Swansea midfielder Jonjo Shelvey had a rollercoaster of a night for Swansea today in the entertaining 2-2 draw against Liverpool.
After mis-hitting a shot and then quickly gaining control of the ball, Shelvey scored in under two minutes to put Swansea City one-nil ahead of his old club. But before Swansea had a chance to savor the lead, Shelvey was caught in defense where he hit a poor back pass into the path of Daniel Sturridge who quickly equalized to steal Swansea’s thunder.
To make matters worse, Shelvey gave the ball away to Liverpool again with another poor pass, knocking the ball into Victor Moses’s path. Moses then stormed down the pitch, made a turn and hit the ball into the Swansea net to make it 2-1 to the Reds. Shelvey was at fault for both goals, which were given on a silver platter to Liverpool.
After the half time break, when Jonathan de Guzman came on for Nathan Dyer, Shelvey’s game improved significantly. He was pushed up as more of an attacking midfielder, which enabled de Guzman and Britton to concentrate on defensive midfield duties. Shelvey’s passing accuracy was better in the second 45 minutes. And the former Liverpool midfielder was rewarded for his hard work with a beautiful header to assist on the goal by Michu, which tied the game 2-2.
Shelvey is emotional in his post match interview, admitting that he wanted to jump into a giant hole to escape the pressure and embarrassment of making those mistakes. But in a positive step for his confidence, Michael Laudrup stuck to his guns and let Shelvey continue to play. Laudrup’s faith and Shelvey’s determination were rewarded in the end.
Here’s the post-match interview with Shelvey:
As a Swansea City supporter, I honestly don’t have much time or patience for Shelvey. That may sound cruel, but I’d much prefer Laudrup to let Shelvey learn his ropes in less important matches such as the Europa League instead of letting more experienced footballers like Jonathan de Guzman and Jose Canas sit on the bench.
This isn’t the first time this season where Shelvey has been a liability in midfield. In the away match versus Tottenham Hotspur, Jonjo was guilty of losing possession in midfield where he gave the ball away or made poor passes. I’m all for his continued growth, but I’d rather see Swansea City footballers who are more gifted playing in big matches against teams like Liverpool.