As featured on NewsNow: Football news

Lee Clark: Newcastle watershed; McTominay future; Spurs drama overblown

I was at Newcastle's win over Manchester United last Saturday and it was a brilliant feeling…

The win has just given the whole city a lift in terms of the result, the performance, the reaction to what's happened at Leicester, and the fact it was involving four local lads, with the two Longstaff brothers, Andy Carroll and Paul Dummett.

It's great to see and certainly the way the two Longstaffs performed and the story with young Matty on his debut getting the winner, it's just given everyone a huge boost, without going overboard. The fact that we've beaten Man United, we've responded to the Leicester loss and the main characters in the story, even though the whole team deserves credit, are the two local lads.

I spoke to David Longstaff on Sunday and Monday, and obviously the family is unbelievably proud and rightly so. It's unique. You must be so proud to have one son playing for the club but to have two of them, and the way they performed alongside each other in the middle of the pitch, it's amazing.

Steve has responded with the rest of the players and it has given everybody something to look forward to. Obviously it's a very tough fixture against Chelsea but there's more belief after the last result. It's always difficult for a new manager to come in he's seeing new players and giving everyone a clean slate and this might be a watershed moment where everything goes back to basics.


Being a friend for a long time, I'm delighted for Steve. I want him to be a successful, I want the football team to do the well. I'm delighted for Steve and his staff, I think everyone would've taken the result, but in the way it was achieved, it gives a real boost in optimism.

Now in terms of if there is a takeover or not, whatever is going on, the supporters will sort that out, they'll go about their business whichever way they've got to do it. I just don't want it to be to the detriment of the team, I want the team to be getting positive results and be up the table, get up as far as they possibly can.

I believe the players will have similar thoughts towards the takeover as the fans. The lads who have been in that dressing room over the past four or five years have kept hearing this all the time so it becomes second nature. And ultimately it's not going to affect the players. They've got their long-term contracts so it doesn't matter who the owner or the managers are. They're tied to the club. So they just have to concentrate on the only thing that they can affect and that's the stuff on the pitch, making sure the club are always competing at this level of the game.


I said in my last column that Graeme Souness was right when he said this is the worst Manchester United team of the Premier League era, and their performance last Saturday reaffirmed that idea.

They were quite average at best and that's not trying to take anything away from Newcastle United. In terms of the players and seeing them live, nobody impressed me and I think for the size of that football club and where they want to get back too, it looks like it's going to take a huge amount of investment, not only for the right players but the right type of characters, because I think that's what they need. The club is used to winning, used to competing on the biggest stage, used to beating the biggest clubs in the world, and they're so far from that at this moment in time.

Sometimes when you bring better senior players in those young players kick on again because they want to be helped. What I find about the Scott McTominay's and other young players of Manchester United at the moment is that they're having to be the senior players, the standout players, where in years gone by, when the young players were coming through, the Class of '92 for example, they had the likes of Steve Bruce, Gary Pallister, Peter Schmeichel, Bryan Robson, to help and guide those young players.

I look at the Manchester United squad now and they haven't got any mentors or experienced players who can show them the way. I'm not dismissing people like McTominay, but if Manchester United can get good, top quality senior players in the group, people like McTominay, Greenwood, Tuanzebe, can then flourish and be helped without any added pressure. That's what you've got to do with young players, you've got to surround them with quality, experienced players so they can flourish.


Mauricio Pochettino hasn't lost the dressing room at all.

This is football. It doesn't matter what type of player you are, confidence is huge. And Spurs are on a bit of a run where you can imagine they are lacking some confidence, they just need to regain that. It's a tough run of results but it's too easy for people to say that he has lost the dressing room.

This man has proved over many years, since he's been in England, that he's a top, top manager. You see the huge respect his players have for him. That's not just going to go out the window because of a couple of bad results. When you're up against it, you see the real characters. They will come through this.

It just goes to show how much confidence plays a huge part in football, because this Tottenham squad are just full of quality, full of top class players, a team many people have enjoyed watching over the past few years. It's too simple to say that Pochettino has lost the dressing room.

Spurs will be hurting, but Pochettino has got too many good players, too much respect and looking from the outside, I can't see the squad accepting the results they've had for too much longer.

Video of the day:

Lee Clark
About the author

Lee Clark

Have your say

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

  1. Go Ad-Free
  2. Faster site experience
  3. Support great writing
  4. Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free

Subscribe and go ad-free

For only $10 a year

Subscribe now
Launch Offer: 2 months free