Jonjo Shelvey got a big reaction when he emerged off the bench against Everton.
There are times that fans get genuinely excited by a substitute coming on, and this was one of them. The midfielder was introduced in the 79th minute, replacing Ki Sung-Yueng.
Shelvey hasn’t had the best of seasons, but the sheer buzz when he was about to come on shows what the Toon fans think of him.
With a ball at his feet, there isn’t much he can’t do. And the 27-year-old played an important role in the 3-2 triumph over the Toffees.
He should be rewarded for his impact off the bench.
Return to the starting XI for Shelvey?
The man he replaced, Ki, wasn’t as influential as he normally was against Everton. It was a surprise that the South Korean got the nod, considering it was Mo Diame who replaced the injured Longstaff against West Ham.
Ki didn’t take his chance, which should open the door for either Shelvey or Diame. And it is the former who should get the chance to start.
It’s possible that Newcastle play four at the back on Saturday after it was so successful in the latter stages against Everton.
If that’s the case, then the Magpies will need a ball player in the centre of midfield to make up for Fabian Schar’s absence at the back. And while Diame is great defensively, he’s not as good on the ball as Shelvey.
With relegation looking less likely, we can afford to be a bit more attacking. The introduction of Shelvey would certainly allow this.