Jonjo Shelvey’s got the knowledge at Newcastle United.
That’s the verdict of Peter Beardsley after watching him in action on AND off the field.
Shelvey made his first appearance for the club in almost a month on Monday night.
The midfielder, back from a three-game suspension, played 90 minutes for Beardsley’s Under-23s side in their 2-2 Premier League 2 draw against Norwich City.
“He’s been really good,” said Beardsley. “He’s brilliant, really enthusiastic.
“When the first goal went in, he was telling them to be calm, relax and just pass the ball. He’s been with some good people himself. He’s passing that knowledge on.
He’s a player, no doubt. When the time comes, he’ll be back in the first team.Peter Beardsley
“That’s the good thing for us as a group of staff. He almost takes your job off you in a nice way. He does the job for you. On the pitch, he’s our voice.
“When you talk, you can tell he’s listening. You can tell he understands. For me, as a coach/manager, that’s the good thing. You can tell when people understand. “He’s a player. When the time comes, he’ll be back in the first team.”
Shelvey was an unused substitute for Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League win over his former club Swansea City. Benitez, recovering from an operation, missed the match.
“I always thought we were going to win, I really did,” said Beardsley. “The players respect Rafa so much and they’ll have put more effort in without thinking about it.
“I remember Kevin Keegan was part of the playing staff and Arthur Cox missed a game. We played at Derby. We were 2-0 up and we lost 3-2. We played unbelievably to go 2-0 up.
“Kevin was fuming, as he wanted us to win for Arthur.”
Jamaal Lascelles scored United’s winner against Swansea.
“It was the perfect result for the manager,” said Beardsley. “It picked him up. It was great for Paco (de Miguel Moreno), Mikel (Antia) and Antonio (Gomez Perez).
“They’re top, top people who understand the game. The tactics were perfect.”