Steve Bruce got the response he required after Newcastle’s horror show last week as they bounced back with a win over Manchester United.
We reflect on Matty Longstaff’s dream debut …
At what point does enough become enough at Old Trafford?
We could copy and paste the same problems we wrote about after United’s lost at West Ham last month here.
The big issue is that at least on that occasion, the Red Devils were beaten by a decent top half side.
Points at FT:
– Utd playing like relegation candidates
– Not even doing basics right
– Awful midfield, Fred so so bad
– No movement up front
– 11 away games without a win
– Ole’s tactics… what are they?
– Tuanzebe the only plus
– This team is making me hate football 😡 pic.twitter.com/elGYt6WEMH
— The Peoples Person (@PeoplesPerson_) October 6, 2019
This time, they were second best and created little (a Harry Maguire sitter from a corner aside) against a side who were at their lowest ebb after a 5-0 thrashing at Leicester.
Their woeful away run since Paris has continued and they showed zero signs of improvement.
They gave no indication after going a goal behind that they’d turn it around – something unthinkable in years gone by.
This lethargy and stagnation has gone on too long.
If fans on Tyneside are in for a tough battle against the drop, then at least make it entertaining.
Steve Bruce can do that by playing Allan Saint-Maximin every week. No ifs, no buts. If he is fit, he must play.
The winger can frustrate at times but he’s so exciting with the ball at his feet and gives a sense that he’s going to pull a rabbit out of the hat, which few others do.
Diogo Dalot was put in all sorts of trouble against him and he kept the St James’ Park faithful on the edge of their seat.
Me when Saint-Maximin does literally anything pic.twitter.com/Ekyq34fogx
— Adam. (@AdamNUFC_) October 6, 2019
There’s not been enough fun or joy to be had at Newcastle lately but the flashy Frenchman does provide that.
After all it was his good work which led to the winning goal.
As for Miguel Almirón, he simply must be dropped after more missed chances and an embarrassing dive.
Enough has been written about this woeful United side that Newcastle deserve some praise.
Dark clouds hung over the club all week following their humiliating Leicester loss but they parted after a massive morale-boosting win.
19 – With what was their first shot on target of the match, Mathew Longstaff has become the youngest player to score on their Premier League debut for Newcastle United (19y 199d). Arrival. #NEWMNU pic.twitter.com/dwreSAGy7n
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 6, 2019
They did it thanks to a feel-good, positive story at the heart of it all, literally in this case.
Sean and Matty Longstaff became the youngest Premier League brother duo to start a game together since United’s Neville pairing in the ’90s.
Starting alongside your brother in the heat of the battle in midfield is one thing.
Longstaff brothers to lead England to European glory next summer.
— Hunter Godson (@HunterGodson) October 6, 2019
For the younger sibling to then go on and score the winner on his debut with a sweetly-struck drive …
Let’s just say we haven’t seen a script like it since Santiago Muñez’s time on Tyneside.