Rafa Benitez is an extremely experienced manager, but even for him the events of the game at Nottingham Forest just over a week ago – our last time out – must have opened his eyes a bit to the Championship.
The game was essentially over at half time and even though we were 1-0 up we were down to 9 men and eventually lost the game 2-1.
A team can play quite well with one man short but two men short gets a bit ridiculous, although our players played their hearts out in that second half so we know they have guts. fight and spirit this season.
Jonjo Shelvey gets a red card at the City Ground
Jonjo Shelvey slipped into his past ways a bit when he lost control with Henri Lansbury and lashed out at him, but only after the Forest captain had done the same to him.
Henri was also involved in the second penalty when he waited for Paul Dummett to touch him before laughingly diving forward to get the penalty – he’d make a good actor if he ever wants to go into a new line of work.
Rafa Benitez has talked about Jonjo today and what he has to do if he wants to become a better player.
This is what Rafa has said in the Chronicle:
“I didn’t have to say anything to him after the Forest game because he was apologising to everyone because he knew he made a mistake.”
“If he wants to grow, and I think he does, he has to keep doing the same thing he has been during the season.”
“He has been one of the best players in the team because he came back from the summer really focussed, he was concentrating, training really well and listening to everyone.”
“Then this thing that happened the other day proved that he has to stay focussed and do his job like he was before.”
“I’m confident he can do that. When I talk to him or see him playing I realise there’s a very good player who has to have this control.”
“It’s a question of time. He has to be more mature in his reaction but I think he has to learn.”
“When you talk with him and you see his positive reaction, and we’ve talked about Aleksandar Mitrovic in the past, it’s a question of each individual.”
“Normally with Jonjo he’s fine in 99% of the situations and you have 1% where he loses control. ” “Hopefully he can control even this one per cent.”
“I think he knows the reaction of the other player Lansbury, you could see it was not normal and for the future he has to control himself.”
“He can be one of the best players in the division – if he does what he was doing one month ago on the pitch and off the pitch.”
With Brighton beating a 10 man Leeds United side 2-0 last night with two penalties they are now 2 points above us in the league table and it’s very important that we win today at home to Birmingham City, although it will not be an easy game.