After an entertaining bank holiday weekend of football all eyes were set on Swansea’s Jonjo Shelvey. A player that rarely makes the headlines due to his consistency however he took them all this weekend from his standout performance against Man United.
A player that left Liverpool to join the Welsh side has established himself as one of their most important players. Albeit Gylfi Sigurdsson is known to be the most obvious playmaker, but as of late Shelvey has been the key provider for the frontmen this campaign. His superb passes were the focal point of Swansea’s attack at the weekend against the Red Devils.
The Swansea midfielder celebrated his call-up into a 22-man squad after helping his side beat Manchester United 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.
Shelvey’s only previous cap came against San Marino in October 2012 and he will be in contention to face them on Saturday.
England then play Switzerland at Wembley three days later, aware two wins will seal their passage to next summer’s finals.
Hodgson is without injured trio Jordan Henderson, Jack Wilshere and Phil Jones, who all started in the 3-2 win over Slovenia in June, while Andros Townsend is overlooked having yet to play for Tottenham this season. Liverpool’s Adam Lallana is also ruled out due to injury.
Manchester United left-back Luke Shaw returns having not played since the friendly win over Scotland last November and Jack Butland and John Stones are included after playing at the European Under-21 Championship. “This latest squad shows we are working with a good number of players with a claim to be England regulars and secure a place in Euro 2016,” said Hodgson.
This is a great chance for Jonjo to make an even bigger name for himself on an even bigger stage. Roy Hodgson named ten midfielders in his newest England squad, despite this, none of them are recognised as a defensive midfielder. Now, Shelvey hardly is either, but I believe he can put in a better display defensively than other selected midfielders:
Since England’s last game, March 31st against Italy, I believe Shelvey has outshone his rivals. In that time Shelvey has scored once and made two assists. Wilshere has none in either column, Delph has scored once and made three assists, Mason has no goals and two assists while Barkley has no goals and one assist.
Just last December, Gary Monk labelled Shelvey as “lazy” and told him to “wise up”. In April, Monk spoke about Shelvey again, but in a more positive light: “It’s about him [Shelvey] maturing in all ways and football-wise. And he’s shown that in the last two or three months. He has put in a great work ethic, which is the number one thing, then his quality comes through on top of that.”
Some will say the 23-year-old is unpredictable and a bit of a ‘hot-head’. However so far this season he seems to have matured and by reading the game so well, being unpredictable may be a good thing. We will just have to take note of his form after the 2 England games but I think Hodgson has a very good level minded defensive play maker. Also, still being young he is definitely one for the future for England and that future kick starts this weekend.