Jonjo Shelvey was signed by Rafa Benitez in May of 2010 at Liverpool when the former Charlton player was only 18, but within a couple of weeks Rafa departed the Merseyside club – and so Shelvey never really even trained with the former Liverpool and Valencia manager.
Rafa took his first training session at Benton yesterday, so he has already talked to and trained with the players – and it was good to see Andros Townsend, Cheick Tiote, Fabricio Coloccini and Kevin Mbabu back in training, so maybe they are fit to play?
Jonjo Shelvey – we are lucky to get Benitez
This is what Jonjo has said on the Newcastle web-site this morning:
“It’s obviously sad to see Steve go, because he brought me into the Club and I owe so much to him for bringing me to this great football club, but ultimately it didn’t work out for him here.”
“But we’ve been lucky to get Rafa, because he’s a great organiser of teams, and you hear things from ex-players about how great he is. It’s just an exciting time for the fans and the players to learn more about Rafa Benitez and the way that he wants us to play.
“He must think a lot of the Club to come in and take over. He’s been at Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Napoli, Liverpool – he’s been at all these top clubs, and I think it speaks so highly of the stature of this Club for him to take on an opportunity like this.”
“I went up there in the May and signed and met him, but I didn’t know then that later on down the line he’d become my manager elsewhere. It’s a bit mad really, but it’s nice that I’ve met him before and I’ve got a little feel for him.”
“He’s a very tactical man. He knows what he wants you to do and he gets his point across very clearly, and he sets up teams for us not to get beat but on the other hand, he wants you to go and play as well.”
“It suits us down to the ground I think, so I’m sure he’ll be getting us to do that straight away and the quicker we do it, the easier it’ll be for us and the fans. Fingers crossed we can implement his game-plan on Monday night and kick on from there.”
“At this moment in time, we need to get points up on the board and I think the way we need to do that is be organised and everyone know their jobs, and as a team. I think that’s what he brings.”
“You see the honors he’s won, and you don’t win those without knowing what you’re doing. He’s a top manager and everyone’s excited in the changing room.” “It’s like when you go to school for your first day – everyone’s trying to impress the manager, everyone’s in early and in the gym.”
“It’s exciting to work with someone who’s worked at the top clubs – he was at Real Madrid earlier this season, and that speaks highly of the caliber of the manager he is.”
“He’ll bring a new lease of life to Newcastle. The players are excited, and everyone’s excited around the city.”
Rafa will bring a new lease of life at Newcastle for sure – it’s already started – and we are now waiting for his press conference for the game at Leicester City on Monday night.
It’s due in a couple of hours.