Newcastle Player Listening Closely To Rafa – Becoming Great


Jonjo Shelvey had a tough start to his Newcastle career when he signed on for us for £12M from Swansea in the January transfer window.

But he soon found himself out of the side because in one game he would be great and the next game he would go missing.

But Jonjo deserves great credit for getting himself ultra-fit in the summer and when he arrived for pre-season training on July 1st he was ready to make a difference this season.

jonjo-shelvey-qpr

Jonjo Shelvey in action at QPR

Jonjo has managed to put in a number of (very) impressive performances in a row and he has started the last 12 games.

The 24 year-old has looked like an excellent player for Newcastle – certainly one of the best players in the Championship so far this season.

Jonjo has made 15 appearances for the club so he has only missed one game.

Rafa Benitez is obviously now getting the very best out of the play-maker and he was asked exactly how he has done that:

“I think it’s because he knows what he has to do.” “He was training hard during the summer.”

“He’s working hard in every training session and is really focused, so it’s good that he’s doing the things we knew he was capable of doing.”

“He has to do that week in and week out, but we know he is capable of doing that.” “He’s someone who is listening to us when we are trying to give advice and tips.”

“Still, he has his own freedom to do what he can do, but we are happy with that because he has quality and we allow him to do that.”

“At the same time, he can do things that his team-mates need him to do and he is doing that.”

Jonjo currently has 5 assists and 3 goals so he is doing very well for Newcastle this season and he has helped us go 3 points clear at the top of the Championship.

PosTeamGamesGDPoints
1Newcastle464594
2Brighton463493
3Reading46485
4Sheffield Wednesday461581
5Huddersfield46-281
6Fulham462880

But we need Jonjo to be in his best form tomorrow night when we face a very good Preston side, who are unbeaten in their last 7 games as we try to go through to the quarterfinals of the EFL Cup.

We need to win that game and then beat Preston again at Deepdale on Saturday afternoon.

But we also know those will be two very tough games for us.

How Will Newcastle Fare Against Preston?

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60 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #1

    Personally I don’t think that a player on 80K a week deserves any kind of credit for getting fit never mind great credit. He might deserve credit for going to visit kids in hospital on his time off or doing a bit for charity but for a highly paid sportsman surely keeping fit is his minimal duty.

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  • El Sleeve

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #2

    whatever line of work, if you don’t give ppl credit in public, whatever they earn, then it could sap their motivation. but yes, they do get obscene amounts of money.

    nerves for preston tomorrow? could be tight but i’m predicting 2-0

    any gamers on here? got a few weeks off and debating over FIFA or PES, fancy playing my own NUFC season!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:23 AM

    Comment #3

    El sleeve,
    I hear you and he deserves praise for his performances but surely keeping yourself at your optimum level of fitness should be a given.

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  • El Sleeve

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:27 AM

    Comment #4

    yep. i guess the fitness levels for athletes are so beyond you and me that its all about the fine margins and that’s what he must’ve been working on.

    Still can’t believe how lucky we are to have Benitez, keep pinching myself!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #5

    El Sleeve,
    I still can’t believe the way a minority slated him for perceived faults as though UEFA elite managers just come and go at SJP. There were actually more people slating Rafa than there was Mclaren when he signed.

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  • El Sleeve

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #6

    onwards and upwards!

    also, did i see somewhere we get a new sponsor next season? good to get rid of wonga but seriously hope its not SP or a bloody online casino!

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  • martoon

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #7

    El Sleeve @6 – I’ve got a feeling it might be SD but at least they would be paying for their advertising instead of getting it free. Although not great I would rather have SD as our sponsor than Wonga or an online betting company.

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  • Jib

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #8

    Tag Heuer , Nike and Electronic Arts are coming on board as PL shirt and match official sponsors and with Barclays ending their sponsorship of the league and not being replaced a few more banks and financial services are expected to become sponsors.
    We may get Virgin money back !

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #9

    Just been on the phone to the box office to get an extra ticket for my mate tomorrow. Only level 7 left, looking like a near sell out.

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  • martoon

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #10

    Jail @1 – I hear what you are saying but to be fair he worked with the personal trainer in the Summer when he was on holiday. No matter how much you get paid I still think that deserves a bit of credit when the only work most players would do would be working on their sun tans 🙂

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  • Jib

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #11
  • ROSHAN MAGPIE

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #12

    El Sleeve i play fifa 17 on my ps4

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  • jayphoto

    Oct 24, 2016 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #13

    Just throwing it out there, was slated by many for saying Jonjo shelvey would rip this league apart in the summer. Wasn’t many who wanted to keep him or even had him in their line ups for Fulham etc
    what a player! Easily the best player in the division for me. He’s ran about 7 games in a row now. He’s not just a premier league level player, he’s an international level player and to be honest he has no business being at this level. Bet Gayle can’t believe his luck the amount of through balls he gets to run onto a game!

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  • Toonces

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #14

    In regards to shirt sponsors it will be nice to see Wonga gone. Assuming promotion back to the Premier League, the next sponsor should be a major international brand. We are Newcastle United and the PL has a global marketing footprint. Also Newcastle does still have some global value remaining in our name recognition harkening back to the goodwill developed during the Keegan and Robson eras. Now with Rafa this has returned and can be grown again. Virgin would be good to see again but they are with Southampton this season at least. Perhaps Virgin Atlantic though would be good but what about Samsung? I don’t think they are with anyone this year after Chelsea going with Yokohama. Anyway, this next shirt sponsor should be of this level of stature. Well in my opinion at least for whatever it is worth.

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #15

    Just got to hope brands will want to work with Ashley or be associated with him!

    We really do need to get a decent sponsor to give us a bit more financial clout to compete for the top 6!

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:04 AM

    Comment #16

    martoon,
    He definitely deserves praise for his performances but I honestly don’t think someone who is getting paid 80k a week who can’t do his job properly because he’s eating a few too many kebabs or drinking a few more lagers than he should deserves credit for getting in to shape. OK he trained in his time off, what about those games he was getting paid for where he went missing possibly due to being a stone and a half overweight.

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:07 AM

    Comment #17

    LCPB,
    Hopefully if we keep doing well sponsors will forget who our owner is.

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  • hibbit

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #18

    just wondering how Townsend thinks his seasons going
    could have been such a big player for us loved by the fans in fine form but no he chose palace
    his form has dipped and now there fans are giving him a hard time
    you made the wrong move Andros now you have to live with it

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  • toonincheek

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #19

    It’s very easy to say that players on tens of thousands
    every week should be 100% motivated and give 100%
    effort ALL the time.

    Cannot be achieved.

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #20

    Jail
    Praising his fitness rather points the light on others who have the same issues though doesnt it?

    hibbit
    In the England squad, playing PL football, getting paid more and living in London doubt hes second guessing his decision

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  • Shot Bru

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:17 AM

    Comment #21

    hibbit

    Wonder if Rafa would re-sign Townsend if we swapped places with Palace at the end of the season?

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  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #22

    @Hibbit

    Its a shame because imagine we had Richie on one wing and Townsend on the other !! They could rotate during games as well would have been dynamite to watch!

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  • jayphoto

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:21 AM

    Comment #23

    I’d resign Townsend! No problem that the lad chose to leave! He’d already missed too much top level football in his career and had done his time in the championship!
    I take him on his time here, and he gave 100% when nearly nobody around him did. Shame we didn’t see him in this side because I think he would have probably seen us score 10 goals more by now and probably be worth an extra 8-10 points as he would alongside shelvey been the best player in the league by a way!

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  • jayphoto

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #24

    What are everyone’s thought’s on Mitrovic? Seen a lot of clamour for him to play, for me I can’t see how he fits into this side!? So many of our goals come from Gayle running in behind or Gayle running into the channels and creating space for the wide forwards to run into. We also rarely cross the ball!
    If I’m honest, from what I’ve seen, I’d happily swap Mitrovic out for Armstrong back who can operate the same as gayle as we have Murphy for a plan B who works much harder than Mitrovic based on what I’ve seen for Ireland and Ipswich.
    Mitrovic has talent, and I wouldn’t sell him, but might be worth him playing out on loan somewhere for 6 months as surely he isn’t going to improve on the bench?
    Rafa has set us up identically to his Liverpool side, Shelvey being his Alonso and Gayle being the fast running machine striker ala Torres. Personally I’ve always thought Mitrovic is a striker who needs a striker alongside him, can’t see Benitez ever playing 2 up top for longer than 20 minutes in a game!

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #25

    Id have no problem resigning Townsend he left no ill will at the club from what I can gather unlike Gini and am guessing Sissoko

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  • Jib

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #26

    Hot off the presses

    The Toon’s new sponsor

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  • lesh

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #27

    Jay

    I wonder if Townsend and Cabaye regret leaving SJP where they were liked by our fans – well, until Cabaye decided to push for his move to a ‘bigger’ club.

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  • jayphoto

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #28

    funny how Spurs fans are already sick of Sissoko… didn’t take long, don’t think he’s had a good performance for them yet?
    My brothers a big Liverpool fan, reckons Gini is really really integral to how they play. Doesn’t do much with the ball but his high energy and intelligent running works with their pressing game and clever runs means he’s always in space to receive a pass and he rarely gives the ball away which allows Lallana and Coutinho to find space as they are the players who find Firmino and Mane with the ball.
    Reckon Gini might have found a manager/system he can contribute in. To be honest we all knew he was a good player with great technical ability. Difference in him at Liverpool to at Newcastle is he now has players with ability to give the ball to. Hes a good water carrier type player.

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  • jayphoto

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #29

    @lesh – reckon neither will regret leaving. Cabaye might regret going to PSG rather than someone like Arsenal because he barely played.
    Reckon Townsend will be enjoying Palace. They’ve got good fans, good atmosphere down there and they are a club on the up! Really like their starting 11 and they bought well in the summer, reckon Pardew will have them around 8th pushing at Europe.As a winger, he’ll be a main part of pardews tactics too.
    He’s a London lad too so doubt he’s too miserable and I’m pretty sure Palace beat his Newcastle wages.
    Can’t stand Pardew but must admit, I like what Palace are putting together!

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  • beermonkey

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #30

    jail

    i dont recall mclaren or rafa complaining shelvey was unfit
    if it something he has decided then fair play to him
    at 24 seems to me from what i have read he is just maturing

    as for townsend he made his bed would rather he didnt come back
    it will get worse for townsend the more they lose the more pards will try and tighten them up at the back and have his winger babysit them fullbacks limiting what he does best attack

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  • hibbit

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #31

    jayphoto

    the palace fans aren’t happy with townsend and his form has dipped dramatically over the last few games

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #33

    I don’t think we’d have signed Ritchie if Townsend had of stayed so I’m glad he’s gone, I hope he does struggle after saying he left for footballing reasons. If he is that stupid and ignorant of the game that he didn’t realise that Alan Pardew plays anti football then more fool him. I rather think he left for the pay rise. No problem with that at all except he publicly said he owes us. However was he intending on paying us back.

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  • AncientC

    Oct 24, 2016 at 11:59 AM

    Comment #34

    The Palace side looks okay on paper, but it is debatable if the side has been improved over the summer.

    Bolasie out – Townsend in. I know which one I would rather have.

    Gayle out – Benteke in… £17 million deficit. Benteke is not worth £27 million & Gayle’s potential was being wasted.

    Tomkins in for £10 million, Pardew has wanted him for years, only Pardew knows why.

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  • AncientC

    Oct 24, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #35

    Are people forgetting that Townsend informed Benitez he was leaving the club by text message? I question his professionalism.

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 24, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #36

    AncientC
    If Rafa wasnt bothered by that why should we be?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #37

    Alan Pardews Palace have mustered wins against a woeful 5under1and a clearly dysfunctional Stoke and newly promoted Middlesborough and he’s being touted for England, what has the game come to. He’ll have another mental LLLLLL streak and thin win and draw a couple and all people will remember is that he had Palace in eighth for a game or two at the start of the season.

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  • jayphoto

    Oct 24, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #38

    @Hibbit – hadn’t seen that! I blame bad coaching 🙂
    @Ancient C – agree with the money side of benteke, but fact is he is a better premier league striker than Gayle! Different types of player, but Benteke is a top premier league striker in the right set up. He’s done it at Villa whereas Gayle is yet to do it at premier league level.
    I liked townsend and pretty sure swapping Bolasie for townesend and being 16m up is good business. I’d bet now townesend ends up with more goals
    Pretty sure they took remy too. He’s a top level player. Was our best player when he was here !
    Mandanda I think will prove to be a great keeper. Was so good at Marseille! When he gets to grips with the language and Physicality he’ll be up there with the best.
    Tompkins has done well so far! West Ham miss him. He’s a solid 7/10 everyweek centreback. Godknows we could have done with one of them last season!
    Too bad about their coaching side of things tho

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Oct 24, 2016 at 12:07 PM

    Comment #39

    WW…,
    How do you know he wasn’t?

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  • WWSBRD

    Oct 24, 2016 at 12:10 PM

    Comment #40

    Jail
    Because they have kept in touch since then with Rafa congratulating him on his England call up (via text…)

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