Can Newcastle Keep Winning Without Shelvey?

If Jonjo Shelvey’s FA charge of allegedly abusing Wolves’ Romain Saiss by using abusive language about his race, ethnicity or nationality is upheld – he is likely to get a five match ban.

And we wonder how much a loss Jonjo would be to the Newcastle side, since he provides most of the creativity coming from central midfield.

Newcastle have won their last eight games straight and Jonjo has started every game in that wun so what can Rafa do to minimize how much we’ll miss the England International?


Jack Colback – central midfielder

We think that Rafa will publicly say  the loss of Jonjo can be managed and that we have other players who can play in that role and need to step up to the plate.

Newcastle have played before with Jack Colback and Isaac Hayden as the two holding midfielders although neither player has the vision of Shelvey.

Another player who can play there is Vurnon Anita who has been playing right back for Newcastle, but he could revert to his more normal central midfield position.

Two other players who may be able to provide some level of creativity there are Mohammed Diame and even Yoan Gouffran – with Diame being the more obvious choice.

Yoan has been playing extremely well on the left wing this season and e’s scored four goals and maybe Rafa will check out the Frenchman in training to see if he could play that role in Jonjo’s absence.

Yoan played there last season at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City when we were 1-0 up after 41 minutes, but the team completely collapsed and lost 6-1 with all six  goals coming in a short 20 minutes with Sergio Aguero getting five.


Yoan will not have happy memories of that game but he has renewed confidence this season under manager Benitez and may be able to do a job there for the team.

Maybe the four players to choose from are Colback, Hayden, Anita and Diame and of course we also have Cheick Tiote but most of them are defensive midfield players.

The two tough games we have in the next five games are at Leeds United and Hull City in the 5th round of the EFL Cup.

The other games are against lower placed sides in the Championship.

Here are the next five games.

Sun 20	13:15	A	Leeds United				
Sat 26	15:00	H	Blackburn
Tue 29  17:45   A       Hull - EFL Cup				
Fri 02	19:45	A	Nottm Forest				
Sat 10	15:00	H	Birmingham

Who do you think could play in Jonjo’s place?

Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • JackBall

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #1

    I guess we will have to just sit here and wait to lean more. I might be depressed about this if I were not already profoundly saddened by the election results. I know, no politics, but it truly hurts.

    As I will now try to forget about last night, I will make no further comments without further info on the Shelvey situation.

  • firebug666

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Comment #2

    Gouffran may be better in the No10 role with Diame dropping back to his natural position. Atsu could play on the left so we would look something like this:-





    Mitrovic / Gayle

  • firebug666

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #3


    Aye until the facts are known, we are all clutching at straws mate.

  • bettyswallocks

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #4

    11bettyswallocks // Nov 9, 2016 at 4:17 PM

    I think Rafa has taken Perez under his wing like a father figure and is trying to improve his game , maybe it’s the Spanish connection. As much as I would like to see him find some consistency and a position that he’s comfortable with , as I’ve stated previously I really think that if he was going to cement a place in the team he would have done so by now.
    We can’t have dozens of a quad players hanging around in the hope they might one day make the breakthrough . I think once Rafa has decided on a player ‘s future then he won’t allow sentiment to prevent him getting rid.

  • JackBall

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #5

    Not sure I would want to test that team in our game with Leeds. I’d be near certain that Colback will be in the lineup.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #6

    Will we miss Jonjo, yes of course we will any team would miss losing one of their best players.

    Will the team go into decline if we lose Jonjo for a few games. No, we still have the best squad in the division, the wins will continue to stack up.

    Absolutely no reason to fret or panic!

  • G

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #7

    @6 Quite correct. Well said EGB

  • CAC

    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #8

    I’d feel a bit more comfortable bout losing Shelvey if we didn’t have the break with a number of players gone. My optimistic side says we’ll be fine, but my pessimistic side says it may tke a game or two to find our footing and we may one or two in the process. I vote that we keep rolling though!


    Nov 9, 2016 at 4:51 PM

    Comment #9

    We are far from a 1 player team so we will be fine, the club knew about this so Rafa will have a plan for it

  • Jail for Ashley

    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:04 PM

    Comment #10

    I’m sure we’ll be fine without Shelvey, it’s not like we’ll shoe an injured LB in to his slot.

  • Sav

    Nov 10, 2016 at 2:05 AM

    Comment #11

    Mbemba could also come into the equation in midfield. He’s too good a player to fester on the bench for long.


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