Rafa Benitez brings an incredible record to the relegation fight at St. James Park, and will be create first impressions as a manager with the majority of his Newcastle United players.
Jonjo Shelvey is not one of those players, as Benitez brought the English midfielder from Charlton Athletic to Liverpool in 2010. Rafa left after just one month of shared Anfield time with Shelvey.
And though Shelvey blamed himself for McClaren’s firing, he’s very excited for his teammates to learn a bit about Rafa.
“He’s a very tactical man. He knows what he wants you to do and he gets his point across very clearly, and he sets up teams for us not to get beat but on the other hand, he wants you to go and play as well.
“It suits us down to the ground I think, so I’m sure he’ll be getting us to do that straight away and the quicker we do it, the easier it’ll be for us and the fans. Fingers crossed we can implement his gameplan on Monday night and kick on from there.”
Benitez has nine matches to be two points better than Sunderland and one better than Norwich (or close down both goal differential). Shelvey has been one of Newcastle’s stars since arriving from Swansea City. Can a Rafa reunion help the Magpies survive in the Premier League?