• Premier League What They Said

Rodgers hails Shelvey for filling Suarez's boots

ESPN staff
December 9, 2012

Premier League round-up: Van Persie sinks City

Premier League results and table

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers was gushing in his praise of Jonjo Shelvey after the youngster stood in for the suspended Luis Suarez - playing the 'false No. 9 role' to good effect as the Reds came from behind to beat West Ham 3-2.

"[He was] outstanding. But you see there are two different ways in which you can play the No. 9 role," he said. "In this country it is always a very traditional target man, a clear No. 9. Give credit to Carlton Cole today, I know him from my time at Chelsea, he is a real handful and was outstanding today.

"But you see young Jonjo Shelvey at 20 years of age playing the No. 9 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 today the kid.

"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."

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, who fears Mohamed Diame will be out for up to 12 weeks with a torn hamstring, believes his side were unlucky not to take something from the match.

"We were never in control of the game completely especially against a side like Liverpool, we were not going to dominate for the whole game," he said. "We gave everything we could. We can't continue to play and dominate teams we play, when we did today we got ourselves in the lead. We just got promoted, we are in a good run of form and there are expectations from fans.

Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas was left scratching his head after his side conceded two late goals to suffer a 2-1 defeat to Everton.

"It was a disappointing result bearing in mind we were leading taking the game into the last minute," he said. "It has been quite an adventure in the Premier League this season; if we count the number of results that have been going for us before the last minutes we would be first.

"It is not really easy to explain because a couple of them come from different situations. It is something we are aware of, which is why we speak about it openly, and it is something we have to improve, seeing off games.

"It is not a mental thing, it is the nature of the game because it was our best period for quite some time in the second half. You kind of knew as soon as the kick-off went for the 1-1 they (Everton) would go and have a go and they certainly did. It is a difficult blow to take."

Everton manager David Moyes said his side were good value for three points, although they left it late with injury time goals from Steven Pienaar and Nikica Jelavic.

"It is as good a finish as we've had. We've had a few like that where we've lost and felt low so we were due one. I remember a season where we used to score late goals and win games 1-0 but recently it has not been the case.

"We just couldn't find the final pass or touch to finish it off and Tottenham got better in the 15 minutes after half-time, but I thought we had grown into it again when they scored. Our poorest period was in the last 10 minutes when we were changing players around and we had tried everything to get an opening, but they kept at it and we got it in the end."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.