As a measure of the progress Jonjo Shelvey has made in his first season in the Premier League, adidas invited the Liverpool star to share the stage with the likes of Kaka, Van Persie, Nani, Llorente and Montolivo at the recent launch event for the adidas adiPower Predator football boots. Great things are clearly expected of the all-action midfielder, and SoccerBible caught up with the youngster to hear his opinions on the new Predator, Dalglish and comparisons with Steven Gerrard...
SB: Firstly, we've got to ask if you're going to wear the blue colourway, and do you expect to get some stick from you team-mates because of Everton?
JS: I am indeed going to wear them, but that's because they're light. I don't think really my team-mates can say anything, because if I'm playing well in the boots then
the team can't complain, it doesn't really matter what colour the boots you wear are, as long as you put in a performance.
SB: What was your first impression of the new adidas adiPower Predator football boots?
JS: That they're light. They make me feel personally half a yard quicker, which is great because I struggle a bit for pace, but these are as light as anything.
SB: How did the boots feel the very first time you wore them?
JS: Well I'm a size 8.5 and they just fitted like a glove, they're just so comfortable. I wore them for a training session and they make you feel that little bit sharper, you feel good in them and even though they 're loud, they make you feel like you're youthful!
SB: When were the boots first delivered to you, how much time do you get to wear them in?
JS: I got these on the Monday leading up to the Tottenham game, so I had them for a week to train in, and they've just felt really comfortable.
SB: Have you enjoyed your first season in the Premier League?
JS: It's been tough, going from the level I was playing at to step up to the Premier League. But what a chance it is for me personally, it's good for me and for my family to say that I play in the Premier League. Now I just want to kick on and cement a first team place.
SB: It's still early days in your career, but what have been the highlights?
JS: I think coming on at Old Trafford in the FA Cup, and obviously every time playing at Anfield, the atmosphere is great at every game. But I've still got a lot to look forward to.
SB: There are comparisons between you and Anfield great Steven Gerrard. You have a similar style of play, physically a similar build and you wear the same boots, would you say that's a fair comparison?
JS: I have always modelled myself on Steven Gerrard, but I am myself and I want to be the next Jonjo Shelvey. It's nice to be labelled with these players, but there comes a time when you've got to be your own player. I still look up to him, and the things he does in training are unreal! For me personally, if I could have half of his career I'd be happy.
SB: You've been used in a variety of positions this season, what would you say is your best playing position?
JR: I'm a centre midfielder as I like to be in the thick of the action, making tackles, starting moves and bombing on. And I'd say that's Steven Gerrard's best position as well in centre midfield.
SB: Liverpool are famous for their support, do you feel the fans have taken to you?
JS: I think they have, but I just concentrate on getting on with my game. I try not to listen to what people say or look at forums, if the fans don't take to you, they don't take to you. But you've just got to give it your best for them and give 110% for Liverpool football club.
SB: How has it changed for the players since Kenny Dalglish took charge?
JS: You're going into training with a smile on your face, you're looking forward to training more and more. Each day the coaching side of it is getting better, because it's all game related. Which is good for me personally, you don't get that match fitness if you're not playing a lot so when Saturday or Sunday comes round it's good to get that work done in training. But it's hard work, I literally come home from training everyday to go sleep!
SB: Do you have any training tips you could pass onto our fans, for any youngsters who are aspiring to reach the level you're playing at?
JS: Just give it your all, be fearless, you've got to just go in and be yourself. If you do that your abilities will show through, it's worked for me so far and will work for other people.
SB: Finally, we've noticed some artwork on your arm, have you been spending time around Meireles, Agger and Skrtel?
JS: Ha ha, no I just like tattoos. I do go to the same one as Meireles and Skrtel though, but everything that's in there means something personal to me.
Shelvey was attending the launch event for the adidas adiPower Predator football boots, along with other international players Kaka, Van Persie, Nani, Llorente, Montolivo and Rodwell. Don't forget to check out our full review and exclusive images of the new adidas adiPower Predator football boots.