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Newcastle Player Finds Himself In A Difficult Situation

At this time last year, Newcastle started to win games and pulled away from the relegation zone to eventually finish 10th in the league.

And the two players who helped the team at that time were Mo Diame and Jonjo Shelvey in central midfield and they struck up a great partnership playing together.

The same is happening this season.

But in this case, the two in Newcastle’s engine room are local lad Sean Longstaff – who has been terrific since December – and wantaway Isaac Hayden who is playing the best football of his Newcastle career.

It means that Shelvey, Diame and new summer signing Ki are finding it difficult to get back into the first team.

Jonjo Shelvey has been injured for quite a while now with a thigh problem and he lacks match fitness although he is now fully fit physically.

Rafa Benitez and Jonjo Shelvey

This is what Rafa has said about Jonjo in the Chronicle today:

“It is very clear – I said it’s down to match fitness, and he has to play matches.” “He knows that he will not be involved this weekend and we were talking about that.”

“He said he wanted to have 45 minutes to 60 minutes under his belt.” “I think it’s fine. For me it is a very positive movement on his part.”

“Jonjo Shelvey was asking me to play for the U23s because he knows he as to play games.”

“So he played with them last night.” “He’s somebody who is keen to be involved so that is positive.”

“Then we have the same problem though.” “There’s still 24 players available and 18 places in a squad.”

“At the same time it is good because there’s competition for the players.” “The only thing that can be is positive for improving the levels.”

“It’s true (some players are in top form).” “They are doing well and it’s not easy to change players.”

“It’s difficult to even pick 18 for the squad.”

Jonjo Shelvey is not available for the squad today having played last night at Fulham and we would be surprised if Mo Diame or Ki start the game at West Ham today.

We expect Longstaff and Hayden to continue in central midfield for Newcastle.

This is a difficult situation for Jonjo, the highest paid player on the books, but we are also seeing the emergence of a top young local lad at Newcastle – Sean Longstaff.

What do you think?

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14 comments so far

  • swemag

    Mar 2, 2019 at 2:51 PM

    Comment #1

    The thing with a bigger stadium is nice for the games and would pay for itself longterm.
    As for revenue, it seems it would not make a big difference as most of the money comes from other sources.

    Different topic – given how Longstaff has performed I would absolutely love seeing more products of the academy given a chance. I know it sounds easy and it isn’t, but they need to be given a chance. For every 5 Adam Armstrong’s we will have one Longstaff.

  • toonbrother

    Mar 2, 2019 at 2:58 PM

    Comment #2

    Its simple. Shelvey needs to adapt to the needs of the team
    He isnt going to displace Longstaff or even Ki as the team’s Mediano
    So he needs to develop himself as a two-way box to box midfielder like Hayden
    When Hayden leaves he will be in prime position to occupy a place in the starting 11.
    Diame can play there as well but he’s getting on a bit

    It will be a difficult transition for Jonjo to make physically as he is used to sitting deep
    But he has the skillset needed to play that role
    Its all about how willing and committed he is to make the necessary changes

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    Comment #3

    How dare you call us, ”us” stick to predicting hammerings for ”us” and whooping with delight when the opposition score a sickening last minute winner you sad mackem barsteward.

  • ilovetoon8788

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:02 PM

    Comment #4


    just stfu and run along son

  • Bobbybee

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:03 PM

    Comment #5

    Far too early to be writing Shelvey off yet. All it takes is for Longstaff to get an injury and we’ll be glad to see him playing again.

  • Jail for Ashley

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:04 PM

    Comment #6

    Ah, a response, what was so funny when Man U scored that last minute winner.

  • Lascelles sells sea shells by the sea shore

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #7

    Anyone know of any castable links for the game?

  • DubaiMicky

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:36 PM

    Comment #8
  • Bambams

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:56 PM

    Comment #9


    Who knows what Ash does from season to season, we have had five year deals, relegations, cash splashed once when Wolly manager, no cash splash more than often.

    He just seems to have no fixed way of running us.

    Rafa has some clout but we just dont know what is going to happen until his contract is sorted.

    You may have hit onto something about the Almiron signing, time will tell fella.

  • Sad Frog II

    Mar 2, 2019 at 3:59 PM

    Comment #10

    If we take 10p from our next two games we should be safe

  • Sad Frog II

    Mar 2, 2019 at 4:00 PM

    Comment #11

    Transfers 1 – 0 Takeover

  • jane

    Mar 2, 2019 at 4:05 PM

    Comment #12

    “If we take 10p from our next two games we should be safe”

    if we get maximum bonus points

  • geordietom

    Mar 2, 2019 at 4:18 PM

    Comment #13

    dont you just hate it when people come on here and say ” WE ” are gonna lose today call yourself a NEWCASTLE fan you should be ashamed of your self. most people say along the lines of i think they will have a bit much for us.me i’ll take a draw out of todays match .i’m really looking forward to watching the match …

  • Tsunki

    Mar 2, 2019 at 4:26 PM

    Comment #14

    Odd that a spell injured should suddenly see Shelvey as looking one dimensional and a poor fit in the team, this being one of the key players who saved us last season with some magnificent cross field passing and space creation that took the pressure off our defensive midfield no end.

    Yes Longstaff and Hayden have deputised well but I can see Shelvey coming readily straight back into the team once he’s up to speed and our shape will adjust once again to the strengths of it’s personnel. Rather than Shelvey being “used” to playing deep and picking up his own orders from in front of the back four, could it not be more a case of him having to in that previous setup, out of necessity?

    I think he will quite happily start from a more advanced position, and alongside longstaff to give him room and provide space and time for him, Shelvey could be the missing piece that sets our speedy little Paraguayan away either directly or by feeding his runs from the wings at a moment’s notice. I miss those park-scything passes of Shelvey’s; Lejeune has an admirable accuracy at the long ball but nobody at this club tops Shelvey’s sublime eye for a distant running player.


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