Monk reveals Shelvey boast
Published 27/04/2014 | 07:07
Jonjo Shelvey marched into the changing room at the Liberty Stadium claiming he had scored the "goal of the season" after Swansea City's 4-1 win over Aston Villa.
Buzzing after lobbing Brad Guzan with a 45-yard volley midway through the first half, the 21-year-old midfielder made sure his team-mates and boss Garry Monk knew how proud he was of his strike.
Speaking after the result that, barring something remarkable from teams below, has secured the Welsh side's top-flight status, Monk said: "He came in shouting 'goal of the season' - typical Jonjo.
"He's got that in the locker. It was a fantastic finish and the thing that pleased me most about it was that it was an important goal at an important time of the match, and those are the things that can change games for you and it did."
As well as scoring his side's second goal, Shelvey teed up Wilfried Bony for the opener after 10 minutes and provided the cross that led to a goal from Pablo Hernandez in the second half.
And Monk believes Shelvey is the type of player who could one day be considered by England.
"People have been talking about his potential for years but you forget he's only 21," Monk added. "If it's not now, it should be later if he carries on progressing as he should be.
"For all the players I think that's the ultimate ambition. If they continue to work hard and play like that I'm sure a few of them, hopefully, will get noticed."
With successive league wins for the first time since late 2012, The Swans are now up to 12th in the table, eight points clear of the relegation zone.
Top scorer Bony continued his deadly form with his second brace in as many weeks, taking him to 24 goals in all competitions.
But it was Shelvey's 45-yard volley that had Monk - and the Swansea faithful - purring. After chesting down Villa captain Ron Vlaar's clearance kick, he lobbed the unsuspecting Guzan with pace and precision.
As Swansea's dominance told after the break, they never looked back.
Monk added: "It was a fantastic result for us. Four goals and a good team performance - good football, good passing and that's what you want from the team.
"We've been in positions before, at half-time, where we took a lead in and came out in the second half and been punished, but we started properly and there was only one team in it in the second half."
But for a good 20-minute period in the first half capped by an equaliser from Gabriel Agbonlahor, Villa rarely looked like scoring - as has been the case regularly recently. But boss Paul Lambert was proud of his players' efforts.
He said: "The first half was as well as we'd played for a couple of weeks and we deserved to get back in it with the goal.
"The second (Swansea) goal was a major turning point in the game because we had a lot of the ball and for 70-odd minutes the game was pretty even.
"I've been down here a few times and not had much of the ball, but I thought today we had a lot of the ball, especially the first half."
Down to 16th and only four points above the drop, the Villa players were booed off the pitch by their fans.
Lambert added: "I totally understand the supporters. This is a huge, huge football club, where the expectation level is so high because of what it's done in the past.
"That's normal, when things are not going well. Criticism is never nice, but I've had it as a player and I've had it as a manager.
"It's something you take on your shoulders and I'm the manager of it, so I'll take it. As long as it protects the lads, then fine."