There’s a report in the Mail following the 3-1 win against Birmingham City on Wednesday night where Rafa Benitez stands up for Jonjo Shelvey, whom he made captain for the night in the absence of Jamaal Lascelles.
Jonjo had an excellent game in his comeback from a five game suspension for an FA misconduct charge he picked up during the 2-0 defeat against Wolves back on Saturday 17th September.
He was easily our Man of the Match on Wednesday night with over 75% of the vote.
Jonjo appealed the charge, but lost his case before an independent tribunal and he was subsequently fined £100K and suspended for five games for allegedly using racial language against one of the Wolves players.
Jonjo Shelvey – in action in the FA Cup against Birmingham
Jonjo has always denied the charge and it seems that Rafa and the Newcastle hierarchy still believe their player.
Rafa had this to say after the game on Wednesday night as reported in the Mail:
“I had no hesitation about making him captain.” “I said before when we had the trial and the hearing that, for us, it was a surprise.”
“The way that the FA were going on was a surprise, that some players from the other team can say something and you trust them and you don’t trust our players.”
“For us it doesn’t change anything.’
Shelvey and Newcastle have continued to insist their player is innocent of the charge.
What Jonjo has to do now is to put the unfortunate episode behind him and concentrate on making a statement on the field for Newcastle and for himself.
He has to keep control of his emotions during the games and if he can do that he can become a fantastic player for Newcastle United.
That has to be his goal now.