We have now had a bit of insight into why Jonjo Shelvey struggled at Newcastle after a couple of good performances, Rafa Benitez eventually leaving the midfielder out of his team in the relegation run-in.
However, more importantly, in this latest interview, we also have a lot of encouragement as to Shelvey being able to bounce back to the kind of form he showed in those two man of the match displays and wins against West Ham and West Brom.
The former Swansea player has admitted that he wasn’t in the best physical shape last season but that through working with a personal trainer in pre-season, he has now managed to lose ‘six or seven kilos’.
Jonjo Shelvey stating that he now it is a case of ‘probably best I have ever felt in a long time’.
The midfielder became a bit of a forgotten man towards the end of last season and was largely dismissed as having a key part to play this coming year in the Championship.
However, he is clearly a player with ability and with Sissoko and Wijnaldum set to move on, we could see the best of Jonjo Shelvey with pacey players such as Ritchie and Gayle looking ideal to benefit from Shelvey’s range of passing.
A pre-season with Rafa Benitez will hopefully bring out improvement in many who underperformed last season, very interesting to see who Rafa chooses in his first eleven when Newcastle kick off the season in 22 days time at Craven Cottage.
Jonjo Shelvey speaking to NUFC TV:
“It (training) is more tactical towards the game (v Bohemian on Saturday), the gaffer’s decided to get his points across more before the game. So we just have to listen and take everything on board.
“Try to put everything we have been working on into the game.
“Every manager has got a different way they want to work and I think this pre-season training is one of the best I have come across.
“A lot more football work than just going out and running, I think as a football player that is what you want.”
‘Difficult coming in midway through last season, maybe not fully fit?’
“I have lost something like six or seven kilos since last season.
“I didn’t really have a summer holiday, I just went away for a week and then five weeks with a personal trainer. Just to try and get myself in decent nick for the season.
“Just to give myself the best chance of playing, so losing six or seven kilos was just what I had to do and probably best I have ever felt in a long time.
“I want to play as much as possible, want to get back to a regular start.”
Outdoor pursuits/high ropes day on Tuesday:
“I think it was about getting everybody together and getting the team bonding going, the team spirit.
“I think there wasn’t enough of that last year, fingers crossed we can get more stuff like this, even though some people didn’t really like the heights…a great day and I think you saw how it benefited on the training pitch today (Wednesday).”