We have never seen Jonjo Shelvey play as well as he did against Manchester United almost three weeks ago.
Jonjo even at the end was defending well and trying to set up attacks – something he’s very good at.
He had another good first half last Saturday against Bournemouth but then in the second half he did lose concentration a few times and that allowed former England midfield star Frank Lampard to blast him after the game.
Frank said Jonjo was the one responsible for Bournemouth’s first goal scored by Adam, Smith after 80 minutes.
That was just after Jonjo had missed a sitter that would have put Newcastle 3-0 up and almost definitely all 3 points.
Jonjo Shelvey – in action last Saturday at Dean Court
That’s one of the areas Jonjo needs to improve as well as fight his demons – which are usually associated with anger.
But Jonjo said last week he thinks he is improving after seeing a psychologist regularly.
Newcastle threw 2 points away last time out, and we cannot do that too often in the final 10 games.
Rafa Benitez says Jonjo is still learning and the manager had this to say about the £12M signing from Swansea:
“When the team is doing well Jonjo is playing well. He has been training really well recently, he enjoys football and when he is doing well that’s great for us.”
“I talk to him a lot of times, every session, for me he is learning and it is a question of him being able to manage situations and all the pressure of people watching him and analyzing his behavior.”
“Hopefully he will carry on and keep doing what he wants to do.”
“I tried to trust him from the beginning in terms of his game, the way he manages his life, we have spoken about these things for a while.”
“One thing is he loves football, doesn’t miss a session, he wants to win and see his teammates play well, sometimes he makes mistakes and that’s something he has to manage.”
“We have seen he is focused and trying to do the right things.”
Jonjo has often labeled Newcastle’s bad boy because of his poor disciplinary record on Tyneside – but hopefully, he is coming to grips with that.
Benitez will be waiting for the scan on Shelvey’s knee to come back and we have to hope it’s not a serious injury since Jonjo will be a big miss in midfield.
Jonjo has made 23 appearances for the club this season (18 starts) and has been in his best form lately.
So much so that 21-year-old Mikel Merino hasn’t seen much action with Mo Diame also playing excellently as the holding midfielder.
We’re waiting for the scan results to come back on Jonjo’s knee.