By 90Min
August 14, 2017

Rafa Benitez has created doubt over Jonjo Shelvey's future as captain of Newcastle United after his reckless red card for stamping out on Dele Alli. 

With the dismissal clearly weakening the club's chances of getting a result, the eventual 2-0 loss can be attributed to Shelvey and Benitez felt let down by the outburst:

“It’s not me, it is everyone,” Benitez said. “We have been talking about that for a while. He knows he's made a mistake. 

"He apologised but still, we lost the game. He apologised to the dressing room after the game, to everyone. All the effort we put on the pitch was lost because we made a mistake.”

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When asked if Shelvey would retain the captain’s armband, he tersely replied: “We will see in the future. It is too early.” 

It was the skipper that jeopardised Newcastle's chances of a result, as they were, at the time, going toe-to-toe with Tottenham before going down to 10 men. However, Benitez acknowledged the positives that could be drawn from the game, as Newcastle were not easy to roll over:  

“I was happy with the effort of the players and a lot of positives but still, if you want to win games, we can’t lose our focus for just one minute. I think we know we are in the Premier League and we have to do everything really well if we want to win games."

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Benitez had specific criticism for the terrible challenge by Kane in the first half, that ultimately saw Lejeune leave St James’ Park with a protective boot on. 

“I would like to say the tackle from behind of Harry Kane was worse," he added. "The rules are the rules and we pay for that. It is worse. It is more dangerous."

Pochettino disagreed within his press confrence, when asked if the Kane challenge could have seen red. "No, I think it’s different. I saw the action. It was not the same as Shelvey.

"It was different. The ball was there, the ball was on the side, it was completely different and it’s not fair to say that it deserved the same punishment, Harry [Kane] and Shelvey"

Decisions aside, there is absolutely no doubt over Shelvey's dismissal, and Benitez's words seemed filled with both anger and disappointment, unable to divide between the two. 

Should Benitez strip him of the captaincy, it would be a real statement of intent as to where rash decisions at Newcastle will leave you. 

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