The big talking point about the game last night was how Jonjo Shelvey came back into the Newcastle side after missing the last five games through suspension and he completely ran the show until he tired a little bit in the second half.
Jonjo seemed determined to make up for his absence and basically set up all three goals for Newcastle starting with an exquisite pass through the middle for striker Yoan Gouffran after 9 minutes, who was then upended by the visiting goalkeeper for an obvious penalty.
If any fans had any doubts about just how important Jonjo Shelvey is – or how well Rafa has him playing for Newcastle – those doubts were put to bed by his mercurial performance last night.
Jonjo Shelvey in action
Both managers Rafa Benitez and Gianfranco Zola said Jonjo ran the game and this lad is some player we picked up for what now looks like a very cheap £12M from Swansea.
Of course this is England’s second division, but he seems to already be a better player under the expert tutelage of Rafa Benitez, who we have to remember signed the 18 year-old for Liverpool in 2010 just before Rafa left the Reds.
Jonjo got 74% of the vote followed by the two goalscorers Gouffran and Ritchie.
Yoan Gouffran played so well he proved he can play up front on his own with a very good performance – he looked class – and what a difference Rafa has made to a player who seemed destined for the Newcastle exit in the summer.
It was an excellent win for us last night, but now the only thing that matters is that we beat Rotherham United on Saturday and we cannot take them lightly – otherwise we could lose again.
Every win in the Championship will now take us closer to promotion with 20 games to play.
Howay The Lads!!