Sky Sports have made an unlikely choice for man of the match from the Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2 match.

Despite the eventual scoreline this was a match where Newcastle were by far the better team, so it isn’t a shock that they have picked one of Rafa’s players as the pick of the game.

However, the individual that Sky Sports have picked out, is a little strange.

It is almost as though whoever has made the choice, has maybe only seen a couple of clips from the match, or maybe read the basics in another match report.

If Jonjo Shelvey had been subbed when say Kenedy was taken off after 64 minutes, then you might have had a case for saying Shelvey had been one of Newcastle’s better players.

However, he then went on to miss a more or less open goal that would have made it 3-0 and totally killed the game off.

Then as Frank Lampard so vividly showed on Match of The Day, on both Bournemouth goals Jonjo Shelvey failed to go with runners and ended up looking back at his own goal, bent over with hands on knees some 10-15 yards outside the box, watching the ball hit the back of the net, twice.

Shelvey definitely did some good things in the game but his later contribution has to be factored in.

Apart from the last 10 minutes it was a very good team performance with plenty of very good contributions, the likes of Dubravka, Gayle and others would be some way ahead of Shelvey if picking a man of the match.

Sky Sports:

‘Who were the best Premier League players from the weekend games? We take a look at the man-of-the-match performances in our hotlist…

Bournemouth 2-2 Newcastle – Jonjo Shelvey

It was an assured performance from Shelvey at the Vitality Stadium, especially in the first half where Newcastle looked very comfortable.

He had a hand in setting up Gayle’s opening goal with a superb pass over the top, and produced a few more although they did not prove as fruitful.

He also put a shift in when taking advantage of some sloppy Bournemouth play and showed off what a talent he can be.’

Stats from BBC Sport:

Bournemouth 2 Newcastle 2


Newcastle: Gayle 17 and 45+1

Bournemouth: Smith 80 Gosling 89

Possession was Bournemouth 64% Newcastle 36%

Total shots were Bournemouth 18 Newcastle 15

Shots on target were Bournemouth 5 Newcastle 4

Corners were  Bournemouth 8 Newcastle 1

Referee: Roger East

Newcastle United:

Dubravka, Yedlin, Lascelles, Lejeune, Dummett, Ritchie (Manquillo 84) , Diame, Shelvey, Kenedy (Atsu 64), Gayle (Hayden 78), Perez

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Clark, Merino, Joselu

Crowd: 10,808 (Approx Newcastle 1,400)

(Instinct reaction from NUFC fans/writers to the match HERE)

(Eddie Howe reaction to the game HERE)

(Rafa defends his substitutions after later Newcastle collapse – Read HERE)

(Give us your player ratings HERE)

(Alan Shearer accentuates the Jonjo Shelvey positives – Read HERE)

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  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    only a surprise to his detractors who seem intent on having a go at our best player.
    Perez missed a chance as well & quite frankly is a load of shyte,
    Diame went walkabout in the 2nd half, confirming his form was a flash in the pan as most of us knew anyway. the back 4 were hardly at their best for the 2 goals,
    the substitutions were beyond the pale & invited Bournemouth to come at us.
    without Shelvey in midfield we wouldn`t have been 2 up anyway.
    keep up this negativity & we`re down

    • Wor Lass

      Next headline in the mag (and maybe the Chron as well): “Moose slates other people for negativity”! That must have been a great holiday. Ha ha

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        it was until the last 20 mins of the match, we threw it away & even some Liverpool lads watching with us couldn`t believe it

    • Arty Hume

      Indeed mate, the subs changed the dynamic of the game for us as without Gayle they knew we would be toothless tigers and just had to defend.

    • pedrodelgardo

      Sorry we are not important on here nothing that is said here is going to make any difference to anything.

  • ghostrider

    Using Shelvey as a scapegoat for a defeat that was down to Rafa’s inept management of the entire game, most of which he had by the scruff of the neck and somehow chose to destroy the harmony.
    Nobody wants to blame Rafa so someone has to take the flak.
    Shelvey is the bad boy in the press so single him out.

    All the good stuff he done in that game and a few things he didn’t quite do to perfection are picked up on and used against him.

    What an absolute crock of garbage.

    • MichaelMaximusMoose


    • Wor Lass

      I love Jonjo and he`s definitely our most accomplished player with the ball at his feet but was Lampard wrong in showing him failing to track his man for both goals? I didn`t see the game and haven`t even had a chance to watch MotD yet so it`s a genuine question.

      • thewildchimp

        Lampard was right, but he didn’t mark Shelvey as responsible for not winning the game. The point was: good and bad in his performance.

        If Shelvey didn’t switch off, we might have not conceded, but that’s pure speculation. Unnecessary drama here on The Mag.

        • Wor Lass

          Sounds fair to me!

        • MichaelMaximusMoose

          he was on his knees he should have been replaced with fresh legs

          • Wor Lass

            Isaac or Merino, I would say.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose


      • ghostrider

        Serious answer:
        Shelvey looked spent. He seemed to be running on fumes after grafting his bowls off.
        Should he have done more?
        Well let’s put it like this.
        If he’d been more energetic after going in for the tackles and ailing, he could have chased his man down with bursting runs to try and atone for his failed attempts to stop the players moving ahead of him.

        However, once they were past him and into the danger area, it was congested with players, including our players.
        So I’d suggest Shelvey had two choices.

        1. He produces lung busting near end of the game sprints to get back at his man and potentially get sent off with a rash tackle or causing the ref to deal harshly with him or even give away a penalty.

        2.He realised he was beat and knew that his depleted energy levels would make him a massive risk in mistiming a tackle and costing the team dearly, so he took the time to get a quick breather knowing the area his marker was in, was covered and congested.

        That’s my take on it. That doesn’t mean I’m correct in how this panned out in terms of his thoughts but he definitely grafted like hell and it was no surprise he would be flagging a bit towards the end.

        We can all dissect the game and blame any amount of things on why we didn’t win, then pick out individual players as scapegoats …but the blatant and simple reality is there for anyone to see.

        Rafa turned a strong well balanced unit into a shambolic siege mentality that was like handing our artillery to the enemy to fire at will, back at us.
        Bizarre is the only way I can describe his subs and the way he allowed that change.
        That’s why I’m not singling out the players for fault.
        They followed Rafa’s orders and paid the price for it.

        Shelvey doesn’t get the credit he deserves most of the time…but ex players turned pundits just love to analyse games and pick out the science of each players performance as if they were some kind of TV robot malfunctioning or working to perfection (depending on who their darling players are)…and yet these very same people made their own howlers in many a game, as well as bad decision and being half interested at times.

        Shelvey deserves praise as do all the players…despite losing the 2 goal lead.
        I have no issue with the players in that game.
        I had no issue with Rafa up until he destroyed the harmony of the team.

        The blame lies formly with Rafa for messing it all up from a strong position.

        • Wor Lass

          I must admit, I`m no fan of Rafa`s use of subs.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            i`m afraid it`s all to often that we go defensive & pay the cost

          • Wor Lass

            He needs to get Jose to give him a crash course on how to sub effectively.

          • mentalman

            i will stick my neck out and say there’s probably not many teams this season who have dropped as many points as us from trying to defend a slim lead or even a draw

          • Wor Lass

            Better get Clarko looking into that!

          • Rich Lawson

            Too late,he has ascended to a higher plain.There will be a shrine outside the Gallowgate for you to leave flowers at the next home game.

          • ghostrider

            Yep, his use of subs are baffling 90% of the time.

          • mentalman

            he usually leaves them about 15-20mins too late for me

          • ghostrider

            He definitely leaves subs too late but his use of them is just as baffling as the timing.

        • mentalman

          had the substitutions been like for like we would have probably won

          Atsu summed up our whole problem this season when he received the ball and just booted it up field without looking

          • ghostrider

            Yep and that’s another thing that infuriated me but that seemed to be more of an order rather than a conscious decision by Atsu.

            The thing is that kid is a running machine but would have known he was running with no back up.
            Basically he’s the hare running on the rail whilst the greyhounds are in the traps and refusing to run upon opening….kind of thing.
            A classic Rafa tactic of ” the opposition half is out of bounds so do not dare cross it with your feet.”

            Sometimes I almost wonder if the football games are scripted to finish in the ways they do.
            I sometimes find it too bizarre to think a manager would even do something like this in a game that was almost entirely controlled.

          • Wor Lass

            We do need to keep sight of the fact that e got 4 out of the last 6 points. We would have snatched anyone`s hands off for that beforehand. It`s just so disappointing when it was so nearly 6 out of 6! But it was Rafa`s tactics tht got us the 3 from Manure – which we weren`t expecting. In that game the players did everything right. Against Bournemouth they didn`t. Rafa isn`t totally to blame – the players have to take their fair share of the repsponsibility.

          • mentalman

            as you say 4 out of the six is probably more than anyone was expecting but its the way we threw away two points and these games where we throw away a point or two or even three are becoming too common

          • ghostrider

            I agree.
            It’s down to everyone to take their fair share of blame.
            I understand that there is fine margins in any game and we can easily all be guilty of over analysing each game as much as refusing to see the bigger picture.

            I’ve said it before….the difference between success and failure is as close as genius and insanity.

            Let’s put this into if’s and but’s and what not.
            Against Man Utd we arguably made them play well below par.
            However, that game could have been so different had Man Utd taken their chances…but equally it could have been worse for them had we taken ours.

            Our new Keeper had a fantastic debut but in another scenario, if he’d never got his foot to the shot he managed to save with it and it went in, he could have went from hero to zero in short order.

            Same as against Bournemouth. We can argue all day that Shelvey should have scored and also Perez…but then again if we say that about defending we could argue that a top save was a potential goal or a defenders block was a potential goal. A post or a cross bar shot was a possible goal.
            A missed penalty should have been a goal.
            A saved penalty, the same.

            A goal scoring sub winning a game gives a manager high praise.
            Lack of substitutions or wrong one’s that change a winning game into a losing one or a drawing one renders the same manager a clown, inept or a mug for that particular time.

            Rafa will get plaudits and the digs as and when it fits. It’s part and parcel of the game.

            I’m not going to praise my kid for doing his homework one week and then praise him for failing to do it the next.

          • mentalman

            whether he ran the whole length of the pitch and fluffed his shot it would have wasted say 2mins of the game rather than the ball coming straight back within 10 seconds, it’s these small things that make the difference between wining drawing and losing

          • ghostrider


          • thewildchimp

            Rafa played as a center-half and center-back in his youth. Over-defending is actually common among them when they turn managers, so this problem was somewhat expected. That is also the reason why much less of them succeed than former midfielders or forwards.

            Former forwards and midfielders: Cruijff, Guardiola (DM, though- remember his arguments with Zlatan about defending), Klopp, Wenger, Zidane, Luis Enrique, Keegan.

            Former defenders: Benitez (obviously), Allardyce, Pellegrini, Pellegrino (Benitez’ understudy), Neville, Pochettino (looks offensive-minded, but in reality is not), Hughton (balanced, like his style, Ashley’s greatest mistake), Rodgers (the loss of Suarez spelt his end in Liverpool).

            What’s the common thing most defenders-turn-managers have: they need forwards with great ability, otherwise they’ll struggle for goals. Pochettino and Hughton are the exception to that, although, having Kane upfront doesn’t hurt. Well, maybe Lejeune and several others think it hurts…

          • ghostrider

            I have no issues with his defending when required but regardless of where he played he should be balancing it all out of the 90 minutes and not handing the impetus to the opposition when clearly in control.

          • TheFatController

            I thought Atsu booted by it upfield to clear the danger, knowing no one was up to receive it, but giving time for regrouping formation.

            Bournemouth were pressing him, he had no choice but to boot it, or risk giving it away on the edge of the area.

    • Dillon Tovak

      It wasn’t a defeat and there are lots of people blaming Rafa.
      People always bang on about “the untouchable Rafa” while half of the people on here slaughter him. 🙄

      • ghostrider

        But Rafa seems untouchable to some people. That’s how they come across.
        Some just refuse to criticise him even when it’s blatant that he’s messed up.
        Some digs at him might be unfair but then again some are fair and warranted, just like players get judged on the basis of their game, good bad and indifferent.

        I respect any person’s opinion and clearly tell plenty of people that.
        I don’t respect the opinions of people who try to use intimidation by silly name calling or mass adherence to an ideal that is clearly far from it.

        The end product was, it was a defeat in all but the scoreline, because the defeat lost us 2 points. We did not gain a point and we did not gain 3 points. We lost two points which is a defeat on points rather than goals..

        • Dillon Tovak

          It does feel like a loss, I’ll give you that.
          That’s fair enough that you want to critique Rafa, I have criticised him since Saturday. It’s my preference to put it to bed and crack on with what I think over all is a great job he’s doing and not focus too heavily on decisions that on another day wouldn’t have been exposed.

          • ghostrider

            I agree the game is over and basically the saying is, ‘no point crying over spilt milk’…which is all well and good as we move onto the next game…yet we also have to remember that it’s games like this that can make or break a season in terms of anxiety and dropped confidence just as much as it can appear to be the old ‘ chin up and we go again’ attitude of the players and manager.

            The most gutting thing about it all is, I actually went upbeat after the Man Utd game and for a large proportion of this Bournemouth game.

            I can easily just sit back and say ” ahhh, never mind…just a bad day at the office and it should have been different but it wasn’t…and tish happens.”

            The stark reality is that winning breeds confidence and we really need to be ensuring that we keep a tight grip when we’ve got a game by the scruff of the neck (Bournemouth) just as much as carrying some luck that we deserved to carry in holding out for a win (Man Utd).

            However, we go to Liverpool with 4 points from the last two games.
            If we park the bus we get slaughtered.
            If we play a balanced and confident game with the usual effort, we can get something.

            Will Rafa do this?
            Personally I think we’ll get embarrassed and be on the end of a massive scoreline. I wish I didn’t think like this but that’s what’s in my mind because I have lost the little trust I had in Rafa to do the right thing.

            I’d rather be hit for 6 or 7 or more trying than to be hit for it by parking the bus.

        • TheFatController

          I don’t think people refuse to criticise Rafa, I can only speak for me but my view is, There’s enough negativity coming from the most important person at the club to relegate us tenfold if we let it seep into the bond between players, supporters and coaching staff.

          It’s painful to lose two points when chances go untaken, but as Bobby Robson said about Bellamy ‘no-one was complaining when he scored in Rotterdam…’

          Shelvey was great against Man Utd, and at Bournemouth in the main. As a team we are now difficult to beat (Lascelles and Dummett presumably influencing things)

          If Gayle could score every other game between now and season end, say, we’d no doubt stay up.

          Is Rafa untouchable ? No. Would picking holes in his tactics etc keep us up? Probably not. I see no point therefore …

          • ghostrider

            Ok fair enough.
            You see no point in picking at Rafa. Fair comment. I also see no reason to pick at Ashley when things go wrong like fans do.
            It works both ways.
            The problem is, we have a big enough squad and enough quality to carry us forward to be comfortable.
            It’s by far not a worldy squad…I know that and so do you and every other fan.
            We can do better and so can Rafa and so can Ashley and co. We all know this.

    • robbersdog

      What defeat?

  • Cockneytrev

    Up until the last 20 minutes we were on top and shelvey had been our best player,,,

  • nevfur

    The comments about Shelvey not tracking back appeared to be true however at the time we were attempting to defend and hit on the break and centrally aside from Perez Shelvey was our man to do that. With four defenders two covering wingers and two holding midfielders Shelvey shouldn’t have needed to track back. As for the miss it wasn’t great but the pass from Atsu wasn’t great either allowing Ake to slide in for a good challenge to put him off and all players miss some chances. In our team creating only about four chances in the game you remember a couple of misses. If we could create a few more chances we would score more and forget the odd couple of misses that all teams have.

    • thewildchimp

      One can argue that the first goal was his fault, but the second clearly wasn’t. I don’t understand this lynching mob mentality of our fans…