The 2 Newcastle players who are going to be vital but rarely get a mention
It is natural that the Newcastle players getting the most mentions are the ones who have arrived (or left!) this summer.
The media are predictably going to focus on what they believe people want to read about, so whether it is the goals and creativity of Gayle & Ritchie, or the potential of Hayden, that is what’s being talked about.
However, there are two other Newcastle players who have been a little forgotten about but are likely to prove key to United’s success…or failure, this coming season.
For me, the most important area of the pitch is the centre of midfield, and Jonjo Shelvey & Jack Colback are going to be indeed, central figures in Newcastle’s escape bid from the Championship.
For a number of years Newcastle have been second best in this area, certainly since the departure of Yohan Cabaye. When he and Cheick Tiote were at their best, they were arguably one of the best partnerships in the Premier League – but sadly that proved to be only a passing phase as injuries and lack of ambition at the club extinguished that particular flame of hope.
In Shelvey and Colback though, we have a pairing that should really help ensure Newcastle control the middle of the pitch and from there the actual games, just as happened week in week out in 2009/10.
Both are Premier League midfielders, yet each of them have experience of the Championship, Colback with Ipswich and Shelvey when at Charlton & Blackpool.
Many Newcastle fans imagined Jonjo Shelvey to be a likely leaver this summer but I thought with Sissoko & Wijnaldum desperate to go, Shelvey would be a key player for Rafa.
In the friendlies so far, both Colback and Shelvey have featured prominently and have had more minutes on the pitch than everybody apart from the defensive four of Sels, Janmaat, Lascelles & Mbemba, plus Rolando Aarons who looks set to get a real chance to start his career properly.
If Jonjo Shelvey and Jack Colback fail to be dominant figures for Newcastle United this season in the Championship, then you would have to question where their careers are going.
They are both very good players and should be playing in the Premier League, this coming season they need to prove that once again.
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