When Jamaal Lascelles left the pitch against Bournemouth with his leg injury, Jonjo Shelvey was given the captain’s armband. Jonjo, who had just come into the team the week before at West Ham, handled the added responsibility well and continued to build on his excellent performance from the week before.
With Lascelles sidelined until at least Christmas with a fractured tibia, Newcastle will need someone to deputize for the 26-year-old over what could amount to around 9 fixtures.
While the club have some excellent candidates to fill the role in Fede Fernandez, Fabian Schar, or Isaac Hayden, it looks like Steve Bruce will soldier forward with Jonjo as the skipper.
Steve Bruce made the following comments about Shelvey as published in the Daily Mail:
“Jonjo seems to be the normal one, to put (the armband) on him, and I’ve got no problem with that.
“If it seems to be that way then I won’t upset that, we’ll give it to him.
“He’s got this perception about him that he doesn’t care – that’s wrong. He’s a good pro, he’s a good lad, and he’s popular. He trains well and I’ve got no problem with him.”
Steve Bruce is top-notch with his handling of this squad of players. Shelvey is a bit of a wildcard player. He runs hot and cold, but when dialed in, he provides qualities that no one else in the group can.
Bruce giving Jonjo this extra responsibility can hopefully keep the enigmatic playmaker focused and firing away. We’ll see if Shelvey can continue with his good run of form on Monday at Aston Villa.
With Jonjo, we always hesitate and wait for what seems to be an inevitable drop in form. Maybe Steve Bruce can get this unique talent to find the consistency he has lacked in his career.
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