Newcastle Star Describes Benitez’ Qualities As A Manager

Jonjo Shelvey has forced his way into Rafa Benitez’ starting line-up at Newcastle and as well as getting near some of his best form on the pitch Jonjo is also working much harder than he used to in games.

That’s a key requirement Rafa Benitez has when you are given a chance in the first team – you need to work your socks off and keep your concentration throughout the game.


Rafa Benitez pats Jonjo Shelvey on the back in training

The game at Rotherham was a good example of that, as all the Newcastle players were giving their all and the concentration and commitment was there for all to see – and it resulted in a great 3 points for us after a very tough game.

It’s fairly obvious when you consider what Rafa has already done at Newcastle that he has excellent man-management skills.

And he needs them because with 25 good players in his squad –  at least two good players jostling for starting in every position in the team – a number of them will be on the bench or not even in the match-day 18.

So he needs to somehow keep all our players happy and that cannot be easy.

This is what Jonjo has said today in the local press:

“He’s a very good man-manager – he gets his points across well.”

“If you’re not playing, he’s a manager who’s very approachable. You can always knock on his door and he’ll give you the explanation.”

“But there’s 25 players. Imagine if everyone was knocking on his door?” “He wouldn’t get out until the evening!”

“It’s football. It’s a results business. To be honest, it doesn’t matter who plays or who scores as long as we win the games.”

“And get the club back up to the Premier League.”

It’s certainly a results-oriented business as Roberto Di Matteo has just found out at Villa Park.

But we are happy with the start Newcastle have made so far in the Championship and we are averaging 2 points a game in the first 11 league games.

That’s good, but we need to keep it up or even improve it.

Comments welcome.

4 comments so far

  • funlovingexpress

    Oct 4, 2016 at 9:21 AM

    Comment #1

    I like Shelvey. I had reservations about him at the beginning because of his inconsistency but as he has said, he has sorted his head out and came back leaner and fighting fit.

    He has realised it is probably his last chance to play for a big club and his career was stagnating.

    He has great vision and superb talent. No one ever doubted that, but its pointless having all of that if you are a passenger 9 games out of 10.

    I think Rafa has saved him. He always admired Stevie G and probably looked at Rafa and us and thought “I’ll be their Stevie G”. Rafa ofc had gerrard under him so knows what is needed for that position.

    When Shelvey got dropped I think it made him take a long hard look at himself. With any other manager he probably would have just continued on as he had been, living off the rep of the odd phenominal game.

    But with Rafa he knew that wouldnt happen so he had two options, either knuckle down or put in a transfer rerquest.

    He has made the right decision because if there is one person who can enable Shelvey to fulfill his potential, it will be Rafa.

    Rafa can make him into a world class player. Very few players have the skillset to reach that goal but Shelvey has.

    Shelvey must be blessed. He was at the right club at the right time under the right manager at just the right stage of his career to be able to make that decision.

  • lesh

    Oct 4, 2016 at 9:29 AM

    Comment #2


    You suggested in an earlier thread that guns and drugs were what made Shelvey like the City.

    Don’t you know that Jonjo devotes many an hour contributing to the activities and work of the Lit and Phil?

  • Ian Toon

    Oct 4, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #3

    funloving- Earlier on Pardew/Yanga -Mbiwa. It is interesting to contrast Benitez with Pardew. In Mbiwa’s case Pardew chose to perpuate their bust up rather than offer an olive branch. It was suspected at the time to prove a point to Carr because we were desperate for experience at CB.

    You have to think that in a similar situation Benitez would try to reintegrate him into the squad whereas Pardew chose to send him out on loan to Roma. We were paying 80% of his wages which made little sense. Roma had an option to buy so it was not to reduce the squad wages or for him to get game time with a view to returning.
    Maybe Pardew didn’t rate the player or his ego wouldn’t allow him to take the player back. Benitez would not have allowed this situation to develop. We really did miss out by going for Williamson for seasons instead.
    In the case of Yanga- Mbiwa the charge sheet reads French title winning captain and International. He moved to a team in Serie A playing Champions League football. He was a CB who played in partnership with Williamson in two winning consecutive games against Chelsea at home and Spurs away ( admittedly Krul was out of this world in a 1-0 win)but was dropped for Coloccini’s return thereafter. He really didn’t get a fair chance always being played out of position when he did get to play.
    In conclusion it was just a power game with Graham Carr and Pardew was sending a message to Ashley that the player wasn’t suited to play in the PL. Unlike Benitez he didn’t always look at the bigger picture. Quite often to the detriment of players.

  • Spoof

    Oct 4, 2016 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #4


    If Rafa was the manager when Mbiwa was here the result would have been the same, he would have been turfed out because he simply just wasn’t good enough, just as Colo wasn’t and Krul isn’t, Krul used to be until his shoulder injury but Rafa looks at them now and if not good enough it’s good-bye, Mbiwa was poor, very poor as was Santon which is why he was also pushed out of the door, why keep Santon when we have a far superior LB in Dummett who is Rafa’s first choice, even though so many still fail to see that and to see why !!


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