Understandably, most of the attention after Newcastle’s win at the weekend was on the team they beat.
But for the moment – because let’s face it, they probably won’t have many more chances to get praise this season – let’s just be nice about Steve Bruce’s side.
Our panelists did just that on the Totally Football Show this week.
“Before we really start hammering Manchester United, you’ve got to take your hat off to Steve Bruce, throwing the youngsters in there in such a big game,” began Emma Saunders.
The victory at least in part came about thanks to a change in approach by Bruce.
“He said in the week “I’ve tried Steve Bruce tactics, now I’m going back to Rafa Benitez tactics,” said Daniel Storey. “I’m not sure Steve Bruce tactics are Brazil 1970, free-flowing football, but he was right to do it.
“The thing with Manchester United at the moment is if you frustrate them, they get frantic, and they just throw men forwards to solve a problem nobody can solve, then you pick them off. Which is exactly what Newcastle did.”
And it sounds like Michael Cox has a new favourite player.
“Newcastle do have attacking threats. I think Allan Saint-Maximin is the most exciting player in the Premier League at the moment. He’s incredibly fast, incredibly direct but he doesn’t seem to quite have control over where he’s going.
“It was great to see Matty Longstaff score. Apart from the goal, he had a really good game – the two of them in midfield were just much better than Fred and Scott McTominay. The goal was against the run of play, Man United was just building some pressure, but I don’t think the win was undeserved.”
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