Jonjo Shelvey has summed up Friday’s change of management at Newcastle United, by comparing it to your first day a school.
The midfielder saying that all the players will be keen to impress, even getting in early and into the gym.
Rafa Benitez obviously won even more instant brownie points with Newcastle fans when he had the players out on the training pitch within hours of arriving at the club, the players having originally due to be off all day.
Jonjo Shelvey, as far as I’m aware, is the only current Newcastle player to have previously played under the new boss and he thinks United are ‘lucky’ to have landed him.
Talking about all the top clubs…and Liverpool, that Rafa Benitez has previously been at, Shelvey describes him as ‘very tactical’. This could be revolutionary considering the clueless nature of what we’ve seen on the pitch for most of this season so far.
First things first and the former Liverpool player says that United have to get points on the board as soon as possible and that he foresees Benitez achieving this via his organisational skills and getting the players performing as a team once again.
Let’s hope he is right.
Jonjo Shelvey talking to the official club website:
“It’s obviously sad to see Steve go, because he brought me into the Club and I owe so much to him for bringing me to this great football club, but ultimately it didn’t work out for him here.
“But we’ve been lucky to get Rafa, because he’s a great organiser of teams, and you hear things from ex-players about how great he is. It’s just an exciting time for the fans and the players to learn more about Rafa Benitez and the way that he wants us to play.
“He must think a lot of the Club to come in and take over. He’s been at Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Napoli, Liverpool – he’s been at all these top clubs, and I think it speaks so highly of the stature of this Club for him to take on an opportunity like this.”
“I went up there (to Liverpool) in the May and signed and met him, but I didn’t know then that later on down the line he’d become my manager elsewhere. It’s a bit mad really, but it’s nice that I’ve met him before and I’ve got a little feel for him.
“He’s a very tactical man. He knows what he wants you to do and he gets his point across very clearly, and he sets up teams for us not to get beat but on the other hand, he wants you to go and play as well.
“It suits us down to the ground I think, so I’m sure he’ll be getting us to do that straight away and the quicker we do it, the easier it’ll be for us and the fans. Fingers crossed we can implement his game plan on Monday night and kick on from there.
“At this moment in time, we need to get points up on the board and I think the way we need to do that is be organised and everyone know their jobs, and as a team. I think that’s what he brings.
“You see the honours he’s won, and you don’t win those without knowing what you’re doing. He’s a top manager and everyone’s excited in the changing room.
“It’s like when you go to school for your first day – everyone’s trying to impress the manager, everyone’s in early and in the gym.
“It’s exciting to work with someone who’s worked at the top clubs – he was at Real Madrid earlier this season, and that speaks highly of the calibre of the manager he is.
“He’ll bring a new lease of life to Newcastle. The players are excited, and everyone’s excited around the city.”