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Jonjo Shelvey hitting high notes after Rafael Benítez tells it straight

The Newcastle midfielder has shed over a stone, as well as a ‘childish mind-set’, and is thriving under the guidance of the man who once took him to Liverpool

There was a time when Jonjo Shelvey appeared a big part of the problem at Newcastle United but these days he seems very much the solution.

Rafael Benítez had barely succeeded Steve McClaren as manager at St James’ Park last spring before he dropped the midfielder from the team. Despite Newcastle’s fall into the Championship Shelvey then began this season warming the bench and, when liberated from it, persistently attempting too many “Hollywood passes” and over-ambitious long-range shots.

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