Such An 'Easy Target'

Last updated : 26 February 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Shelvey’s miss should not entirely taint another promising personal performance, although one pundit laid into him on MOTD on Saturday evening.

Image result for Bournemouth 2 Newcastle United 2But we have taken four points from the last two games against Man Utd and Bournemouth and I (for one) would have taken that before the start of play.

In many ways, his performance against Man United was unsurprising. It is easy for a player to get themselves up for a match against a top-six side, but the key is to replicate those displays against the other 14 sides in the divisions.

Far too often during the first half of the campaign, Shelvey would enjoy a good 20-minute spell in a match, but he would also disappear for large periods of the game too.

Benitez challenged Shelvey to repeat his dominant Man United display on the south coast, while the player himself admitted earlier this week he needed to stamp his authority on relegation clashes such as this one.

And Shelvey was most certainly instrumental for 80 minutes at Dean Court - mainly in a positive sense, until one horrible miss swung the momentum of the game.

It was a trademark Shelvey through-ball which released Ritchie to centre for Gayle’s opener, with the Newcastle midfielder pinging a delicious pass down the right wing.

There were several other examples of Shelvey’s inch-perfect, defence-splitting passes too, but it was his all-round game - and his burgeoning understanding with Mo Diame in the engine room - which was most impressive.

Yet that miss in the 79th minute, less than 60 seconds before Bournemouth scored their first, was costly - and the midfielder left the field with his head down in disappointment.