Whilst Newcastle fans were all talking about the positive impact of Jonjo Shelvey on the NUFC team v West Ham, certain sections of the media had another agenda.
The signing from Swansea had brought a structure to Newcastle’s game, an assured nature to the pattern of plat, as well as some incisive passing that played a key role in the two goals and the overall match.
However, some journalists wanted to only talk about an incident five minutes before half-time.
The paths of Enner Valencia and Jonjo Shelvey came together near the Newcastle box and the West Ham player collapsed theatrically to the floor, where he lay until he realised he wasn’t getting a free-kick or punishment for Shelvey, then embarrassingly jumped up and went over to remonstrate with the Newcastle player.
Even on Match of The Day where incidents such as this are often used as big talking points in the studio, little was made of it. With nobody in the BBC studio judging it in any way a serious incident.
Despite this certain journalists and pundits such as Garth Crooks were talking of it showing the ‘dark side’ of Jonjo Shelvey, a player who has only had one automatic red card in 238 senior matches for club(s) and country – plus surprisingly for a combative midfielder he has only ever once picked up more than five yellow cards in a Premier League season.
Amazingly, the incident somehow ended up in front of an FA Panel on Monday and it was rightly instantly dismissed.
Sky Sports reporting that the panel felt no further action needed to be taken and attached no blame to Jonjo Shelvey.
It does sound though as the referee Neil Swarbrick bottled it, as he’d put in his report that he hadn’t seen the incident…which is a little strange as it happened right in front of him and the match official had a clear sight of the incident when he didn’t seen any fault at the time.
Sky Sports report on the FA Panel’s decision:
‘Jonjo Shelvey will face no disciplinary action for the off the ball incident with Enner Valencia, in Newcastle’s win over West Ham on Saturday.
In the 39th minute of the match, in which Shelvey made his debut following a £12m transfer from Swansea City, the midfielder appeared to barge Valencia over as play continued.
The incident was not seen by the referee and therefore referred to the Football Association’s independent video review panel, which is manned by three former referees.
The panel decided that the incident did not warrant a red card and that no further action will be taken against the former Charlton and Liverpool midfielder.’