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Opinion

The four letter word Newcastle fans were shouting on Sunday against Manchester United

2 weeks ago
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Newcastle fans had a new hero to shout about on Sunday.

Local lad Matty Longstaff giving a great all-round performance that was topped by that beauty of a goal.

Manchester United might have been rubbish but so what?

They have beaten NUFC plenty of times when we have been rubbish, so who cares?

The 19 year old midfielder might have scored the winner and picked up the man of the match award but this victory was built on far more than that.

If we are honest, it was’t really down to a much improved footballing display.

It isn’t a criticism, just a fact.

Newcastle did have their moments but yet again it was a game with predominantly defending and when United (the proper one that was around long before the Manchester one) did have the ball, they yet again struggled to create chances and indeed hold onto the ball.

Instead, this win was built on excellent workrate and commitment, plus one other vital ingredient.

That four letter word….pace.

That was the big advantage Newcastle United had over their Manc rivals, pace and mobility.

Matty Longstaff ran more than any other player, you couldn’t have a bigger contrast from say having Shelvey in the team.

He ran all over the opposition never letting them settle and of course that up and down, all over the pitch, energy saw him running onto the ball just outside the Man Utd box in the 72nd minute.

So many times this season we have seen Joelinton and Almiron completely isolated but that wasn’t the case on Sunday.

Arguably all five changes to the team brought more pace and mobility.

As well as Matty Longstaff you had of course Allan Saint-Maximin, his pace speaks for itself and it totally unsettled Manchester United, including when helping to set up the winning goal.

Jetro Willems isn’t fantastically quick but gets up and down the pitch far more than Atsu and of course he was there to get the ASM pass and lay it off for Longstaff’s goal.

Ciaran Clark has more mobility than Paul Dummett and played very well and of course DeAndre Yedlin, pace is his biggest selling point by far. Plus he played far far better than Krafth who has looked woeful.

Miguel Almiron has taken a lot of stick this season, some of it deserved, but when you are usually the only player sprinting in the team, it doesn’t make life easy.

For the winning goal it was he who kept a clear head and picking the ball up very deep on the left in defence he held onto it. Usually he would have seen an isolated Joelinton and a handful of defenders but instead there was ASM who he picked out with a superb pass in the middle of the pitch and the rest is now history.

Newcastle United might not have the best players or team but when using the pace (and mobility) that exists in the squad, just maybe that can be the key to a far better season.

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