A nice bit of man management by Rafa Benitez tonight as he gave the returning Jonjo Shelvey the captain’s armband, maybe to remind him he is a very important player for Newcastle United.
And the former Liverpool man put in sparkling performance before he tired a little bit in the second half (not surprising).
Jonjo also knows he owes the team something after his five game suspension and he put in a great shift tonight.
Jonjo seems to play well for Rafa Benitez who is able to get the very best out of a player who in the past was difficult to manage.
Jonjo Shelvey in action tonight
After the game Rafa was asked about Jonjo Shelvey by the local press and this is what he said as reported in the Shields Gazette:
“It’s always important to have numbers in terms of players around but especially someone like him that has quality and can pass the ball.”
“He can make the others play. It’s another big boost for us as a team. “You saw Jonjo controlling and dictating the tempo of the game.”
“He was training really well. It’s not the same match fitness, but it was not too long.” “He was training really well. He’s fine.”
“He needed to play. I think it’s positive for him.”
We also needed to use the squad and we didn’t take risks.”
“It was important to use the young players and that the Academy staff are seeing their players come through.”
It was an excellent win for us tonight – two great wins in a row – let’s make it three against Rotherham United on Saturday – and let’s remember we cannot underestimate any team.