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Jonjo Shelvey says Newcastle changing from Rafa Benitez to Steve Bruce ‘Could be a good thing’

2 years ago

Jonjo Shelvey is getting busy once again at weekends.

Seven days ago it was an altercation at 3am inside and outside a pizza takeaway place in Morpeth after late night/early hours drinking.

Whilst today it was team set-up around Jonjo Shelvey in a midfield three.

Newcastle were far better in the first half and Shelvey dictated play, an ideal scenario as he was given the freedom of the midfield for 45 minutes, knocking his ‘quarterback’ passes around. The second half saw West Ham strengthen their team and close the space Shelvey’s influence diminish but NUFC still held on for a deserved win over a poor Hammers side.

They were missing their new signings but there again so were Newcastle!

After the match, Jonjo Shelvey said it ‘could be a good thing’ that Steve Bruce has replaced Rafa Benitez.

He was very open in making clear that he thinks that it is very definitely better than for him.

Shelvey never really convinced Rafa as a Premier League player, the Spaniard quickly dropping him when he came in to try and save the club from relegation in March 2015.

A regular in the Championship but then back in the Premier League the last two seasons saw Jonjo Shelvey start 35 of 78 PL games, struggling at times to even make the bench last season when available again after injury in the second half of the campaign. Having to wait six months between his eighth and ninth PL starts last season.

As well as not being sure of his own place, Shelvey also saw his best mate at the club, Jack Colback, totally sidelined and sent off to Nottingham.

You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t welcome a change of manager for selfish reasons.

Jonjo Shelvey (and Colback, Lazaar, Aarons…) are all keen to talk up Steve Bruce but today’s low energy kick about will bear no relation to the Arsenal game in 22 days time.

If quality and quantity signings don’t arrive, Newcastle are going to be in big trouble.

They are needed as well for all kinds of reasons, not least for those such as Schar, Almiron, Dubravka and others who aren’t happy to see Steve Bruce replacing Rafa Benitez.

Jonjo Shelvey talking to Sky Sports:

“I think the change of manager could be a good thing.

“For me personally I probably needed that change…I understand the fans are disappointed as we had three great seasons under Rafa…but it wasn’t to be.

“I think we have all got to move on and if we put in performances like that, week in week out in the Premier League, they can have no problems with it.

“Steve (Bruce) is a lot different to Rafa.

“You never knew what Rafa was thinking.

“His (Rafa’s) record speaks for itself and he probably didn’t need to talk to you, tell you what he’s thinking, but personally as a player I would rather have someone who talks to you, so you know what he’s thinking.

That’s not knocking Rafa, he was a terrific, terrific manager, but for me personally.

Rafa has gone now, the club has moved on.

“Everyone, the press included, need to move on and give this man some time.

“I hope it’s going to be a big role for me now and I enjoy playing in that role (in the middle of a midfield three) as I can get on the ball a bit more, where I’m a bit deeper than the other two midfielders and I can play the passes I like to play.

“At every club when a new manager comes in the training goes up a notch. The players get busy and everyone’s looking to impress because everyone gets a clean slate, everyone gets to start over, to try and get into that starting eleven.

“We did a long old run the day before the game and I have never really experienced that. I thought I would be knackered but I wasn’t.

Steve Bruce has made a massive difference…he is constantly talking to you, telling you what he’s thinking…things like that. 

“As a player that is what you want – you want to know what a manager’s thinking, where you fit in his plans.

“The other night we weren’t good enough – we had only had a few weeks of work on the formation and Steve’s come in and changed it again and we have had two days, we look a lot more comfortable with five at the back and I think we thoroughly deserved to win.

“Steve came in and said a few bits, he told us what he wants us to do in and out of possession.”


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