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New club comments show absolutely nothing has changed in stance on Matty Longstaff contract situation

4 months ago
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The Matty Longstaff contract was once again on the agenda yesterday.

Steve Bruce at his pre-Sheffield United press conference on Friday, talking about the situation.

The words from the Newcastle United Head Coach sounding very familiar.

Back in early March in his press conference before playing Southampton, Newcastle’s last game before football was suspended, Steve Bruce had plenty to say about the Matty Longstaff contract situation.

Back then in early March there was almost four months left to put a genuine market rate contract in front of Matty Longstaff, instead Bruce delivered what was clearly a prearranged script (see below) on behalf of Mike Ashley..

Under Mike Ashley, if players are not willing to sign new deals, it is always a greedy player and not the club unwilling to pay the going market rate that the player would get elsewhere.

Steve Bruce saying about Matty Longstaff: ‘I hope that it’s just a purely football decision. That the kid sees this is his hometown club.

Steve Bruce on whether the contract offer from the club is a good and fair one: ‘Absolutely, totally, completely. I hope he thinks about his career pathway rather than anything else at the moment. I am sure that there are people in his ear…I hope he just looks at it as a football career. At the end of the day, if you have a successful career money will find you.’

Absolutely shameful, if Steve Bruce was saying this privately to Matty Longstaff about his career and money, playing for hometown club etc then fine.

However, what possible reason was there be to be doing this in public? Steve Bruce could just say that both sides hope to come to an agreement soon and they both want him to stay at the club etc etc.

The only reason for going public like this was for Bruce to yet again do Mike Ashley’s dirty work, making out it is the player being greedy, rather than just wanting the going rate.

As for it being his hometown club, obviously both Longstaff brothers are desperate to play for Newcastle BUT why should they have to accept a worse contract to do so?

What kind of a message does it send out to other young players at Newcastle? Sean and Matty coming through and doing well on the pitch, only for the club to treat them like this.

Newcastle United have had three decent prospects come through in recent years. Lewis Gibson left to go to Everton, Matty Longstaff is set to leave now, whilst Sean Longstaff has been offered unacceptable terms as well, his current deal was signed before he had played a minute of Premier League football and his contract will reflect that. He has now made 38 first team appearances since signing this current deal 18 months ago, including 30 in the Premier League. He is the same age as Allan Saint-Maximin but probably getting something  like 10% of what he is earning.

Mike Ashley should get these contracts sorted for the two brothers ASAP and in the meantime stop sending out Steve Bruce to accuse them of greed, as he did yet again yesterday, rather than just wanting fair deals.

Steve Bruce talking about Matty Longstaff contract situation yesterday (19 June 2020):

“I have had a conversation with him and I’m sure there will be other people outside, having other conversations with him.

“I know that the club have offered him a fantastic contract, for a young player who has just burst onto the scene.

“So mine is all about the opportunity and what’s in front of him on his career path, I have been the one that put him in the team, gave him his debut.

“It was wonderful how he took it but he is a young player who is not a first team regular.

“I am desperate for him to stay.

“He is a Newcastle boy, he is Newcastle through and through. let’s hope we can get it over the line, let’s hope Matty thinks the same way too.

“I’m sure there are other influences outside the club which might be saying otherwise.

“In my opinion, this is the club for him, he’s seen a way through very quickly.

“Let’s hope he can commit to it.

“We hope he is going to commit himself to Newcastle going forward.

“I’m sure his head might be turned by this, that or the other, and we have to convince him on the football side that his future should lie here.”

This is exactly what Steve Bruce was saying (see below) three months ago, nothing has changed.

Still going on about the player’s head being turned by others, suggesting that Matty Longstaff is being the unreasonable one, not Mike Ashley / Newcastle United.

Clearly there has been no change in the club’s outlook in the course of these last three months, still an expectation that Matty Longstaff should sign an inferior contract at NUFC because he is a Newcastle fan, compared to the market rate that he would be paid elsewhere.

Steve Bruce says about Matty Longstaff needing to think about the football but he hasn’t got on a PL pitch since the draw at Everton five months ago. Dropped to make way for Nabil Bentaleb who has been really poor, a midfielder who hasn’t scored a goal in club football, apart from penalties, since 2016.

Matty Longstaff has scored two goals in six PL starts (three in ten starts in all competitions) in a team that can’t score goals. Indeed since Matty Longstaff played in that Everton 2-2 draw on 21 January when Lejeune scored those two very late goals, Newcastle have only scored one Premier League goal in over seven and a half hours of PL football, that late ASM winner against 10 men Southampton.

Steve Bruce back on 6 March 2020 talking to BBC Newcastle:

“With Sean [Longstaff] there is not a huge concern anyway because he is tied up for the next couple of years anyway.

“The big one everybody is talking about is young Matty.

“I hope that we can convince him that this is the place to be.

“We all want him to stay.

“But the player these days has got that prerogative, that he can leave his contract and do what he wants to do.

“So we have to be mindful of that too.

“I hope that it’s just a purely football decision.

“That the kid sees this is his hometown club.

“He has had a wonderful breakthrough, now the next step.

“If I was him and the advice I’d give to him was, you know, at 19 I’m playing in the Premier League.

“So it is all about football and at the minute it should be about football.”

Steve Bruce asked on 6 March 2020 about Matty Longstaff contract situation and whether the NUFC Head Coach thinks the player has had a good offer from the club:

“Absolutely, totally, completely.

“I hope he thinks about his career pathway rather than anything else at the moment.

“That is what he should be focused on.

“Of course it is a concern and I just hope that he looks at it as a football decision.

“I am sure that there are people in his ear…

“I hope he just looks at it as a football career.

“At the end of the day, if you have a successful career money will find you.

‘He is a 19 year old who has done very well.

“Tell me another 19 year old who has played in the Premier League this year?

“Not many and I have made big decisions around him, left people out to play him.

“I hope that he finds a conclusion with the club, I really do, we all want him to stay but players have this prerogative.”

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