Newcastle United may not have been having the greatest opening day in club history, but they certainly weren’t doing terrible. For the first half of the match, they actually looked in control defensively, forcing Christian Eriksen to take longer shots outside of the box. Our defense was spot on.
Of course, that was short-lived when Paul Dummett and Florian Lejeune both found themselves injured and in the trainer’s office. Of course, that Harry Kane tackle was kind of a dick move and should have warranted a red card, but things like that happen. You get over it, you move on. Stay tuned for our injury report this week, as we will break down the injuries of both Dummett and Lejeune and the concern it could cause the club.
But the real highlight of the match wasn’t the Kane tackle, or even the fantastic initial saves that Rob Elliot was making. It was the bad decision by Jonjo Shelvey, who not only disgraced the armband that he was wearing, but proved to Newcastle United fans and football fans alike that he has not yet fully matured. It leaves us questioning whether or not he ever will.
I believe Rafa Benitez summed up the situation perfectly when asked about the problem in his post-match press conference.
Yeah, Dele Alli was kind of being a jerk, and Shelvey just wanted to get on with the match. The match was starting to flow again, and Shelvey got mad that the flow was being disrupted by the twerp that was Dele Alli.
But the thing is, Alli was never overly rough. He didn’t make questionable tackles and hurt our players. He played a mental and physical game like great players do. That Shelvey couldn’t handle that is a problem, and showed a lack of mental strength.
He let down his entire club. He let down the Newcastle United fans. For a player as talented and crucial to the success of this club as he is, red card and three-match bans are something that we just cannot have.
And for everyone out there thinking that Shelvey needs to lose the captaincy. He had the armband (which he disgraced) but make no mistake, Jamaal Lascelles was named captain of the club.
Shelvey needs to grow up, because acting like this is only going to hurt everyone around him.