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Opinion

Matty Longstaff and his brother are big talking points but should club be relentlessly pushing interviews?

2 months ago
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Matty Longstaff has not surprisingly been the big talking point of the international break.

Newcastle fans hoping it is not just a one-off and that the 19 year old can have a similar influence on upcoming games as he did against Manchester United.

Starting  with Chelsea on Saturday.

The media have obviously been loving it, especially when Matty Longstaff joined brother Sean in the midfield for that win over Man Utd.

We have seen and read a lot of interviews with the two brothers but on the eve of tomorrow’s match, is it really a great idea for Newcastle United to be putting the Longstaffs up for a big interview, inviting all of the journalists into the club for the specially set up event?

The quotes (see below) in all of the newspapers are great and the two brothers come over really well.

However, you do get the overwhelming impression that Mike Ashley and his people are relentlessly milking it, as they do any positive which accidentally happens under his ownership.

Ahead of this Chelsea match, I would have thought the sensible and obvious thing from a football perspective would be to rein it all in, certainly in these days right before the match.

Surely it should be a case of keeping Sean and Matty Longstaff away from the media and just let the sole focus be on the football.

At the end of the day, they are the two youngest players in the team and Matty has only played once in the Premier League, whilst by his own admission, Sean hasn’t been great this season overall.

We only need to look last season when ahead of the game at West Ham there was all the hype, about whether Sean Longstaff should be ahead of Declan Rice in the running for the England squad/team.

At the time Sean Longstaff had only started seven Premier League games…

In that eighth one, the NUFC midfielder hardly got a kick and Declan Rice was man of the match scoring the opening goal, Sean Longstaff subbed with injury and Newcastle already two goals down.

Expectations shouldn’t be piled on such young and inexperienced players, at the minute it should all be about them being helped to do their talking on the pitch.

As I said, all the newspapers are carrying the interview with Sean and Matty Longstaff but these are a few quotes from the one in The Mail:

It is Sean, though, who takes us back to 2011 and a car journey along the Coast Road to the family home in North Shields.

‘The night he was rejected I was in the car with him, and he was crying. From that point, he said nobody is going to be able to do this to me again.

‘He worked so hard. It felt like everything had been building to that moment when he scored. It was unbelievable. Even now, I’m getting a bit emotional talking about it.’

As Sean’s voice wavers, Matty takes over. Mum Michelle was right when she told Sportsmail last week, ‘They’ve always had each other’s back’.

’They pulled me in here and said, “Look, thanks for coming, but we’re not going to keep you”,’ Matty recalls.

‘I walked out crying. When you look back, it probably fired me up to get to where I am. It really p***ed me off. What I’ve done since then, it all comes from that moment.

‘Sean was still in the academy and I’d be here almost every night when he was training. I would have my little ball on the touchline and used to think, “I wish I was playing for Newcastle”.

‘Aged 13 I was back. I had more fire in my belly, I didn’t want to be rejected ever again.’

The goal. It was nil-nil after 72 minutes when the ball rolled into Matty’s path, 25 yards out at the Gallowgate End.

‘I shouted to him, “Just hit it!”,’ says Sean. Hit it he did, beyond David de Gea and into the bottom corner. Cue pandemonium.

‘It fills you with pride. I remember thinking in the tunnel, “This is the best seat in the house, getting to watch Matty walk out for the first time at St James’ Park, as a brother and team-mate”.

‘If you’d told us a year ago this was going to happen, we both would have laughed. It’s crazy.’

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