Rafa Benitez reacts to Frank Lampard's criticism of Newcastle's Jonjo Shelvey
Rafa Benitez has brushed off Frank Lampard's stinging criticism of Jonjo Shelvey.
Match of the Day pundit Lampard was critical of the Newcastle United midfielder’s defending late in last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Bournemouth.
“As good as his passing was, the defensive side of his game in the latter stages didn’t live up to it,” said Lampard. “All of his team-mates are defending for their lives and look at Jonjo Shelvey, hands on his knees. He switches off.
“Rafa Benitez will be livid, and that’s why sometimes he doesn’t play him, because he’s the best passer in the team, but moments like that can cost you the game.”
Shelvey, already carrying a groin injury, hurt his knee at the Vitality Stadium, where Bournemouth came from two goals down to claim a point.
Asked about Lampard’s comments, United manager Benitez said: “The point is that we analyse the game.
“We analyse the positives and the negatives, then we talk about them internally and try to find solutions to our problems when we need to. But we don’t need to talk too much about what they say. What someone else outside is saying doesn’t concern me.
“Nobody knew he was injured, but afterwards we knew he had this problem.
“But I’ll not justify if he did this or that, or didn’t do this or that, because of his injury.
“He was playing and he was fine, but we will analyse what he was doing right or wrong and then we will find solutions.”