Former Chelsea star and BBC Sport pundit Frank Lampard has said that Jonjo Shelvey’s lack of concentration and lack of mental strength cost Newcastle United victory over Bournemouth on Saturday.
The Magpies let their 2-0 lead at half time, thanks to a double from Dwight Gayle, slip as the Cherries netted two goals in the last 10 minutes to rescue a point at the Vitality Stadium and send the visitors away bitterly disappointed after their impressive first 45 minutes.
Midfield maestro Shelvey was heralded by supporters for his performance in the first half, as he dictated the play and constantly threatened the Bournemouth back line with his impressive range of passing and vision, but his influence waned as the game went on.
Now Lampard has pointed the finger at Shelvey for the Magpies letting their lead slip, and highlighted that his concentration and composure as a game wears on is a reason that manager Rafael Benitez has axed him from the starting XI at times.
He told Match of the Day (24/04, 22:30): “For as good as his passing was, his defensive side of his game in the latter stages didn’t live up to it.
“(For the first Bournemouth goal) Lewis Cook starts to move, and Jonjo Shelvey doesn’t. By the time the ball hits the back of the net, Jonjo Shelvey has his hands on his knees and is bent over.
“(For the second goal) All of his team mates are defending for their lives, look at Jonjo Shelvey, hands on his knees, he’s moved forward 10 metres rather than get back and help his team mates.
“I think it’s a concentration thing, I think it’s a mentality thing, he switches off and Rafa Benitez will be livid and that’s why he doesn’t play him sometimes – moments like that can cost you a game.”
Shelvey has found himself in and out of the first team on Tyneside after a roller coaster of a season which began with a stamp on Tottenham’s Dele Alli in the very first game of the campaign.
The 25-year-old has gone on to make 23 appearances across all competitions, 17 of those coming in the starting XI, and has also seen himself left as an unused substitute three times.
In other Newcastle United news, fans have blasted Benitez over this in-form forward.

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