Sean Longstaff has launched a passionate defence of Newcastle teammate Joelinton after an apparent lack of respect from Sky Sports interviewer Patrick Davidson.
The Magpies drew 1-1 with Manchester United at St James’ Park on Tuesday night and were unlucky not to claim the win. Indeed, they dominated the game for long periods, but met in David De Gea and in-form barrier that denied them all three points.
Indeed, one man to shine during the game was Joelinton. Having been named as Sky Sports’ man of the match, he was also one of three players to score 8/10 in our Player Ratings too.
The Brazilian has looked a new player since Eddie Howe took charge. Dropping from an attacking position to midfield, he was at the heart of everything good that Newcastle did.
Indeed, after the match that prompted Davidson, when speaking to Joelinton, to open his quesioning with: “I didn’t realise you was that good”.
That saw the Brazilian shrug off the question with an honest reply, saying: “It’s a new position for me. I try to give everything for the team. Unlucky with the result but we can be proud of the game and we just keep playing. It was a hard game but we take the positives.
“I understand what the manager is asking from me on the pitch.
“Some days things don’t happen but today I tried to work and I hope to continue this and do good work and hope we can win the game and improve this situation.”
The question also drew criticism from Newcastle’s fanbase with many taking to social media to outline their outrage.
And clearly his Newcastle teammate Longstaff was one of them with a wholehearted defence of the £40m man.
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“To be honest if you ask anyone in the dressing room we know he is that good regardless of what the outside people say,” he said of Joelinton.
“The disrespect he gets is a disgrace. Every day in training he’s the best player and if you get him on your team in training you’re buzzing because you’ll always win.
“He’s shown since the manager came in what he’s been like in training. Everyone at the club rates him so highly.
“The noise form outside is so disrespectful and if you watch him enough you see how good he is. I’m so happy for him and proud of him.”
Howe praises Joelinton display
Howe also had high praise from Joelinton after the match.
The Newcastle boss also revealed his thinking behind playing the Brazilian in his new, deeper role.
“When we initially came in we thought Joelinton would play as a number 10, a second striker,” he explained.
“We went down to 10 men against Norwich and reshuffled and played him as an eight and he was brilliant defensively.
“He has a tactical understanding. From then on I thought he had technical capabilities.
“You’ve seen tonight he’s been brilliant defensively. His work-rate and the amount of ground he covers is incredible. He’s a real team player. Such ability as well. He can only get better.”