once again, like Gerrard, Adam, Bellamy, Agger, Reina and Suarez). We can only speculate. There is ostensibly more to be optimistic about watching Shelvey than the rest of our English midfield. The kid is something special and I think it is a shame we don't play him often enough. He definitely brings alot more purpose to the movement and passing to the team and we've missed that in the absence of Alonso and Aquilani. We can only hope we'd be able to hold onto him for the long term.

  9. god, u r a knob. we were runnin short of midfielders at the time, losin lucas, stevie not fully fit, other options either injured, suspended or 'settling in'. so why shudnt we recall him as cover in the short term? now we are in a better position he goes to boro to continue his development to hopefully prepare him for bein ready for our 1st team as a regular in the future, as he isnt quite there yet. so whats the problem??? sayin he wasn't needed at all the last 2 months is simple with hindsight isnt it?

  10. What short memories! Thank god none of you make these decisions. The situation has changed! 
    When Shelvey was recalled, Lucas was injured and Gerrard was struggling to come back from injury, and hadn't played in 6+ months, as well as an injury to spearing. There was no gurantee he wouldn't have further setbacks. Shelvey's goal and assist against Oldham it justifies the decision to bring him back, 2 months without first team football won't kill him, if he's good enough he'll still be fine. Are you telling me Stevie wouldn't be the player he is if he had missed 2 months of first team football at 19/20?

  11. This site is one negative LFC story after the other. I agree in that you should never paper over cracks, but F**K ME, balance the negativity out a bit!!! Or have LFC never done anything worthy of positivity or praise to be included on your site in your eyes?! Or is that the whole point of this site? The fact that this site & more importantly it's 'content', first emerged during the 'PURSLOW' rein at LFC hasn't gone unnoticed by me. Just saying....

  12. It obviously has gone unnoticed by you because this site began in 2007, not during the reign of Purslow. There is plenty of positive stuff on this site, and if you aren't objective enough to see past the homepage then that's your problem. As I say to everyone who moans about the content: if you can hack critical realism then there are hundreds of other LFC sites out there that will cater to your expectations. Block this site; don't visit; simple solution.

  13. This is not good. I think his Liverpool career is all but over now, you don't just send a player out on loan after recalling him two months earlier, especially since we have a number of players (Adam, Henderson, Kuyt and Downing) under performing in midfield. Pity Kenny doesn't rate him because he does look a class act to me.

  14. Disappointing to see Shelvey go back out on loan, a player who is fully committed and not fazed playing for a big club unlike a few of our new signings this season. No need to buy Henderson.

  15. Jamie, sometimes your arguments always seem to appear one-sided, perhaps a more balanced view on the topic would be better received and more appreciated. 

    I would find it hard to believe that he is being "shunted" out of the team that has his best interests at heart, Jonjo Shelvey was off course, recalled for safety and cover for the first team with Lucas being a long term injury, Jonjo is fully swear of this, and being a young apprentice at such a wonderful club, I am sure he understand's his present role and duty. Shelvey could be the future of liverpool depending on his development ( hence the importance of first team football he will get at Middlesborough) Downing, considering the price, must be the present and must deliver.

    Shelvey did indeed score at Oldham which in its self was a reward however Jamie you failed to mention that for the next game he was dropped was Man City away, hardly surprising.

    Kenny has reiterated the importance of a team spirit and unlike Chelsea, Liverpool are building a team built on respect and understanding, that it is the team that is most important and not the player.  

    You suggest in your article that Shelvey's recall has been a waste of time, I disagree, you fail to mention that he isn't leaving until after the Cup Final, that he has had the chance to be back around and learning from some world class professionals and a legendary manager, which will do him no harm. If he would of stayed at Blackpool then he wouldn't of had the great experience of being around a cup final team.

    Shelvey will leave again soon but he will have gained more experience from his current time spent back at Anfield, he will gain vital match experience with Middlesborough and will get some games under his belt. Lucky for Liverpool they have a strong squad, that means Jonjo and others will not automatically be guaranteed in starting line up.

    Not all players are the same, the plan for Jonjo will be different from other players similar to his age, he is young and i am sure he will return a more developed player. 

  16.  Even the police and the courts?

    Have you taken your pills today?

  17. begs the question is kanwar a dick

  18. I personally think Jaimie's style is intentionally provocative, and that's one of the things that keeps us addicts coming back. His posts are never just about their content. Alot of them have loopholes and all of them force you to take a side and that's what makes this site such a success! We don't have to be members and every article promotes/stimulates discussion and debate.

  19. I for one have to admit that the last 4-5 articles ive read have been negative. I welcome constructive critism but lets balance it out. KK has done well in 14 months of being back in the hotseat.
    Seeing that it is Liverpool fans you are dealing with i find you quite disrespectful towards anyone who doesnt like all your postings and for that reason i wont be returning to this site.
    Maybe you should go and write for the Mancs instead !!!!

  20. Where were the anti-racism groups and Mr Powar their disgust and out cry that a fans group thought using one of the most feared signs of racism in the USA in the 19th/20th century the KKK hood/outfit as a joke was okay?
    Zero tolerance Mr Cameron? The police enforced zero tolerance and they don't get backed up by the CPS and nothing from the FA. 

  21. Sending our players on loan to lower league teams is not developing our players sending them on loan to other Premier League teams like Man U(Welbeck,Evans Sunderland)(Cleverly Wigan ),Arsenal(Wilshire,Miyaichi Bolton) Chelsea(Sturridge,Bolton)(McEachran Swansea) and Spurs (Walker Villa) have. All those players are now performing for their home clubs and have benefited from having a season or half a season at another Premier League club.

  22. Poor management. End of. Why is everyone scared of Dalglish and why can't he be told the results - particularly at home - are not acceptable?

    Shelvey needs a proper football club to nurture him. All the best Jonjo.

  23. Funny how Bolton used to be a retirement home for the stars, e.g. Nakata, Hierro, Campo, and now it's a bleeding ground for promising reserves of top clubs!