Jonjo Shelvey enjoyed a strong start to life under Eddie Howe on Satrurday.

The midfielder started in a midfield two for Newcastle alongside Joe Willock, and was one of the Magpies’ best players.

On his day, Shelvey is one of the best passers around. Sadly, it hadn’t been his day for a while. But he was much better against Brentford, and probably would have been Newcastle’s man of the match had it not been for a special performance by Joelinton.

There was certainly pressure on Shelvey to perform. Before the game, Howe spoke about how important the ex-Liverpool midfielder would be under him.

Brighton & Hove Albion v Newcastle United - Premier League
(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)


And despite only working together for a few weeks, Shelvey appears to love playing for the 43-year-old.

What has Jonjo Shelvey said?

“He’s told us to get after the ball and press high up the pitch,” Shelvey told Premier League broadcaster Andy Sixsmith.

“It’s more exciting and enjoyable rather than just sitting back and defending.

“Obviously you don’t want to concede three at home and draw – it can be a danger. But it’s a lot more exciting and enjoyable.”

Newcastle United v Brentford - Premier League
(Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Newcastle changing for the better under Eddie Howe

There is a clear difference between Howe’s Newcastle and Steve Bruce’s Newcastle. And it’s no surprise that Shelvey finds Howe’s brand of football ‘more exciting’.

While he always found himself in the starting XI under Bruce, Shelvey didn’t often have a lot of joy. He was a goal threat in Bruce’s first season in charge, but that was about as good as it got. At times last season we even saw Shelvey play as a centre-back…

(Photo by RICHARD SELLERS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Fans were bored to death of Bruce’s brand of ‘football’. It was never clear what he was trying to achieve. We didn’t attack, but we weren’t great defensively either.

But now Newcastle are attacking, and it’s much more enjoyable for the players. Hopefully Howe’s style can lead to results, as that is what we desperately need right now.

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