Who Can Fill In For Jonjo Shelvey If He’s Suspended?

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.

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?

Who Was Newcastle's Best Player At Wigan?

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Comments welcome.

39 comments so far

  • toontaff2

    Dec 15, 2016 at 9:42 AM

    Comment #1

    WIG Jonjo must be ED’s surprise replacement – could we get away with it?

  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Dec 15, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #2

    Ed must be reading my mind – previous thread….

    Not a champagne performance by a long way – Good three points
    two good goals – I’ll take that
    Biggest win at Wigan – laid the bogey to rest

    I thought we looked ponderous and slow last night – our build up play was slow and backwards –
    Gayle must of run miles with very little help – Shelvey played OK but to deep for me.
    Hayden and Diame both took the eye last night
    Lascalles and Clark defended well but their use of the ball was poor.
    Goufran and Anita weren’t at the best either.
    Dummett did what Dummett does best defend but he again got caught out a couple of times
    Ritchie was’t at the races last night – poor
    Atsu brought a injection of pace that we needed and took his goal well

    Roll-on Burton

    If Shelvey gets his five/six match ban – could have a problem filling the hole – ain’t got anyone else with the vision to seek out a pass.
    So lads and lasses how would you line up ??

    me – midfield of
    Goufran, Diame, Colback, Anita, Ritchie
    with Yedlin going to full-back
    Not the most exciting but hopefully solid and would do a job!!!

  • martoon

    Dec 15, 2016 at 9:55 AM

    Comment #3

    Obviously we are going to lose about 4 players to the AFCON and probably Jonjo – anybody know how badly Brighton will be affected?

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #4

    Wig is actually Jonjo’s nickname to his close friends.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:02 AM

    Comment #5

    He came on and was woeful against Villa. He’s better than Colback yet has done absolutely nothing to start ahead of him, I don’t think I’m being harsh.

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #6

    If you listen carefully you can sometimes hear Rafa shouting
    “Hey peluca pasar la pelota tu cono”

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:05 AM

    Comment #7

    You said you would have drove to Wigan if you knew the turnstiles were open, why did you not just buy a ticket.

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #8

    It was a last minute thingy
    I had a sudden window of opportunity after other things were postponed

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #9

    Hey peluca pasar la pelota tu coño

    ha ha ha

  • hibbit

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #10

    he might have been better than Colback a couple of years ago but not now his head is in another place
    he just doesn’t want to be here and hasn’t for a long time

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:16 AM

    Comment #11

    Brighton will probably have no players away for the African Cup of Nations

  • Jail for Ashley

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #12

    My point exactly, he’s a better player if he applied himself but has lost interest and become a waste of space.

  • Jimmy……Jimmy……Jimmy Smith

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #13

    Hayden and Colback are good players at this level. They would be a decent pairing. Anita with either would be tidy, and would pass and move all day long. Diame alongside either would offer some powerful running from deep. I imagine we’ll be weakened but not noticeably so against Championship opposition. Tiote and Diame, although an unlikely DM pairing I suppose, would also be very imposing in this league.

  • 2_goal_tino

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #14

    I’m not that worried, there are quite a few options. Hayden-Colback is the obvious one but is very defensive. Diame is more than capable of dropping back and Perez being brought in to the number 10 role. Alternatively, Yedlin could play RB and Anita brought forward.

    None of them are ideal, but we have a big and pretty versatile squad which should have no problems coping. That run of games isn’t too daunting.

  • martoon

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #15

    Jib @11 – Looking at their squad I can only see Bong and Lua Lua as African players and I don’t think either are regular first team players so it looks like we’ll be affected a lot more than them!

  • Slank

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #16

    There isn’t a direct ‘like for like’ replacement for Shelvey at the club or possibly anywhere else for that matter.

    He has a range of passing skills that few anywhere else can match. And therefore buying in someone to fill the gap, albeit temporarily, doesn’t look like a sensible option unless the team changes its pattern of play to accommodate Shelvey’s enforced absence.

    Tiote, Colback, Anita and/or perhaps Perez look the likely candidates to partner Hayden.

  • Bobbybee

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #17

    Although last night wasn’t a great spectacle, the three points at this stage are all that matters imo. Rafa pointed out that the pitch was in poor condition and that can be a massive factor for a team like ours, that likes to pass the ball. It’s fair to say that our football wasn’ t the usual quality, but a poor pitch explains a lot. Despite that, apart from a twenty minute spell, we were comfortable winners and every team, regardless, will have a spell of being in the ascendency. Not great, but a professional win.

  • hibbit

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #18

    Diame will be off to the ACoN first week of january so he’s not in the equation plus others
    i think Rafa will buy / loan a couple of quality players in
    or i hope he will

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #19

    Tiote is still listed as an Ivory Coast squad member.

  • AncientC

    Dec 15, 2016 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #20

    I am surprised some are not worried about Shelvey potentially missing 5 to 8 games. Where is the creative influence going to come from in the centre of the park?

    Anita cannot do it, he overcooks his passes, and started in some of the worst sides in living memory. Anita is great at harrying, I wanted to see him at RB years ago… but in CM, he looks stale to me.

    I figure Colback to be a better passer than Anita, judging by the amount of weight he puts on the ball – gifting the ball into a team-mates path, but ask him to spray through balls around the pitch, and he would be found lacking.

    Shelvey is instrumental to the point that the side will have to adapt and play a different way to compensate for his absence… Shelvey, with the squad at hand, is irreplaceable.

    Ritchie is the next best creative player after Shelvey, utilising the Right Flank more, or switching Rithie’s position, would look to be a strong given option.

  • martoon

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #21

    When you think about it we’ve really been stitched up by the FA. By delaying Jonjo’s hearing if he gets a ban (which looks likely) then it will concur with the AFCON whereas if they had held it straightaway his ban would be nearly finished by now.

  • firebug666

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #22

    It seems that people are already assured Shelvey is guilty and will get a ban, I would like to think he is as innocent as he claims, and will therefore not get any ban, so he can continue to pull the strings in midfield throughout the festive season.

    However if it goes pear-shaped and the worst does happen, I think Rafa will have a plan, we still have enough in the squad to see us through, and no doubt Rafa will be spending in January.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #23


    You made a very odd comment yesterday inferring that rafa was not maximising our attacking options and that Chris Hughton was doing a better job.

    I know you’ve not been a rafa fan from day 1 but every stat going, as far as attacking options is concerned, would suggest the opposite.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #24

    Don’t see how the FA can impose a ban on hearsay. As in a court of law, if there’s reasonable doubt he should be found innocent. Given it seems to be one word vs another, don’t see how there are grounds for guilt.

  • firebug666

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #25

    Reports emanating from France this morning suggest that the Magpies have been performing extensive scouting missions on 21-year-old Ivory Coast international Nicolas Pepe, according to French media outlet L’Equipe.

    The young forward is currently plying his trade in France, with Ligue 1 side Angers, and is highly-rated on the continent.

    He has caught the eye of some of Europe’s biggest clubs this season, including Lyon, Roma and Juventus, with a string of impressive displays.

    And L’Equipe claim that Newcastle are one of the clubs to haven taken a keen interest in Pepe, after having the player watched during Angers last few games.

    The report from L’Equipe also claims that Angers are prepared to listen to offers of around €10 million (£8.4 million), for their player – a figure that would be easily within the realms of reality for the Tyneside outfit.

    The main challenge that Newcastle will face, if they do try and bring Pepe to the club, will be to convince the player to move to St James’ Park, rather than some of the more illustrious clubs who are reportedly interested in obtaining his signature.

  • firebug666

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #26

    Rafael Benitez has hinted to the Chronicle that Newcastle United will look to sign a winger in the January transfer window.

    Benitez has so far been fairly tight lipped on transfers, ahead of the window reopening next month.

    However, the Spanish boss has offered his clearest clue that a new attacker could be on Newcastle’s shopping list next month.

    “We have one or two problems. Rolando Aarons is a long-term problem,” he said. “We need to find a player to balance the team. Maybe we can manage, maybe we can bring someone in.”

    Aarons is expected to be out injured for much of the rest of the campaign.

    Newcastle still have a number of options in wide-areas, but Benitez is keen to add to his group.

    It is thought that Newcastle will be handed funds to strengthen, to ensure that they earn promotion.

    Newcastle are currently leading the way in the Championship, after beating Wigan Athletic 2-0 in their most recent outing.

    The Magpies are next in action at the weekend, when they take on Burton Albion.

    So maybe another winger coming in.

  • expatmag

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:23 AM

    Comment #27

    Well, we better hope that Shelvey wins his appeal because with 5 players away at the African cup, we are starting to look a little thin on the ground in January

  • expatmag

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #28


    We may need more than just a winger.

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Comment #29

    I was going to post this as a suggestion that Rafa may even try 4-2-4
    However it is such an interesting article and shows how flexible Rafa is in his tactical thinking that I almost wish JJS would get banned to see how the maestro deals with it !


  • firebug666

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #30


    Yeah, I think Rafa will bring 2 or 3 in to compensate for the players going to the AFCON.

  • AncientC

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:44 AM

    Comment #31

    Did the Chronicle really state “Newcastle still have a number of options in wide-areas, but Benitez is keen to add to his group”.

    What number of options? There is Gouffran (coming to the end of his contract), Richie, and Atsu (unknown yet if he staying). That’s it.

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #32

    Blooming heck !
    NUFC refunded my full NUFCtv annual subscription £39.99
    Well chuffed !

  • Spotlight Kid

    Dec 15, 2016 at 12:00 PM

    Comment #33

    JiB @ 29

    4-2-4 won’t work imho, but in the absence of a creative player like Shelvey 4-4-2 would definitely be worth a go for a few games. Two banks of 4 and perm any two from Mitro-Gayle-Perez-Murphy up front and it looks belt and braces defensively but very threatening going forward. Less possession, but more goals I suspect.

  • Rotonda heights

    Dec 15, 2016 at 12:04 PM

    Comment #34

    For the benefit of Mag 52 and to a slightly lesser degree Munster and Manxpie, read it and weep. Different set of fans, carbon copy comments


  • LGFUAD21

    Dec 15, 2016 at 12:13 PM

    Comment #35

    Yesterday was the kind of grinding performance you need to win a league.

    Was crying out for Atsu as I felt Ritchie was struggling. Also think Mitro would’ve helped us out with his hold up. Don’t see why he doesn’t getting a chance when he does ok when he plays.

    Diame is a new man from the start of the season. I’ve seen him play terribly but he’s starting to show what he did at hull. Those bursting runs. Power, pace. The willingness to take his man on.

    Apart from that there were times where there looked like a communication breakdown. Mainly between the full backs and other players.

  • Jib

    Dec 15, 2016 at 12:14 PM

    Comment #36

    Spotlight Kid

    Second half last night we conceded loads of possession to Wigan.

    It made little difference.

    With 4-2-4 you let the opposition pissfart about knacking themselves with meaningless midfield possession – but with 4 up top you really hurt them when you do have the ball.
    A bit like Ali’s “rope a dope”.

  • LGFUAD21

    Dec 15, 2016 at 12:15 PM

    Comment #37


    We definitely need cover for gouffy. He’s doing well but at his age with the number of games we cannot solely rely on him as the only option.

    Lazaar could probably do a job but he’s off to ACON

  • Spotlight Kid

    Dec 15, 2016 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #38

    4-4-2 with two flank midfielders can effectively turn to 4-2-4 on the counter. But when defending you can lock into 2 banks of 4, but with the front two always dangerous on a quick counter. Leicester used it rather well last season, as did Watford. I’m sure for half a dozen games in late December and January it would be less individually demanding than the current system if certain ‘purple’ players aren’t available.

  • Moonraker15

    Dec 15, 2016 at 2:16 PM

    Comment #39

    Last night Dummett put us in bad positions with his reluctance to go forward. It pointless passing to him when starting attacks as he always passes inside to the centre back. Opposition Sussed this out and closed down quickly last night. He is a good defender but should be encouraged to go forward or at least pass forward occasionally!


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