It has been announced that Newcastle United midfielder Jonjo Shelvey has been banned for 5 matches for using racially aggravated words. The Englishmen has also been fined £100,000 for his actions.
The incident occurred towards the end of Newcastle’s 2-0 loss to Wolves. The incident was between Shelvey and Morrocan player Romain Saiss following Vurnon Anita’s sending off. Shelvey viciously denied the charge and initially plead not guilty but was found guilty at his hearing today.
Shelvey has seven days to appeal the charge. Both parties (The FA and Newcastle) must have written reasons for his suspension so the suspension won’t kick in until both parties have those reasons. This means he may be able to feature in the boxing day match against Sheffield Wednesday. However, he will miss matches against Nottingham Forest, Blackburn, Birmingham, Brentford and Rotherham. Granted, these aren’t the hardest matches in the world but a player of his calibre will be sorely missed.
The two main candidates to replace Shelvey are Jack Colback and Cheick Tioté. Both players haven’t featured much this season, Tioté has played only 15 minutes of football this season, but this could be a perfect chance for the two to prove themselves to Rafa and make a case for themselves. Replacing Shelvey is a massive task and I’m not sure those two are up to it but let’s wait and see, I may be proved wrong. Appealing the decision may be a bad idea as it may result in an extended ban.
This could be potentially destructive to Newcastle’s title hopes as Shelvey has been, debatably, the Championship’s best player this season. The ban may prompt Rafa to buy another midfield playmaker in the fast approaching January transfer window. Personally, I would love a midfield of Shelvey, Hayden and another playmaker. I think this would work well as Hayden provides an energetic and defensive approach, with Sheley and another playmaker bringing an attacking prowess to the team.
Nothing is clear at the minute as we await more details. This is a very serious act and Shelvey does deserve punishment if he did actually say what he said.
Feature Image credit: Martin Le Roy