This is why Mike Ashley owes Sean and Matty Longstaff
Mike Ashley should sort the Longstaff brothers out with new contracts – it’s the least he could do.
For the first time in a long time neither Ashley nor Steve Bruce are dominating the headlines on Tyneside.
Instead, Matty and Sean Longstaff are the talk of the Toon following Newcastle United’s 1-0 home win over Manchester United.
Bruce had been under intense pressure before the game following the club’s 5-0 defeat to Leicester City seven days earlier. The winning goal from Matty Longstaff on what was his Premier League debut has eased some of that pressure. But for how long?
Graeme Souness always said, as United manager, you’re “only two away from a full-on crisis” if you’re not winning games. Benitez was seemingly the exception that proved that rule.
It's a tough club to manage. Rafa Benitez – who was watching the game from China with interest – managed to keep a lid on things for more than three years, which is remarkable, really.
Bruce – who has abandoned, for now, plans to play a more attacking brand of football – made a bold decision to start 19-year-old Matty against Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s side. Newcastle’s head coach deserves credit for a call which got the club a win and changed the narrative, at least for a couple of weeks, on Tyneside.
Newcastle, however, need 10 more wins. It’s just a start. If the Longstaffs, outstanding last weekend, can play like that week in, week out, then the club has a good chance of getting those wins. Sign them up.