After a couple of impressive results, things looked like they might just be heading in the right direction for Newcastle. And lo and behold, the Magpies saw any momentum gained in recent weeks go down the drain with a 2-0 defeat away to Southampton.
It was a performance that saw Steve Bruce’s side take another two steps back, and whilst the manager will take a lot of the flak – and rightly so for their lack of attacking intent – there was one man in particular who really let him down: Sean Longstaff.
After returning to the side last week in the win over Everton, it looked like Longstaff had put a marker down and given Bruce no option but to play him for the foreseeable future. And to his credit, the Newcastle boss rewarded his midfielder with some faith and kept him in the line-up for the visit to St Mary’s.
Sadly for him, he delivered anything but the kind of performance he put in against the Toffees. As per Sofascore, he lost possession a staggering 15 times over the course of the game, and lost eight of his twelve total duels too.
The Saints simply ran over him in midfield, and his dilly-dallying on the ball didn’t help his teammates either, leaving them in trouble more often that not.
He failed with both of his attempted dribbles, made no tackles or interceptions whatsoever, and made just 26 passes too. For someone trying to establish himself as a key part of this Newcastle midfield, it was as bad as it gets.
Bruce gave him the opportunity to impress once again, and he let his manager down big time.