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Jonjo Shelvey demands a game and Rafa Benitez agrees – Turning out against Fulham tonight

4 months ago

Fair play to Jonjo Shelvey.

Now back fit, the former England international finding his path blocked to the matchday 18, never mind starting 11.

Rafa Benitez talking this week about the problems faced by players not making the team/squad, especially Jonjo Shelvey (see below).

Rafa talking about the Catch 22 of Shelvey needing to prove his match fitness but then not getting first team football to prove that.

At today’s pre-West Ham press conference, Rafa Benitez has revealed that the player has taken the matter into his own hands.

Jonjo Shelvey asking/demanding to be allowed to play tonight for the Newcastle United under 23s.

The manager agreeing, so obviously the one-time Liverpool and Swansea player won’t be involved at West Ham tomorrow.

The Under 23s are away against Fulham, so no problem then for Shelvey in terms of linking up with the first team squad after the game, if that’s the plan.

It’s a 7pm kick-off tonight at Fulham’s Motspur Park training ground and admission costs £3 adults and £1 concessions, if you happen to be in the area.

Rafa Benitez:

Jonjo needs to prove his match fitness, but match fitness you can only prove by playing games, so it is not easy at the moment [for the midfielder].

“The medical staff keep the players fit and so we have 24 players available.

“The 11 starters are doing well and we can change one or two players, but they are doing well.

“Seven players on the bench leaves six outside [the matchday 18].

“It is quite difficult [for players not in the team/squad] but I praise them, because they are very good professionals training really hard, even though they’re not playing and not on the bench.

“Hopefully, we can carry on doing the same and if I have a chance, I will give an opportunity to people, to be sure that everybody can be involved.”


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