By Russell Edge
Former Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew was left raving over Jonjo Shelvey’s performance in the Magpies’ draw with Southampton on Sunday.
Newcastle twice took the lead against the Saints at St Mary’s through Isaac Hayden and Ayoze Perez but a double from Manolo Gabbiadini meant that the club have to travel back to the north east with one point instead of three.
It was an end to end game, with both sides passing up clear opportunities in front of goal, as neither side managed to assert their authority.
However, despite not scoring or getting an assist, it was the showing of midfield maestro Jonjo Shelvey which caught the eye of Pardew, who was impressed with the 25-year-old’s ability in the centre of the park.
He also revealed how impressed he has been with the summer signings that Rafael Benitez brought into the club.
Speaking as a pundit on Sky Sports’ Super Sunday (15/10, 18:00), Pardew said: “I thought Jonjo Shelvey was terrific today – everything was clever and composed and they look like they have a few more passes in them.
“When you get promoted to the Premier League you need to grow in confidence. The 11 points they have will give them that.
“He (Rafael Benitez) was a little bit despondent with the number of signings he made but the players he has brought in have done very well.”
Shelvey, who saw himself suspended for three matches after being sent off against Tottenham, has made five appearances for the club this season, starting against Spurs, Liverpool and Southampton.
Newcastle’s 11 points mean they currently sit in ninth place in the Premier League table, two behind the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.
Their next match sees them welcome London side Crystal Palace to the north east, with Roy Hodgson’s men currently planted to the bottom of the table despite having picked up their first win of the season on Saturday, beating reigning champions Chelsea at Selhurst Park.
In other Newcastle United news, Football Insider has analysed three things learned about the Magpies in their draw with the Saints.