Newcastle United lost to Tottenham Hotspur yesterday at St James’ Park.

United matched the visitors quite comfortably in the first half when they still had 11 men. But the game changed due to a sending off that happened – and a sending off that should have happened but didn’t.

Jonjo Shelvey was the United culprit. Trying to retrieve the ball to take a free kick, the ball was petulantly pushed away by Deli Alli. In return, Shelvey stood on Ali’s foot as he walked across to retrieve the ball.

The referee sent off Shelvey. No argument there.

However the talking point amongst United fans has been about how media darling Harry Kane somehow escaped a red card after a brutal scissor tackle from behind on Florian Lejeune – which looks to have put the centre half out of football for some time.

The rules covering serious foul play are quite clear – and could have been written for what Kane visited upon Lejeune.

The rules state:


A tackle or challenge that endangers the safety of an opponent or uses excessive force or brutality must be sanctioned as serious foul play.

Any player who lunges at an opponent in challenging for the ball from the front, from the side or from behind using one or both legs, with excessive force or endangers the safety of an opponent is guilty of serious foul play.

Incredibly the referee let Kane off with just a yellow card. And although 10 man United continued to put up a good fight, the extra man eventually saw Tottenham win by a couple of goals.

During our highly successful one season tour of the Championship, I’d forgotten how Premier League referees tend to show favouritism towards the media-dubbed so-called “big teams”. A group that Tottenham are desperately trying to join these days.

We were told that there would be a significant gap in class between the two teams.

We were told Tottenham had the best starting 11 of any team in the Premier League.

All I can say is – if that was the best starting 11 the Premier League has to offer, we’ve got nothing to worry about this season!

What do you think? As ever, we would welcome your comments, opinions and views below.

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  • Shannon

    You say it all. It was a most uncharacteristic tackle by Kane, and an entirely expected deed by Shelvey. Yes, refs shouldn’t be looking at reputations, but they are human. Also, Spurs would have beaten Newcastle with nine men. The red/lack of red had nothing to do with the result.

  • Carlos Blanco

    Guys, with respect that was never a red card. If he hadn’t got injured and git straight up, he might not have even received a yellow. Not being biased but just can’t see it, he got the ball (yes and the man) hence yellow was right.

    Just my view

  • Gary Quinn

    The simple answer to your question is that NOBODY – except for Newcastle fans even considered the possibility that it might be a red card. It was a very strong challenge and Kane got the ball before he got the man – the NU defender was unlucky to be so badly injured – his leg got trapped. A few years ago it would not have even been a foul.
    Shelvey’s assault was all more appalling because it was just taking team orders a stage too far. It was clear from the start that NU players were trying to get to him to react – they failed.
    Bracketing the two tackles together is a little sad – one was a cynical attempt to provoke or injure another player -the other was a strong tackle that wouldn’t even be seen as a foul outside the premier league

  • gazza

    The same reason Ritchie never got red is because both Kane’s and Ritchie’s challenges were correctly called as yellow card offences , whereas Shelvey’s stamp no matter how mild is deemed correctly as a red card offence end of?

  • Mark

    Kane won the ball and followed through and took out the player. It was never a red and no Geordie would think it was if their player had made that challenge.Don’t be fooled by Tottenham’s performance. Their best eleven includes Rose, Trippier and Son who add the pace. They won without breaking sweat and Newcastle offered very little. It will be a long hard season

  • George

    Not hard to spot where John Joseph’s loyalties lie. A completely one-eyed review of the game. For a start, Kane got the ball (and yes, he got the man too) so a yellow was the correct punishment. “United matched the visitors in the first half” did they? Only one team came to play on Sunday, and it weren’t Newcastle: ten behind the ball all first half, and nine the second half until the last seven or eight minutes.
    There WAS a significant gap in class between the two teams; there are few players from any Prem team who would displace Spurs’ first team.
    And if you think Newcastle have nothing to worry about this season, I commend you for the strength of your blinkers.

  • Dan Pink

    Brutal challenge! WTF he got the ball and carried through the man. 15 years ago everyone would of applauded that for a great challenge. The game of football is being ruined by Nancy’s. As Mcihael Dawson said earlier on the radio defenders are now scared to tackle…..

  • Chris

    wow….Gary…..”assault”….think that says it all

  • JohnJoseph

    Sorry Totts fans, but this “he got the ball” crap doesn’t justify the brutal assault by Kane.
    He went in from behind with both feet in the air, studs showing.
    Read the rules – I’ve set them out above for your convenience but you appear to have either missed them or chosen to decide they don’t apply to your team.
    Whatever. Kane has put Lejeune out of football for 8 weeks – can’t believe you lot are scrabbling around trying to find tenuous excuses for his tackle.
    No blinkers here – but maybe you folks should pay a visit to Specsavers?

  • Shieldsmag

    Spurs, pretty but without cutting edge, Kane in Lejeune’s pocket until frustration got the better of him and he chopped down the said defender. Ali wining about every challenge until the idiot Shelvey bit and stood (not stamped on him).

    Back to Kane referee needed to apply the law and the law is RED.

  • Graham

    All fans tend to biased when it comes to contentious issues. Shelvey was a fool and deserved to see red. Kane ended using both legs to trap Lejeurne’s standing leg in a scissor tackle and by it’s very nature was dangerous and reckless. If the tackle had been the other way round and England darling Kane was facing months out I’m sure you Spurs fans would have a very different view. I’m also sure Lejeurne would’ve seen red and would be public enemy number 1 with the media.

  • Dusty

    I think Gary makes a valid point..What do Newcastle fans think of the tackle made by Ritchie on Deli Alli…In my opinion there was no attempt by Ritchie to play the ball (where in Kane’s circumstance he did play the ball and in his follow thru happened to take out Lejeune). Ritchie was very lucky not to have suffered the same fate as Shelvey as his tackle on Alli was a deliberate intent to play the player and not the ball. Had it been a different referee we may have seen a different color card. :roll:

  • Mark

    Did you really write ‘brutal assault. Dear God i thought you Geordies were made of sterner stuff. If that was a red we should ban rackling and play basketball. The are no tenuous excuses from Tottenham fans whatever because we don’t need any. It wasn’t a red which, spookily enough, is why the ref didn’t give one.

  • JohnJoseph

    Let’s be accurate here.
    Shelvey did not “stamp” on Ali – that would have involved lifting his foot and bringing it down hard ie a stamp.
    Shelvey just stood on Alis foot as he went to retrieve the ball that Ali had petulantly pushed away.
    Intentional standing on his foot – but not a “stamp”
    Specsavers is good if you have a problem.

  • JohnJoseph

    “in Kane’s circumstance he did play the ball and in his follow thru happened to take out Lejeune”


  • JohnJoseph

    Ah yes, Premier League refs!!
    Not influenced at all by the London-based media eh?

  • Dusty

    Its amazing that Newcastle fans are trying to find fault with Kane’s tackle on Lejeune but don’t mention anything about the tackle made by Ritchie on Deli Alli which in my opinion the intent by Ritchie was not to play the ball but a deliberate intent to play the man. Slow motion of that tackle showed that his challenge on the back of Ali’s Heel could have caused serious damage to Ali’s Achilles tendon. If you failed to see that then maybe a visit to Specsavers would help. 8-O :lol:

  • Mark

    You’ve lost the plot now. It’s a conspiracy. Refs are influenced by the London based media. Pretty daft comment when virtually all of them support Man United. Let it drop now

  • Mark

    And Kane did not commit a brutal assault. You clearly are aware of spec savers.About time you booked another appointment

  • MickG

    Think of it this way.
    If that tackle had been on Kane by LeJeune, and Kane was out for 8 weeks, there’d be hell to pay in the media and LeJeune would be public enemy No1 – with you lot taking a very different stance to the crap you’ve been posting on here tonight.
    Should have been sent off. That’s the rules of the game covering serious foul play.

  • Mark

    Garbage. It was a committed challenge where a player only had eyes on the ball which he win. The ref booked him because his follow through was deemed excessive. The whining by Rafa and Newcastle fans has been ridiculous. Nothing in the rules of the game state that Kane should have been sent off which is why a top ref correctly did not do do. Do keep up

  • Graham

    Funny how he’s a top ref when decisions go your way. You use the word excessive which according to the laws of game is a red card. Do keep up.

  • Mark

    Funny how you whinge and moan when you lose. Boo hoo we might have sneaked a point if the naughty man had sent that nasty player off for tackling. You embarrass yourself every time you post. Going to be a tough season and even tougher if the manager and players can’t handle a tough tackle. Clearly in your desperation you have read the rules so i will rephrase “excessive enough” for the correct decision of a booking as agreed by everyone other than whinging Geordies in denial. Clear enough for you. Enjoy the season

  • JohnJoseph

    This week’s UTD111 award for “Embarrassing Post of the Week” goes to:

    [Drum Roll]


    Congratulations. You win my booklet “Rules of Football For Dummies”


  • Mark

    I’m honoured. It has been a pleasure to read comments by Geordies crying about a foul that only they saw as a sending off. Beating Newcastle is obviously pretty irrelevant, but watching their fans bleat is very enjoyable. More please.

  • MickG

    Surely you meant “beating Newcastle is quite rare, they usually do the double over us in recent years”
    Guess we’ll just win the away leg of our double this year!

  • LeroyGibbs

    I used to have a degree of respect for totts fans – but can’t believe their refusal here to accept that “Harry” is capable of thuggery?
    The camera doesn’t lie.