The England international midfielder only moved to St. James’ Park from Swansea City in the January transfer window, but he has quickly been handed a lot of responsibility by Steve McClaren.
With Fabricio Coloccini out injured, Shelvey has taken over the role of leading the side, but Townsend disagrees with McClaren’s decision to hand the armband to the 24-year-old.
“Sometimes you can give the armband to an individual to add responsibility and someone like Jonjo Shelvey, I can perhaps understand the thought process behind that, but he wouldn’t be someone I would give the armband, too. Not at all,” the former Republic of Ireland international said.
Shelvey actually seemed to thrive with the armband on, during Newcastle’s match against Bournemouth.
Although the Magpies fell to a 3-1 defeat, Shelvey’s commitment could not have been criticised.
The central midfielder was visibly seen protesting at his teammate’s poor displays, but his motivational techniques did not seem to work.
Newcastle’s defeat against Bournemouth has left them down in 19th place in the Premier League table, and if Shelvey remains as captain for the rest of the season, he will have a key role to play as McClaren’s side look to climb away from relegation trouble.