Newcastle United are playing to fifty thousand crowds at home and at away grounds the home clubs are banking their biggest attendances of the season, with Jonjo Shelvey declaring that any player who can’t cope with that ‘shouldn’t be playing for Newcastle’.
When the club and players have been failing in recent years, bizarrely it has been the Newcastle fans who have often come in for criticism from the national media.
After ridiculous accusations of delusional fans and supporters who expect more than reality can deliver, it is refreshing to hear Rafa Benitez and his players regularly talk of the positive contribution of the support.
Jonjo Shelvey says that the numbers of players in and out of the club is just an irrelevance, as this happens all the time in football, though this past summer Newcastle have taken that to extreme lengths!
Interesting to see though just who Rafa picks against Derby, with the likes of Atsu, Mitrovic, Lazaar, Gayle and Murphy all now available.
With four wins out of four, as Shelvey says the team are ‘starting to put performances together now’, long may it continue.
“If we don’t go up, it’s a complete failure.
“You look around the dressing room and see the players we’ve got, we’ll have failed if we don’t get promoted.
“There are people here who have been there and done it and a lot of Premier League players in that changing room – some of them have taken a step down to play in the Championship for Newcastle.
“Everywhere we go, we’ll be playing at grounds that are sold out but you’re playing for Newcastle United, you need to deal with that expectation.
“If you can’t deal with that, you shouldn’t be playing for Newcastle.
“That’s just the way it’s going to be this year. You’ve got to either accept it and embrace it, or hold your hands up and admit you can’t deal with it and it’s not for you.
“People come and go, while others stay. It’s just one of those things that you have to deal with as a player. You’ve just got to keep taking on board what the manager wants you to do.
“We’re starting to put performances together now and that’s what matters, it’s a results business.”