Newcastle Play-Maker Talks About Rafa

One of our very best players in the last few games has been Jonjo Shelvey who is playing somewhere near his best form now, after not having had a very good time of it last season after he had signed on from Swansea for £12M.

Jonjo has always been impressed by new manager Rafa Benitez and after Rafa had been at the club only for a couple of weeks Jonjo said the players were coming into training with smiles on their faces.


Jonjo Shelvey after scoring on Tuesday night

That good relationship with the manager has continued this season and it seems that Rafa is now showing a lot more faith in the play-maker who ran the show on Tuesday night at QPR in our amazing 6-0 win.

Jonjo looked a really good player in that game and scored a sensational goal to put us 3-0 up a few minutes into the second half.

This is what the 23 year-old has said about Rafa today:

“It’s just nice to have someone show a bit of faith in you by picking you to play.” “We never know the team until less than two hours before kick-off so you’re just still guessing.”

“He’s keeping everyone on their toes and making sure everyone prepares correctly for every game.”

“It’s just part and parcel of football but he’s shown some serious faith in me this year by playing me.”

“Yes – obviously – I feel at the top of my game at the minute.” “I feel I’m playing well and performing well within the team. I’m playing games and that’s what you want.”

“Obviously, it’s going to be harder playing for England because you’re playing in the Championship – but that’s not my main focus at the minute.”

“My main focus is to keep playing well for Newcastle United Football Club. “There’s a new set-up now within the England squad, so I don’t know how Sam Allardyce is thinking.”

“It’s just part and parcel of football. “If he comes to watch one of my games, he comes to watch one of my games.”

“The only thing you can do is keep performing on the pitch.”

It looks like Jonjo will get another start this afternoon against Wolves, but you never know with Rafa, as he tries to keep the players on their toes.

However, after the great 6-0 road win in London, it’s very important we keep to our winning ways this afternoon at St. James’ Park.

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Comments welcome.

15 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    Comment #1

    There’s going to be huge expectation up there this afternoon, I remember under the entertainers a 1-0 win was a disappointment!

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #2

    48SUTTY1978 // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:25 AM

    I was watching SSN when we played QPR, they show the championship goals as they go in. One thing that was apparent was how shockingly bad the goalkeepers are. About 50-75% of the goals scored you would expect to have been saved if they were in the premier league. It’s the biggest difference in quality between the two divisions that I’ve noticed.
    It’s probably why strikers can have a great goal return at this level and then can’t replicate when they step up.
    With a shoot on sight policy you can probably score a couple a game without breaking sweat.

  • Lindisfarne

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:30 AM

    Comment #3

    Previous article – nice 10 point summary BTW

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #4

    49SUTTY1978 // Sep 17, 2016 at 8:29 AM

    I see Henderson is being lauded for his wonder strike last night. In my opinion it was a slightly poorer imitation of Shelvey’s effort on Tuesday.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    Comment #5

    So that’s confirmed then. Rafa bingo teams need to be in two hours before in case one of the players leaks the line up to a blogger desperate for five points.

  • Harley

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #6

    I’d love Shelvey to get in to the England squad this season and Townsend to Miss out.
    I don’t think he’s playing that well so far. Maybe it was the world class coach making him look good. Just a wild punt.

  • mindshaft

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:42 AM

    Comment #7

    Think it’s not just the goalkeepers slightly worse, Shelvey himself said he liked this league as he had more time and space allowed to him from other teams in this league compared to prem

  • Average_Contents

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:43 AM

    Comment #8


    Vile isn’t it.

    Someone mentioned on the BBC sport site that he’s now the complete player and finally filling Steven Gerrards boots.

    He scored A goal. Yes. One goal.

    Gave me a chuckle anyway.

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:44 AM

    Comment #9

    I said before the QPR game that I’d like to see Ritchie on the left after his impressive showing for Scotland playing there. Rafa clearly reads the blog and thought it was a good idea and he played a blinder there.
    I’d like him to continue on the left, what’s everyone else’s opinion?

  • Jail for Ashley

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:46 AM

    Comment #10

    I’m gutted that Ritchie has chosen to play for Scotland, it would be absolutely class if he got picked ahead of Townsend while still in the Championship

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:48 AM

    Comment #11

    Mindshaft, indeed there’s more time to get your shots away and pick a pass but some of the goals that went in were bloody awful! I’m not necessarily talking about our game it was mainly in the others.

  • Average_Contents

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:49 AM

    Comment #12

    I suppose it boils down to the mentality of people who think because someone plays for a big club like manure, citeh, chelski, Liverpool ect ect that said player must be good and go overboard with the praise.

    Basically they lick their ring.

    Remember perez cheeky backheel flick against West Brom (think it was them)

    Yeah it was a good goal they said. Imagine if it was Rooney or aguero. They’d be making statues because of it and falling over themselves to rim the hole.

  • SUTTY1978

    Sep 17, 2016 at 8:52 AM

    Comment #13

    AC, yep always so desperate to big up their favourites from the big teams. Martin Tyler is a sod for it in commentary.

  • Jib

    Sep 17, 2016 at 9:20 AM

    Comment #14


    Perez Mitrovic Clark Colback Darlow Diamé Dummett

  • Ian Toon

    Sep 17, 2016 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #15

    The West Ham game at SJP in January gave us an early sight of Shelvey- his debut- as he starred in a Newcastle win. Perez scored early on and a Jonjo 60 yard diagonal ball led to a Wijnaldum goal.
    With only a quarter of an hour gone we were 2-0 up . Nail biting followed though when Mbemba gifted WHU a goal with a weak back pass. So a game of high intensity, tempo and being on the front foot ended with six minutes of stoppage time and bitten nails.

    The second goal and Shelvey’s cross field pass, the sheer speed , gives Perez, for example an extra few seconds and the opposing defence less time to recover. That’s the difference between Shelvey in top quality form and an average Championship player.

    Benitez has got Shelvey firing again on all cylinders. This looks like lasting a little longer with a fully supporting team on the same wavelength. . Henderson’s goal was special last night but Jonjo has a lot more in his locker and is in the zone.


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