By 90Min
April 09, 2018

Newcastle United have won three straight league games to take them 10 points clear of the relegation zone. The Magpies have edged into the top half of the Premier League table and are on course for a strong finish to the season after a rocky return to the top flight. 

Jonjo Shelvey has been one of the standout performers for Newcastle during this most recent purple patch. The former Liverpool midfielder scored his first Premier League goal for 868 days to help the Magpies defeat Leicester City. 

Shelvey's recent strong form has led to some calls for him to be called up to England's World Cup squad. However, BBC pundit Garth Crooks believes that there is one thing holding the Newcastle man back.

Crooks included Shelvey in his Premier League team of the week, but while signing the praises of the midfielder, Crooks added the caveat that Shelvey's physicality and temperament could hold him back.

"This was an amazing victory against the 2016 champions by Newcastle and why I had no choice but to include Jonjo Shelvey in my team of the week," said Crooks in his weekly segment on the BBC Sport website. 

"I have to be honest, I don't enjoy putting players like him in my team. I like footballers and there has been far too much over-physicality where Shelvey has been concerned."

(You may also be interested in 'He Turned Into Maldini': Newcastle Fans Stunned With Defender's Great Performance Against Leicester)

Shelvey has picked up two red cards this season and his previously been criticised for being too hot headed. "However," added Crooks, "his performances of late have been impressive."

"With greater levels of fitness and a more reliable temperament, Magpies boss Rafa Benitez could turn him into a top-class player. Certainly England have no-one with his ability in midfield - he just can't be trusted right now."

While issues of violent conduct have been a problem for Shelvey in the past, it is possible that the Englishman is beginning to turn a corner. Shelvey has become a leader in Newcastle's team and has proven capable of inspiring his side to strong performances. If he keeps this form up, he could give England boss Gareth Southgate something to think about. 

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