The Newcastle United star ‘edging back to his best’ as £45m ‘star boy’ answers transfer critics

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Newcastle United recorded their biggest Premier League win since 1999 with an 8-0 victory at Sheffield United.

Goals, goals and more goals. So many rained in it was impossible to know when they’d stop.

Newcastle United, courtesy of eight different scorers - I won’t name them all as it’ll take too long - gave Sheffield United a Premier League lesson, almost 24 years to the day since they did it, that time at St James’ Park, to city rivals Sheffield Wednesday.

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It was just what the doctor ordered for Eddie Howe’s men, who have endured an indifferent, if tough, start to the Premier League campaign.

But what did we learn from the Bramall Lane blitz? Here’s five things to note, including plenty of midfield praise.

Midfield balance - that's more like it!

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Newcastle's midfield is a much more efficient, functioning unit when Sean Longstaff is in it.

His game management in this one was second to none.

Newcastle United's best performances this campaign have come with Longstaff in the middle.

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Three games since his return, two Premier League wins and a draw in the San Siro. He makes those around him look better because of the work and commitment he adds in the engine room.

Bruno edging back to his best

Bruno Guimaraes is edging towards his Newcastle United best. Bruno Guimaraes is edging towards his Newcastle United best.
Bruno Guimaraes is edging towards his Newcastle United best. | Getty Images

There was a real swagger about Bruno Guimaraes at Bramall Lane. He's gone from a tentative, off the pace opening to the season, to the man running the show.

As previously mentioned, it is no coincidence that has come with Longstaff alongside him.

Bruno is Newcastle's midfield talisman and when he plays well, so does the team. It's been a breath of fresh air to see him back to somewhere near his 2022/23 best.

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Out of position, but far from out of place

Academy products have been few and far between at United in recent years, but now they have two swaggering their way around the top flight - and one of them is without doubt out of position.

While Longstaff gives energy, legs and balance, on the other side, converted No.10 Elliot Anderson gives a craft and guile that has sometimes been missing.

And the one thing to notice about his performances since the summer have been his defensive work, few are as tenacious in the tackle.

Long may the youngster's rise continue.

Pinpoint Trippier - all hail captain fantastic

Kieran Trippier bagged three assists on a profitable afternoon for United. Kieran Trippier bagged three assists on a profitable afternoon for United.
Kieran Trippier bagged three assists on a profitable afternoon for United. | AFP via Getty Images

Captain fantastic did it again. After his awe-inspiring 90 minutes in Milan, with all of its defensive stability and leadership from the back, Trippier produced the goods in the final third this time out, showing the attackers in the division just how it should be done.

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His delivery was absolutely on point from minute one to 96. Three assists and could have been a few more.

Questions answered by United's starboy

Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Anthony Gordon. Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images) | Getty Images

He's the man with almost as many nicknames than he has Newcastle starts but starboy Anthony Gordon is starting to justify the hype, from within the football world, at least, that came with his January addition.

It's a transfer that from the outset brought more questions than answers from the fanbase, especially after a very low key start to life on Tyneside.

But, following the summer, it's like someone has paid the meter, Gordon's light is shining bright as a winger, in the old fashioned sense, who can go inside, outside and show off his scintillating pace.

Gareth Southgate would be mad not to call him up to take a closer look. There haven't been many better in the Premier League this season, no matter the nationality.

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