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Opinion

I have to agree with Steve Bruce decision to drop star Newcastle United man at Norwich

1 month ago
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An interesting insight into the Steve Bruce team selection ahead of today match at Norwich.

The Times revealing that the Head Coach has left Sean Longstaff out of his starting line-up.

They say that Ki Sung-yeung is to replace the 21 year old, keeping his three man central midfield with Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey.

Last Sunday saw much of the post-match focus centred on Newcastle’s central midfielders.

Jonjo Shelvey forced off with a knock on 54 minutes and replacing him in midfield with Jetro Willems, then two minutes later changing his mind and putting the Dutch defender on the left as a wing-back.

Confusion reigning as a number of players didn’t know where exactly they should be playing, which helped lead to Arsenal’s winner.

Things got even worse as Newcastle lost any shape whatsoever as Sean Longstaff was replaced in the 67th minute by Allan Saint-Maximin. Newcastle going from three central midfielders to only one (Hayden), due to Bruce’s ridiculous decision to leave Ki out of the squad and instead have four defenders no midfielders on the bench.

The Times says that Ki has spoken out about being left out and you can hardly blame him, hopefully we see a good response from the South Korean today.

Nothing will convince me that Steve Bruce was a logical choice for Newcastle United but assuming The Times are proved right, I will have a little bit more respect for Bruce.

The Head Coach gave an interview to BBC Newcastle yesterday (see below) and in it, he talked at length about having to look after Sean Longstaff due to his youth and injury he is recovering from.

The likes of Alan Pardew would just play anybody without considering the longer-term potential consequences, a number of times players ended up being out far longer when risks were taking and playing them, only to pick up worse injuries.

So far better to look after Sean Longstaff at this point early in the season even though Norwich is such an important game even at this stage. Plus, Longstaff has still only started nine Premier League matches so using him sparingly at the minute can give him a chance to find his feet again this season.

Steve Bruce talking to BBC Newcastle on Friday (16 August 2019):

“I think it’s vitally important that I have to be careful with the lad (Sean Longstaff).

“The first time in his life he has shot to fame very very quickly, as well as having to deal with a difficult injury.

“I think we are going to have to be a little bit patient because it is probably the first time he has had to deal with one (a bad injury).

“He was still a little bit careful in pre-season and that is going to be ongoing for a little while.

“Yes he is back on the grass but he has to get back to feeling normal again because sometimes when you have an injury, especially an awful one, it doesn’t feel normal for a while.

“He is going  through that period at the moment but he will be fine.”

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