Grumbling behind the scenes over the treatment of Newcastle midfielder Matty Longstaff by Steve Bruce looks set to continue after fresh reports from The Athletic detailed how the players are becoming increasingly bemused by the affair.
What’s the story?
Fast-forward to March 2021, and Longstaff has made just 5 appearances in black and white and has not featured in five of Newcastle’s last six match day squads, which is said to have left the player and his squad bewildered.
Joe Willock is said to have been a beneficiary of this, who now fills a crucial midfield pivot in Bruce’s setup.
Longstaff’s youthful dynamism as a hard-working midfielder renders him as a more dogged box-to-box option than Joe Willock.
Whilst his Arsenal loanee counterpart is certainly a bright creative spark, integrating the two together could have an altogether more complimentary effect.
Longstaff is still learning his craft and may not be so positionally aware or as seasoned as other options, but why Longstaff is not even able to make matchday squads at such a watershed moment in Newcastle’s history is baffling.
Perhaps Bruce simply trusts the differing attributes of others and never truly believed Longstaff was capable of regular Premier League football.