When the team sheet was revealed, the missing name of Jonjo Shelvey was a stunner.
Much of the pre-match talk was the fact he would be facing his former team-mates and the settling of scores on both sides.
Ever since Jonjo Shelvey arrived on Tyneside, plenty of people in Wales have been keen to say that he is a player with ability but a questionable attitude.
All smiles in the crowd at the final whistle but how did the former Swansea midfielder take it?
Surprisingly well is the answer, Shelvey saying all the right things about being left out…’not aboue me, it is about the team and winning’.
The January signing saying that Rafa Benitez keeps everybody on their toes by not guaranteeing anybody’s place in the team.
It was a massive double call as not only did Rafa drop his playmaker, it was also a change of Captain.
The thought of Pardew, Carver or McClaren doing this with Coloccini would have been beyond belief, no matter how poor the curly-haired one played.
Big shouts for the Newcastle Manager and I think that this (what I’m sure will be) one match rest for Jonjo Shelvey, will see him return to the team without the additional burden of the captaincy.
It was yet another ridiculous decision by McClaren to make the new signing Captain so soon after arriving.
With Shelvey expected to single-handedly turn around a non-functioning central midfield, it was plain stupidity to give him that armband as well – something which I believe has hampered his form in recent games.
Of course when you win nobody can have any complaints and thankfully we will never now know what the fallout would have been if Newcastle hadn’t picked up three points on Saturday…
“Frustrating not to start against my former club but it is not about me… it is about the team and winning.
“We thoroughly deserved it, we were outstanding, the gaffer gave the game plan and we implemented that and stuck to it to get the three points.
“That game was a must-win, if we had lost this game that would be us down but luckily we’ve got the win and we deserved it.
“I was a bit surprised to be left out but I think he knows what he is doing, so you can’t exactly sit here and criticise him with his record and his CV, which speaks for itself.
“I didn’t get an explanation before but I’m sure he’ll pull me aside and tell me, as I say it’s not about me, it’s about the club and maintaining Premier League status. We’re all in it together.
“I eventually got on the pitch and we scored another two goals, the gaffer is always keeping you guessing if you’re going to play or not – no one can rest on their laurels.
“Even if you’ve had a good game the previous week there’s still a chance you might not be playing the next with this man.”