We are Newcastle United: Sean Longstaff’s funny response to Eddie Howe’s Manchester United F-bomb

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Sean Longstaff spoke to journalists at the Premiere of We are Newcastle United, which airs for the first time on Friday.

Standing next to the blue carpet at the Premiere of Amazon Prime’s ‘We are Newcastle United’ documentary, it isn’t long before we’re reminded of just how far the football club has come in such a short amount of time.

Sean Longstaff, one of the stars of the four-part show and last season’s on-field success, is chatting to journalists having just returned from the Premier League Summer Series in America, where he and his teammates visited Philadelphia, Atlanta and New Jersey, including a look around New York’s famous Times Square.

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We’re five questions into the interview and Longstaff quips: “It’s a lot different to the pre-seasons in York a few years ago...” From York to New York...

Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Newcastle, under the ownership of Mike Ashley and management of Steve Bruce, faced travel restrictions during to Covid-19 pandemic so visited the Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate as part of their preparations for the 2021-22 Premier League season.

It wasn’t the venue as such that was the issue, but rather that a college in York housed better facilities than a Premier League football club. It epitomised the chronic lack of investment, love and care during Ashley’s 14 years.

Fast forward to now and the differences, as Longstaff points out, couldn’t be more stark with the club’s Amazon documentary set to reach a new global audience.

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“We’re trying to expand the club and get it recognised globally, as it should be,” Longstaff adds. “The club is doing a good job of that at the moment and it’s only going to get bigger and better. It’s great to be a part of.

“Nights like this and tours of America are a far cry from where we were a few years ago. As we’re more successful on the pitch, that will help everything else grow. It’s just really exciting,”

Upgrading and extending the club’s Darsley Park training centre has been one of several improvements funded by the new ownership group. The documentary provides insight at boardroom level with Yasir Al Rumayyan, Amanda Staveley and Mehrdad Ghodoussi but also focuses on Eddie Howe’ side’s journey to the Carabao Cup final and Champions League qualification.

Newcastle were, of course, beaten by Manchester United in their first Wembley final in 24 years but what forms one of the key scenes is the Premier League meeting between the two clubs, five weeks later.

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In a clip that has already been released, Howe, rattled by Erik ten Hag’s pre-match comments insinuating that Newcastle are time-wasters, relayed the quotes to his players in the dressing room. They responded, winning 2-0.

“If they want a quick game coming here, let’s f-----g give it to them,” Howe said. “Let’s blow them away with our running, let’s be intense in every action that we do. Let’s make it a quick game. Let’s go.”

For Howe, a modest and well-spoken figure, his F-bomb amused supporters — and players as Longstaff reveals “I think they found the only time he swore all season! We were all laughing about that.”

Longstaff reckons “I’m just a little fish, I leave that to Popey [Nick Pope], Tripps [Kieran Tripper] and [Callum] Wilson, I’m not that interesting”, but the producers didn’t agree. We won’t give too much away, but the Geordie midfielder was handed a central role around his Southampton semi-final heroics.

So, what was it like having the cameras around?

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“They were really good,” Longstaff says. “We didn’t notice them as much as we thought we were going to. The crew felt like part of the team come the end - they were in giving us handshakes after we’d won! It was a bit weird. I’m just hoping we all come across OK!”

Amazon managed to capture one of the club’s greatest seasons in recent history after Howe’s men ended their 20-year absence from the Champions League. And not long after the cameras were switched off, and the season was over, Longstaff was among a group of Newcastle players to celebrate in Las Vegas.

Longstaff says: “A lot of us went on holiday together in the summer, so we’re with each other a lot. When we got back and had a couple of weeks apart, everyone hated it! So we couldn’t wait to get back. There was me, Nick Pope, Paul Dummett, Mark Gillespie, Matt Targett, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar, Loris Karius.

“Just as well the film crew didn’t follow us there…”

Or York, for that matter...

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We Are Newcastle United is produced by Lorton Entertainment and 72 Films, a Fremantle company, executive produced by Clare Cameron and three-time BAFTA winner John Douglas. The first episode airs this Friday on Amazon.

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