Danny Murphy was at a loss for what he was seeing at Stamford Bridge on Saturday lunchtime.

The BBC Sport pundit watching as Chelsea beat Newcastle 3-1.

It wasn’t the defeat for Newcastle that he struggled to explain…

Instead, Danny Murphy refuses to believe how Jonjo Shelvey can’t get in this Newcastle team.

The BBC pundit commenting: ‘It won’t be long before Jonjo Shelvey gets the hump. If he can’t get in this Newcastle team, I’m watching different football. I really am.’

Shelvey was dropped to the bench at West Brom but fair to say that Newcastle fans were stunned when Rafa went with Mohamed Diame ahead of Shelvey at Stamford Bridge.

Diame wasn’t even first choice in the Championship, yet Rafa went with him to do a job at Stamford Bridge.

Danny Murphy talking to BBC Sport during Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1:

“It won’t be long before Jonjo Shelvey gets the hump. If he can’t get in this Newcastle team, I’m watching different football. I really am.

(Any way back for Newcastle?)

“It’s unlikely but they (Newcastle) have got to commit more men forward from wider positions and the middle of the park. We’ll see if they’ve got the confidence to do that. It’s very difficult against a good team.

“Have you got enough match winners in the side for Newcastle? You have got one (Shelvey) on the bench and I can’t even see him warming up to be fair.”

With Newcastle 2-1 down it was defensive midfielder Isaac Hayden who replaced attacking midfielder Ayoze Perez, then only once it got to 3-1 and the game was lost, did Jonjo Shelvey finally get the final 15 minutes with the game already over as a contest.

Thoughts now turn to Leicester at home next Saturday and if Rafa once again leaves Shelvey on the bench, maybe both parties will start to think that a January departure might be better for both player and club.

Stats from BBC Sport:

Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1


Newcastle: Gayle 12

Chelsea: Hazard 21, 74 Morata 33

Possession was Chelsea 66% Newcastle 34%

Total shots were  Chelsea 23 Newcastle 8

Shots on target were  Chelsea 9 Newcastle 2

Corners were  Chelsea 11 Newcastle 4

Referee: Kevin Friend

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Manquillo, Clark, Lejeune, Mbemba, Ritchie, Diame (Shelvey 75), Merino (Yedlin 85), Murphy, Perez (Hayden 62), Gayle

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Joselu, Mitrovic, Aarons

Crowd: 41,538 (Newcastle 3,000)

(Alan Shearer gives honest assessment on Chelsea defeat HERE)

(Instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to Chelsea 3 Newcastle 1 – Read HERE)

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Jonjo`s the best player at the club, end of story

    • Geordiegiants

      I remember people saying the same about Sir Bobby, and look what happened when he went.

  • nufcslf

    I can’t disagree with a word he says. A sh* t squad to select from is one thing, but to not bother with trying change is another. I blame the owner all day long for the state we are in and find it disappointing that I’m just not that disappointed or surprised with the results we end up with. I seriuosly don’t see anything changing anytime soon if a take over doesn’t happen. Tis the season to be jolly……

  • Stevie

    On the other hand, how many teams has Danny Murphy successfully managed…?

    • Guest 2

      Doesn’t make his comments wrong though.

      • Geordiegiants

        Well it does really, Rafa has proven himself over and over. Murphy just sits and states the obvious, but is it the obvious?

  • Andynufc

    The only good thing that could come out of this bad period is if it frightens Ashley into settling for a reduced fee for the club.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      He`s relegated us twice mate, he doesn`t give a Flying F

  • Saul Williams

    Have to agree with Murphy.Some strange team selections lately.I thought merino was disappointing,and I guess this is what you expect against such quality.Need 4 points out of 6 in next 2.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      don`t go putting money on the 4pts

      • Peaky Magpie

        One if we are lucky,Leicester are doing ok and Everton seem to be on the up.

  • Antenociticus

    I thought Rafa was being pragmatic. Rather keep Shelvey (and Hayden) for the upcoming winnable games than lose them to a possible ban from the Chelsea game, which was always likely to be a damage limitation exercise.
    I thought that Diame had one of his better games today (he was still second rate) the biggest disappointment was Merino: he was off the pace and gave the ball away far too often. And yes, the Ritchie experiment at wing back was a disaster.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      Yip & that`s exactly why Shelvey should have started, Merino is a talent but new to the prem Chelsea taught him a lesson today

      • Did you see Shelvey in those last 15 mins? Looked like he was playing the whole game, rather than just coming on. Still not tracking back and takes far too many touches on the ball, slowing up play.
        Merino is definitely still not 100% fit and a bit rusty from missing 3 weeks of competitive football.

  • 1957

    You really can’t argue with Murphy’s point, Benitez isn’t selecting his best players in the right positions. We would in all likelihood have lost today no matter what but in my view he gave up before kick off today by selecting SloMo, and playing Ritchie at LWB.

    In the same circumstances the previous 3 managers, who also had restricted budgets but didn’t pick their own players, would have been slaughtered on here for selecting that side. Benitez issues with certain players isn’t doing our prospects any good

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      His petty issues are costing us dear

    • Getting too ahead of yourself. I think Rafa knows much, much better who is fit and who can play where. He took a risk with Ritchie as a WB and it didn’t pay off. We don’t have the quality other teams like Man City, United, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and even Leicester and Everton have. Still think we can beat any other team in the league, but sometimes it’s all about luck and form. Currently we are not in a good form with missing vital players. If Atsu/Lascelles/Merino hadn’t gotten injured we would surely be over 20 points by now(Burnley, Bournemouth, WB)
      Reality remains that we have 4-5 decent EPL players and the rest is Championship Quality. You can’t win games when the other team is faster, stronger, more skilled and more experienced than you, unless with blind luck.

      • mentalman

        As you say if any of the previous managers had experimented with disastrous results like rafa is the fans would be calling for them to be sacked

        • I like to see ANY MANAGER get MORE POINTS with the LOT WE HAVE!

  • gallowgate26

    Shelvey is too slow for this type of game, almost as soon as he came on, he was dispossessed and they ran down the other end and nearly scored. Sorry Danny Murphy but you should know this as a Liverpool fan, where Jojo Shelv spent a few seasons….

    • Soldier


    • Stephen Paylor


      • Geordiegiants

        Three of them wouldn’t come here, and the other I wouldn’t want here.

  • HenrySlade

    Shelvey should’ve started the game instead of Diame; he’s one of the four players (the other three being Merino, Ritchie and Lascelles) who can keep us in this division.

    I like Rafa – I hope he stays at Newcastle for the rest of his managerial career, but I’m sometimes perplexed by his selections.

  • TheNutJob

    I still can`t believe that he left Jonjo on the bench, when you watch the Toon the other players are all looking to give him the ball because he makes things happen.
    honestly Rafa needs to start his best players every game & stop messing about

    • Leazes Ender

      Spot on… they do look for shelvey…. maybe too reliant on him to do everything.

  • Albert Stubbins

    Shelvey has been well below par for me this season but slo Mo shouldn’t be getting in the team at anyone’s expense. If he got the nod over my teenage daughter I’d honestly feel she’d be treated harshly. Apart from a brief ten minute spell last season Diame has done nothing to warrant getting a game in my opinion. He doesn’t tackle,break up play,read the game or support attacks. A plank!!

    • mentalman

      Ritchie has been well below par and yet he gets picked every game even out of position

      • Albert Stubbins

        Ritchie did more in one game v west Bromwich than shelvey has all season. Apart from the pass that put joselyn through against libpool I’m struggling to remember anything positive he has done for us. Admittedly it hasn’t helped when Gayle hasn’t played as he linked up beautifully with him last season. The step up in class aligned to his lack of pace and questionable temperament have deserted him under the unforgiving nature of the premier league imo.

  • The Vicar

    When I saw the team selection I knew we were “done”.

  • Peaky Magpie

    Get out of our club,Get out of our club,ya fat cockney ba****d get out of our club.For the sanity of our supporters and future of our club could you please do us all a favour and F**K OFF !!!

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Shelvey isn’t fat, is he?

      • Peaky Magpie


  • toonterrier

    Maybe Rafa was worried that Jonjo would get too involved against Chelsea and get red carded meaning he would miss out on some winnable games coming up which is hopefully why he left him on the bench. We need more players with Shelveys commitment rather than passengers like Diame.

    • Geordiegiants

      There will be a reason, he is not daft. He knows who his best players are, as well as we do.

  • Dennis Tate

    Shelvey and Mitro should of been in selection, with Diame and Perez left at home. As for Ritchie put at wing back by Rafa what the hell is Rafa trying to do with this team he put out against Chelsea.
    The only way to stop teams like Chelsea is to get into there faces from the off.
    All I would like to see is Gayle with Mitro playing just behind in every game for rest of season with Shelvey in there.
    Cos we need wins and that means more goals.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    Rafa complains about lack of funds only £47m to spend in the transfer window
    yet he leaves the best players on the bench very strange is he trying to make a statement.

    • Phil Yare

      agree completely. this is what i’m coming into conflict about with many fans, i don’t expect us to be winning the champions league but I do expect our ‘world class’ manager to select our best team

  • Mitros gotta start

    Rafa needs to stop whining about how weak the squad is…..your opinion is worthless if you keep leaving your best players on the friggin bench…..clown

    • anyobrien

      Jonjo was rubbish against Watford absolute dreadful… He was also captain that day and I watched him closely.. Head down and not a “come on lads” in him…. It’s horses for courses he will start the next 2 home games.

      • Phil Yare

        i think the point is that a dreadful shelvey is a better option than a dreadful diame

        • Albert Stubbins

          I’m trying to think of a worse signing than Diame. Pound for pound has to be in worst three ever. Marcelino? Pingel? Rob MacDonald? He’s got to be a contender surely. Pure shyte!!

      • Albert Stubbins

        Spot on. He’s been hopeless but still better than Diame.