View: Newcastle ace playing with fire as he comments on Benitez, urges fans to back Bruce

OPINION

Jonjo Shelvey has never made life easy for himself wherever he has been, and his time at Newcastle United has been no different.

The controversial midfielder found it difficult under Rafael Benitez in the Spaniards’ three-year spell at the club, with last season most likely being the hardest of them all.

Shelvey only managed to make 10 starts in the Premier League and was placed on the bench after Benitez favoured the likes of Isaac Hayden and Sean Longstaff.

The arrival of Steve Bruce has ruffled feathers amongst the St James’ Park faithful, but the England international is one who is happy with the appointment, and couldn’t help but take a sly dig at Benitez in the process.

“Steve has come in and it’s been like a breath of fresh air,” Shelvey told talkSPORT. “I think Steve is more straight with you. As soon as he came in, all he expects is that you work hard.”

The 27-year-old is surely playing with fire when it comes to how the fans might take his comments, and must be careful not to say much more after the apparent backlash surrounding Bruce’s appointment at the club.

Shelvey definitely has what it takes to anchor the Newcastle midfield next season under Bruce, and proved his worth on Saturday with an immense performance against West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy.

Despite his lack of first-team action in the Premier League, the England international still impressed, averaging 59.9 passes per 90 minutes on top of 2.4 key passes [WhoScored] – with 1.4 of those being short distance, proving his worth at both close and long-distance distribution.

The former Liverpool man definitely has what it takes to be the influential figure at the heart of midfield, but must be careful with what he says in the future.

Shelvey is definitely playing with fire and must keep his head down if he is to earn a cemented first-team spot under Bruce, and more importantly receive the backing of the fans.

This article was originally posted here