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 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.
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.