Miles Starforth's China tour diary: They got it wrong with Newcastle United's poster boy

There haven’t been too many positives at Newcastle United this summer.
Miles Starforth in ChinaMiles Starforth in China
Miles Starforth in China

But the attitude of the players in China has been positive.

Jonjo Shelvey, in particular, has hit the ground running, having seen his opportunities limited last season by injury and the form of others.

Shelvey, adamant that he’s staying at the club in a forthright interview, had this view on a difficult summer.

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“It is what it is,” said the midfielder at the Premier Skills Under-12 Cup in Nanjing.

“You see things over the summer, like ‘is Rafa going to stay or go?’, and ‘if he doesn’t stay, who’s going to come in?’. It’s just part and parcel of football. It goes round in circles.

“As a player, you can’t control it. What you’ve got to be able to do is put it in every training session like it’s going to be your last whether a manager likes you or doesn’t like you.”

Meanwhile, Matt Ritchie is just happy to be back on the field. That’s how he gets his kicks.

Matt Ritchie, second left, and Ben Dawson, second right.Matt Ritchie, second left, and Ben Dawson, second right.
Matt Ritchie, second left, and Ben Dawson, second right.

Poster boy

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The promotional material for the Premier League Asia Trophy was obviously put together some time ago.

Outside the Nanjing Olympic Centre there are a couple of posters advertising the tournament.

And the Newcastle United player on the poster is Ayoze Perez, who joined Leicester City earlier this month in a £30million deal.

The promotional material was changed – and later posters feature Fabian Schar.

Let’s just hope the defender, linked with AC Milan, stays at St James’s Park this summer.