It was a little bit of a surprise that Jonjo Shelvey started the game yesterday because at the beginning of the week it looked like he would miss out against Southampton.
Jonjo had injured his knee in the game at Bournemouth and missed the game at Liverpool last weekend.
But Rafa has said in the Shields Gazette today that Jonjo Shelvey was “desperate” to play against Southampton.
Well it worked out with Shelvey having two assists – he set up Kenedy for that first crucial goal after about a minute, and in the second half he brilliantly set up Matt Richie for our third goal.
Rafa Benitez congratulates Jonjo Shelvey yesterday
Jonjo is in his best form at the moment, but he must remain disciplined and do nothing daft in these final eight games of the season.
If that happens, it’s difficult to see Rafa letting the former Charlton, Liverpool, and Swansea player leave Tyneside this summer.
This is what Rafa has said about Jonjo:
“When we were talking about him, the idea was maybe that he couldn’t play,”
“On Tuesday, even Wednesday, we were talking about that.” “But he was pushing, he was desperate to play and credit to him because he did well.”
“In another case, maybe another player would not be playing, but he decided to play, took the risk, and it was quite positive.”
“He’s someone who has a personality and confidence in himself, so he has to do that like the majority of these players.”
“They try and we have to improve little things, but at least the commitment is there.”
“That’s the best way to improve and to be sure that the team as a team is stronger.”
Shelvey is turning out to be a key man for us now after yesterday’s performance and his magnificent display in the 1-0 win against Manchester United.
Keep it up Jonjo.