Newcastle United briefing: Jonjo Shelvey given England hope, Rob Elliot's dressing room insight

Rafa Benitez
Rafa Benitez

Gareth Southgate was at St James's Park to see Newcastle United's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace.

The victory saw the club end the season seventh place.

Southgate, England's manager, was on Tyneside to check on Jonjo Shelvey, Isaac Hayden and Jamaal Lascelles.

READ MORE: Miles Starforth’s match analysis: Newcastle United 1 Crystal Palace 0

United manager Rafa Benitez has spoken about the importance of the Southgate's visit to Tyneside.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Rob Elliot has given a dressing room insight into the possibility of a takeover at Newcastle, which was formally put up for sale by owner Mike Ashley last week.

Lee Charnley and Gareth Southgate sat behind Sting and Jimmy Nail

Lee Charnley and Gareth Southgate sat behind Sting and Jimmy Nail

Here's your daily briefing:

Rare visit

England managers haven't been seen too many times at St James's Park over the past decade.

And Southgate's appearance at St James's Park was welcomed by Benitez, who has only one full England international – Shelvey – in his ranks.

Jonjo Shelvey

Jonjo Shelvey

Shelvey, however, hasn't played for his country since joining United early last year.

“I think it’s important for them the manager is here – he can see something," said Benitez.

“Sometimes, when the team isn’t playing well, it’s hard to show what you can do.

“Jonjo has the ability and the quality to see the pass and the runners. And if you put him with better players, he’ll be even better, because he has the quality.”

Mikel Merino

Mikel Merino

Exciting times?

Elliot has spoken about the possibility of new ownership at Newcastle, which was bought by Ashley a decade ago.

And goalkeeper, like the club's fanbase, is "excited" by the prospect of a new era at St James's Park.

"There’s obviously interest, which is exciting for everyone," said Elliot. "Hopefully, someone comes in who can take the club forward, which will be great.

The infrastructure is fantastic. As players, we can’t do a lot about it, we just watch the telly and read the papers like everyone else, but we just hope everything works out for the club, because we’ve been through a lot these past few years.

“But there’s now a positive vibe around the place, and we’ve got to make sure we continue with that.

“We want this to be a long term thing, where we’re always looking forward and not back.”


Mikel Merino was the hero against Palace.

The midfielder's 85th-minute goal, his first for the club, claimed all three points for Benitez's side.

However, the biggest talking point of the afternoon was former United midfielder Yohan Cabaye's reckless challenge on DeAndre Yedlin – and Shelvey's reaction to Merino's goal.

Cabaye, shown a yellow card by referee Stuart Attwell, was fortunate to stay on the field.

Shelvey taunted a floored Cabaye as Merino celebrated his headed goal.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher thought Cabaye should have been shown a red card.

Gallagher told Sky Sports News: "I thought the referee thought the same because he ran so fast towards the incident and put his hand to his top pocket. It gave the impression of a red card.

"There was quite a long delay where a lot of players were involved, and I wonder if the referee ran it through his mind that he hasn't gone two-footed so I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

"I think he was very lucky to stay on the field."

Meanwhile, Benitez had a simple message for his players after the game.

"Like" our NUFC Facebook page here