Jonjo Shelvey is a strange one.

Newcastle fans saw him as the man that made the tick last season.

As the summer has progressed his value to the club appeared to increase by the day, as supporters realised that breaking the 12 year old transfer record wasn’t on Mike Ashley’s agenda.

Instead, Newcastle supporters looked at the established quality players within the squad, to be the ones to lead the charge when stepping up to the Premier League.

Fair to say that four players stood out, who had all, to varying degrees, already showed they could do it in the top tier.

Step forward Dwight Gayle, Matt Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, and…Jonjo Shelvey.

(Last season Jonjo Shelvey started 38 games and NUFC won 81 points at 2.13 points per game, in 8 games without him it was 1.62 points per match.)

An anonymous 48 minutes for the midfielder with Newcastle simply trying to contain Tottenham on the opening day, his day cut short with a stupid step (not stamp!) on Dele Alli. A red card and three match ban following.

Mikel Merino came on for the last 14 minutes against Spurs and showed a few nice touches, at Huddersfield he started the game and did pretty well compared to most teammates, though badly at fault for their winner.

Then on Saturday in the win over West Ham, Merino was very good and one of Newcastle’s best players, as a very poor Hammers side was dispatched with eventual ease.

Last night and today, I have seen countless comments along the lines of ‘Jonjo who?’, as in after Mikel Merino’s display against West Ham, why would we need Jonjo Shelvey?

I find it laughable how reactive so many Newcastle fans are to the latest result/performance – good or bad.

The 3-0 win was very welcome and gave us all heart – but surely nobody is now convinced that it is going to be anything other than a very tough season?

Newcastle will need all of their better quality players and Shelvey most definitely falls into that grouping. Some idiots talking about how selling the former Liverpool player would be a great move.

Looking ahead to Swansea and the following games, I am excited about the possibility of incorporating both Mikel Merino AND Jonjo Shelvey into the team.

In the past, Newcastle fans have often talked of how influential Shelvey could be if he was played further up the pitch, if NUFC had the right team around him.

In my opinion this could be perfect, Hayden and Merino sitting deeper and the Spaniard in particular able to play clever balls through the midfield to a Jonjo Shelvey in a free role behind the main striker. Able to link up the play and get in and around the opposition box to create chances and get shots away.

Nobody in their right mind would want Perez or Diame in the team ahead of Jonjo Shelvey and there is no reason why they should be, just because Merino deserves a place in the team as well.

Opportunities may just be opening up in this current Newcastle team/squad and just maybe a couple more new signings to go along alongside the likes of Merino & Shelvey, could see a major step up in the quality of the first eleven.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Paul Patterson

    YES!! At last, someone with the idea that Shelvey could be a good no10.
    He would be ideal and it would incorporate Merino and Hayden, shove Diame out and would make us more potent.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      try not to mention SloMo, i get headaches

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Whenever anyone mentions Diame I just mention back Sissoko. I look at it as a money swap (hahaha £30m) but actually Diame has done way more for us than Sissoko did!

        • Toonrobbybobson

          Then I feel better. Diame did a job for us but it appears that now hes not first choice like he was a fairnbit last year.

    • Paul Busby

      Yeah I would be interested to see him in a more forward/direct position, especially as a plan B when he is getting doubled up on.

      Certainly cant sell the guy, squad is thin enough as it is.

  • Brian Standen

    Can’t have too many good players. Shelvey is seriously good on his day and better than most on others!

    • Jimblag23

      His passing range is almost unparalleled in the whole PL.

      • Toonrobbybobson

        Shelvey will come good once he gets into season groove. Stupid thing really he hurts himself as he loves to play.

  • Steve Smith

    Could have got £30m+ from a club like Leeds or Wolves for him and gayle during the pre season and spent that on a top quality attacking player.

    How many games are the pair of them realistically going to be playing this season?

    Gayle is one injury away from having the physio room named after him and Shelvey’s next ban will likely be nearing double figures in length.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      sell Shelvey, you must be joking

      • Steve Smith

        He missed nearly 1 in 3 games last season.

        • Jimblag23

          Shelvey? Did he?

          • Steve Smith

            38/53 games played if I remember correctly, although admittedly it seems low!

    • East Durham Mag

      30 million straight into MASH Holdings and our best creative player gone that’s a great idea.

      • Jezza

        Excellent comment.

  • Jezza

    Shelvey may be a knacka but he is still our best player. We can’t afford to leave him out of the team.

    • Jimblag23

      True say blood.

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Merino had a great game but the hammers were shyte, he`ll be straight back in the team, the reason is as Jezza says he`s the best player at the club

  • Jimblag23

    One thing I believe after this weekend is we should keep Mitro.
    He really gave us an added dimension and the crowd reacted to his arrival in a way that we really need and not many others can offer us. He’s a nutcase and has his faults, but we’d miss him if he left.

    • Little Pedro

      At the end of the match he walked over to the Gallowgate when they were playing his ‘mitro on fire ‘ song and I just got the impression that that’s him away, think the club just look at stats and that’s it ,

    • Toonrobbybobson

      He doesnt offer the squad enough and hes costly when he blows up which invariably he does. You can afford one and we already have Shelvey who offers more. If shifting him wages wise means opening up signings options id do it. But it might be better sending him on loan to prove he can do it elsewhere increasing his value before selling but im not sure Rafa has the time luxury.

    • Rich Lawson

      For all his disappearing acts,he keeps scoring !

  • TheFatController

    Well, with shelvey, lejeunes. Yedlin, Gayle and any new signings available at Swansea, for that game more than any other we will be trying to second guess Rafa’s selection. But if Lejeunes, merino and Joselu come off as reliable first team or (used frequently) subs, we may not look back on this window as quite so painful come May…

  • Soldier

    he`s England quality without a doubt, attitude problem means he won`t be selected

  • Leicester Mag

    A proper club worries about not having 2 players for every position not when you have!

  • hetonmag

    Leave it to the master tactician Ryan he will have a plan in his head that will suit the team and against whoever we play, personally I would love to see Merino and Shelvey in the same team.

  • Toonrobbybobson

    Been saying for a while Rafa wants Jonjo further up the pitch and Merino/Hayden is the jigsaw piece. Just dont think Rafa thought it would happen so soon. Jonjo has always wanted to play more advanced and he could be the no. 10 weve needed. Just wish he would cut the silly stuff out. Rafa has formed quite an interchangeable squad and he still has some positions to fill but our squad balance is getting better. Good age as well.

  • anyobrien

    A midfield of shev, merino and Hayden on there day can be formidable.

  • Steve Pearce

    A Shelvey/Merino/Haydeb combination would be lethal and I’m sure Rafa will be working on it during that totally unnecessary, unwanted and annoying international break.