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Newcastle 5 Sheffield 1 And I've never felt as flat!!

And I've never felt as flat!!

How is it possible, after a match in which your beloved team has triumphed 5 - 1, and taken another significant step towards an unlikely - bearing in mind the debilitating injuries and suspension we've endured this seaon - European berth, to feel as low as I felt after this game.

I say low but, of course, I was delighted with the win. I just wasn't as ecstatic as I would normally be under such circumstances.

Why was this? Am I just an entitled moron who can't understand what a remarkable achievement this result was, bearing in mind the said injuries and suspension?

I would like to think that that is not the the case. Rather, that I would hate the scoreline to cover up just how BAD our performance was. Just how BAD certain players were. Just how much those sub-standard players (and I'm talking about players here, not just their performance today) could tip the balance when our elite players are deciding whether they need to leave our club in order to fulfil their ambitions.

I'm Bruno (I wish!) and I'm working my bollocks off to help the team but, week in week out, I see the hapless Sean Longstaff alongside me, contributing absolutely nothing, running round like a headless chicken, mis-controlling pass after pass, falling to the the ground under the slightest challenge, winning single-digit tackles in every game, and missing sitter after sitter, and yet DESPITE all this, he still starts every game and NEVER gets substituted even when we make multiple changes. or lose embarrassingly to relegation-fighting teams. Do I honestly believe I'm going to win major honours with him in the team?

I honestly think the answer is, "NOT A CHANCE!". So, unless Eddie can persuade him that, when everyone is fit and back playing, Longstaff will be nowhere near the first team, Bruno will be off to pastures new.

He was visibly moved by the Wor Flags display today and returned the compliment when celebrating his goal by removing the black and white flag in the Strawberry Corner and waving it proudly and entusiastically high above his head towards the Gallowgate faithful.

His fondness for the area, the Geordie nation and the Toon, together with the fact that his family have all been taken to our hearts, has been widely documented.

He regularly clutches and kisses the badge and displays the heart sign to the crowd.

BUT! BUT! BUT! Will that be sufficient to persuade him to stay at the club in favour of a glamour move to any of several clubs where he would be virtually guaranteed silverware and a starting place in the Brazil National team.

I hope so and believe that he will stay at least one more season to see what a Tonali/J7/Bruno midfield could achieve in rotation with the likes of a year-older Miley and Anderson and a fully fit Willock. This midfield behind a front three from Wilson, Isak, Gordon, Barnes and AN Other, and in front of a back four with Trips, Tino, Schar, Botman, Burn , Hall and AN Other battling for places.

So.... back to my despondency following the 5 - 1 victory. If we play again like we played today and did on Wednesday, ANY Premier League team apart from the woeful Sheffield United would beat us. Witness Bournemouth, Luton, Everton, Palace and Forest.

Against Sheffield, contrary to many of the reports I've seen, we DIDN'T improve in the second half. It was simply that Sheffield stopped trying as hard and chasing as much as they did at the start of the match. We were still unable to string 3 forward passes together. We were still, continually, needlessly giving away possession. Longstaff made 3 successful tackles in 90 minutes. In the same period he lost possession 13 times! Any reasonably competent team will capitalise on that.

Do not let the scoreline cloud your judgement. We played no better today than we did on Wednesday and THAT'S why I'm not my usual, ebullient post-victory self.

I'll get over it. Howay the lads!

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