Brendan Rodgers has singled out Jonjo Shelvey for praise after the midfielder played as a makeshift striker in Liverpool’s 3-2 win over West Ham United on Sunday, Yahoo
Liverpool went to Upton Park without Luis Suarez, who was suspended after picking up his fifth yellow card of the season a week earlier. Rodgers had no other senior striker to call upon, with 18-year-old Adam Morgan the manager’s only other option.
Rodgers chose to deploy Shelvey, usually a midfielder, in the central attacking position with Raheem Sterling and Jose Enrique offering wide support, and the improvised forward line impressed Rodgers with Shelvey standing out.
Shelvey claimed Liverpool’s winning goal, although replays showed the final touch was most likely from West Ham centre-back James Collins, and also had a hand in Joe Cole’s equalising goal, combining with Sterling to play in the West Ham youth graduate.
“You see young Jonjo Shelvey at 20 years of age playing the number nine role in a different way – dropping into midfield and combining with the midfield players to make the fourth man, being a threat when he is in around the box, showing great feet and I thought he was outstanding,” Rodgers said.
He added: “ It was great credit to him because there was a lot of pressure on him because people have been trying to compare him to Luis Suarez but he has been terrific in my time here, he is only 20 and has a big future ahead of him.”
Liverpool first took the lead through former West Ham defender Glen Johnson, only to be pegged back by a Mark Noble penalty before a Steven Gerrard own goal but the Hammers in front. Cole however equalised in the second-half before Shelvey forced Collins’ own goal for the winner.
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