Written by Stephen Hopper
So Jonjo Shelvey has received his punishment from the FA, a 5 game ban and a £100,000 fine. Is this the correct decision? After the initial shock of the decision I sat down and thought about the Transfer Window and do we need to bring in a replacement for Shelvey. I don’t think we do as we have enough quality in depth to cover the loss of our creative midfielder. The manager will no doubt miss Shelvey’s influence he has had in games so far this season, but can turn to his fringe players to step up and be counted. Players possibly looking at coming in to the first team picture could be Christian Atsu who has been a bit part player and who could be given the chance to impress. Vurnon Anita can play in that position, but who has made the right back position his own which would allow DeAndre Yedlin to come in at full back to push Anita further forward. Don’t forget Newcastle will also lose Mo Diame and Christian Atsu who will be away on African Cup Of Nations duty.
credit Chris Barnes
Jack Colback can obviously play the holding role but this still leaves the question, who can be the creative influence in the middle of the park to unlock opposing defences? Could a change in formation work effectively? A friend of mine suggested playing a 4-4-2 formation with two wingers in the shape off Ritchie and even Perez who has played out wide, which I guess would allow both Colback and Hayden to play the centre midfield positions, should the Manager want to play this way, but don’t forget the impressive form of Frenchman Yoan Gouffran who has been superb in the games he has played so far. Pushing Yedlin or even Moroccan Lazaar into Midfield may be another option for the Magpies Boss, but for the first time in a long time the Magpies do have options and good attacking options as Lazaar, Yedlin, Ritchie and even perez are very pacey so Newcastle do have decent attacking options, they can also provide a very good supply line for star striker Dwight Gayle who is scoring goals for fun at the moment in the Championship.
Only the Manager will know what he will decide. Does he invest or use the current players at his disposal to fill the void left by the suspended Shelvey. My personal opinion is we don’t need to invest in that position and to be honest I don’t think we need to spend a lot come this Transfer Window. Atsu will also be away on ACON duty with Ghana. Of course should Newcastle choose to appeal the FA’s decision this will only delay the suspension and could even take it up to a 10 game ban potentially, which could have a huge effect on picking up points while the player carries out his suspension ,as he is the creative force in the Newcastle midfield.
So if Newcastle choose to invest in this position. Brentford’s Alan Judge could be an option although the player is recovering from a broken leg but a very decent creative player but is the Manager prepared to take the chance on a player coming back from a serious injury? Rafa Benitez has been quoted as saying”It makes no sense to bring players in that you don’t need. We have two players in each position”. Newcastle know exactly what they need and as a supporter I trust the Mangers judgement, I will be following Shelvey’s appeal closely should he decide to appeal the decision.
What are your thoughts on the Suspension and this coming Transfer Window? Let us know in the comments below!
featured image by Steenbergs