Rafa Praises Midfielder – Likely To Keep Him This Summer

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.

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47 comments so far

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2018 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #1

    Surely Slimani has to be fit for Huddersfield.

  • Munster Mag

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:04 AM

    Comment #2

    Might only start as a sub Jail. I know rafa will change a winning team but it might break him in gently after the injury. Thigh injuries are nasty.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:06 AM

    Comment #3

    Does Dubravka ever drop the ball.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #4

    He may already be up to speed by
    the time we play Huddersfield
    they are going to play at least one
    competitive game in sunny Spain

  • Bladey

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #5

    Good result yesterday saints were the poorest team to visit sip this season even worse than the hammers but you can only beat what’s in front of you
    ASH OUT rafa out

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #6

    Was there any live streams to see your lot get beat again yesterday Bladey.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #7

    Andre Marriner showed us a lot more leniency yesterday
    I wonder if he realises now that Delli Alli conned him for
    Shelvey’s red card the first game of the season .

    Yesterday Shelvey caught Højbjerg late just before halftime
    but no action other than a free kick was taken.
    A couple of months ago Marriner would have given
    him a yellow no danger.

  • martoon

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #8

    Bladey for once I agree.
    Jail he didnt drop the ball but did you see his comedy misthrow at the end of the game – he got away with that one!

  • hibbit

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #9

    you agree on Rafa out ??????????

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:39 AM

    Comment #10

    I think we will get 39 points at least plus superior goal difference. One of the teams below us will totally sink. Probably West Ham & or Southampton, and one team will go on a run and surprise everybody.

    West Hams fixtures. They really need to beat Stoke & Soton at home, otherwise they’ve got no chance. 35 pts
    Man U (a) L/// Southampton (h) D, Chelsea (a) L, Stoke (h) W, Arsenal (a) L, Man C (h) L, Leicester (a) L, Everton (h) D

    Southampton fixtures. Would need to beat Swansea & West Ham away and they’re not good on the road. 34 pts
    Swansea (a) L/// West Ham (a) D, Arsenal (a) L, Chelsea (h) D, Leicester (a) L, Bournemouth (h) W, Everton (a) L, Man C (h) D

    Stoke Fixtures. Another team without a striker. Maybe they regret selling Joselu. Last 4 games relatively easy, could see a great escape although I doubt it. 34 points
    Man C (h) L, Everton (h) D, Arsenal (a) L, Spurs (h) L, West Ham (a) L, Burnley (h) W, Liverpool (a) L, PAlace (h) D, Swansea (a) D

    Palace Fixtures. Need Benteke to hit form. Easy run in after playing most the big teams recently. 39 pts
    Huddersfield (a) D, Liverpool (h) L, Bournemouth (a) L, Brighton (h) W, Watford (a) D, Leicester (h) W, Stoke (a) D, WBA (h) W

    Huddersfield Fixtures. Last 4 games could see them go down. Need to beat Palace next week. 37 pts
    Palace (h) D, Newcastle (a) L, Brighton (a) D, Watford (h) W, Chelsea (a) L, Everton (h) D, Man C (a) L, Arsenal (h) L

  • DaveD1000

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:40 AM

    Comment #11

    @7 Jib , I thought that. Marriner way lenient compared to his usual.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #12

    Just watching a replay of Ritchie’s goal
    Our press was superb –
    we had six players in or close to their box.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #13

    I seen you mention that earlier, I must have been talking to my mate or something as I missed it. I stayed right till the end as well.

  • calvinho

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #14

    Assuming West Brom are down. Which other 2 go as well and which 1 player from each of the 3 teams would you take? Stoke & Southampton to go too.
    I’d take Burke from West Brom, Allen from Stoke, Lemina from Southampton.

  • ArtyH

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #15

    Just wondering a few things….We seem to have the keeper and defence sorted now…..We now look awesome with Shelvey and the rejuvenated Mighty Mo at the heart of mid…..The wings look covered…..Problem is still striker’s and No10. Cannot help wondering what Fulham are doing differently to rejuvenate Mitro when they do not have the same class of players we do? Why can we not use the same tactics to play to Mitro’s obvious strengths, he gets goals FFS, they win games and with our mid and defence sorted surely he would be a better bet than Joselu??? I know its a different game in the championship but Fulham are using him to the fullest effect and I cannot help feeling cheated that we are not capitalising on him at this moment in time. I know having him back would mean having to change the way we played but with respect to the above being sorted surely a man with Rafa’s know how it is possible. When he was signed Shteve was going to build a team around him, he was held i such regard, and he is still a young lad, surely Rafa could mould him into the player we hoped he would be? If his temperament is suspect surely his time in the championship and on international duty should be taken into account. I would hate to see him sold in the summer for what we paid for him and go on to be a big success for some other rival team….look no further than Thorvjn who is playing like a world beater now…..yes I know he was supposed to not want to come here but we could have made him more welcome i’m sure.
    All in all though much better after that 3-0 win yesterday and for me Shelvey and Mo played brilliantly again, they seem to have found their rhythm together, Shelvey the play maker and Mo the mid field destroyer. Great game by everyone though and a three week gap to at least not fear the drop…..

  • Slank

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:51 AM

    Comment #16

    I was one of the many who couldn’t quite understand why Rafa wanted another keeper but having now seen Dubravka over three games I now realise why. He looks and sounds like a very confident and commanding player. Very similar to Lascelles.

    I have to praise Rafa and his coaching staff for the turnaround in performances of Diame and Dummitt. Both players are consistently good.

    Dummitt appears to have increased his speed (how I don’t know) as he is rarely left stranded by the opposition winger. His tackling was always robust but with his newly found speed he must be one of the first on Rafa’s team sheet.

    Diame showed yet again yesterday how effective and consistent he is in that defensive midfield role alongside Shelvey. Time and time again he broke up the Southampton play. Because of his size he doesn’t need to make rash challenges. He uses his size very effectively.

  • swemag

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:56 AM

    Comment #17

    Mackems in league 1. Mackems in league 1. Worth repeating.

  • AncientC

    Mar 11, 2018 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #18

    Shelvey “likely” to stay? Was it ever in doubt. Remember the ridiculous comments earlier in the season when people were saying Merino—after 1 or 2 above average games—was better than Shelvey and Shelvey should be sold.

    It’s not that Shelvey has improved drastically since then either. Shelvey is one of the most consistent players in the squad, it is the players that break and move around Shelvey that have improved. Good job Kenedy and Ritchie are hitting some form, still very few goals to speak of from the forwards.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #19

    You been living in a cave ?
    I remember it being commented
    that Dummett was one of the fastest
    players at the club . on this blog , in
    Pardews time here !

  • martoon

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #20

    Hibbitt – I agree that Southampton are the worst team I’ve seen this season at SJP but you can only beat what is in front of you but nothing else!

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:14 AM

    Comment #22

    ArtyH, give it a rest marra, he’s gone. End of. Nothing to see here. Move along please.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:19 AM

    Comment #23

    I can’t fathom how anyone couldn’t understand why we needed a new keeper. Woodman needed to go out on loan and Elliott rarely stays fit for a season.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #24

    Swansea were pretty bad too. I hope Pardew is still at WBA when they come up here.

  • toonincheek

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:25 AM

    Comment #25

    Loved watching Dummett (and Yedlin) slide-tackle the
    ball and man into touch.

    Brings back memories of Dick Keith and Alf McMichael
    doing that way waaay back.

    What thighs Dick Keith had. Second only to Jimmy S.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:31 AM

    Comment #26

    who t f is thorvjn ?

  • outsidethebox

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:33 AM

    Comment #27

    noticed toon odds for relegation have gone out to 14-1….sunderlands have gone in to 1-6…just saying…
    on question of needing keeper in jan …defence is more settled with loud controlling keeper

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:37 AM

    Comment #28

    Ha ha ha

  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #29


    We just can’t win. Before the game, people like me were branded deluded and could expect a reality check after the Souton game for daring to think we could beat them because they don’t loose many games and are difficult to beat on the road .So what is it then, you can’t have it both ways.

  • Our Toon

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    Comment #30


    I think Shelvey has alot of improving to do when he doesn’t have the ball, he did very well against man utd off the ball and injury or not he let the side down against Bournemouth. If he’s given time and space like yesterday he’ll punish teams.

  • Jib

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:47 AM

    Comment #31

    Lee Ryder speaking to Rafa about Big Al

    Speaking about Mitrovic’s good start to life at Fulham, Benitez said:
    “There are two ways to analyse this.
    One is Mitrovic is scoring goals in the Championship.
    It’s good news for him and us.
    Two, he is playing before the World Cup and he is our player.
    We then have to discuss his future in May.
    In May we will see and if he is doing well, fine no problem.”

    But Benitez insists that Fulham’s attacking style does not differ
    from Newcastle’s approach in the Championship last term

    He said:
    “It’s not about style. We were the best team in
    the Championship and had an offensive style.
    We scored 85 and conceded 40. We were the best team bar none.
    We had more shots on target than anyone and we were second on crosses.
    So everything was there in place.
    We were an attacking team. Dwight Gayle got 23 goals even with two months out injured.
    Nobody can complain about our attacking style as we had Gayle, Ritchie and Atsu. You can see the numbers.”

    Benitez also made it clear Mitrovic’s omission from the first team
    at Newcastle was far from a personal issue.

  • outsidethebox

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:50 AM

    Comment #32

    be interesting to see what action fa take re west ham game…if it had been the toon there would be talk of points deduction ……..games behind closed doors ….red cards for players attacking supporters (remember hazard and ballboy incident)…but think maybe a £20 fine suspended will be action fa will take or raising rent to £40 a year

  • dig-n-dig22

    Mar 11, 2018 at 11:56 AM

    Comment #33

    out toon#30
    I agree, Maybe he should have added a hat trick to his assists to justify his MOM ,who knows? it may have put a smile on your face/sarc

  • Our Toon

    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #34

    Dig n dig

    A hattrick from Shelvey? It would be nice but I don’t think he’s scored in the PL since 2015 or 2016.

    His game is to create chances and he did that yesterday, Southampton were awful but we can only beat what’s in front of us. I wish all teams came here and refused to press like they did. We got the massive 3 points that were needed.

    Btw motm for me was Diame, hands down the best player on the pitch. Then dummett and then kenedy.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #35

    Mitrovic is doing much more than scoring. He put in the perfect performance last week. His hold up play was brilliant, his passing, and his defending. There is no possible way anyone could claim Joselu is better. Mitrovic scored for fun in Belgium, got 9 in the premier league, and has a great record internationally.

    Slimani is near the end of his career and only did so-so in Portugal so whether he is better than Mitrovic is open for debate.If Mitro was in the Portugese league he’d score 30-40 without a doubt and probably be signed for £50m as is the case with any average player who does well in Portugal. The top scorer in Portugal this year is some 36 yr old Brazilian who has never achieved anything previosuly which shows what a pathetic league it is.

  • ArtyH

    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:09 PM

    Comment #36

    Ha ha Thorvjn, my bad, too quick on the key and no check for content lol’s

  • ArtyH

    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #37

    Just sayin, if we sell Mitro and have to rely on what we have due to madness again from the owner it will be a re run of this season next season. Just sayin…

  • toonincheek

    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:12 PM

    Comment #38

    There’s only one Big Al (in a Newcastle context)

    And it Ain’t Mitro.

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:21 PM

    Comment #39

    From Stoke – I’d think about Shaqiri and Shawcross.
    WBA – I’d consider Dawson, Evans, Phillips and Burke.
    Southampton – perhaps Forster as he’s local.
    Palace – have plenty I’d consider – Tomkins, Mililojevic, Benteke, Townsend, Loftus-Cheek, Sahko.
    West Ham – Carroll, Lanzini,Cresswell, Obiang.
    Huddersfield – Mooy, Moonie, Pritchard, Schindler

  • The next Mike Williamson

    Mar 11, 2018 at 12:22 PM

    Comment #40

    I thought Lejuene was brilliant again yesterday, as was Diame. My two stand out performers.


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