Jonjo Shelvey was once integral to Rafa Benitez’s Newcastle team but has found himself out of the picture in recent months.
As a result, The Sun linked him with a return to London with West Ham last month but for the meantime, he may have to be content with short cameos like the one he got on Saturday when the Magpies hosted Crystal Palace.
Newcastle were in complete control for large periods of the match and Shelvey was introduced with 16 minutes remaining, presumably with instruction to provide the inspiration to turn a dominant performance into a winning one.
But as it turned out, it was Palace who got their noses in front with Luka Milivojević slotting home a penalty won by Wilfried Zaha when DeAndre Yedlin clumsily brought him down in the box.
Rafa Benitez explained both the decision not to start Shelvey and when to bring him on to the Chronicle, saying: “When you are controlling the game and creating chances, it is not easy to make substitutions.
“Ki came on in the last two games he has done well, coming on, creating chances. Shelvey was a fresh pair of legs and it was not like we were losing the ball. We had control and we wanted to be a little bit better.”
But Newcastle fans were not impressed by the display by the man Spotrac claim earns £70,000 a week and took to Twitter to let him know…
Take Shelvey off. Such a poor player. How many times has he gave the ball away in what how many minutes he’s been on
— Joe Kennedy ?? (@JKennedy_179) April 6, 2019
Very disappointing result Our crossing is disappointing, Richie really should be dropped I find his crossing has really gone down hill. Shelvey offered little when he came on was wasteful – why Ki starts. Again Perez and Almiron played well. Rondon should’ve scored a couple #NUFC
— Southern Magpie (@southern_magpie) April 6, 2019
Thought Almiron and Perez were excellent for large periods; Hayden and Ki too. Rondon held it well but should have done better in front of goal.
Nice to see Shelvey come on and basically show why Rafa has been benching him for so long! #NUFC
— NUFC Index (@NUFC_Index) April 6, 2019
Shelvey looked really off pace
— Andrew Greener (@greener_andrew) April 6, 2019
He was shocking when he came on. Couldn't pass it 10 yards !
— Chris Munn (@munnwez) April 8, 2019
His performance when he came on explained it.
— Brian Parkin (@BrianNUFC) April 8, 2019
Just starting to realise how much we've missed Longstaff. Hayden/Diame we know doesn't really work if you want to win games, Ki needs a run of games to get back into his stride and hard to judge Shelvey on 10-minute cameos but doesn't look right. I'd keep going with Ki. #NUFC
— Daniel (@danjpeg) April 7, 2019