To be fair, you can see where they were coming from.
Shelvey offered little in the way of defensive work, and seemed to spend most of the opening 45 aimlessly trotting around the centre of the park.
With Brighton having the majority of possession, the 27-year-old failed to really have his desired impact on the game, and he was unable to distribute with his usual vision and precision.
In fact, there were multiple occasions in which Shelvey looked to be entirely devoid of ideas, instead just hoofing balls into space in the hope that he might find a willing runner.
Understandably, many Toon fans weren’t best pleased.
Here are some of the best tweets from supporters.
This is absolutely woeful. Zero energy and conceding all over the pitch to Brighton. Shelvey atrocious so far.
Whenever Shelvey plays, it's like we have ten men. Scared to tackle, backs off, does nowt! #nufc
— Kaoskev (@Kaoskev1) September 21, 2019
Shelvey needs to be dropped, basically forever… midfield is absoliate trash #NUFC
— John (@Klamachpin88) September 21, 2019
The big draw of Shelvey’s game has always been his passing ability – last year Sky Sports pundit Tony Cottee said he was the best passer of the ball in England.
The fact that he has the capability to play as a deep-lying quarterback, pinging balls into all sorts of areas, has always made him exactly the kind 0f play who can turn a game on its head.
To be fair to him, he has played that role okay enough this season.
Disappointingly, however, he has managed just one key pass per match, and that means that the vast majority of his contribution is ultimately pointless.
Shelvey is drifting around like a ghost.Can see a Brighton goal coming #NEWBRI
— MSW (@Toonattics) September 21, 2019
shelvey playing tragic again
— James Brodie (@JamesBrodie04) September 21, 2019
More tellingly, however, is the fact that he has made just 0.7 tackles per game, as per Whoscored, but has been dribbled past on 1.3 occasions per game.
Throw just one successful dribble per match into the mix, and you get the distinct impression of a player who does little but stand around, spraying passes about.
When that works, wonderful, but at the moment it isn’t, and because of that he must do more.
As athletic as this team is we need to press. I mean, Shelvey is a problem, but sitting back and waiting for Brighton to roast Dummett seems foolish. https://t.co/qwDANyBF0z
— de koonk (@de_Koonk) September 21, 2019
Look at shelvey man.. The bloke literally can't run.. Absolute waste of space #NUFC
— Gimpa (@markytoonlad) September 21, 2019