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Report – Steve Bruce To Drop Sean Longstaff For Norwich

Sean Longstaff was a bit off the pace in last week’s game against Arsenal. There are a few possible explanations for this.

The team as a whole are still trying to gel as a unit while they get familiar with the new 3-5-2 formation. The most glaring reason could be that it was Sean’s first competitive match since suffering his severe knee injury.

Steve Bruce made the following comments to BBC Newcastle’s Matthew Raisbeck about his young midfielder and his return to full fitness.

From these comments, it seems like Bruce is thinking about taking a more cautious approach with Longstaff. While he does not directly mention dropping him in his interview, he suggests the importance of being careful with Sean.

Martin Hardy in the Times is reporting that Steve Bruce will, in fact, drop the 22-year-old midfielder at Carrow Road this afternoon.

This comes, initially, as a shock since many would consider Sean one of the first names on the team sheet. Bruce’s preferred formation also consists of a three-man midfield, and the squad only has five midfielders registered.

However, if you really take some time let the news sink in, it really shouldn’t come as too big of a shock. Sean is still very young and inexperienced with only 10 Premier League games under his belt.

He has come off of a severe knee injury that, while it may have healed physically, will still constantly be preying on Sean mentally. Therefore, easing him back into the first team could prove to be the best approach for him in the longterm.

We will have to see if Bruce does, in fact, start Sean from the bench today against Norwich. Also what that would do to the formation.

Bruce could be contemplating using a 3-4-3 against the Canaries, thus sacrificing Sean for another forward. Or he may just stick with the same formation and bring the very experienced Ki Sung-yueng in for Sean for what is a big game for Newcastle.

If he does add the extra attacker, we would hope that Allan Saint-Maximin is fully fit to come into the first eleven. However, if he is still struggling with his hamstring problem, then Yoshinori Muto may be the man to come in.

40 comments so far

  • Nostradamus " Mike Ashley The Clown "

    Aug 17, 2019 at 9:53 AM

    Comment #1

    Did I beat Irish Rob

  • Nostradamus " Mike Ashley The Clown "

    Aug 17, 2019 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #2

    Yeah baby!!!!!

  • IrishRob

    Aug 17, 2019 at 9:54 AM

    Comment #3

    Yes you did!

  • #BoycottAshley ( OP)

    Aug 17, 2019 at 9:56 AM

    Comment #4

    Willems and Krafth in CM it is

  • TomaKaThor

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:00 AM

    Comment #5

    I hope he does and reverts to a 4-3-3, with Saint Max and Willems, everyone is slaughtering Willems but it wasnt a great pass t him and if we didnt concede from it we wouldnt be talking about it…Schar made countless poor passes and one or two of them could of easily cost us…Schar is a bang average defender so if his passing and work rate are like last week he wouldnt be starting if we had a fully fit squad in my eyes.


    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #6

    Cant see why willems should be gettin stick tbh…. absolutely crap ball played to him and it was his first game,so he’s hardly ganna be sharp with new team mates,really whoever tried the pass(dummett maybe? ) Should’ve been smarter played a safer ball to someone else…coz even if willems had received the ball it was a bit of a dodgy position pass to a new team member to get that ball under pressure,just my opinion like.

  • WLtoon

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:09 AM

    Comment #7

    Bruce is right to drop Longstaff for a few games in my opinion. He clearly is,nt fit and his confidence would be hit if he is struggling.
    Im more than happy with Ki as his replacement.
    Just hoping we don,t start where we left off last week or we are in trouble.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:11 AM

    Comment #8

    The mistake had nothing to do with the pass if Willi wasnt asleep it wouldn’t have happened.
    Schar is most definitely NOT a bang average defender. He had a bang average game, but even in the first half he had some world class tackles.

    More clueless analysis by TomaKa, no surprise there!

  • hibbit

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #9

    isn’t Saint Max injured ??????

  • IrishRob

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:19 AM

    Comment #10

    One of the first things Bruce done as manager was order a truck load of magic sponges. So we should be alright on the injury front I reckon.

  • Jib

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:21 AM

    Comment #11

    St Max felt his hammy in training

  • outside the box

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:24 AM

    Comment #12

    with rafa the injury list was kept to a minimum whether this was due to training, medical staff or selection im not sure but it had a beneficial effect on results ….i hope under brucie this continues

  • TomaKaThor

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:25 AM

    Comment #13

    More? I take it you are the one of the many morons who looks for arguments over the internet and sees his OPINIONS as fact. Bless your little keyboard warrior socks.

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #14

    NUFC Index@NUFC_Index

    #NUFC have failed to win in their last 6 away Premier League games against Norwich (L4, D2, W0) since winning their first match in the competition against them in January 1994.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:30 AM

    Comment #15

    Less is more Toma, less is more!!

  • count

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #16

    Jesus. Wondered how long it would be before the phrase “bang average” started insidiously weedling its way into the blog idiolect. Are we all from fckn Essex now or something?

    Bang average? Fckn sh¡te.

  • IrishRob

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #17

    Count blame Toma, it’s his fault! He should apologise too.

  • Vask

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #18


    Final League Position 15th
    Final No. of Points 41
    League Cup Round 2nd
    FA Cup Round 4th
    Player of the Season Almiron
    Top Goal Scorer Carrol
    No. of Goals for Top Goal Scorer 8

  • TomaKaThor

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:41 AM

    Comment #19

    We will see if that sheep mentality ever leaves you if Schar has a bad season, i wonder if it will be similiar to Kennedy and the majority wanting to splash 30 million on him and then what happened…thickle… Go with the opinions of the masses ay

    And as i said i wouldnt start Schar IF his passing and work rate was like last week, anyway il leave you to attack the next person over the internet, i have seen you have a tendacy for it, its all some people have in this world:)

  • Australian Pie

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:44 AM

    Comment #20

    Would be absolutely fine with Longstaff being on bench and either Ki or St max coming in, personally would start with Ki and then if losing or drawing at half time get Ki or Shelvey off for St Max, if winning. Bringing Longstaff on for shelvey

  • IrishRob

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:45 AM

    Comment #21

    He will be saying Reem next!! Lol

  • Australian Pie

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #22

    Schar is a quality defender just had a bad game can see him being a huge part of our team for the next 5 years

  • fairscup

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:48 AM

    Comment #23


    Kraftwerk Lasc Fernan Dumm

    St Max Hay Shel Ritch

    Joe Migs

    Attack Attack Attack

  • IrishRob

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #24

    Exactly ozzy!! Well said. Toma isn’t able to see these things so instead he will accuse you of attacking him.

  • fairscup

    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:57 AM

    Comment #25

    Well said count @16, soon we will be saying “smashed it”


    Aug 17, 2019 at 10:59 AM

    Comment #26

    St max myt be out injured and if shelvey and longstaff not 100%,ki should start in the middle with Hayden,would like to see kraft start but i think manquillo will het the nod as he has more premier league experience,yedlin myt of got the nod ahead of manquillo but think he’s still injured…almiron will start with joelinton and ritchie at left wing back…if we play 3 cbs….norwich are not great defenders but create chances….high scoring game i think today 3-2 toon

  • fairscup

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #27

    Or “So” at the beginning of every sentance

  • count

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #28

    So, Bruce starts him in a big season opener against Arsenal, then comes out with this “need to be careful with him” tripe. The way he is talking so much crap, the squad will soon lose respect for him. Wish he’d just shut up.

  • Markaccus

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #29

    I can’t see Bruce switching to 4 at the back. It wouldn’t be “reverting” because he’s never played 4 at the back since he got here. He favours 352. The only change I’d like is to make one of the Cms an attacking one. (more like a 3412)

  • count

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:05 AM

    Comment #30

    Haha “so”

  • Markaccus

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:12 AM

    Comment #31

    If longstaff is dropped and St Max injured, the mf/fw line up could be…

  • Munster Mag

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:28 AM

    Comment #32

    Hayden has become the most imporrant player we have. Hope he doesnt get hurt!

  • fairscup

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:30 AM

    Comment #33

    Yea Munster, love the way he tackles, old school

  • Oldgit1

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:46 AM

    Comment #34

    People saying that Longstaff is injured. Could it be his head is not in the right place. He has had a move to Manu snatched away from him including a huge salary. He has also lost his mentor in Rafa. An injury which he admitted to be a borderline career breaker. A lot there to deal with for such a young lad.

    Hopes he pulls it round.

  • toon22

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #35

    It hasn’t taken long for the clubs injury problems to return

  • Big Archie

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:52 AM

    Comment #36

    How very sad the fans are already having a go at the players and the manager and we’re only one game in.

    Willems was asleep and was beaten to a ball he should never have been beaten to. He made one mistake and we paid for it. Lets move on.

    Longstaff is obviously not match fit.

    We’re so used to Schar and his signature mazy runs, and him even scoring, poor lad can’t have an average day without getting slated.

    Dummet was playing so far out of his normal position I reckon he’s never had to play a pass out to the left that hard in his life.

    It was the first game of the season against the Arse and the teams first competitive game together, playing in a new formation and with a new manager. Did anybody really expect us to do any better than we did?

    We got into the habit with Rafa of going into games fearing mediocre opponents because we knew how Rafa would set up. Fans used to fantasize about playing 2 up front when Rafa was in charge. Well Brucie’s going to do it, and personally I’m a lot more confident of our chances.

    3-1 win for the Toon.

  • Jimmy Mac74

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:57 AM

    Comment #37

    Last weeks goal was a failing on multiple levels…

    The pass to Willems was a bad choice and poorly executed.
    Willems lack of reaction to pass was bad
    At this point the play was about half way line and we had numbers back. We should have been able to cope but the Lascalles went awol and tried to cover Arsenal players who were already accounted for by other defenders. This left PEA wide open for a tap in.

    Failure on many levels. Willems seems to be getting most of the stick, but JL was equally as poor in my opinion.

  • Lascelles sells sea shells by the sea shore

    Aug 17, 2019 at 11:58 AM

    Comment #38

    I like your thoughts at 29, I’d like to see on of our more pragmatic and creative midfield players deployed in the hole behind the strikers, if we are gonna play 3 in the middle of like to see one further up behind the strikers in a free attacking role but dropping into midfield when we are defending.

    So it’s a 3412 attacking and a 532 when defending, both shapes allow to morph into each other, the problem with this is I just don’t have the confidence that Bruce could implement this with what I can only describe was antiquated training techniques, he may well be liked by the players, this doesn’t necessarily mean he is a good coach/manager… It all comes down to how he can express his ideologies onto the current squad, I worry about language barriers now when explaining tactics… We have a dearth of talent that speak different tongues, this is the biggest loss regarding benitez, he spoke multiple languages, and so did his staff so messages were more difficult to lose intranslatio. With players that aren’t fluent in English yet… Steve Bruce’s team are all British and only speak English to the best of my knowledge… I’m not knocking Bruce or bigging him up, I’m only trying to point out factual differences that are important to EPL clubs

  • Lascelles sells sea shells by the sea shore

    Aug 17, 2019 at 12:05 PM

    Comment #39

    And regarding the loss of possession for the goal at arsenal, the hat wasn’t an individual error, that was a bad period of play by the whole team which came from the dug out. After the positional changes the management should have been sending a message onto the pitch to play safe and composed until we found out shape again, putting square pegs in round holes because the squad selection (I mean the bench in general here) was all wrong. Bruce wanting to put a player into midfield because that’s where he played last season is a load of balls imo… Did Bruce ever see him play CM for Frankfurt before deciding to throw him in out of position? I feel he knew he had played there previously and tried a sticking plaster only to change his mind post substitution to add to the disarray that his lack of knowledge caused

  • Ron Knee

    Aug 17, 2019 at 12:11 PM

    Comment #40

    Newcastle United FC@NUFC

    8′ – GOAL – Newcastle United Under-23s 1 (Jamie Sterry) West Ham United Under-23s 0

    The young Magpies take an early lead at Whitley Park as Sterry fires a low effort into the left-hand corner! #NUFC


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