Newcastle 0 Tottenham 2  – Sunday 13 August 1.30pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle:

Jamie Swan:

“Jonjo has let the team down today. It was nowt, but it was stupid and Rafa has enough on his plate without having to deal with numb nuts.

“No disgrace in defeat, but at 11 v 11 we were in the game.

“Onto Udders-field.”

Ben Cooper:

“Whoever forgot to put the Factor 200 on the top of Shelvey’s head at half time cost us any chance of points here today, either that or our midfielder has returned from pre-season both fitter and thicker.

“His stupidity will probably infuriate Rafa more, as our hard-working team were looking like a disciplined and compact defensive unit, if ineffective up front.

“It looks like when we get a chance this season, we will have to take it, because we might not get that many.

“Fear not though, not every team has good players like Tottenham. Similar grit next week against Huddersfield with 11 men on the pitch and we will be up and running.”

Davey Hat-Trick:

“Any chance we had of surprising Spurs went when we had to replace 2 defenders in the first half, meaning Rafa couldn’t change the formula with substitutes.

“Any chance we had of getting something out of the game went when Shelvey channelled his inner Mitrovic and received a deserved and idiotic red card.

“It was also entirely predictable. Alli was winding everyone up in the first half, and you just knew Shelvey was thick enough to bite.

“Their 2 goals looked defendable, but I wouldn’t gripe too much. Once we were down to 10 men, we were under so much pressure that it always looked likely, and our main outlet seemed to be long balls for our attackers to chase.

“Unfortunately, all of Spurs’ defenders were faster and sharper than all of our forwards, so there was no relief.

“Once we were 2 down, we showed a lot of character, and Atsu gave them a few scares. But the result was never in doubt.

“On the positive side, the new boys all looked OK and Tottenham are a better side than most. But I fear that we’ll end a lot of games this season where I think we tried hard but weren’t good enough. Overall, that was the case here.”

Kevin Christie:

“Shelvey – petty, petulant, pathetic. Don’t want brainless liabilities like him at the club. A constant let-down.

“On the plus side, the team were solid, had good shape and discipline.

“Atsu looked dangerous. Elliot was his usual reliable self.

“Not a whole lot gleaned from today really as result was never in doubt after the red card. Roll on next week!”

David Punton:

“Jonjo Shelvey’s rank stupidity has cost us dearly today. What was he thinking? Retribution for Lejeune? He owes fans and teammates an apology.

“Walking on an ankle in full view of the referee was rightly a straight red card, an early bath and effectively game over against a side with the quality of Spurs.

“It was a massive shame. I felt at half time we could have got more into the contest, with Atsu clearly the stand out performer in black and white. The need for a striker and more in central midfield is clear.

“We faced a Tottenham side that has way more quality, let’s face it, and they had us pegged back in our own half for long periods even before the red card, but with 11 v 11 there is always a chance.

“Thanks to Harry Kane for nobbling Lejeune in a game that also saw Dummett limp out injured. One game gone and we’re already facing injuries and suspensions.

“The good news is the is plenty of time to get the show on the road. The target has to be survival. There are a clutch of sides in this league who are out of reach. The step up in level was very evident today.

“Aside from the game, the closure of Strawberry Place after the game was a great idea, but not to do so before the match just seems farcical.”

Paul Patterson:

“Reluctant to see Shelvey play for the club again to be honest. First match of the season  and he blew it. Once too often.”

Toon Bano:

“There are not enough words to describe Shelvey and what he did. But the most incredible point of it is, he actually thinks he is being clever.

“He may actually think he is doing his teammates a favour by trying to wind up Dele Alli to react and get himself sent off.

“Rafa has to nip his nonsense attitude in the bud NOW. Otherwise he will never change and if he doesn’t change, he is not fit to where the shirt. Total liability. The fact he was captain is laughable.

“Up to that point Spurs created nothing and we were comfortable. Beyond frustrating. He will now miss 3 matches so I hope to god Merino comes in and shows he as just as good.”

Paul Lyon:

“We were certainly competitive for the first half despite being hampered by a couple of injuries, Lejuene particularly key.

“I still thought we’d make a fist of it in the second half until Shelvey lost what seems the never ending battle with his demons and got himself sent off for some schoolyard petulance. It seems his summers aren’t long enough.

“Anyone in a particularly sadistic mood can watch Ashley spill his bile on Sky Sports later, not for me thanks.

“Thought Atsu did well, chalk this one down to a bad day at the office and target 3 points at Huddersfield. Hey we might signed a couple of players by then….”

Nat Seaton:

“Cards were stacked against us today: Dummett injury – and the fact that we do not have a full back on the bench to replace him; Lejeune injury – thought he was having a good game against Kane; a ‘captain’ who acted before he thought what his actions would lead to and in the process let everybody down.

“Credit his team mates for continuing to compete but in the end, we were never really in it.”

Jamie Smith:

“Very disappointed in Shelvey. It was a red, a blatant red and utterly unnecessary.

“I felt we contained Spurs well enough to get something out of the game until that point and the sending off scuppered that.

“At the same time, the loss of our key player could similarly scupper winnable games v Huddersfield and West Ham which we should be looking to win.

“Whereas today was always likely a write off against a very good team.

“Silver lining could be that the mixture of unfortunate injuries and unnecessary suspension could force the transfer issue a bit.”

Jack Lacey-Hatton:

“It was the right tactical set-up and game plan, seemingly ruined by Shelvey (although I have not rewatched the incident yet).

“Hayden, Manquillo and Perez all impressed me. Clark did ok at LB and Mbemba when he came on.

“Still think we could do with another striker in though.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 0 Tottenham 2


Tottenham: Alli 61 Davies 7o (Newcastle – Shelvey sent off 48)

Possession was Tottenham 73% Newcastle 27%

Total shots were  Tottenham 18 Newcastle 6

Shots on target were Tottenham  6 Newcastle 3

Corners were  Tottenham 7 Newcastle 5

Referee: Andre Marriner

Newcastle United:

Elliot, Manquillo, Lejeune (Mbemba 34), Clark, Dummett (Lascelles 7), Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu, Perez, Gayle (Merino 76)

Unused Subs:

Darlow, Aarons, Murphy, Mitrovic

Crowd: 52,077

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • StevieB

    You all still not worrying yet ?

    • Marveauxless

      11 v 11 it was a very solid performance where we matched Spurs and restricted them to long shots. Admittedly we didn’t create many chances but Gayle was not fully fit and Spurs have the best defence in the league.
      We looked far better than Brighton did against Man City.
      Injuries aside it was a promising performance; if you’re expecting us to out-play one of the best sides in Europe then you will be very disappointed this season

      • Paul Patterson

        Plus you can’t legislate for a brainless idiot..

        • love toon despite

          brainless idiot…….spot on. He cost us the game today

          • love toon despite

            I actually thought we did ok today!!! I was dreading the match but credit where credit is due, We did ok but Shelvey FFS man GROW UP!!!!

      • Geordiegiants

        Yeah we looked solid, but we didn’t look like scoring.

      • StevieB

        I disagree with everything you said , we looked toothless today , Gayle was a yard off the pace and we lacked intensity . Bury your head in the sand if you wish but I’ll say it again ….spurs beat us easily in 2nd gear at home today with a load of first teamers out. We are bang in trouble without investment.., simple as that

        • HarryHype59

          All true, Spurs would have won even if Shelvey hadn’t got himself sent off. Gayle isn’t suited to play lone striker in the EPL! I wish Benetiz would try different tactics.

    • Jezza

      Can’t speak for anybody else but I’ve been worried all summer.

      • HarryHype59

        Me too mate!

  • TheNutJob

    the next 3 games should show if the kid Merino has enough in his locker for the premiership. i think he`ll be ok but we need a number 10 & another striker this week
    It`s Rafaball time !

    • Jezza

      I think it’s asking a lot for a 21 year old loanee who played 2 games last season to become a solid and reliable midfield general.

  • molend

    To be honest,I wouldn’t have minded if Shelvey had got a yellow card for doing the same to Kane as Kane did to Lejeune. Lejeune off injured. Instead, Alli feels the full weight of Shelvey on his foot, gets up, runs round like a linty and scores with the same foot (I think) that Shelvey mangled. Not saying that Shelvey’s wasn’t red, but Kane scissored Lejeune. Just as bad.

    • Marveauxless

      The intent of the respective players was different though; Kane was attempting to put pressure on Lejeune and at best knock it out for a throw in; Shelvey’s actions were for no reason other than to cause harm to Alli

      • molend

        You’re right, of course. But look at the result: Kane crocks Lejeune and Alli isn’t hurt at all. I would have thought that the Kane, when he lunged, must have been aware that he could potentially injure Lejeune. Shelvey stood on Alli (didn’t stamp) wearing basically a bedroom slipper. Stupid, certainly, but not malicious in the sense of intending to hurt.

        • Andy Mac

          I recall the HBA leg break by the nutter De Jong when he “scissored” him. It’s not the way to tackle and should be outlawed. However we still wouldnt have won if they’d had Kane sent off because we had no cutting edge.

          • molend

            Absolutely. I wasn’t making excuses, but it looked inconsistent to me (and the assmebled multitude here in Bulgaria) on the part of the ref.

          • Jezza

            Agreed. Let’s not let red cards and injuries draw attention away from the fact there is nowhere near enough quality in this Newcastle side to survive in the Premiership.

          • HarryHype59

            Alas this is true. The defence did well considering they were under constant pressure from wave after wave of Spurs attacks. We couldn’t compete in midfield and playing Gayle as lone striker meant we were never going to score irrespective of voldermorts sending off.

            The gulf in class was very alarming. The days of us turning over Spurs at SJP seem a life time ago.

        • StevieB

          Clear red card

          • molend

            As I said

          • Damon Horner

            I understand what you are saying but in Kane’s part, it was reckless but he went for the ball (did get it to a degree). It is probably considered badly judged but a footballing challenge

            When it comes to Shelvey, it’s the type of behaviour officials want to get rid of, just needless petulance.

            If you punish them the same you either get a physical sport which thinks twice about physical challenges or you get players seeing what they can get away with.

    • ToonNL

      Can’t believe your saying one is just as bad as the other. The ballw asn’t even in play when jonjo lost it.

      He’s a nutter and cant be trusted to be anything else. Always has been always will be

  • Paul Patterson

    As punishment, I’d stand Shelvey next a lit hot cooker and tell him he can only leave if he lasts 90 minutes without putting his hand into the flames as a psychological test. Walk away early and your transfer list you.
    It really is getting that basic and childlike with this idiot.

  • TG

    Rafa in the changing room before kick off…..
    “1st player to get a bad tackle, come off injured…..
    1st player to break into sprint, pull up…..
    Jonjo do somthing stupid enough to get a red card……
    Lets show that fat b*stard cashley, how likely mid table looks with a couple injuries and suspension”

  • Steve Pearce

    That stinking pile of human excrement Harry Kane should have been sent off. Delicatessen Alley is a screaming pillow biter who should have his Henry Halls kicked off. At least Shelvey’s sending off spared me the absolute tedium of watching the Newcastle/Spurs paint drying contest.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Not often I agree with you but Kane’s tackle was nasty. Yes, it had 0-0 written all over it up until then

      • HarryHype59

        No it didn’t …I assume you weren’t actually at the match? Spurs out classed us and were virtually camped in our half for most of the first half even before Shelvey got himself sent off. We were hanging on to their coat tails with desperate last ditch defending and offering little as an attacking force.

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Yes, we were playing a Rafa counter attack style, we had chances and so did they but none were clear cut.

          • HarryHype59

            The highlights on MOTD made is look like a competitive match, It wasn’t. Spurs played in second gear, had very long periods of possession and were virtually camped in our half the whole match.

            It was basically attack V defence and reminded me of a training match. As a home supporter it was painful and dull to watch! The reason why the crowd is so quiet is that there was so little attacking play from the homeside. If this is the Rafalution…you can keep it.

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            To be honest, it’s what I expect from Rafa’s side against a top 4 team. Most away performances are like that from Rafa’s teams, even when he was at Liverpool.

            I wasn’t at the game, I just saw it on Sky. I will be at Huddersfield and I expect exactly the same with us breaking out a bit for the last 15 mins. As it happens, I suspect Huddersfield will try the same so the first hour is going to be dull!!

  • Jezza

    A great day all round for Ashley today. His team won 2-0, first game of the new season and his huge S***** D***** logos have already been exposed to a worldwide television audience and to put the icing on the cake, with Shelvey being conveniently being blamed for Newcastle’s defeat, there is no added pressure on him to release any transfer funds.

    • nufcslf

      Very well said.

    • Leazes Ender

      Yes Ryder and Shearer are scapegoating him.

      The MOTD crew didn’t dwell on Deli Alis play acting and histrionics for too long, still more stupid to fall for that ‘in your face stuff’ by Ali…. no excuse.

  • Geordiegiants

    Let’s not all forget, we won’t be playing teams as good as spuds all season.

    • Jezza

      And Spurs won’t be playing teams as bad as us all season.

  • David2211

    People complaining about Shelvey like this is a regular occurrence. What other incidents has he been involved in? SURELY you can’t mean Forest last season when bad boy Henri Lansbury ‘cheated’ to get him sent off (he didn’t).

    • Andy Mac

      He’s been sent off before with Swansea and the RBD’s. Surely the penny has to drop now otherwise he’s just not reliable enough to start a match ?

    • cmrowley

      He was involved in at least a dozen incidents last season where he could have been sent off for leaving a foot in, standing on opponents and kicking out. He may not have been sent off each time but the fact he hasn’t learned at all is very worrying.

  • Trevor Reaveley

    I didn’t think it was a bad performance. I was very impressed with the new lads, I think they’ll add a lot to the team when they’re bedded in properly.
    We’re nowhere near good enough, but some encouraging signs. Well done all (especially Atsu), apart from StupidShelvey.

  • Paul Patterson

    Blood Merino in and get that hot headed twerp in the reserves. Three (and a half) game ban and we’ve only played one game. He can apologise as much as he wants, it won’t wash anymore . .

    • Leazes Ender

      He’s our star player, that’s just a daft reactionary response.

  • Hughie

    Strip Shelvey of the captaincy and fine him a months wages– doesn’t and won’t ever understand words like teamwork and responsibility– he has done it before several times. He isn’t playing at the local park!!! With Colback and Mitro we have three players with very limited brain capacity on a football pitch who cannot grasp that needless fouling has a colossal impact on performance. I’m sure that Mitro and Colback are out of favour to an extent with Rafa because of their headless chicken approaches and now Shelvey has added to it. Shelvey was very poor anyway yesterday and I think he has a confidence issue at this level–which is why he was sold to us.

    • StevieB

      Very possible about the confidence thing .