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Bruce Mulls New Role For Midfielder Given More ‘Freedom’ At Oxford


Sean Longstaff had by far his best performance of the season last night at Oxford. That is very encouraging because we also saw an improved display when he came on against Norwich on Saturday.

It’s been a struggle all season long for Sean who has not hit the heights of last season when he broke into the Newcastle first team. Last night, the young midfielder was outstanding, and hopefully, this performance will see him kick on for the rest of the campaign.

Bruce had the 22-year-old playing in a more advanced role, and the freedom really seemed to suit Sean. The Chronicle have published the following comments from Steve Bruce about Sean’s performance last night.

“He had a serious knee injury towards the back end of last season. People tend to forget that. He’ll learn how to cope with that.

“Today we gave him a bit of freedom and gave me food for thought because we know he can score a goal. We’ve seen that in training enough.

“We gave him that little bit of freedom, and I think he enjoyed it and he put in his best performance of the season by a million miles.”

Sean needs to follow up this performance by showing some consistency moving forward. He’s a much better player than he’s shown so far this season.

Maybe playing in a more advanced role is where Bruce can get the best out of the young Geordie.

Who Was The Man Of The Match In Win At Oxford?

  • Sean Longstaff (32%, 854 )
  • A. Saint-Maximin (31%, 822 )
  • Jamaal Lascelles (14%, 373 )
  • Miguel Almiron (10%, 274 )
  • Nabil Bentaleb (4%, 95 )
  • Joelinton (3%, 78 )
  • Matty Longstaff (3%, 69 )
  • Karl Darlow (1%, 29 )
  • Matt Ritchie (1%, 16 )
  • DeAndre Yedlin (1%, 14 )
  • Ciaran Clark (0%, 9 )
  • Christian Atsu (0%, 9 )
  • Florian Lejeune (0%, 6 )
  • Isaac Hayden (0%, 5 )
  • Fabian Schar (0%, 4 )

Total Voters: 2,657

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44 comments so far

  • Lee Charnley Bunga Party

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:19 PM

    Comment #1

    Sean looked so much better because Bentaleb and Matty always seemed to be in space for him to pass too having 2 in the middle means teams were just pressing Sean who would hold onto the ball waiting for someone to give the ball too!

    Bentaleb’s movement impresses me always seems to find space that allows him to have a little time on the ball to pick a pass does the simple pass as well rather than the hollywood which keeps us ticking over

    7
  • hibbit

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:33 PM

    Comment #2

    Our next 4 games

    Arsenal (a)
    Palace (a)
    Burnley (h)
    Southampton (a)

    2
  • lochinvar

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #3

    Difference was that Oxford probably gave our midfielders a tad more time to play the ball than Premier League players so that helped our cause.
    Against Norwich we seemed to fail to create the much vaunted triangle which gives players the option of an inside pass into midfield which was missing when we were stuck on the touchlines. That’s a position that Shlevey often fills and I was puzzled why Bruce hadn’t really instructed maybe Hayden or Bentalab to be more active in that position. It opens up the game rather than resulting in the inevitable throw in which creates a stalemate as most players then get back into position.

    2
  • lochinvar

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:37 PM

    Comment #4

    hibbitt
    Eight points worth ?

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #5

    it’s not going to be easy

    10 Arsenal 31
    11 Burnley 31
    12 Newcastle 31
    13 Southampton 31
    14 Crystal Palace 30

    3
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:39 PM

    Comment #6

    Ron Knee, yes, mate – the cat whose perilous, box-constrained state cannot be determined as it cannot be observed, therefore it exists in multiple states in space time simultaneously. It is, logically speaking, both alive and dead, until the box is opened and the cat can be observed directly.

    I thought it was a canny analogy for the state of the Sheikhover.

    Quantum superposition might be a little heavy for this blog. Hell, it might even be redlined like p o l i t i c s

    6
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:42 PM

    Comment #7

    “Hell, it might even be redlined like p o l i t i c s”

    Better not go there, but tempting…

    3
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #8

    hibbit, I could see us drawing with every one of those, but it’s more likely we’ll win one, lose one and draw a couple.

    4-5 points a decent return, I think, though it will dent our European ambitions…..

    😉

    2
  • Australian Pie

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #9

    Interesting next 4 fixtures with where the teams sit, will be make or break for if we pushing for our best season in a long time or scratching away at points until the end

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:43 PM

    Comment #10

    Ashley wont be liking that

    ” Letting the cat out of the bag or out of the box is a colloquialism meaning to reveal facts previously hidden. The facts were usually hidden from a specific target audience or theatrical audience. Examples include: revealing a conspiracy (friendly or not) to its target.”

    3
  • Australian Pie

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:44 PM

    Comment #11

    Really enjoyed some of ASM and miggys play when they got closer together.

    0
  • Australian Pie

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #12

    3 of them away is the tricky point, would be happy with 4 points from those four.

    2
  • WLtoon

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:45 PM

    Comment #13

    Jim White claiming a bid is on the table on TS today. He must be the only one privy to that nonsense. Cant help thinking he is in cohorts with the Fatman to try and sell STs.

    4
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:48 PM

    Comment #14

    Is Schroedinger’s cat a conspiracy theory?

    For God’s sake, don’t tell the cat – it’s already confused enough about whether it’s dead or not!

    2
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2020 at 12:58 PM

    Comment #15

    Can’t imagine any rumours of takeovers will have any effect on ST sales any longer. Once maybe, but the Geordie public is forewarned and forearmed.

    The only thing that will help season ticket sales will be an actual sale, big investment in players or form on the pitch.

    Ashley may be unwilling to do the first two and has no direct control over the latter, so should just do the first.

    At the end of the day, it’s not his club, he’s just the custodian, the people who the club actually belongs to have told him to do one, it’s time he listened.

    5
  • Ron Knee

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:02 PM

    Comment #16
  • WLtoon

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:03 PM

    Comment #17

    Agree, 10k half ST give aways tells the whole story really. he is at the point of no return.

    2
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:08 PM

    Comment #18

    Well lads, I bid you all farewell, see you soon carltoon et al. Be nice everybody, a few red wines and a valium I’m out of here 😀

    4
  • Jail for Ashley

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:09 PM

    Comment #19

    *And lasses and the non binary members 😮

    3
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #20

    Is Jail BA Baracus?

    😉

    Have a good holiday

    1
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #21

    Bloody cheek, too heavy for the blog indeed.

    What I’d like to know is more about the cat, is it male or female what sort of cat is it, what’s it’s colour, if it’s a female was it pregnant before being stuffed into the box in which it could be scratchdingers cats, is it even a cat or possibly a Meercat. So many unanswered questions and of course the most important one, is it actually a shill, the important fans demand to know?

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:12 PM

    Comment #22

    stay safe jail enjoy your trip 😀

    1
  • c-dog

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:13 PM

    Comment #23

    the serious knee injury has been a blip in his progression
    it’s a matter of fact that he has the potential to be a star
    i’d have had more confidence with rafa managing his progression
    but it’s brucey who has the reins, let’s see if he has it

    0
  • c-dog

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:17 PM

    Comment #24

    with jails departure munster breaths a sigh of relief as jails focus will now switch to the LBs
    enjoy my friend

    1
  • DaveD1000

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:18 PM

    Comment #25

    How did they get the cat in the box? mine disappears as soon we try to do anything like that

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:19 PM

    Comment #26

    c-dog
    i’d have had more confidence with rafa managing his progression

    Really ?

    Rafa would want a bigger contribution in defending and curb his natural game

    1
  • Jib

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:20 PM

    Comment #27

    Left Backs or Lady Boys ?

    3
  • c-dog

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:25 PM

    Comment #28

    Jib

    Possibly. I guess my rationale was based on him having previously managed Gerrard who I see as a perfect role model for Longstaff.

    1
  • hibbit

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #29

    did any ever visit Singapore’s Bugis Street in the 70s ??

    0
  • c-dog

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #30

    jib

    Left Backs of course
    We’re in bad need of permanent one

    😉

    0
  • Charlie in the Gallowgate

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:26 PM

    Comment #31

    JoeLinton looked much better with someone Longstaffe buzzing around him
    Need to take that into the Arsenal game if Joe fit

    2
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:30 PM

    Comment #32

    Any news on Joelintons injury, it was speculated to be a broken rib.

    From the tinternet
    “Lifting should be avoided for 3-4 weeks minimum. After this you may take part in light exercise as your pain allows. Contact sports should be avoided for at least 6 weeks to avoid rib fractures failing to heal and therefore delaying recovery.”

    So he could be out for around two months.

    1
  • Essex Geordie Bill

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #33

    Pity Tom Allan didn’t get on but I suppose the game was too tight at the end to take a chance!

    2
  • Jib

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:35 PM

    Comment #34

    Lee Mason the ref for Arsenal

    0
  • Jib

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #35

    The place Joelinton was rubbing it looked more like a hip flexor strain

    1
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #36

    When Sean Lobby was about to break through into the first team, there was a few on here advocating it including me and EGB – his performances for the U23s had been really good, but he played his best football as an attacking midfielder, with plenty of goals for the U23s and whenever he went out on loan.

    He scored 3 in 16 for Kilmarnock, along with 6 in 11 (3 assists) for the U23s in 2016-2017. At Blackpool, he played on loan the full season and scored 8 goals in 42 matches with 5 assists.

    So, when he was put into the first team squad, the big question I and others were asking was ‘why is he being used as a defensive midfielder?’

    I was delighted to see him further up the field last night, he will score goals for us and he will provide chances for others.

    3
  • Australian Pie

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:48 PM

    Comment #37

    Anyone else seen that Joselu is 4th highest scorer in La Liga, only Benzema, Messi and Suarez have more hahaha

    4
  • crawfordm

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:50 PM

    Comment #38

    By his own statements Bruce should warrant respect for what he has achieved in the game ??? Yet every manager changes formations and tactics and out does him ? Last night before extra time Robinson had his team in a huddle and was giving a rousing speech. Bruce was walking around looking like Forrest Gump and patting people on the shoulder. My god what do we have ????

    5
  • RobLeenio

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:52 PM

    Comment #39

    Oxford United fan giving ASM a hard time just as he’s about to score – great reaction.

    https://twitter.com/ToonPolls/status/1225049829530898432

    It helps that he’s about 13, teenagers being so lovely these days

    😉

    3
  • Jib

    Feb 5, 2020 at 1:55 PM

    Comment #40

    crawfordm
    My god what do we have ????

    Some right miserable negative fcukers posting on this blog

    That’s what we have

    5

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