Sunday’s match at St James Park was decided in the 48th minute, as Dele Alli tried to prevent Jonjo Shelvey taking a free-kick quickly.
The response from the Newcastle midfielder was embarrassing, deliberately standing on Alli.
Though it was never going to cause injury, Shelvey’s actions were spotted by Andre Marriner who instantly waved a red card.
To top it all, Jonjo Shelvey then spread his arms in a ‘What is this all about’ bemused reaction, as he protested his innocence.
Maybe the most telling thing was that whilst predictably the decision was met by boos from the Newcastle fans, this didn’t really persist after the initial shock that United were down to 10 men with half the game still left to play, after putting in a decent first 45 minutes. The message being that supporters overwhelmingly were inclined not to believe Shelvey’s innocence claims, which tells you that the Newcastle midfielder has to give himself a shake when even his own club’s fans accepted he must have done it.
Dele Alli has shown himself to be just as petulant as Shelvey so far in his short career but after tempting him into the daft red card, it allowed the Tottenham midfielder to take the moral high ground for once…
“I’m sure Jonjo Shelvey will be disappointed.
“It was important we stayed professional. I don’t want to talk about it too much.
“I’ve been pulled up for my temper before but today we had to keep our cool.
“There was no need to react today.”
Jonjo Shelvey meanwhile has accepted he has an ongoing problem and needs to sort himself out:
“Look, sometimes I just need to rein in it in on the football pitch.
“Ineed to just shut up and stuff. I need to not get involved and walk away.
“I started to see a psychologist last year to work on the mental side of things. It was after the Forest game. I was sent off – I had kicked out at this lad and it was just childish.
“When people wind me up I should just laugh. I do need to get that out of me. Sometimes you can’t help it.
“I started to work with this fella and after that there wasn’t really an incident when I did that. I started to learn to keep my head down and just get on with the game. But it’s an ongoing process and I am still working with him.
“Sometimes I can lose my head and it can’t keep happening.”