View from Italy: Liverpool's Shelvey the 'Flop of the Game'

Liverpool midfielder Jonjo Shelvey was part of England's under-21 side which lost 1-0 to Italy.

Liverpool more than any other English club had a keen eye on England's under-21 opener with Italy.

Striker Fabio Borini started up front for the Italians, while midfield duo Jordan Henderson and Jonjo Shelvey began for England, with Jack Robinson in defence.

Italy won the game 1-0 thanks to a late free-kick from star man Lorenzo Insigne, a player who Rafa Benitez will be fortunate enough to be working with at Napoli next season.

His goal has placed England under real pressure ahead of their next game against Norway, a must-win now they are bottom of the group with the Scandinavians posting a 2-2 draw with Israel.

For a view on how the Italian press viewed England's lacklustre performance, we took a look at a set of quickfire player ratings posted by TuttoMercatoWeb.

And it does not make pretty reading for Jonjo Shelvey, who was rated a poor 4/10 for his efforts, the lowest of any player on the pitch, earning him their unwanted title of 'Flop of the Game'.

In summary they wrote off his poor shooting, fouling, and that he only began playing half an hour before he was substituted. 

Jordan Henderson was rated a 6/10 and Jack Robinson a 5.5/10 in the snapshot assessment.

A more statistical view of Shelvey's performance reveals he completed just 75 per cent of his passes, the same figure coincidentally as teammate Jordan Henderson. A Xavi-Iniesta-esque midfield performance of possession football by the pair it was certainly not.

Shelvey also gave away three fouls, more than any other England player, making one successful tackle and two interceptions.

A midfield rejig is likely in the next game due to Tom Ince's return from suspension and Wilfried Zaha from injury, but Shelvey is vastly more experienced than other central midfielders in the squad, namely Josh McEachran who replaced him, and may escape with another chance.

Is the assessment fair on Shelvey or too harsh? Was England's performance down to Pearce's management?

image: © kong niffe

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