Graeme Souness says Jonjo Shelvey went from 'captain to clown in ten seconds' after he was sent off for stamping on Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli on Sunday.

The Newcastle skipper saw red just after the break when, after giving a free kick away, he intentionally stood on Alli's ankle in clear sight of referee Andre Marriner. It was an easy decision and Shelvey ended up taking an early bath.

Poor start for Newcastle on return to top flight

Newcastle was playing their first game in the premiership since May 15, 2016, when ironically they demolished Spurs 5-1.

In the first half, it was rather an even contest with both sides showing their attacking threat. However, shortly after the sending off in the second half, Tottenham found a breakthrough as Dele Alli put the ball in the net, latching on to a nice cross from Eric Dier. Then in the 70th minute, Ben Davies added a second for the London club and ultimately made it too much for Newcastle to come back from even though they had a few efforts later on. Christian Atsu had a shot saved with another just finding the side netting resulting in a comfortable win in the end for Mauricio Pochettino's men.

Problems starting to mount for Benitez already

Rafael Benitez could be forgiven for thinking the loss was, in fact, the least of his worries.

Before having his captain sent off, he had the nightmare of trying to deal with two first-half injuries. Firstly, left back Paul Dummett was forced to go off inside just five minutes after pulling up with a hamstring problem before debutant Florian Lejeune suffered an ankle knock on the half hour mark. After the game, Benitez commented that he believes the pair could be out for a couple of weeks "We have to wait but a couple of weeks, one of them, for sure.

Maybe Dummett. I don't know."

Newcastle's worries continue off the pitch as well with owner Mike Ashley having been criticised in recent weeks for seemingly not supplying his manager with the transfer funds he promised in May. After Newcastle clinched the Championship title at the end of last season, Ashley met with Benitez to discuss immediate pre season plans.

He said in a statement shortly afterwards “I’ve confirmed to Rafa and Lee that they can have every last penny". However, so far this transfer window it's perhaps not been what the Newcastle fans had hoped for. Just five signings have been bought in, two of them free. Compare this to Brighton, the side who finished runners up to the Magpies last term and it's somewhat of a different story. The Seagulls have broken their transfer record twice already and there's still a few weeks to go before the window closes.

Ultimately, Newcastle needs to be doing business a little differently if they are to avoid a second relegation in three seasons.