Analyzing the Matty Longstaff-Isaac Hayden midfield for Newcastle

Isaac Hayden and Matty Longstaff of Newcastle United F.C. (Photo by Peter Powell - Pool/Getty Images)
Isaac Hayden and Matty Longstaff of Newcastle United F.C. (Photo by Peter Powell - Pool/Getty Images) /

The midfield pairing of Isaac Hayden and Matty Longstaff has impressed in the last two matches.

Newcastle United have been working to find their ideal pairing in central midfield this season. Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey, when both healthy, are probably the top two options. But, players like Jeff Hendrick and Sean and Matty Longstaff have gotten their chances, too. The last two matches saw positive returns from the duo of Isaac Hayden and Matty Longstaff.

The pairing of Hayden and Longstaff brings much-needed energy and hustle to the center of the park. With Newcastle’s largely defensive approach, the midfield group’s work rate allows the Magpies to remain active and try to get ahold of the game.

Yesterday, they were able to frustrate the Liverpool midfield and were far from overrun by Jurgen Klopp’s talented group. Defensively, both Hayden and Longstaff put in great shifts and helped the defense and Karl Darlow pitch a shutout.

While neither player is the passer of Jonjo Shelvey, both players are capable in distribution and don’t try to force too many passes. Hayden prefers to work the ball around quickly while Matty is more willing to drive at an opposing player with the ball at his feet.

Supporters are clamoring for both players to remain the first-choice options in the midfield. Hayden and Longstaff both leave it all out there every match and the Toon Army appreciates that, plus the quality both have displayed recently.

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Unfortunately, Hayden picked up his fifth yellow card of the season and will be suspended for the match vs. Leicester City. Jonjo could replace him for the fixture vs. the Foxes, but Hayden certainly has a claim to a starting spot once he’s eligible.