Fans’ panel: Jonjo’s a star

Jonjo Shelvey
Jonjo Shelvey
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What a debut! Seasiders supporters everywhere are hailing their new hero this week, and it’s no surprise that a certain Jonjo Shelvey (pictured) dominated the deliberations of our fans’ jury.


I’m not normally one to predict comfortable wins, and certainly not 5-0 drubbings, but I never doubted for a minute we’d take all three points from an out-of-form Bristol City.

And regardless of what managers and players say about always taking teams seriously, I think Blackpool were secretly rubbing their hands together in glee at facing a team who haven’t won in seven games.

Not only that, but we were also able to field a player who has recently been described in the media as a “starlet” and “one of the most exciting prospects in the country”: Jonjo Shelvey.

As far as debuts go, Shelvey’s was up there with the best. A brilliant goal, an assist (sort of) from a spilt long-range shot, and an utterly fantastic display in midfield – his performance showed why he is held in such high esteem.

And with Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard unlikely to give up their spot to the England Under-21 international, I wonder if Holloway can work out a deal with Liverpool.

Gary Taylor-Fletcher put in the best shift so far this season, but our entire team – from Gilks to Ormerod and Bogdanovic – deserve praise. One point off the play-offs and only four from automatic promotion, and six from the top? I’ll take that.

Man of match: Shelvey (Bristol C)


Football is a results business, and 5-0 is a scoreline which sends us all into the international break very happy! You’d be hard pushed to find anybody who predicted that after the opening half-hour, but once we’d found some rhythm we made life very difficult for Bristol City.

Jonjo Shelvey had a debut to remember. His free-kick merely put the seal on a terrific midfield performance, and it’s obvious that his instincts are to attack. I look forward to seeing much more of him over his loan spell.

There are so many positives to build on from Saturday: a clean sheet means we have conceded just nine goals in 11 games in all competitions; goals and assists from our inspired substitutions, who caused havoc against a tiring defence, and a great atmosphere, to name but a few!

All members of the team are responsible for keeping clean sheets, but particular praise goes to the back four and Matt Gilks. They would probably have been our first choice defence in the Premier League, and that quality is showing more often than not this season.

We managed to take a point from Coventry in a game we could have had more from. It seemed like we took our foot off the gas after going 1-0 up, which is not at all like us, and let them back into the match. Ollie may regret storming on to the pitch, but his reason for doing so is infallible, and we did well to recover from 2-1 down to grab that late equaliser.

Man of match: Southern (Coventry), Shelvey (Bristol C)


I said last week that I didn’t think we were quite getting the rub of the green, but that, longer term, such performances would mean that we would get plenty of wins.

On Tuesday night, that was certainly the case, as we got a point at Coventry in a game we really should have had won by half time.

At half-time on Saturday, I was beginning to wonder if the same would apply, as we took a slender 1-0 lead into the break.

I needn’t have worried as, second half, we upped the tempo, scored a wonder goal from a free-kick by Shelvey, and then pressed on and took full advantage of their capitulation late on.

Shelvey added the missing spark to the midfield, enabling us to use our pace to best effect when the game was stretched. To date, we’ve been slower in the build-up, allowing defences to set themselves, but the linking play between Shelvey and Ince, in particular, ripped their defence to shreds.

We therefore go into another international break well placed, off the national media radar, but up close to our rivals.

The perceived wisdom is that no side should be judged until they have played 10 games. We have now reached that milestone, and although still a work in progress, we’re heading in the right direction.

Man of match: Shelvey (Bristol C)


You rarely get a dull week with BFC, and this week was no different. The point at Coventry was disappointing, not only because we only really played well for a third of the game, but mostly because I have never seen officiating like it. How can you allow one team to make a substitution but not the other? It goes against all fundamental aspects of fairness between the teams.

Maybe we would still have conceded, we’ll never know. But the decision and the goal stunned us which led to the second, and then we had to fight back for the last-gasp equaliser. It should never have come to that though.

On Saturday, we seemed to take a while to get going, some of the play was sloppy, but once we did start playing we were excellent. And it was all controlled by Jonjo Shelvey. What an outstanding debut.

Bristol City had pretty much given up at the end, but take nothing away from the three substitutes who all went on with something to prove. It gives Ollie some interesting selection dilemmas up front now.

I’m glad it’s not me making the decisions! Still, there’s a couple of weeks to think about it. And there’s not really a better way of going into the break than with a 5-0 win. Confidence is high, we’re there or thereabouts with more to come, and the players get a well-earned rest before a tough task at West Ham.

Man of match: Southern (Coventry), Shelvey (Bristol C)

jane stuart

A topsy-turvy week for Blackpool began with the long-standing tradition of losing points unjustly at Coventry. This hurt more than the last minute defeat at Pompey, because on this occasion we were not beaten by a wondergoal, and their equaliser came apparently from an administrative error.

I knew we were not far away from being a very good side. One of the final pieces in our jigsaw arrived at the weekend, in the form of Jonjo Shelvey. His debut performance was nothing short of brilliant. The boy oozes confidence and conducts magic from midfield. His free-kick goal speaks for itself, but his vision and long-range passing gives us something we have been missing since the departure of our two maestros in the summer.

Last time were at this level we utilised the loan system to ‘gear up’ the squad. This could well be the answer again.

Tom Ince looks to be a very exciting prospect. He tore Bristol City apart when he came off the bench on Saturday as our opponents were tiring, demoralised and forced to leave themselves open. Ince was the last thing they needed.

Praise too for Daniel Bogdanovic, who got into position very well for his two goals (scored from the bench). Things are looking up, folks.

Man of match: Martinez (Coventry), Shelvey (Bristol C)


Following two recent disappointing results on the road, Saturday’s game against lowly Bristol City became an increasingly important fixture for fans keen to see Pool halt the worrying dip in form.

In the event, new loan signing Jonjo Shelvey made an immediate impact in midfield.

His direct strikes resulted in the first two goals, after Dean Gerken spilled the first to Gary Taylor-Fletcher, and then City’s keeper was helpless to stop Shelvey’s own 35-yard free-kick firing into the bottom corner.

As both sets of players found the slippery surface difficult to deal with, it was Gilks who stood out, making two fine saves, helping the Tangerines keep a clean sheet.

Only when Ollie made an inspired triple substitution was the match put beyond doubt, as Pool’s replacements, Tom Ince, Daniel Bogdanovic and Brett Ormerod, all had their say in a five star finish. Ince almost stole Shelvey’s limelight with a wonderful cameo performance.

He will surely have done enough to earn a start after the international break, and Bogdanovic could also lay a claim. Brett showed again why he’s best employed coming off the bench – with fresh legs, his determination and instinct for finding the back of the net are his signature qualities, especially in the last quarter of any game.

Man of match: Shelvey (Bristol C)