Jonjo Shelvey has had a decent season this term finally making a breakthrough into the Liverpool first-team and even making his international debut against Sweden at the end of last year. The 20-year-old seemed to fit in to the style of play that Brendan Rodgers was trying to adopt at Anfield and even featured up front to good effect in some fixtures.
He signed a new contract in the summer and seemed to be enjoying his football; and then came that game against Stoke City on Boxing Day. To be polite you could say that he didn’t have the best of games at The Britannia as Liverpool were comfortably beaten 3-1 by Tony Pulis’s men.
However some stories this week have carried a headline that claims Shelvey believes he was made a scapegoat after the defeat. In fact that is exactly what the headline says ‘I’ve been made a scapegoat, says Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey’.
So here is what Shelvey actually said:
"I played against Stoke and obviously I didn't have too great a game. I had a few personal issues that were going on in my life. I didn't think I was the only one that had a bad game that day but I was the one that suffered if you know what I mean. You just have to take it on the chin and work hard in training and try to get myself back in the team which I'm trying to do’’.
At what point in the above does he mention being made a scapegoat. He acknowledges he was not up to scratch in the fixture and then goes on to suggest he is not above putting in the graft necessary to get back into the first team.
The part which could be interpreted as the source of the scapegoat angle is the ‘I was the only one that suffered if you know what I mean’.
I think I know what he means. Not that he has been made a scapegoat. Merely that Jordan Henderson’s form has improved and Lucas is now back up to full fitness meaning competition for places in the midfield has become fiercer since the beginning of the season. One bad performance can cause you to lose your place.
Do I think he has been made a scapegoat? No and to be honest I don’t think Jonjo Shelvey believes that either.
What do you think? Has Jonjo Shelvey been unfairly treated in the media?
image: © kong niffe