Skillful Jonjo Shelvey;The future Liverpool Steven Gerrard in the making

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By Kelvin Eze

There is no doubt that Steven Gerrard is a complete effigy of what Liverpool football club stands for particular on the pitch. However, just as Richard Buxton rightly explain in his recent article regarding Gerrard, I can understand that his illustrious era is gradually coming to an end. No matter how hard it is to accept yes it is, because whatever goes up must surely come down.
NB: Please note that this post is void of stats, only normal illustrations, explanations and analysis contained. I leave stats to those it belongs.

In a town where you have a king ruling, you equally have the princes and other co rulers in order to have a successful rule. Gerrard in this case is the LFC’s King who is making way for another. I must admit that it is pretty hard to accept, I wish he can carry on with the same level of performances without or to be fair less injury. Who is that next Anfield king? He is that one who I describe as the ‘king designate’ in the person of Luiz Suarez. He is always and already on the palate of the lfc fans, and equally on the palate of biased pundits who are only out to smear him; for example as in the case of Mirror football and Rory Smith, both claiming he is a racist without been proven.

But the question is: is he the future Steven Gerrard? Hardly so. When we compare and contrast Gerrard and Suarez as to their style of play, they are quite different. Gerrard loves a free role, he plays as a second striker forming the best partnership with Fernando Torres, he displays the swagger, curves the ball, he enjoys spot kicks and free kicks. You could see him all over the pitch inspiring every personnel on the pitch. He is a complete attacking midfielder, an embodiment of a midfielder that loves scoring; whereas Suarez is not a midfielder but rather a striker or a second striker who loves to drift either right or left and in the box. These positions are where he thrives well. Suarez displays almost same but with free kicks, spot kick, and curvy shots with eyes closed and with accuracy Gerrard is ahead of him; except with time if he can get that included in his attributes, basically he won’t be like Gerrard.

Another regular team player who many including the King Kenny talk of is Jordan Henderson, the one they say would be a long term Gerrard replacement. I have watched him often times during his Sunderland FC days, I have seen his performances both past and present. He was fantastic for his former employers Sunderland FC but in no way near Gerrard’s style of football. His performances in his present club liverppol fc, has been below par as against what we saw in his previous club, although he gradually picking up his confidence and normal play. However, in terms of his style of play; his movement with the ball, his passes, ball control, tackles and running on the pitch are quite different. So, who really represents or is an effigy of Gerrard? Simply put, JONJO SHELVEY. Signed from Charlton Athletic FC by Rafa Benitez in 09/10 season, one of his astute signings regardless of what the media say to smear him.

When Benitez was going to sign him, it was reported that he was playing well above his colleagues, with his blistering shots during games and in training. This also reminds me of his wonder goal in England U21 training; he used his upper right foot to score, leaving many to wonder how he did it. That goal was exactly like the type Gerard once scored. (pardon me I don’t have a ref of that at the moment). I equally recalled that both Gerrard, Benitez and Torres were instrumental to his signing. May be he would have joined another club then, so as sweetener he might have been told that he would replace Gerrard in the near future, and sure they were/are right.

Under Roy Hodgson he was given plenty of chances, which moved Roy to say that he see him as Gerrard’s future replacement if he continues doing well. So even though Roy was out of dept he got that one right. Unfortunately, Shelvey got injured and that affected him. We can argue that he had some initial issues of understanding Liverpool ethos then as he had some twitter social networking backlash. That in a way stunted his involvement. Every young player is susceptible to such but would make up with time with proper training. As time passed by in order to fast track and improve his football growth the club deemed it fit to loan him out, albeit I learnt he initially rejected it. The loan move which is 3 months duration is now yielding huge profits both for him and the club. In their game against Leeds United on 02/11/11 he got a hatrick, a club that was once playing premier league but now a championship club. The first goal he scored was from a free kick like that of Gerrard’s against ‘the Mancs’ this season. In total he has scored 5 sweet goals, performing brilliantly in the midst of senior team players of a recently relegated premier league club Blackpool fc. He’s got confidence now, playing with more of it. Everyone at LFC hopes when he returns he comes with experience to challenge, but more importantly he would carry with him confidence which is essential to his growth. Jonjo is gradually becoming a complete attacking midfielder, an embodiment of a midfielder. At age 19 he already got England Under 21 call-up. Imagine a midfielder scoring 5 out of 6 appearances for his club; isn’t that what Gerrard does?

In summary I can see a Steven Gerrard in Jonjo each time he moves with the ball, passes the ball, controls the ball, with his tireless running on the pitch, when he chest the ball, his free kicks and spot kicks, his fearless move into a dangerous area and tackles, curvy right hand like that of Gerrard. If he continues his style of football, surely someday soon he would take over from Gerrard.
It is with these I say: Skillful JONJO SHELVEY, the future LIVERPOOL FC STEVEN GERRARD in the making.

Please note: This piece purely my opinion and not of every fan of LFC or LFC.
Sure, there would be some who share same opinion with me.

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  1. I totally agree wth what you say. I have watched shelvey and he is a box to box player. Very impressed with his game

  2. I totally agree. A few days ago there was an article linking us with a bid for Tom Huddlestone. It was suggested that because of his recent injuries, Liverpool were looking to Huddlestone as Gerrard’s long term replacement. I thought we don’t need to bring anyone in to replace Gerrard, we’ve got an identikit replacement already in Jonjo. As if to underline the point he went and scored a hat-trick for Blackpool a couple of days later. We have so much talent at U20 level it’s really exciting.

  3. I have to say, your grammar is atrocious. In fact, it almost renders your article incomprehensible.

    E.g. ‘I wish he can carry on with the same level of performances without or to be fair less injury’

    should maybe read: I wish he could carry on at the same level of performance with far fewer injuries….

    or something like that. If you publish more of your work on the internet can you please consider your grammar and syntax more carefully? Kids read this.

    1. Thanx bro, but question is: was Rome built in a day? Does a baby grow in a day? Glad that many enjoyd and understand it. So, build up not tear down. At any rate,thanx for the point.

      1. Can you hear yourself, Kelvin? With people like you, it’s small wonder that the English do not speak English any more.

  4. Agree mate, though I haven’t read your article, just the title, but I had the same thought after seeing his hat-trick “Stevie G in the making”

  5. Shelvey has been brought on mostly as a sub in his LFC career. He always seemed impatient and hot headed to me. He always seemed to want to win the game by himself when brought on. Henderson is gradually proving a much cooler customer.
    If Shelvey wants to be a leader in the Gerrard mold he needs to see the team must come first. I think at Blackpool is the best learning experience he can get with an excellent and astute manager to help him. This is something he may not have got at this transitional time at LFC. He has the quality anne if he matures as Gerrard had to do he will become a fine player. I think the move to Blackpool can only benefit him and LFC in seeing if Jonjo has the intelligence to fill the central midfield role. My money is on Henderson who is gradually showing his worth but I like the passion I see in Shelvey which gives every fan a great feeling. I hope he can channel it and become the leader we have had in Stevie but he must become more cultured and less raw talent. Now he is getting a sequence of full games under his belt we will see if Rafa was right.

    1. A certain Stevie G is also known to be impatient and seems to want to win the game by himself. It’s that superhero mentality, the passion and the talent that makes Jonjo just like Stevie, even if he does look more like Dr. Evil! Henderson is more like Lucas or Kuyt in that he gets on with it, gives it his all, but is hardly a man on fire. In fact, Henderson is as cautious and reserved as Lucas was a couple of years back! As far as apparent personalities go, Jonjo tends to display the same kind of hunger and ambition as Stevie, Suarez, Reina, Bellamy and Enrique. Henderson is a very different kettle of fish, most akin perhaps to Milner in terms of his obvious talent but tedency to disappear at times and will just play the game intelligently.

  6. I have said it before in one of my article that Jonjo no doubt is a well talented nd Xperience young plyr who is fit to step into my Great Stevie Gs’ shoe,but some so called premature ‘LFC fans’ who do not have any foresight at all are slating me b/cos of Shelvey but i believe dt with time they are going to see what i saw in him b/4 comparing him with my Captain fantastic(Gerrard) if God prevent them 4rm selling him!! Today look at what is happening now! 5 goals in 6 matches my pple we aint see nothing lets keep our fingers crossing nd wait.Y.N.W.A

  7. Thanx bro, but question is was Rome built in a day? Does a baby grow in a day? Glad that many enjoyd and understand it. So, build up not tear down.

  8. Yes but has he got / will he develop the Gerrard esque engine, drive, determination, slide tackle, stride pattern, one touch pass, never say die attitude and spirit?!

  9. Confidence is like steroids for footballers. And Shelvey has an abundance of it. With confidence at his age he will develop in a star one day, mark my words. He has the ability as well as the mentality to do that.

  10. As regards critisms towards me, i welcome them. This wud only make my work get beta. Meanwhile, my replies are made thru m.fone,which makes it hard 4me to type normaly. (txt mesage).

  11. There will not be another steven Gerrard although I agree Shelvey look’s a good player with a similar style . Their is only 1 Steven Gerrard and player’s like him rarely come around. I really hope he get’s past his injuries and we get to see him at his best for another few years , I think people forget just how good he is because he has been in and out with injuries the last two years but when on form and fully fit he is in my opinion the best central midfielder on he planet again some people will think i’m biased but a number of stars including Zinedine Zidane thnik he is the best player in the world full stop not putting Shelvey down but I can’t see him hitting the heights Stevie did and if he had played in another decade with better players he would have won umptine trophies and probably have been regarded as one of the greatest players ever to play the game.

  12. Hendeson is the one.But Jonjo is a great prospect but in casr you all get too carried away – Stevie G has 5 more years left in him.

  13. at first time i saw shelvey play, i think his style remind me of gerrard, but unpolished.
    and then LFC bought hendo, which in my opinion after i saw his video(when he’s on sunderland) remind me on gerrard style of play.
    i don’t know which one will be the next “gerrard”, my wishful thinking the two of them will…
    so we have deadliest midfield in the world… :)

  14. Did anyone here watch the little contest Jonjo and Henderson had with Downing and Skrtel? I think that pretty much told all the difference between Jonjo and Hendo. Hendo won the contest the smart way and Jonjo lost because he wanted to try something fancy that didn’t come off. Both these guys are attack minded and at their best in the middle of the park but they’re clearly suited to different situations. Obviously they’d best be deployed if you’re looking for a win – Jonjo when you need a miracle or someone to pull a rabbit from the hat, Hendo when a game is a little too heated and we need more head than heart. Lucas on for Gerrard in Merseyside derby to draw spectacular goalkeeping effort from Phil Neville anyone?

  15. In some ways I think he will be better than Gerrard and a future England captain!

    I remember when Gerrard was 18 and playing for Liverpool at the tender height of 5ft 9inches. Except when playing right back when he was very good, I felt Gerrard was out of place in the midfield, constantly out of his depth and was run ragged by vastly superior players. Then in two years Gerrard had a growth spurt (he’s now 6ft) and became the player we all know and love.

    Fast forward to Jonjo Shelvey.

    At the age of 18 this boy was already doing something that Gerrard/Ruud Gullit/Socrates could not do at the same age and that is to dictate and lead the midfield. Honestly I think we should be excited about Shelvey in a similar way we were excited by Rooney when he burst onto the scene because there is a maturity to his game that is well beyond his years. A future England midfield of Chamberlain, Wilshere, Barkely, Shelvey and Cleverley certainly waters the mouth and when you consider Andy Carroll is only 22, Conor Wickham 18, Raheem Sterling 16 (and still the best reserve player in the reserve league) and great young defenders coming along in Walker, Kelly, Jones, Smalling, Gibbs, I seriously reckon we have a new golden generation of players coming through and I believe this will be lead and captained by Jonjo Shelvey.

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