In his interviews today before the game on Monday night at home to Sheffield Wednesday, Rafa Benitez was asked how he would cope with the absence of the creative Jonjo Shelvey.
Rafa admitted Newcastle do not have another player like Jonjo, who can control the tempo of the game on his own, and we have seen him do that so many times this season.
24 year-old Shelvey has had a great season so far, but we will have to do without him in our next five games after his suspension by the FA on his misconduct charge.
Jonjo Shelvey – can control the game
This is how Rafa said he would try to handle the situation as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“We have confidence in the team and the squad. We can use different players, and they can do well.”
“But Jonjo can dictate the tempo and control the game and we don’t have especially this kind of player.”
“In terms of what we need, we are trying to find a player that can cope with this.” “We can use different players and we can change the system or formation.”
“Or we can play another style of football with the same intensity and the same ideas.” “We have to find another way.”
“If we have to play Cheick Tiote or Jack Colback or another one, it has to be different, as they can’t play like him.”
“But the rest of the team can do more or less the same things.”
It would be interesting if Rafa plays Cheick Tiote on Monday night, since he is expected to leave the club next month before his contract runs out in the summer, when he will become a free agent after spending seven years on Tyneside.