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:
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“Reluctant to see Shelvey play for the club again to be honest. First match of the season and he blew it. Once too often.”
“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.”
“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….”
“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.”
“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.”
“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
Elliot, Manquillo, Lejeune (Mbemba 34), Clark, Dummett (Lascelles 7), Ritchie, Hayden, Shelvey, Atsu, Perez, Gayle (Merino 76)
Darlow, Aarons, Murphy, Mitrovic
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