Jonjo Shelvey praised for showing courage in adversity amid bizarre 2-2 draw between Swansea and Liverpool
The England midfielder played a role in all four goals
Wednesday 18 September 2013
Jonjo Shelvey may only be 21, but the talented English midfielder has already crammed an awful lot into his promising career.
In the space of five seasons, the Swansea player has smashed records at Charlton as the club's youngest player and scorer, made more than 50 appearances for Liverpool, won an England cap, been the subject of a £5m move and gained headline dominance after one of the best Premier League games of the current campaign. And that is not to mention having a touchline row with former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
That emotional side of Shelvey was in danger of getting in the way at the Liberty Stadium on Monday night after he put Swansea ahead after just two minutes but then made the errors which handed his former club a 2-1 lead, courtesy of Daniel Sturridge and Victor Moses strikes.
But after a word from his captain, Ashley Williams, who told him to calm down and forget the mistakes, all-action Shelvey topped off his bizarre contribution to a dramatic night by setting up Michu's 64th-minute equaliser in the 2-2 draw.
That attitude earned immediate praise from Williams. "Obviously he made some mistakes, but, for a 21-year-old, he's got balls," he said.
"I've made mistakes, we all do, but not on that stage. Monday night football, the whole country watching, against your old team – it doesn't get any worse.
"But I just said, 'Don't worry about it'. I know more than anyone what it's like to make a mistake so I wanted to get him to carry on with the game.
"He plays with emotion so I knew that it was going to affect him a little bit. Me and Leon [Britton] just tried to speak to him and say settle down.
"It was an honest mistake so you can't have a go at him. I'd rather have a go at someone that didn't give 100 per cent. No one's blaming him. It was just one of those days.
"He stayed on for the whole game, got on with it and didn't hide. He isn't shy and always wants to get on the ball. His willingness to get on the ball was the most important thing. He's got courage and I think he showed that. But he will definitely learn from it."
Shelvey and Swansea are now preparing for their Europa League group stage match in Valencia on Thursday night. And Williams admits that as they get ready there will be banter in training about Shelvey's mixed evening against Brendan Rodgers' table-toppers.
But that is a sure sign of how well Shelvey, who swapped being Steven Gerrard's neighbour for a quiet life living in the Mumbles, has settled in since his summer arrival.
Williams said: "Mistakes won't stay with you for too long, but it hurts at the time. The lads have already taken the mickey out of him a bit, but he's a good lad.
"We've got a game on Thursday and then Sunday. The good thing about football is you've always got a training session coming up."
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