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Jonjo Shelvey talks about Michu and Michael Laudrup

Taken from a Wales Online article yesterday:

Jonjo Shelvey reveals what 'knocked the stuffing' out of Michu at Swansea City, why Liverpool hated facing them and what he really thought of Michael Laudrup.

The former Swans midfielder spoke candidly about his time at the club following his move from Anfield, including their Europa League run.

Jonjo Shelvey believes that the signing of Wilfried Bony “knocked the stuffing” out of fans’ favourite Michu at Swansea City.

Spaniard Michu arrived in South Wales in the summer of 2012 for a bargain fee of just £2million, and it is safe to say he hit the ground running, scoring 18 goals in his first term.

Big goals in big games saw the striker taken into the hearts of supporters, with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson even wondering how he slipped through his scouting network undetected.

His second season wasn’t as explosive, and Shelvey, who arrived at that the start of that campaign, believes that the arrival of Bony from Vitesse Arnhem a few weeks later for a fee of £12million had something to do with it.

“When I signed I think he (Michu) was their sort of main guy, in terms of goals and that,” Shelvey said in a revealing chat with The Beautiful Game podcast.

“Then a week after I signed Wilfried Bony signed. I think personally that sort of knocked the stuffing out of him, because Wilfried came in on a big deal and as the main striker and after that it didn’t really work out for Michu.

“I only played with him for about six or seven months, but you could tell his finishing was just ridiculous.”

Shelvey then went on to recount an anecdote about Michu, at the end of which he acknowledged just how good a player he was.

“I tell you a story,” he said.

“We had these bands to wear, for when you go to sleep.

“They monitor you to show how much you are sleeping.

“They put it all up on a screen in the canteen. We had a meeting, there were a few lads going to bed at like 12 and that, on one graph he showed that someone was sleeping for three hours a night, and it was Michu.

“He was coming in and his eyes were drowsy and puffy, it turned out he was just up playing PlayStation til like 4 o’clock in the morning.

“I don’t know if had always been like that. He looked tired all the time, then he got a bad injury. I don’t even know what he’s doing now, he sort of disappeared off the face of the earth.

“But when he was at Swansea he got a Spain call-up, he played for Spain, and you don’t get Spanish call-ups if you can’t play football.”

The injury that Michu sustained while at Swansea eventually put paid to his career. A loan spell at Napoli was unsuccessful, and an attempt to get back playing again in Spain also ended prematurely.

He sadly hung up his boots aged 31. He is still involved in football, though, in his current role as sporting director at Spanish lower league side Burgos CF.

Shelvey was signed from Liverpool in 2013 and admitted that playing against Swansea was something he used to “hate”, adding that his new boss, Michael Laudrup, helped him “massively” in his career.

“Even when I was at Liverpool, when you used to play against Swansea you used to hate it,” he said.

“Even though you were at a top club, you wouldn’t see the ball, mate.

“It was like growing up back in the youth days, Charlton playing Arsenal, it was like that. I think going in there Michael Laudrup helped me massively, he was a great manager for me.

“He used to tell me off if I passed the ball backwards or sideways.

“He was always to play forward and to keep the ball moving.

“I remember my first few games there we were playing in the Europa League qualifiers and we were ripping teams apart.

“I was watching the games back the other day and it was frightening what we were doing.

“I think being at Liverpool with Brendan (Rodgers) and Steve Clarke helped me in terms of going straight in there and hit the ground running.”

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