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Shelvey Has "Suffered a Bit" Since Boxing Day Loss

Jonjo Shelvey started the season as one of Brendan Rodgers' pet projects, but after a busy fall, he's seen his workload drastically reduced.

Clive Brunskill

There's a nice little scene in an episode of Being: Liverpool in which Brendan Rodgers pulls Jonjo Shelvey aside for a chat prior to the first leg of the Europa League tie with Hearts, and lays out what seems like a vision for the future of Liverpool's midfield. Lucas does his thing deeper, Joe Allen ticks possession over and keeps play moving, and Shelvey--at least in Rodgers' mind at that time--would be the all-action, attacking midfielder that could get the goals.

Steven Gerrard's presence meant that the future would have to wait a bit, but Shelvey was involved nonetheless, serving a number of makeshift midfield roles and even deputizing as the lone attacking forward at West Ham. As usual, he showed glimpses of promise and frustration, but through it all, it seemed clear that Rodgers was committed to having Jonjo Shelvey involved at every turn.

After the Boxing Day loss at Stoke, however, Liverpool finally made a turn that Shelvey wasn't along for. He made his lone start of the past month in the win at Mansfield, but otherwise he's been stapled to the bench.

"I haven't played in the league since the defeat at Stoke on Boxing Day. That wasn't a great game for me personally but the team didn't play well either. Since then I'm the one who has suffered a bit with coming out of the team but you have to accept it.

"It's the manager's decision and I'm just working hard every day to try to get back in the team. I know I'm still young and I've played in 26 games already this season but that's not enough, I want to play more."

One of the biggest knocks on Shelvey has been his lack of discipline without the ball, and while he's shown some improvements this season, he still can't provide what it seems Liverpool need most right now. Jordan Henderson's shown the willingness to run and harry and press, but he's also proven responsible in possession and disciplined enough to keep both himself and the team out of trouble.

It seems clear enough that at this point, Jonjo Shelvey's going to have to be patient and take his turn when it comes--which will probably be Sunday, with a balance of regulars and also-rans expected to face Oldham. If he turns in the type of display he did against Mansfield that'll be solid enough, but it's not likely that Rodgers' designs for the future with Jonjo Shelvey are here quite yet.

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