Accolades From Rafa For This Improving Newcastle Star

Rafa Benitez picked out Newcastle play-maker Jonjo Shelvey for praise in his press conference today and it seems that Shelvey is starting to approach his best form after having had a difficult start to his Newcastle career earlier in the year.

And Rafa has said he thinks Jonjo is starting to play so well that he deserves a call-up for the England team under Gareth Southgate, who is currently the caretaker manager following the firing of Sam Allardyce.


Jonjo Shelvey – in great form at the moment

This is what Rafa has said about Jonjo:

“He is playing every game, so I am really pleased with him.”

“We were talking about maybe he could play for England , maybe it was too early, but why not when he is playing as well as he is now.”

“He is trying to get to a really good level. I am happy now.” “He knew before that there was no doubt about his quality.”

“It was very clear and I am happy with that.”

And Jonjo himself has been questioned in the Chronicle today about his chances of playing for England again in the near future:

“It is going to be harder to get back into the England team.”

“Obviously, playing in the Championship you never know whether they are looking at that league, but the only thing you can do is go out on the pitch and perform week in, week out.”

“There have been big changes with England now so you just never know what they are thinking.”

“Fingers crossed I can hopefully get back into the mix and contribute.”

Jonjo Shelvey is the current go to player in the Newcastle team to start up the attacks and he really has been showing what a good passer of a  ball he can be when in form.

But the big thing with Jonjo is that he’s got his confidence back and he seems determined to become a big star at Newcastle.

That determination was illustrated over the summer when Jonjo cut short his summer holiday and came back to England and hired a personal trainer to get super fit before the start of the season.

Jonjo lost about 14 lbs in weight in the process and that determination and effort looks like it’s starting to payoff now for the 24 year-old.

And a lot of credit has to go to Shelvey for the real determination and effort he is continuing to show at Newcastle.

Jonjo has also said more than once in the summer that he has absolutely no intention of leaving the club – he seems to just love it on Tyneside.

That’s very good.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Training pics from the last session before Brentford


    THEN – do Jail’s Rafabingo

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 14, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    Comment #2


    I think it’s going to be tried and tested because of the break, I’d put Mitro down as a definite sub in the 2nd halve but not a starter.

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 14, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #3

    Staying in training and losing that extra weight has clearly benefitted Jonjo. Just shows how much fitness is connected to form I suppose. He’s been tremendous for us this season and hasn’t had a really bad game – except maybe Wolves, but the whole team was awful. Can’t even remember if he played that game! 🙂 Did anybody? He’s one of those players who can change a game and when he’s playing well, the team plays well.

  • Jib

    Oct 14, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    Comment #4


    Will be

    the back four
    Anita M’Bemba Lascelles Dummett

    The 2 sitters
    Colback and Hayden

    The 3 midfield sparks
    Gouffran Shelvey Ritchie

    Wee Dwight up front

    The imponderable is which goalie !

  • Bobbybee

    Oct 14, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #5

    Both jib. New tactic for ensuring clean sheets. 🙂

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Oct 14, 2016 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #6


    Team for the Wolves game, copied from the NUFC site

    Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Matz Sels; Vurnon Anita, Chancel Mbemba, Jamaal Lascelles (c), Paul Dummett; Isaac Hayden (Aleksandar Mitrovic 63), Jonjo Shelvey; Matt Ritchie (Christian Atsu 63), Mohamed Diame, Ayoze Perez; Dwight Gayle

    Subs not used: Karl Darlow, DeAndre Yedlin, Ciaran Clark, Jack Colback, Yoan Gouffran

    Shelvey played the whole game but notice the one big omission from the whole game!! Clue we’ve not lost a game when he’s started.


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