By 90Min
July 20, 2017

Newcastle star ​Jonjo Shelvey has suggested that his bad boy reputation has prevented him from getting picked for England duty more regularly despite the Three Lions' need for central midfielder of his ilk. 

As quoted by the ​Daily Mail, the 25-year-old former Liverpool player is adamant that his position is one of the weaker areas in Gareth Southgate's side, but he admits he is unlikely to receive an advance on his six England caps in the near future.

"If you look at the competition, we're crying out for a central midfielder for our country, in my opinion," Shelvey said.

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Matt Ritchie (l) and Jonjo Shelvey of Newcastle react during the Sky Bet Championship match between Newcastle United and Leeds United at St James' Park on April 14, 2017 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Stu Forster/GettyImages

"But it's just a matter of saying the right things in the press and things like that, that's what it goes on these days. It's so fickle, if you like. All I can do is just show in my performances that I warrant a place in the England team."

Shelvey was formally charged and fined by the FA for racially abusing opposition player Roman Saiss last season, but continues to protest his innocence on the matter and believes the incident has been a key factor in damaging his reputation when it comes to international selection.

"Were there any lessons to be learned, then, from the travails of the racism row? "No, because I didn't say what it was printed out to be," he claimed.

"If it was in any court of law, I would have been found not guilty. It just goes on the panel's verdict. You just have to deal with it and get on with it.

"I'm not going to sit around and cry about things. It's gutting when you don't get picked (for England) or nasty things are said about you, but that's life - it's about how you deal with it."

Newcastle have continued to back their box-to-box midfielder, in spite of controversy and Shelvey proved himself one of the Championship's finest players last season. He will soon find himself in the spotlight again back in the Premier League, but whether the England set-up under Gareth Southgate will be paying close attention is still very much a matter for debate.


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