It’s looking like Jonjo Shelvey will pick up a five game suspension next week at his personal hearing on the FA misconduct charge although we can always hope for a positive surprise as happened last week when Rafa got both red cards overturned from the disastrous and unreal game at Nottingham Forest.
The manager will already have thought through what his players are wig Jonjo is suspended and it looks like Isaac Hayden and Jack Colback could be two central midfielders in Jonjo’s absence.
Jonjo Shelvey – could miss 5 games or more
Isaac Hayden has been playing very well of late and he has the skill and talent to take on the playmaker role and certainly the 21 year-old has been very good so far for us this season.
Mo Diame could also play in central midfielders but he will be off after the FA Cup third round tie to the African Cup of Nations.
And Rafa could spring a surprise and even play Yoan Gouffran there, since the Frenchman can play in that position, but it would depend on how he looks in training if he is played there.
If Jonjo is found guilty next week at his hearing then here are the five games he will miss.
December Newcastle v Sheffield Wednesday Mon 26 Dec 19:45 Newcastle v Nottingham Forest Fri 30 Dec 19:45 January 2017 Blackburn Rovers v Newcastle Mon 2 Jan 15:00 Birmingham City v Newcastle Sat 7 Jan 15:00 FA Cup 3rd round Brentford v Newcastle Mon 16 Jan 19:45
It will be important to play Mo Diame in the games through the FA Cup tie when he will be available and he could either play in place of Jonjo or in the number 10 position to add some strength and creativity to the central midfield.
We are also assuming Jack Colback will be fit soon from his cut eye, which has been affecting him over the last few weeks.
Who would you play in central midfield if Jonjo is suspended next week?