Jonjo Shelvey burst onto the scene at Charlton when he made his first-team debut in April of 2008, starting in a 3–0 away loss against Barnsley in the Championship.
Alan Pardew was the manager at Charlton at the time and Jonjo became their youngest-ever player at the tender age of 16 years and 59 days.
Jonjo Shelvey and Rafa Benitez
And ever since then nobody has really doubted the ability of the Romford born player just that he is inconsistent and his temperament sometimes gets in the way.
Since Rafa came to the club in March, Jonjo had had an up and down time of it, but maybe Rafa’s words and coaching are starting to have an impact on the 24 year-old.
Jonjo lost weight in the summer and hired a private trainer and came back for pre-season training fitter than he’s been in a long time – so that shows his determination.
And he’s had two good games in his last two starts for Newcastle – one at home against Brighton and then on the road last Saturday at Derby – both 2-0 wins for Newcastle.
Of course we cannot get too far ahead of ourselves and yes – it’s only two games.
But Rafa has talked recently about Jonjo and that he now seems to be learning about himself and his play and is starting to improve:
“I think he knows his strengths and also his problems. He’s working on that and improving.”
“I think he worked very hard during the summer to try to be fit. At the beginning of the season you could see that in the training sessions.
“Then he had more confidence. He is playing better and his first goal was massive for him too.
“There’s a lot of positives, little by little he is learning things about his game and that is positive about his future too.”
Jonjo can become an excellent player for Newcastle under Rafa Benitez and he can also help us get promoted this season with his creative displays – and certainly that goal against Brighton was something to behold.
This is a great opportunity for Jonjo to become a big star at Newcastle.