During the press conference for Brentford last Friday, Eddie Howe singled out Jonjo Shelvey as a player who had impressed him during his first few weeks as Newcastle manager. The head coach said the following about the playmaker:
“I knew how good he was having played against him. But then when you work with him you realize he’s an incredible technician and can play all sorts of passes, long and short.
“In terms of our philosophy, he’s someone who’ll be very important to us.”
Shelvey picked up a calf injury after the opening match of this campaign. After suffering a setback, he didn’t return until after the takeover was completed. The 29-year-old came on as a substitute against Tottenham but was promptly sent off after receiving two bookings.
He started the draw at Brighton and was again in the starting eleven against Brentford. Shelvey put in a fantastic performance with five key passes in what was just his 5th appearance of the season.
The midfielder has given an interview with NUFC TV and was asked about the encouraging words his new manager gave him last week. This was Jonjo’s response:
“Obviously when a new manager comes in you don’t know where you’re going to stand. He said when he came in ‘everyone’s got a clean slate.’
“Everyone’s just really jumped on board with what he’s trying to do.
“It’s obviously nice to hear things like that said about you. Especially from the man that’s going to be picking the team and the man that’s going to be leading you.”
It’s a good sign that Shelvey has been impressive in training as he could be a pivotal factor in the fight for safety. He’s one of the few players in the squad who can spray the ball around the pitch.
Shelvey has fully bought into Howe’s philosophy. That means grueling sessions at the training ground to get the lads in tip-top condition. Here is how Shelvey described training under the new boss:
“It’s very intense. It’s something where you’re on it every single second of the day. You’re constantly thinking about football.
“I believe that’s the way football should be played.
“Since he’s come in he’s galvanized everything. Everyone has bought into what he wants to do.
“The last international break, I’d be to sleep by 8 o’clock every night because I’m just shattered from training.
“It takes getting used to. I feel like the lads are there now. We’ll keep working day by day and week by week. Hopefully, we’ll get the results to go with the performances.”