Date: 27th April 2021 at 8:35pm
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Alex Stewart has been speaking on the latest edition of The Athletic’s Tifo Podcast about Newcastle United’s 1-1 draw with Liverpool and other news from the world of football.

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Starting with a relatively recent player. Who is this?

One of the topics that Stewart spent some time on was Steve Bruce’s decision to take Ciaran Clark off at Anfield and move Jonjo Shelvey into the centre of defence to play as a libero.

In the end, you have to say it worked as the Toon managed to snatch a point, and Stewart thinks that moving Shelvey into defence was a bold move.

He said: “Newcastle defended very resolutely, even when – and this is probably my favourite element of the entire game – Jonjo Shelvey started playing as a libero, which was quick to inform me had happened once before for about five minutes when they hosted Tottenham Hotspur.

“I mean, he didn’t do that badly and obviously, in Jonjo Shelvey, you’ve got somebody who’s probably one of the best deep passers in the Premier League.

“I mean, his ability to move the ball forwards is pretty extraordinary. His ability to tackle one-on-one is also pretty extraordinary, in an entirely different way, so it was a bold move from Steve Bruce.”

Do you want to see Shelvey in defence again?

No, never again

No, never again

Yes, he did quite well

Yes, he did quite well

TIF Thoughts on Shelvey…

The Toon midfielder was accused of being lazy in a special Q&A session recently, so given that some Newcastle fans think he is lazy, a shambolic performance in defence probably would not have made him any more popular.

However, he didn’t do that badly and earned a 7/10 rating from The Chronicle for his display and also a 6.52/10 WhoScored rating.

Stewart clearly enjoyed the fact Shelvey moved into the centre of defence, even it was just for a little bit of the game; however, we don’t think Bruce should make this a thing going forward, and we hope to see Shelvey start and finish the Toon’s next game in the centre of midfield.

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