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Newcastle Player Still Hoping For The Best

It doesn’t look like Jonjo Shelvey will make the England squad for the World Cup in Russia this summer.

But if England manager Gareth Southgate only looked at his form he should get into the squad.

It will be interesting to find out who the central midfielders will be for Russia and we’d be surprised if Sothgate picks Arsenal’s Jack Wilshire – but we suspect he may.

Jonjo Shelvey – in action against Chelsea on Sunday

Shelvey is making all the right noises and is still hopeful he can squeeze into the squad.

This is what Shelvey told BBC Sport:

“It’d be my dream to get called up into that 23 to go to Russia, I’d love it,” 

“I get people coming up to me in the street and saying: ‘Have you heard anything? Have you heard anything?’ And, no, I haven’t.”

“The only thing I can keep doing is keep progressing and keep playing the way I’m playing.”

“The more people talk about it, the more it might happen.”

“But it might not happen. I’ve just got to keep doing what I’ve been doing. I’ve ended the season really well, and that was the main thing that for me personally I needed to do.”

“From Christmas onwards, I’ve been really, really good. I’ve been putting in consistent performances but, as you say, it’s what will be, will be.”

“But, if it doesn’t happen, then I’ll go away, get refreshed and get ready for next season.”

“But if it does then I’d literally love it.”

Shelvey has had his best season ever at Newcastle and if he can keep control of himself on the pitch he can get even better next season under the continued excellent coaching of Rafa Benitez.

Comments welcome.

137 comments so far

  • Ron Knee

    May 15, 2018 at 1:41 PM

    Comment #1


    Look how the Lejeune transfer dragged on.

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 15, 2018 at 1:46 PM

    Comment #2


    I’d stick with them for a wee while longer mate. 🙂

  • Jib

    May 15, 2018 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #3

    On Tyneside peace and love purveys the air

    I think you mean “pervades”

    Unless they are selling air these days

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 15, 2018 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #4

    I saw that interview and I reckon he will be really gutted if he’s not selected.

  • Jib

    May 15, 2018 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #5

    George Caulkin is quoting the reluctance of
    the club to take Willy Caballero on a free
    last Summer from Man City as evidence
    of lack of support for Rafa,

    In a way he’s right.

    However WC’s only appeared 3 times all
    season for Chelsea .
    He’s on £2M a year ($40k per week)

    I can understand the clubs hesitation.

  • magscar

    May 15, 2018 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #6

    I like George Caulkin and he may well be right in his speculation but I get tired of examples quoted by journalists to back up their take on things which don’t quite gel with what seems to have happened.

    From The TImes ( not George Caulkin) June 7 2017 ..

    “Willy Caballero is understood to favour a move to Chelsea above Newcastle United, who could be dealt a second blow in their pursuit of an experienced goalkeeper after deciding that Pepe Reina’s valuation is too high.

    Caballero is a free agent after being released by Manchester City and has been offered deals by both clubs. Newcastle, the newly-promoted club, are offering a higher salary than the champions but Caballero is believed to prefer to want to move to London, where he would be a back-up to Thibaut Courtois. Asmir Begovic, last season’s reserve, has joined Bournemouth.”

    Seems that according to that report we offered higher salary at beginning of transfer window last summer but we were rejected. Who is right? I don’t know so I am staying with possibilty that Rafa will stay until something concrete emerges beyond the speculation 🙂

  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2018 at 2:25 PM

    Comment #7

    Personally I’m enjoying the moment. Despite being tipped for relegation by the so called experts, we finished tenth and were safe with weeks to spare. Imo, that’s a good season.
    Let’s be honest, since the day he arrived, pundits and posters alike have had him out the door a dozen times. He’s still here. He wants to be here. We want him here and we’ve made that as plain as the nose on your face. Ashley needs him here if he has any intention of selling the club.
    Finishing tenth – thanks to his tactics of not taking a thrashing by trying to play the likes of City at their own game – gives us six million alone compared to those we finished above on goal difference.
    It could go tits up – it is Newcastle after all – but if it does, there’ll be plenty of time then for wailing and gnashing of teeth. Right now should be about celebrating a great season under difficult circumstances. We’ll know either way within a few weeks. My gut reaction is Rafa will stay, but that means nothing.
    Let’s wait and see what happens. It’s completely out of our hands as supporters after all. No point getting stressed out yet again, only to discover he signs an extension and we progress next season.
    So far we’ve progressed under Rafa. If he stays we’ll progress further. Celebrate the season and see what happens over the next few weeks. Then will be the time to celebrate further or be pissed off. Now is not that time.

  • magscar

    May 15, 2018 at 2:31 PM

    Comment #8


    I’m with you.If you are a glass half full kind of guy then I suppose that at least you are never disappointed and sometimes overjoyed, As a self confessed glass half full guy as i repeatedly profess on here I can’t do any other than go on what I see and hear of Rafa himself for now and trust that something will be sorted to his liking ( and ours).

  • magscar

    May 15, 2018 at 2:32 PM

    Comment #9

    Oops first sentence should have read glass half empty – makes far more sense!

  • lochinvar

    May 15, 2018 at 2:43 PM

    Comment #10

    Ah Jib
    You know what I meant
    I know what I meant
    But the computer thingy didn’t

    Such is life

  • lochinvar

    May 15, 2018 at 2:48 PM

    Comment #11

    Newcastle United defender Massadio Haidara has confirmed his imminent departure from Newcastle on Instagram by posting “thank you for everything”, with his contract set to expire.

    The 25-year-old has not been given a new deal at St. James’ Park, with his current terms set to end on June 30 – a contract which the Daily Star claim is worth £20,000 a week.

    Good luck Massaido – hope the fresh start with a new club works well for you

  • Toonces

    May 15, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    Comment #12

    Shelvey has been immense for us and I think he deserves an England call up ahead of Loftus Cheek, Wilshire, and Lallana. His play more than deserves the call up but we know his history works against him. His stupid red card against Spurs doesn’t help but his ban last season for racial comments is his millstone. I think Shelvey’s ban (rightly or wrongly) last season for racial comments means that Southgate will never make a place for him. I recall Southgate made some comments some time back about racism and how he especially despises it. I’d love to see Shelvey there – along with Lascelles – flying the flag for Newcastle while wearing the England shirt. It would be great for our club. It just isn’t going to happen. I very much want to be proven wrong.

  • JohnJ

    May 15, 2018 at 2:54 PM

    Comment #13

    Like many other NUFC fans I’m feeling a nice rosy glow of contentment that Newcastle United have secured another season in The Premier League…….. There’s no getting away from the fact it’s a very tough league so to finish in 10th place under all the circumstances is very good indeed. There have been some fantastic performances from both individuals and the team and Mr Benitez has done an amazing job on very limited resources.

    There have also been some disappointments Everton home & away come to mind when we deserved at least a draw from both games. There was also a clear goal that wasn’t given against Bournemouth at home! I feel the referees have been not quite up to scratch, at times, and yes people may say swings and roundabouts but really I just want the correct decision called if it’s against us and correct well that’s the way it is but it really irritates me when we have clear cut nailed on penalties that are not given!

    Here’s hoping Rafa gets signed up on a long term deal as soon as possible and that he is given a decent sized warchest!!!

  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2018 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #14

    Mags, time will tell mate. We have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes other than wild speculation. Until I hear from Rafa himself that he’s leaving I’m listening to nobody.
    The whole point is, we’ll know soon enough. Why get despondent when if you wait a few weeks you’ll know for certain one way or the other? Enjoy the season. It’s been good. I’ve certainly enjoyed it myself, ups and downs.
    This team, with just four additions can push on even further next season. It’s a project over a number of seasons. Too many expect instant gratification, but that’s for mega rich clubs. Rafa wants to build over a number of seasons. It will take time, but as long as he’s here we will progress.
    Anyway, watching a re run of the game, so I might go quiet for a while. 🙂 Howay the lads. Hope we win this game three nil like we did on Sunday. 🙂

  • chicousa

    May 15, 2018 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #15

    Will Rafa sign a new deal or will he leave? My guess is neither: he will stay, but only on his current contract. This is better than him leaving of course but is sub-optimal as it will show Ashley still playing brinkmanship. It also is not a great selling point for potential new buyers or for incomming transfer targets.

    The only think I am sure of is Ashley will make the whole process as painful and as frustrating for everyone involved as possible (Rafa, his staff, players and fans). Frankly I think that sort of “control” is what gives him the most enjoyment. (Bet he liked to burn ants with a magnifying glass when he was a child too!)

  • chicousa

    May 15, 2018 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #16


  • magscar

    May 15, 2018 at 3:08 PM

    Comment #17


    Be nice to watch game without any tension – got a little worried when they had that good spell after half time ( memories of their comeback against Southampton too fresh!) but we weathered that and fully deserved a win with a 90 minute performance. I recorded it so might watch again sometime if need cheering up 🙂

  • Jib

    May 15, 2018 at 3:10 PM

    Comment #18

    Nothing wrong with burning ants the little

  • chicousa

    May 15, 2018 at 3:13 PM

    Comment #19


    I should have used the “liked to pull wings off butterflies” meme!

  • switch365

    May 15, 2018 at 3:26 PM

    Comment #20

    Uruguay would never consider, not taking Suarez after his ban for chomping.
    France wouldn’t dream of not taking Cantona, after his Bruce Lee ban.
    Yet the old boys funny handshake brigade at FA hq, would demand Shelvey doesn’t travel because he doesn’t play for one of “their” clubs. And they wonder why we never win anything at senior level.
    Let’s be honest, forget the “Shelvey must go” opinion. Shelvey should be bloody well starting!

  • Jail for Ashley

    May 15, 2018 at 3:35 PM

    Comment #21

    So where do you draw the line when the club, whoever they may be, tell Rafa we don’t need another keeper or that striker is not the right type, do we let Rafa decide this or Churnley, Moncur and Ashley. Or can we only point the blame at “the club” when they insist on keeping an ageing and very disinterested curly coiffured and cowardly captain.

  • Hail Wor Ashley

    May 15, 2018 at 4:06 PM

    Comment #22

    Of course Shelvey should be going.

    No other English CM has his 1) vision 2) ability to pull of the passes he does. He is a unique talent amongst the current crop.

    He’s working so much harder these days too, much fitter, as much focused on the defensive tactical side as he is influencing matches going forward.

    Some idiots that don’t watch NUFC every week, every minute having their outdated opinions is a given. We and Rafa can all attest to his improved consistency on the field and application.

    Makes me laugh when some point to him just having 3 assists. A silly metric if ever there was one. Why don’t we count assists to the assists?

    On his debut – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJwi8ZUIe9c – he played key passes from deep for both goals for somebody else to notch an ‘assist’ on their record. He does that all the damn time.

    All the nitty-gritty stats that show a bit more detail have him ahead of his peers in nearly all categories.

  • RUNAWAY777

    May 15, 2018 at 4:12 PM

    Comment #23

    England will get nowhere in the world cup and Southgate will be out the door. Cant stand his face.

  • toonincheek

    May 15, 2018 at 4:14 PM

    Comment #24

    There seems to be a Catch 22 situation developing, where
    Rafa won’t sign until it is shown that his ‘plan for progress’
    is matched by the Club.

    So, with Rafa wanting players he wants to be signed quickly,
    but with players holding back pending Rafa’s future commitment,
    maybe a variation on the “relegatioin” clause would work, so
    players signing up have a release clause in their contract that
    allows a transfer at a fee should Rafa leave.

  • NUFCadon

    May 15, 2018 at 4:17 PM

    Comment #25

    I truly believe that Shelvey would be fantastic in the team if vardy was up top. Vardy makes some great runs off the shoulder of the defender and I think him and shelvey would make a great partnership. Players like Dier and Henderson look OK for their clubs but I guarantee if either of them played for Newcastle they wouldnt even get a mention never mind a call up. their clubs and amazing team mates have got them there

  • Steve Le Sleeve

    May 15, 2018 at 4:20 PM

    Comment #26

    I’m trying to work out why we perpetually have no money to invest. Someone mentioned earlier that when Ashley says there’s £60m available the money for the duration of the signing players’ contract is factored in. Can anyone confirm this? Don’t most clubs add it to a yearly wage bill structure? Doesn’t that mean we must have abundant reserves if players have years to run on their contracts still? It’s all very baffling how we seem to have no money because it’s all tied up and sitting in the bank account to pay the players.

    Ed – can we have an article about how the finances are structured and what has been done with the outsourcing, the catering, club shop, the land the stadium is built on etc. Thanks.

  • Steve Le Sleeve

    May 15, 2018 at 4:21 PM

    Comment #27

    Oh, and Jonjo has to go to the World Cup, best midfielder we have. Lascelles too. If Mawson and Cook get shouts then our two defo deserve the call.

  • Ron Knee

    May 15, 2018 at 4:22 PM

    Comment #28

    RIP Tom Wolfe

  • Jib

    May 15, 2018 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #29

    RIP Jlloyd Samuel
    There’ll be black armbands at the
    Villa vs Boro match tonight
    The 37 year old was killed in an auto
    accident today picking up his kids from school

  • Essex Geordie Bill

    May 15, 2018 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #30

    RIP Margot Kidder

  • Laurent Robert The Legend

    May 15, 2018 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #31

    Lascelles and Shelvey should be on the plane to Russia..

  • RobLeenio

    May 15, 2018 at 5:15 PM

    Comment #32

    RIP Sam Allardyce’s career.

  • Toonces

    May 15, 2018 at 5:18 PM

    Comment #33

    This season has been fantastic – not without some nervy moments and our stretch of bad form October/November certainly resulted in some sour days. But the way the team came together over the christmas period and into the new year and onward was special.

    I fully support Rafa saying that although we finished 10th, we are not really a top 10 side. We were too close to that cluster of teams fighting to stay up that we can’t just look at 10th and rest on that. As many have said, the priority this year was to secure our PL status. Finishing 10th was a bonus. It is for the next season or two that we need to build on what we achieved and secure top 10 consistently. To me that means investing and developing a side that will be targeting 50 points. This will mean relegation battles are a thing of a past and it sets a foundation for having a go in the cups and, if we do things right, to push past the Evertons, Leicesters and Burnleys to be top 8. Once there we can start looking at the European places. We will then be a team that can go anywhere and have a chance to win. It really is a 5(ish) year plan to establish us where we probably should be and I think that is what Rafa sees as well. Hopefully Rafa can make the ownership see this, and buy in, as well.

  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2018 at 5:37 PM

    Comment #34

    If we want to be totally selfish, Shelvey not going to Russia has to be good for us in the long run.
    For one, it will motivate him even further to show how wrong the chinless wonder is – if anybody needs that confirming. For two, imagine he went and played the best he’s ever played?
    We all know how a good performance in either the World Cup or Euro’s can catapult a player to the top of the most wanted list. Look how a few good games for France persuaded Spurs to part with £30m for Sissoko. Do we need that sort of temptation thrusting under the nose of Ashley? Every player has a price after all and they’re all capable of having their head turned, like it or not. As ludicrous as leaving him behind is for England’s chances, keeping him at Newcastle definitely takes priority imo.

  • Bobbybee

    May 15, 2018 at 5:40 PM

    Comment #35

    Rob, I take it that’s ‘rest in pieces’ rather than rest in peace!! 🙂

  • GeordieTwo

    May 15, 2018 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #36

    It’s difficult to see a realistic scenario whereby Rafa signs a good long contract extension, and gets a decent transfer kitty (because decent nowadays meanswell beyond 50M. If the Staveley rumours are true and she won’t offer much more than 300M then Ashley probably stays, argues his way out of a new contract for Rafa and leads the club into another swan dive in the table with some poor manager he replaces Rafa with. I just don’t understand his approach at all and every statement he makes just makes it more puzzling. Is he a masochist at heart who loves to destroy his own possession (i.e. our club)?

  • switch365

    May 15, 2018 at 6:07 PM

    Comment #37

    Wonder where we’d have finished with a prolific striker?
    To finish 10th and our highest goalscorer (Perez) only having notched a mere 8, speaks volumes about our defence and midfield.
    Lascelles is not the greatest in the world, let’s not kid ourselves. But for his age and particularly for his inexperience at top level. The lad will eventually be class, maybe even world class, but that’s a long way off.
    With Clarke and Darlow he had a great understanding. However with Leujeune and Dubravka, he is building the kind of defence that mirrors the Arsenal of old. I sincerely believe the 3 of them could eclipse Adams, Keown and Seaman in the next few years.
    With the new Toure and Shelvey in front of them. It’s quite possibly the most talented spine we’ve seen at the club in decades!

  • twotonearmy

    May 15, 2018 at 6:10 PM

    Comment #38

    Lot of blogs and news sites have “Pick Your 23 Man Squad” tools for the WC and after you get past our first 11 there are a lot of weak players being tossed around. Worst yet is only Shelvey makes the list of players to choose from (normally the last player on their pre-generated list of midfielders) and there is no sight of Lascelles. Most of these lists are made up of under 21 players that are down the pecking order at clubs like Spurs and Liverpool. Just because they are young and exciting and have had flashes in the pan with success that doesn’t mean they are ready for the biggest stage in the game. I’d rather pick players that are getting consistent game time and show consistency rather than the sexy players that have proven very little.

    I knew Lascelles was a non starter but Shelvey should atleast make the initial cut even if he doesn’t make the final 23

  • RUNAWAY777

    May 15, 2018 at 6:26 PM

    Comment #39

    This is how a popper club deals with there manger Chris Hughton signs new three year deal well done Brighton for keeping a good manger.

  • sing in the corner

    May 15, 2018 at 6:36 PM

    Comment #40


    ‘..Popper club deals..’
    Keep your Ibiza activities to


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