Newcastle 2-1 St-Étienne: New boys shine & Matty Longstaff scores stunner – Watch here

Our final pre-season friendly of the summer at St James’ Park ahead of the new Premier League season, and it was another good run out – with us dominating in a convincing 2-1 win over St-Etienne.

St-Étienne – who finished 4th in Ligue 1 last season – arrived with a strong side, filled with several familiar faces, including ex-Mag Mathieu Debuchy, former Mackem midfielder Yann M’villa and Arsenal’s new £27m centre-back William Saliba (who’s been loaned back to the French side).

NUFC starting 11 (3-5-2): Dubravka – Schar, Lascelles, Fernandez – Manquillo, Hayden, Shelvey, Longstaff, Aarons – Almiron, Joelinton.

It was an accomplished and controlled performance which featured some exciting moments from our three new signings and a special moment for 19-year-old local lad Matty Longstaff – who smashed a 25-yard shot in off the crossbar just seconds after making his first senior appearance at St James’ Park.

Here’s the opening goal by Joelinton, who latched onto another sublime through ball from Fabian Schar and did well to beat both the goalkeeper and two St-Etienne’s to a couple of 50/50’s:



Joelinton impressed, with his all round play and movement being arguably more eye-catching than the fact he scored once again. He’s happy to come short and link the play, he’s strong enough to back into his man and play the target man role, but he’s also got impressive movement and mobility, with him constantly being on the shoulder of the last man in a bid to get in behind.

It’s early days, but he looks to have all the makings of a VERY good striker, having a rare mix of pace, power and impressive movement.

Almiron was everywhere and pulled the strings, although it is another game where he’ll be wondering how he hasn’t scored. It’s a slight concern that his final ball is letting him down, but I am confident he’ll be flying as soon as he bags that first goal, with his general play, energy and enthusiasm for the game so, so impressive.

Shelvey dictated the play in a deep-lying playmaker role, with Hayden and Longstaff pressing well and getting into some advanced positions either side of him. At the back, Manquillo did a good job once again and both Schar and Fernandez showed moments of class, while Lascelles was rock solid and dealt with just about everything thrown at him in the middle.

Then, with just over half an hour remaining, £16.5m man Allan Saint-Maximin came on – and he ran the show from then on in. As the video below shows, his first 49 seconds at St James’ Park were exciting to say the least, seeing him press brilliantly and beat his man with ease after receiving a warm Geordie welcome from the 16,000 crowd:

The Frenchman was absolutely electric, not only going on some sparkling runs, skipping past St Etienne players at ease, but also picking out some tidy passes and testing the goalkeeper with a few shots.

Then, for all of Saint-Maximin’s magic, Almiron’s energy and Joelinton’s movement, the moment of the game arrived – via a stunning strike from Matty Longstaff (see clip below).

The 19-year-old had only been on the field for a matter of seconds, but, after some showboating in the corner from Willems and Saint-Maximin, he received a pass from brother Sean and unleashed a brilliant 25-yard strike that smashed in off the crossbar:

A special moment for the Geordie midfielder, who looks likely to stay and fight for a place in the first-team squad after several eye-catching displays over pre-season.

Aarons did OK, but, based on Jetro Willems’ impressive late cameo, I can’t see him starting at left wing-back for much longer while Matt Ritchie is out.

Willems played some intelligent passes down the line, looked a decent dribbler and linked up with Saint-Maximin well.

It’s hard to judge over pre-season, but we looked nicely balanced and a team that could cause all sorts of problems in behind and on the counter, with Almiron, Joelinton and Saint-Maximin all constantly looking to burst in behind or run at their man.

With today’s result in mind, we’ve ended pre-season with the following results

  • L – 0-4 vs Wolves
  • W – 1-0 vs West Ham (Muto)
  • L – 1-2 vs Preston (Shelvey)
  • W – 3-1 vs Hibernian (Joelinton, S.Longstaff, Lascelles)
  • W – 2-1 vs St-Etienne (Joelinton, M.Longstaff).

Next up – Arsenal at St James’ Park a week tomorrow for the start of our 2019/20 Premier League season!

(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)

About Olly Hawkins

Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.

203 thoughts on “Newcastle 2-1 St-Étienne: New boys shine & Matty Longstaff scores stunner – Watch here

  1. Stuart79:
    Just as a side note, it’s interesting that in the starting line we could have 4 local players and a local manager. Although Colback wouldn’t be in my starting 11 i’d rather have Matty Longstaff.

    Yeah good observation. I think it’s positive for the dressing room and the general mood around the club. Carroll, Dummet and the 2 Longstaffs. Plus Bruce. Say what you want about him but he’s from the region and there is a good core now in and around the team that really understand the club and fans. Can’t be a bad thing. I love seeing youngsters coming through and stepping up too.

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  2. I doubt St Max will start on Sunday. We probably need to stack the midfield so there will be only room for 2 upfront and he hasn’t been here long. Not as long as Miggy and Joelinton anyway.

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  3. So Hayden stays. Expect new contracts for him and Longstaff. I said many times that the logistics of a move away if his girlfriend stayed in South Wales just didn’t make any sense. Even Brighton is a 3 hour drive. And if the other choice was Palace then he was in for a relegation fight either way.

    He did play well last year and against some very good teams like Liverpool. Hopefully, he has taken that next step and he really is our only defensive mid if we assume Colback is gone.

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  4. The previews for Arsenal should be interesting. They played crap away from home last year. But, we were atrocious against them last year. The only really, really bad game after New Year.

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  5. Stuart: you have to bring Hayden’s and Longstaff’s contracts up to match their current valuations. I reckon that is at least double and have said for months that Hayden would stay if we doubled his money. He was also saying his daughter was much better even before the latest interview.

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  6. georgio:
    That’s only 3 weeks away.

    Not the best of starts given his history. Cynic in me would suggest as he passed a medical it is merely a cold.

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  7. Groucho, that makes sense, he’s just had reconstructive surgery on his ankle over the summer so will now need to work on his match fitness . Just have to hope he doesn’t break down in training or get a problem elsewhere really.
    Hope it comes good for him and us as i like him and when fit a real threat to any team.

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  8. We now have 3 forwards all with different points to prove, Gayle, that he’s good enough for PL and fit enough. Joelinton that the PL and Toon no 9 shirt isn’t too much a burden and Carroll proving that you can come back.
    You would hope one of them gets a good result.

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  9. kimtoon:
    Groucho, that makes sense, he’s just had reconstructive surgery on his ankle over the summer so will now need to work on his match fitness . Just have to hope he doesn’t break down in training or get a problem elsewhere really.
    Hope it comes good for him and us as i like him and when fit a real threat to any team.

    Agree I do hope it comes right for the sake of the team. I just have my doubts.

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  10. Groucho: Not the best of starts given his history. Cynic in me would suggest as he passed a medical it is merely a cold.

    And with an international break in between

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  11. Apparently, some saying he didn’t have a full medical due to his surgery but that medics very happy with what’s been done.
    A basic salary and incentives for an initial year seems a good deal for all concerned and he did have other options but really wanted to come home.

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  12. Queer turn of events innit. The bulk of Ashley’s problems started when he sold Carroll for £35m on deadline day. He had issues before that with Keegan and such like, but the Carroll sale was the standout business before football deal.

    There was then all the arguing between the 2 – I didn’t want to leave – he forced the move sh!te.

    Now, at a time when Ashley is probably the most hated he’s ever been, he breaks his transfer policy of signing players of a certain age, to bring back Andy Carroll.

    A fit and motivated Andy Carroll is like no other player imo. He had games for us, I don’t think any defender in the world could handle him.
    But fit or motivated he has rarely been – so how much was this signing for football reasons, and how much was it to try and win favour with fans?!.

    Whatever the reason, I think his presence back at the club and training ground is a positive one, whether he plays or not. But it does make me wonder.

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  13. I watched an interview with Carroll after signing. He said he is back to running outside and looked slightly worried when he said it. I think the key is to not rush it and use him sparingly. If we do, he will offer a dynamic that very few forwards can during those times.

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  14. Ashley doesn’t think about the fans at all! It’s just another cheap as chips deal to him.
    Bruce will be happy though and a lot of shirts will be sold.

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  15. Villa have a net spend of £144m. That is a huge gamble. I hope they have a financial plan if it does not work out.

    Early front runners for relegation for me are Norwich, Sheff Utd, Brighton, then probably Villa, Burnley followed by Palace, Bournemouth and Watford then Toon and Southampton.

    So I’m predicting a comfortable 11th to 13th for us this season.

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  16. I think we know what the team will be for Arsenal. It will be the team that started against St Ettiene with Dummett in for Aarons. Doubt any of the late arrivals will start but I expect to see St Max off the bench.

    All the papers are making their predictions. Most have us being OK except The Independent. They have about 9 journalists and 6 think we will go down and that Joelinton will be the biggest bust in the league. A clear example of Group Think in their offices. Even though they are all male, I think their periods are probably synced up.

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  17. I didn’t see any preseason games so I am going to hold off on any prediction until I at least see the first game. Except, I don’t think we will be relegated despite the protests. Our squad is a lot better than a lot of the predicted bottom 10 and Bruce is better than he is being made out to be.

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  18. Seeing some comments on Blogs got me thinking that Bruce must be totally fckin sick of people coming up to him using catch phrases from Play Your Cards Right and thinking they are funny.

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  19. I think it will be a hard season and a close shave, but i don’t think we’ll drop, i need to see us play 2 or 3 really before i can predict a position finish.
    What i do think though is we have a team of footballers with a point to prove. There will be a couple glad Rafa has gone, likewise a few who aren’t but they won’t like being written off before a ball is kicked and will either go one of two ways. Play out their collective skins and achieve more than the sum of their parts is expected or shrink and fulfill the prophecy of the gloom merchants.
    Gonna be interesting either way, buckle up lads, the rides likely to get bumpy .

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  20. Has everybody seen that rule change where opposition players are not allowed to stand in a wall for free kicks where there are at least 3 defenders in that wall? That should be interesting.

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  21. Ritchie is fit. That makes team selection easy:

    Dubravka

    Manquillo Schar Lescelles Dummett Ritchie

    Hayden Shelvey Lonstaff

    Joelinton Almiron

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  22. Sharpy17:
    Queer turn of events innit.The bulk of Ashley’s problems started when he sold Carroll for £35m on deadline day.He had issues before that with Keegan and such like, but the Carroll sale was the standout business before football deal.

    There was then all the arguing between the 2 – I didn’t want to leave – he forced the move sh!te.

    Now, at a time when Ashley is probably the most hated he’s ever been, he breaks his transfer policy of signing players of a certain age, to bring back Andy Carroll.

    A fit and motivated Andy Carroll is like no other player imo.He had games for us, I don’t think any defender in the world could handle him.
    But fit or motivated he has rarely been – so how much was this signing for football reasons, and how much was it to try and win favour with fans?!.

    Whatever the reason, I think his presence back at the club and training ground is a positive one, whether he plays or not.But it does make me wonder.

    As I understood it at the time Carroll was encouraged to go by his big pal at the time Nolan.

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  23. I will be interested to see the previews as there is no way we will see the Arsenal signings of the past few days. Tierney is even injured and Pepe and Luis haven’t trained. Lacazette is a doubt as well.

    Without the new additions their defense is a joke so maybe we have a chance?

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  24. Groucho: Nolan was on the Sky deadline day broadcast. I watched it. He even said yesterday he encouraged Carroll to go to Liverpool, and not Spurs.

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  25. At the risk of putting money over football, I thought at the time £35m was too good a fee to turn down at the time. But I would quickly follow that by saying, I expected it to be reinvested into the team – and that never happened.
    Ashley’s mistake wasn’t selling Carroll, it was not using the £35m to improve the squad.

    The way Carroll spoke in his interview yesterday though, there seemed to be a lot of regret and remorse – but he has a second bite now 🤞🏻.

    McClaren also said yesterday that we tried to bring him back when he was at Newcastle too – so maybe our link with him every window wasn’t lazy journalism after all.

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  26. Hard to predict the team or formation at this stage. You’d think he’d start Willems ahead of Ritchie and that he’d like Maxi in the team but that would mean dropping Shelvey out. We’ll just have to see on Sunday. HTL!

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  27. I am sure I have just seen that Bournemouth have only signed one player and that’s on loan. If that is the case they could be seriously in a relegation scrap.

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  28. It’s difficult because Arsenal’s offence is outstanding – but their defence is very vulnerable imo.

    I think with it being the first home game of the season and his first game as manager – he might well go after them.

    That’s all I want to see from the team. High energy, lots of chasing when when we don’t have the ball and playing direct aggressive football when we have it.

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  29. Looks like Nickson had already decided on the squad and Bruce went along. There was never a blank slate for the 5 who didn’t make it.

    The only slight surprise is Matty Longstaff who is only 19 and I thought they may have sent him out to league 1 for 6 months.

    I think they might try to negotiate a deal with Colback to cut him loose. Not sure where he could be loaned to, His wages are too high for any of the Scottish teams. Maybe Holland?

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  30. Eric
    could be that Bruce might be going to give Matty Longstaff some game time in the premiership this season.

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  31. Can someone explain to me why Sky continue to just say nothing and let the viewers hear Liverpool fans sing YNWA? Why? Do they do it for any other clubs?

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  32. Stuart79:
    Watching Norwich they have some great attacking play.

    3-0 down in the first half hour though Stu. Their keeper and Capt. are also players we didn’t want.

    It’s kamikaze football they are playing mate.

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  33. That’s maybe, Sharpy but they’ve looked really good in attack. It’s not a coincidence that the two we didn’t want are in the area where they’re sh*te

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  34. Stuart79:
    That’s maybe, Sharpy but they’ve looked really good in attack. It’s not a coincidence that the two we didn’t want are in the area where they’re sh*te

    Give over Stu. If Bruce has us play like this against Lpool or City, I’ll be keeping a look out for your comments 🧐

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  35. God I hope it doesn’t carry on like this. VAR went down but even before that it was all the commentators over here talked about. Even with 4 goals.

    1st game of the season and hopefully it is just the novelty of it all. It was also Arlo White who dwells on every little detail anyway.

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  36. Sharpy17: Give over Stu.If Bruce has us play like this against Lpool or City, I’ll be keeping a look out for your comments

    I’m not saying that’s the way to play against the top teams if you’re down the bottom. I am simply making a comment about the way they play. I like it when they’re attacking. They will beat a few teams around them. And yes, I would be delighted if Bruce’s team look that sharp in attack.

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  37. for all their attacking play where did it get Norwich? There was a good reason why Rafa had us play like he did and mostly it worked. Boring at times for sure but a necessity given our limitations, it was interesting that once some flair was introduced ( Miggy ) and Rondon was fit we looked far more pleasing to the eye. Longstaffs partnership with Hayden was a revelation too, which i for one never expected, Hayden was luke warm for me previously. Just goes to show, often times it’s the chemistry of a pairing that just gels right rather than the individuals skill/flair.

    With the new flair additions we now have i’m expecting Bruce to set us up quite attack minded, though he may go the Rafa route against top 6 sides. Very interested to see how we play tomorrow and actually looking forward to it, strangely.

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